You probably noticed the balls with X on tennis courts already. The X is the sign of Tretorn Micro-X Pressureless Tennis Balls. They are not the only pressureless tennis balls, but they are most easily recognizable and they belong to the best pressureless tennis balls. I always thought about trying the Tretorn or Penn or other pressureless tennis balls to find out if they can be compared to common pressurized tennis balls I am used to.
Construction of pressureless tennis balls
To understand the difference between pressureless and pressurized tennis balls we need to know how they are constructed. Pressurized tennis balls have compressed air in rubber balls with fuzzy fabric cover. Pressureless tennis balls are solid inside. For example, Tretorn Micro-X pressureless tennis balls are filled with 700 million micro cells filled with air. The cover is also made from fabric like with pressurized tennis balls.
So the difference lies inside the rubber ball and it shows up in characteristic and way of the use of particular balls.
Check the following video to find out what is inside the pressureless tennis ball.
Read more about the pressurized tennis balls here.
The main advantage of pressureless tennis balls is their long life span. They are sometimes called as forever balls as they never lose bounce. Pressureless balls can lose the yellow color as fabric wears out, but the core remains solid. That is the main difference against pressurized tennis balls that lose the bounce and flatten in the course of time depending on their use.
You can use pressureless tennis balls for any surface, they are essentially all court tennis balls.
Pressureless tennis balls are usually sold in buckets of 48 or 72 balls. Thanks to their longevity, if you do not mind a loss of fuzzy fabric covering over time, it is a cost-wise solution for clubs or for practice with tennis ball machines. You even can find Tretorn Micro-X pressureless tennis balls to be sold with an imprinted logo of Lobster Sports, one of the two most known ball machines producers (check here).
I played several practice sessions with pressureless tennis balls. They felt a little bit heavier during warm-up comparing to pressurized tennis balls I used before. The bounce was the same as with pressurized balls but the speed of the pressureless balls was higher. I had a problem to adjust as I need to quicken my reaction time. Combination of weight and speed can be hard to absorb for beginners or even intermediate players. Sometimes you can feel the increased burden on your elbow and wrist due to the weight of balls. Well, I do not want to scare you. You will not feel the weight difference when holding the balls in hands, but you feel a slight difference during the hits. My arms needed some time to adjust to playing with pressureless tennis balls.
The fastness of the balls can be an advantage for you. You will get used to reacting much quicker. That can be utilized successfully in competitive matches.
Good thing is, the balls did not show up any signs of wearing out or bounce deterioration after hours of practice during several weeks. They did not flatten and did not require special care in between practice sessions. The bounce consistency for months (or even years) of the practice playing is the biggest positive of pressureless tennis balls.
Pressureless Tennis Balls are really for long term use. I (and also Lobster Sports:) would recommend them for flat shots practice or for practice with your tennis ball machine. You can be sure that every tennis ball has constant bounce and every shot by a tennis ball machine will be placed exactly at the same place.
They are very good for practice sessions, but remember, that matches are played with pressurized tennis balls. Therefore, I recommend to switch back to them a few practices before your competition matches. The adjustment period can be a little bit longer sometimes.
Best Pressureless Tennis Balls
18 or 36 balls