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Choosing the best equipment is the first step to performing your best when playing sports.
When playing tennis, there are a couple pieces of equipment needed in order to play. One of these main pieces is the tennis ball.
The tennis ball acts as the main point scoring object in the game of tennis.
Controlled by the players and their racquets, the tennis ball is necessary in order to play.
But there are several tennis ball design options that are made to work better for different playing levels and for different court settings.
Picking between these can be difficult if you do not understand the different options available.
The differences between the regular duty vs extra duty tennis ball is one such example.
Choosing between these two different tennis balls may not seem like a big deal; both balls look the same on the outside and seem to offer the same traits of any other tennis ball.
But the difference in their construction makes a regular duty extremely different from an extra duty tennis ball in ways like speed, durability, and even bounce.
Looking through your options and understanding just what type of players and tennis court surfaces are needed in order to utilize the two tennis balls to their highest playability will improve your game as well.
Choosing the right tennis ball
Choosing the right tennis ball is important for a number of reasons.
The right ball can decide the speed of the game, how long you can use a tennis ball before needing a replacement, and how much bounce is offered by the ball in relation to the court surface’s material.
The best tennis ball will also allow you to better assist your skill level as a tennis player, whether beginner or professional.
Using the wrong tennis ball can throw you off your game and waste through a perfectly good tennis ball.
Tennis balls need to be replaced more frequently than you think.
The pressure inside the balls can easily be drained, whether you are using the tennis ball or not.
Using the incorrect tennis ball may cause you to waste the potential of a tennis ball’s features and leave you using a ball that does not have the durability you need.
There are several things you need to consider when selecting your tennis ball. Identify what type of player you are, whether recreational or professional, and your skill set too.
Recreational tennis balls are often very different from championship designed tennis balls as they are both designed for different court settings and to different amounts of use.
Luckily, both of these tennis ball options will offer different selections including both an extra duty and a regular duty tennis ball.
Other things to consider will be the color of your tennis ball which is used to distinguish different ball types from others and whether you will be needing a pressureless or pressurized tennis ball.
The pressure of a ball is also important to consider. Tennis balls come as either pressureless or pressurized.
While pressureless tennis balls are those used for recreational players as they last longer and will not lose their bounce as quickly, pressurized balls are required for tournament and professional tennis players.
These balls will wear out their pressure more quickly but provide a more accurate bounce, speed, and spin.
Most importantly, when deciding between a regular duty tennis ball or an extra duty tennis ball, you need to consider what court type you will be playing on.
Type of court you play on
The reason the court is the most important feature to consider when choosing between either an extra duty or a regular duty tennis ball is due to the court’s affect on the lifespan and durability of the ball.
These two styles of tennis balls are made to handle different court surfaces. It is the main distinction between the two tennis ball types.
There are a number of tennis court options, the three most common and in this case most important, being soft courts, also known as clay courts, and hard courts, which are either hard courts or grass courts.
Depending on which of these court options you use regularly will be the biggest judgement about which tennis ball type to use.
Each court affects the ball differently, not only wearing it down at a different pace, but also changing just how the ball bounces on the court’s surface.
This change can affect the ball’s speed, height of its bounce, and its direction.
For those players you prefer to use clay courts or even indoor tennis courts, you will want a tennis ball that works best with soft courts.
This requires you to use a regular duty tennis ball as they do not need as much durability to withstand long use on the softer court surface.
In contrast, hard courts and grass courts will wear through a ball more quickly and can have a strong impact on the ball’s ability to bounce and the speed of the game.
When using these courts, it is best to rely on a more durable tennis ball option like the extra duty tennis ball.
Learn more about the three main court surfaces of clay, grass, and hard surfaces and just how they affect the speed, path, and other features of your tennis ball by watching the video below.
Regular duty tennis balls
Regular duty tennis balls are made with a thinner layer of felt in their design.
This lowers the quantity of clay from the soft court’s surface from being absorbed as the tennis ball hits the surface.
The felt is also woven in a tighter formation around the tennis ball’s core to further block out any clay that can cause damage and ruin the tennis ball.
If clay enters the tennis ball’s core it will cause the tennis ball’s internal pressure to destabilize and therefore wear it out more quickly.
Soft courts are made with cheap materials like compressed brick or stone.
These materials used on the clay court surface do make the tennis ball move at a slower pace than tennis balls used on other courts, like hard court surfaces.
This is due to the clay materials ability to absorb the bounce and impact caused whenever the tennis ball hit the surface.
It also provides the regular duty tennis ball with a greater bounce which is important to take note of for when you are playing.
These soft courts and regular duty balls work well for players who favor the baseline of the tennis court.
Extra duty tennis balls
On the other hand, extra duty tennis balls will have a strong focus on durability.
Rather than working to keep out clay and other particles, extra duty tennis balls’ felt will need to withstand the hard conditions of the hard and grass court surfaces.
Other ball types will wear down quickly and be a waste. The thicker layer of felt that is more loosely woven around an extra duty tennis ball’s core will work marvelously with this court type.
The increased durability will ensure the ball lasts for a longer amount of time.
The speed of the ball will depend on the materials used within the hard court’s surface.
Things like how many particles are placed in the mix and the size of said particles will work to either speed up or slow down the tennis match’s speed.
Grass courts in particular will have a lot of moving factors that the extra duty tennis ball will be better equipped to handle.
This includes the varying weather conditions of these courts, their maintenance, and so forth.
Most hard court surfaces will allow for a faster game with a low bounce height.
This will speed up the pace of the game as players must reach the tennis ball at a quicker pace in order to complete their shots.
This makes these courts and extra duty tennis balls a great option for players who prefer longer volleys.
Regular duty vs. extra duty tennis balls: Which is right for you?
Since nearly all professional, championship, and recreational based tennis balls allow for the option of extra duty and regular tennis balls, it is easier to find the best, most durable tennis ball to fit your court playing needs.
Both of these balls may appear to be identical but the traits they offer when partnered with their various courts separate them.
This makes it easier to find the best option for you.
Regular duty tennis balls feature a thinner felt layer with a tighter weaving around the tennis ball’s core which prevents dust and other clay like particles from damaging the tennis ball from the inside.
These balls are best for soft courts, like clay court surfaces or those tennis courts that are placed indoors.
Hard courts and grass courts will need a stronger tennis ball with increased durability.
This is exactly what the extra duty tennis ball provides to its user.
With its material made thicker with a looser weaving around the core, these tennis ball types will work for a longer period of time with better performance on these harder surfaces.
Hard and grass court surfaces will most like speed up the pace of the tennis match and require quicker movements due to lower bounces.
Soft courts will be slower in pace but have higher heights when the tennis balls bounce off the court surface.