As you now know there are a few differences between the game of Padel (Padel Tennis) and Tennis and this is best understood once we have answered the question of What is Padel?
But despite these differences there are actually a lot more similarities between the game of Padel and Tennis then one might have originally thought and the Padel Ball and Tennis Ball are no different.
Similarities between a Padel Ball and Tennis Ball
There are quite a few similarities between the two balls so this is a good place to start.
Firstly, padel balls and tennis balls are often made in the same factories and this has resulted in them being made of the same core and out layer materials. The core of both balls is made of a hollow two piece rubber shell with the outer layer being covered in a wool or nylon felt. So to the naked eye these actually tend to look identical, but looks can be deceiving! Although the weight of both balls should be very much the same the hollow shell is then filled with pressurised gas and this is where the differences start to become apparent.
Diameter DifferencesThe size of the ball has an influence on both responsiveness and control and in this case size does matter. The ITF (International Tennis Federation) require that the diameter of a tennis ball be between 6.54 and 6.86cm whereas the WPT (World Padel Tour) require the diameter of a padel ball to be between 6.35 and 6.77cm.
This difference in diameter is largely due to the differences in pressure as the tennis ball is more pressured than the padel ball is.
Similarly the relevant governing bodies have requirements for the internal pressure of the balls used. The tennis ball is required to have an internal pressure of 14psi while the padel ball is required to have an internal pressure of 10 to 11psi.
The limits and numbers above are then kept in check with the bounce test.
Once again the various governing bodies have guidelines in place that must be met for a ball to be considered “tournament legal”. For a tennis ball to meet these requirements it will need to bounce between 135cm and 147cm when dropped from a height of 254cm. For a padel ball however this number is reduced to a height of between 135cm and 145cm when dropped from the same height.
Types of Padel Balls
Now that we know the difference between padel balls and tennis balls, it's worth mentioning that there are a wide variety of padel balls on the market. They range from beginner friendly balls to balls designed for advanced players with tournament ready specs and it's for you to decide which ball type suits your play style best.
Pro Tip: If you want to keep your balls fresh and match ready for longer, keep them in a pressuriser when they are not being used.