When it comes to different sports, it is important for you to make sure that your equipment is in the best condition. This includes racquetball, which not only requires that your racquetball racket is in great working condition but also that the racquetball themselves are working well enough. So, considering that most sports equipment can easily deteriorate over time, how long do racquetballs last?
It is best to replace a racquetball every 3 to 5 games when you’ve noticed that it no longer has the same bounce or when it has clearly become worn out. There is no certainty as to how long racquetballs last because it depends entirely on your style of play and on how frequently you play.
Racquetballs are just like any other ball that is used in sports. That means that these balls will easily wear out over time because of how they experience plenty of wear and tear with regular usage. And a racquetball that has begun to wear out will no longer have the same bounce. As such, it is important that you observe the condition of your racquetballs so that you will be able to tell whether or not it is time for you to replace your ball.
What are racquetballs made of?
It is common for different sports to make use of different types of balls that are most likely exclusive to certain sports. For example, while tennis is indeed similar to a lot of different sports, these sports don’t use the same tennis balls that tennis uses. It’s the same thing for racquetball, which uses its own balls that are also called racquetballs.
Different sports around the world, of course, have balls that are made of different materials depending on the demands of the sport. So, in that case, what are the materials that racquetballs are made of?
The truth is that there are no rules in relation to what racquetballs should be made of. This is not something that the governing body of the sport controls as there is no exact standard in terms that the materials that should be used to make racquetballs.
However, most racquetballs are made using rubber materials. The most common rubber used to make racquetballs is latex rubber.
Of course, there’s a good reason why latex rubber is the more preferred material used to make racquetballs. That’s because latex rubber allows a racquetball to stay light while giving it the bounce that the sport requires it to have.
Rubber racquetballs are supposed to be hollow in a way that’s similar to their tennis ball counterparts. The difference is that racquetballs don’t have the coating that the tennis balls have.
How long do racquetballs last?
Considering that you already know what racquetballs are made of, you probably already know that rubber is not a material that would easily deteriorate or break down even with regular use. But, just like any other sport, racquetballs will eventually deteriorate in terms of how effective and bouncy they are.
The truth is that there is no ball in any kind of sport that is so durable that it would last for a very long time, especially when used regularly. As such, you could say the same of racquetballs, which will eventually wear down due to the effects of time and regular use. So, how long do racquetballs last?
In that regard, what you need to know is that there is no exact length of time as to how long racquetballs will last. That’s because time is not the best way for you to determine how long your racquetballs will be able to retain their condition. There are actually different factors that can affect how long racquetballs will last.
The first factor that can affect the lifespan of a racquetball is usage. Like many other different sports equipment, racquetballs will have lifespans that are going to be affected by the normal wear and tear of use. As such, the more you use your racquetball, the more likely it will end up wearing down faster.
So, if you are someone who plays racquetball more frequently than others, such as when you play about three times a week, then there is a good chance that the racquetball will wear down at a rate that much faster than when you are someone who plays maybe once a week.
Then there is also the fact that the way you play can also affect how long the racquetball will last. The more experienced of a player you are and the harder you hit your racquetball, the less likely it will be for the ball to last very long. And the reason is that racquetball can only take so much punishment from a hard-hitting racquetball player.
Another factor you need to look at is the color of the racquetball. That’s because what you need to know is that racquetballs are color-coded not only for aesthetic purposes but also for other reasons as well. (Read My Full Racquetball Guide)
Some racquetballs have a certain color to help with visibility, but the color of the racquetball is also a code that is used to determine how durable the ball is, even though the balls are all made from rubber.
There are plenty of colors when it comes to racquetballs. These are black, blue, purple, green, and red.
Black racquetballs are primarily designed for longer rallies as they are slower and much easier to hit compared to the other balls. And the fact that these racquetballs are slower means that they don’t suffer the same kind of punishment that faster balls go through. That’s why the black racquetballs are more durable and long-lasting.
Meanwhile, blue racquetballs are the most common balls out there. They are designed for moderate speeds, and that means they are popular among those who simply want to play the sport recreationally. Because blue racquetballs are made for recreational players that don’t play the sport a lot, they last for a long time.
The fastest balls are the purple balls, as these are the ones that are used by professionals and in tournaments. However, because of how hard-hitting professionals are and how fast these balls travel, purple racquetballs will wear down quickly.
Then we have the green racquetballs, which have the same kind of properties as their blue counterparts but are faster. That said, they are similar to purple balls as well but tend to be more durable as they are not as fast.
Red racquetballs, on the other hand, are the best when it comes to outdoor conditions and are also very fast. But because red racquetballs are used outdoors and are more prone to the rougher outdoor conditions, they won’t last very long as well.
So, in terms of color, what is obvious is that purple racquetballs are the ones that won’t last very long and are more likely to be replaced every game, especially when used by professionals. On the other hand, the blue racquetballs tend to be the best all-around for recreational players who want balls that last long. But, because of how slow they are, black racquetballs are the most durable.
All that said, there really is no certainty as to how long racquetballs last. Some last longer than others, while others will certainly break down in only a few games. As such, it is up to you to determine when to replace a racquetball based on the abovementioned factors.
When to replace a racquetball
While we did say that you have to base it on certain factors when it comes to determining the overall longevity of a racquetball, you still need to know how to actually tell when it is now time to replace a racquetball.
The fact is that plenty of racquetball players do not replace their balls until they begin to show visible damages or breaks. While this can be economical in a sense, it really isn’t the best decision to make if you are a competitive racquetball player.
So, the reason why you shouldn’t wait for the ball to break is that racquetballs that have become worn out but are not yet exactly about to break tend to lose their bounce and effectiveness. That means that a ball that is no longer as bouncy as it once was will ruin your technique if you get used to playing with that ball.
Considering that you shouldn’t wait for the ball to break before you get a new one, when should you replace a racquetball?
The most important thing you need to look at when it comes to determining whether or not it is time for you to replace your racquetball is its texture. That’s because the ball’s texture allows it to bounce off the wall effectively without it slipping off. The more slippery the texture is, the less likely it will be effective because of how often it will end up slipping off the wall when it makes contact.
That said, you have to feel the ball and its texture for you to determine when it’s already time for you to replace it. Once you notice that it has lost about half of its original texture due to the wear and tear of constant use, that is when you should let go of the ball and get a new one.
Another determining factor that should tell you that it’s time to replace your ball with a one is when the racquetball no longer has the same bounce it once had. Bounciness is an important factor for a racquetball’s effectiveness because the game itself is all about the bounce.
Like tennis balls, racquetballs will begin to lose their bounce once you take them out of their jars. That’s because the jars that keep the racquetballs actually make sure that they are fresh as these jars are pressurized to make sure that the balls are sealed in a container that won’t make the balls lose their air.
So, the moment you take the balls out, they will begin to lose air. As such, this leads to how the racquetballs will steadily decline in terms of their bounciness. On top of that, the more you use the ball, the more it will lose its bounciness due to the impact and the wear and tear of constant use.
The best way to determine if the ball is still bouncy enough is to drop it off from shoulder height. If the ball no longer bounces back up to your waist, then that means that it is no longer good enough to be used for your racquetball games.
All that said, most players would say that it is best to replace any racquetball, maybe after 3 to 5 games. Again, this still depends on the level of your play and on how durable the racquetball is. This is just a safe estimation, but it is in no way the controlling determinant that you should be using when you are determining whether you need to replace your racquetball or not.
How important is racquetball freshness?
In relation to the racquetball’s bounciness, you also have to talk about its freshness. Like tennis, racquetballs have a “freshness” that is determined by how bouncy they still are. This is why racquetballs are sealed in airtight pressurized containers that prevent the balls from losing air and bounciness. But how important is racquetball freshness?
If you are merely a recreational player who plays the sport as a way to blow off some steam or burn calories, then freshness shouldn’t be something that you should be too concerned about because the freshness or the lack thereof of a racquetball won’t affect the way you play too much.
But the more competitive of a player you are, the more important freshness becomes. Even if you are still someone who is learning to play the game but is planning to play it competitively, freshness is an important factor because you need a racquetball that has the same bounce and texture that it should have.
That’s because a racquetball that is no longer as fresh as it once was will eventually ruin your technique, especially if you get used to the bounciness or the lack thereof of a racquetball that has lost much of its original freshness.
Remember the fact that your sports equipment should help you improve and develop your technique rather than ruin it. As such, it is very important for you to use fresh racquetballs if you want to improve as a player. Elsewise, it’s going to be very difficult for you to develop proper techniques and skills if you are using older racquetballs.
My Favorite Racquetball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here you can find my favorite racquetball equipment that I love and think you could like too.
- Racket: My favorite racquetball racket is the HEAD Intelligence. This racket is implemented with technology that makes the string fibers stiff quicker, which increases power. Also, it reduces vibrations to the handle as well. This racket is from the heavy end, which further increases the power, and that’s the way I like it!
- Racquetballs: Penn Ultra-Blue racquetballs are among the most commonly used racquetballs of all time, and there is a reason for that. These balls fit all skill levels, and as I’m only a hobbyist, these balls are the best choice for me. Also, I love the blue color.
- Racquetball shoes: The proper shoes are the second most important piece of equipment after your racket. ASICS Men’s 4 Court Shoes are perfect for racquetball because of the softer gum rubber soles and reliable support throughout the shoe. Also, I love the breathability of these shoes. On the conside, the lashes are quite short but manageable.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.