You probably have seen tennis balls on a walker in various movies, cartoons, and even live. Ignoring movies and popular culture, tennis balls are placed on a walker are practical, but more on that below. Now, let’s take a look at how to put tennis balls on a walker and then proceed to other matters related to it.
To put tennis balls on a walker, you need to cut an ”x” on two tennis balls with two-inch cuts on both of them. Be careful when cutting the ball with a utility knife and only slash away from your fingers. Then, squeeze the tennis ball to open the hole and place it on a walker’s leg.
All in all, it’s not more complicated than that. You should know that you might need to cut longer cuts than one inch depending on your walker’s leg sizes.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the step-by-step instructions and a video, as you must know how to do this properly to avoid any cuts on your hand.
How to Put Tennis Balls On a Walker?
I always like to answer straight as I see the same thing when looking for information online. However, a more in-depth answer is often needed and expected. For that, check out my instructions below!
- Gather Needed Items: First, gather the required items, including two tennis balls, a utility knife, and preferably cut protection gloves. You will also need a secure & steady surface to cut on.
- Grab the Tennis Ball: To begin the process, grip the tennis ball with your non-dominant hand firmly, but not too tightly. You want to grab the ball in a way that a large area of it doesen’t have any fingers on the way.
- Take Hold of the Knife: Holding the knife with the right technique is extremely important for a clean and safe cutting process. Take hold of the knife with your dominant hand and extend your index finger on top of the knife, so it’s pointing to the ball. The index finger adds a lot of stability to the process. I highly recommend using a utility knife as it’s perfect for this purpose.
- Cut the Tennis Ball: I recommend cutting the tennis ball with three cuts. First, pierce the ball from the start of the x’s line and cut it at full length. There should be required cutting on both sides of the initial cut. Cut them one by one instead of trying to do it at once as it’s much safer. Remember that your cutting trajectory should never go towards your thumb or any other finger. Repeat the process with the second ball
- Place the Tennis Ball on a Walker: Now that you have two cut tennis balls, you need to place them on your walker. Grab the tennis ball with your dominant hand and give it a little squeeze so the hole will open up, and place it on the walker’s leg. Cut it slightly more with the utility knife if the hole is too small. You should also pull up the flaps for added stability. When it’s done, enjoy the fruit of your labor! Note that it’s better to have a smaller hole initially as you can make it bigger, but you can’t make a too-large hole smaller.
If you want other pro tips, there are a few;
- Use a marker to draw an x on the ball to know exactly where to cut.
- Nail a hole on the ball before cutting, and you will find the slicing easier.
- You can use a workshop vise to add extra stability and safety.
- Tape the tennis balls on the walker if they aren’t staying on.
That’s how you get two tennis balls on your walker’s legs from start to finish. It isn’t rocket science, but you need to know the best practices to do it safely and properly.
If you prefer video instructions, I highly recommend checking the one below, as it’s the correct way to do this.
Why are Tennis Balls Used On Walkers?
Yeah, it’s great to know how to put tennis balls on a walker properly, but the why is as if not more important. There are valid reasons why it’s done, so what are they?
Tennis balls are used on walkers to make them easier to push, for stability, to make them quieter, and to protect floors. The pre-installed rubber tips on walkers are often fragile, rough, or slippery. Therefore, the elderly need to lift the walker instead of pushing, as you can do with tennis balls.
Imagine if you needed a walker, which is a signal of lack of strength on its own, and you would need to pick up the walker each time you take a step. That would quickly take the rest of your strengths and cancel the walker’s initial purpose altogether.
Luckily, tennis balls’ usage is safe and secure, but the walker can still be pushed instead of lifting. That makes life a lot easier, which is a blessing for many!
Is It Safe to Put Tennis Balls On a Walker?
Tennis balls doesen’t exactly belong on walkers, and there are always doubts when something isn’t meant on something. For example, roman candle fireworks aren’t meant to be fired out of hand, yet everybody does it. This raises the question with walkers and tennis balls, is it safe to put tennis balls on a walker?
Generally, tennis balls on a walker are safe if done correctly. Tennis balls can add stability for the user and will make pushing easier. However, tennis balls on walkers pick up germs and, thus, are unsanitary. Also, improper installation can be a safety hazard, and it’s considered disrespectful for the user.
There are pros, cons, and debates considering tennis balls on a walker. I can see both sides very well. In my opinion, tennis balls will make pushing the walker indoors much easier and, if done correctly, more secure. However, this drastically depends on the walker’s quality and the surface.
In outdoor usage, I wouldn’t recommend tennis balls on a walker. That’s because the felt will pick up many germs and transfer them inside, which can be bad, especially if the user is living in a care center with other seniors. Also, tennis balls will wear out quickly outside, and it doesen’t look right.
As said, tennis balls doesen’t belong on the legs of walkers. Therefore, every time I see the elderly wearing tennis balls on their walker outside and alone, I think whether they are properly taken care of.
This takes us to the next and final chapter; what can you use on the legs of a walker beside tennis balls?
What Can You Put On a Walker Besides Tennis Balls?
Given that tennis balls are placed on walkers for various reasons such as noise, floor protection, and ease of movement, there must be actual products made for it, instead of tennis balls meant to play tennis. So, are there any alternatives to put on a walker other than tennis balls?
Tennis ball alternatives for a walker include pre-cut glide balls meant to be used as tennis balls. In addition, walker skis, walker coasters, and walker glide caps are effective and easy ways to create the same effect as tennis balls.
That being said, all of these alternatives have slightly different features, so you should definitely learn more if you are sick of tennis balls but require something to put under your walker’s legs. Stick with me, and I’ll walk you through them.
1. Walker Glide Balls
Walker glide balls are the closest thing you can get to tennis balls when looking for enhancements to put on your walker’s legs. However, you don’t need to cut them yourself, and they hold on way better, which sounds like a win-win situation for me.
So what’s in it for you? Walker glide balls are meant to improve movement on a walker, allowing secure gliding on the floor, eliminating the need to lift the walker, which is nice. In addition, noise from the walker is quieter, and the floors are protected.
2. Walker Glide Skis
The chances are that if you need a walker, you can’t ski. However, you can add a funny skiing element to your walker, which has the same principles as skiing itself.
So, walker glide skis allow smooth and safe movement indoors and outdoors. They are usually made from durable composite materials, such as the RMS Walker Skis, and they won’t transfer nearly as many germs from the outdoors as tennis balls or walker glide balls.
I highly recommend walker skis for you or the person you consider them for if regularly walking outdoors.
Walker Ski Covers
Walker ski covers are a great way to make the movement even easier indoors. However, it will make it more slippery, so I’d recommend the covers only for people that can still walk comfortably with a walker.
They are like small socks you can place the glider skis in, so it makes things smooth and gives the walker a cute look!
3. Walker Coasters
Another alternative to tennis balls for a walker is walker coasters. These are also manufactured easier movement in mind. Walker coasters will make gliding easier and won’t get caught in doorways or thresholds while passing.
If you don’t want anything to do with tennis balls or skis, walker coasters are the most classy method to make things easier, so I’d suggest them if you want a sleek look.
4. Walker Glide Caps
Walker glide caps are practically like walker coasters, but they are even more minimal in design. If you simply want an extension for your walker and nothing more but want the benefits others have, walker glide caps are for you.
Depending on how much you are gliding, they’re best used indoors for smooth gliding motion and will wear quite fast outdoors. Still, you can use them outside as well.
Overall, tennis balls and these four alternatives are the elite of walker extensions, and I’m sure you will find the right choice for you. Personally, I like the skis best as they work very well, can be added with the cover for extra slides, and look cool!
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- 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.