Every player experienced that at least once. You are in a hurry to be on the tennis court at the time and when you finally reach it, you find out your tennis balls are flat. Not absolutely flat, but flat enough to destroy your match. I always try to keep at least one can of new tennis balls in my tennis bag. Just for a case. But there is a long lasting discussion among tennis recreational players if there is a way to keep your tennis balls fresh for a long time. Tennis Ball Saver or Tennis Ball Pressurizer is usually the answer. But does it really work? Is a buying of Tennis Ball Saver good idea or just money thrown out of the window? Here I try to answer these questions.
Why tennis balls wear out after some time?
Tennis balls are usually pressurized to 12 psi (pounds per square inch) more than normal air pressure. Normal air pressure around us is 14.7 psi, therefore pressure inside tennis balls is 26.7 psi. Tennis balls are sold in pressure cans, where the pressure is the same as the pressure inside of tennis ball. Therefore when you open a can with new tennis balls you hear the hiss as the air leaves the can.
Pressure can help to keep balls inside the can fresh for a long time. The reason is that the pressure inside tennis ball and the pressure from outside is the same.
As soon as you open the can and start using the tennis ball, it will slowly wear out and become flat. The reason is that pressure inside the ball is higher than a normal air pressure around you and it starts to balance. Tennis balls are made from rubber which let some pressure to leave from inside of the ball.
How long does it take for the tennis ball to become flat?
It depends on how hard you hit the balls and in what altitude above the sea level you play (and the air pressure around). With higher altitude the air pressure is lower, therefore your tennis balls will bounce higher and wear out faster. Hard hitting players also wear out tennis balls much faster.
Tennis Balls are changed every 7 games in professional tennis matches to avoid playing with flat tennis balls. However, in recreational tennis, you usually play with the same balls at least a few sets.
Tennis Ball Saver (Pressurizer) – how does it work?
What to do if you want to keep your balls fresh? There is a tool called Tennis Ball Saver (pressurizer). It is a can where you put your tennis balls (usually three) and cover it with a lid. After twisting the lid you increase the pressure inside the can. Higher pressure in the can means that the leak of pressure (air) from tennis balls is lower than if you let your ball outside in “normal” air pressure.
Tennis Ball Saver will not remake your used tennis balls to a new one. But it can slow the process of flatting out. Therefore tennis balls kept in Ball Saver should be worn out later than balls kept in a tennis bag.
How much does it cost and what types of Tennis Ball Savers are available?
You can find three similar tennis ball savers on Amazon from different manufacturers. All are set for three tennis balls and prices are ranging from $12 to $25 usually.
Tourna Restore Tennis Ball Pressurizer
Gamma Revive Tennis Ball Pressurizer
Gexco Tennis Ball Saver
Tennis Ball Saver – Good Idea or Not?
Now you probably expect some strong recommendation. To buy Tennis Ball Saver or not? I have to disappoint you, I do not have a strong opinion on it. On one hand, the cost of tennis ball saver is not high, so it is definitely worth a try. On another hand, you have to keep in mind, that no tennis ball saver will make from your old tennis ball a new one. It will help to keep them fresh longer and slow the process of flatting out.
I would always prefer new tennis balls ahead of used ones. And less used ones ahead of more used tennis balls. Tennis Balls from Tennis Ball Saver ranked somewhere behind new and before longer used tennis balls.
Now it is your turn. Give me your opinion or share your experience with tennis ball savers.