FAQ: Why are some players known to be ball snobs?

Pickleball players inquiring minds want to know...about ball snobs

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Q: Are there ball snobs in pickleball?

A. Yes, there are ball snobs in pickleball.   

Many experienced, serious and/or competitive players prefer playing with outdoor hard balls. Some of these players won't even play indoors during the winter season if they have to play with the "soft" ball.

There are three primary types of balls: soft indoor balls (which have fewer larger holes), soft outdoor balls and hard outdoor balls.

In general, you'll mostly find soft outdoor balls (such as Onix Pure or Fuse balls) being used by new players who found them in a big box store, (purely) social players, or at courts where hard balls are prohibited due to community noise complaints. Further, when players show up with the soft outdoor balls at public parks, they may experience players being reluctant to play with them (because they're assumed to be beginners or inexperienced).

Clearly, the two most popular outdoor hard balls are Franklin X-40s (referred to as "Franklins") and Onix Durasoft 40's (referred to as "Duras"). And, today there are a few other outdoor hard balls that are gaining in popularity. And, you may find that more experienced, higher-level players prefer the Duras.

Competitive and tournament players prefer the Franklins and Duras because a) they are what's commonly used in tournaments and b) they allow for a faster game to be played. Soft balls are considered to be slower and more difficult to "put away" (which is why newer and social players prefer them).

It may be beneficial to have several types of balls in your bag depending on where you play, how you play and who you play with or hope to play with.