Updated: Apr 6, 2020
As with any sport when you go to buy a ball to practice with it, or to compete with it, there are differences in balls. Beach volleyball is no different. Walk into any Dick's Sporting Goods, Big 5, etc., and you will see a ton of different balls to choose from. For many people that are new to the sport, how do you know which ball to use? There are cheap replica balls, balls by many different brands, and even balls that look exactly the same, but are different colors. If you go onto just about any old school beach volleyball forum, you will see pictures posted about the balls they used to use and how much different they are than the balls that are used today. So which one do you get?
If you are more of an old school player, it is really hard to find balls these days that have the same feel as the ones of old. The ridges on the seams that were trademarks of the balls that would whip through the wind and cause so much havoc for serve receive have been eliminated with the new style. There just isn't anything these days that can take its place.
When we started our club, we wanted to figure out which ball would suit what we wanted to do the best. The Arizona dry heat is pretty brutal on equipment so we decided to test out a bunch of different balls to see which one suited what we were doing the best. As you can see in the picture below, we tried out pretty much every kind of ball that we could think of.
For years now, the AVP and its athletes have trained with the yellow and white Wilson balls like the one listed in the link below. We have probably gone through over a hundred of these in the past couple of years with our club. They are awesome! The feel, the way they come off your platform, or even your hands when you are hand-setting. If you are looking for a GREAT ball to train with, I highly recommend this one. If you would like to purchase one, just click the picture below.
Obviously this is the one that we chose since we ended up buying every single ball they had in stock at Costco out in California. People actually asked if they could take pictures of us they thought it was so funny.
Now, if you are one of those people who just has to have the latest and greatest thing in beach volleyball, the new Wilson OPTX ball seems to be the wave of the future. I was in the player's tent at the AVP Chicaco Open when I first saw/got to handle one of these. They are not really mainstream yet, but they will be when the AVP season gets going after this quarantine is over with. All the pros have them and they were used in the AVP in Hawaii in 2019 to kind of roll them out. If you would like to purchase one on Amazon, just click the picture below.
As far as volleyballs go, these would be my top two choices. If you are looking for a gift for a player, or you want to get some reps in yourself with the real thing, these options are perfect!
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