If you’re planning to hit the sand this summer, you’ll need to make sure you have the perfect outdoor volleyball. It’s an important decision, as not all volleyballs are created equal. From indoor and outdoor versions to different sizes and materials, there is a wide variety of options available. In this article, we will provide some key tips on how to pick the perfect outdoor volleyball for your games.
Considering Size & Weight
The first thing you should consider when searching for an outdoor volleyball is size and weight. When it comes to size, there are three main options: regulation (official), intermediate/youth, and mini/beach ball. Regulation balls range from 25-26 inches in circumference; intermediate/youth balls range from 23-24 inches, and mini/beach balls range from 19-21 inches in circumference. The size of the ball should correspond with the type of game being played—for example, a standard regulation ball would be best suited for professional or competitive play.
When it comes to weight, most outdoor volleyballs are designed with a slightly heavier weight than indoor volleyballs—typically 10 to 12 ounces as opposed to 8 ounces for indoor balls. Heavier balls tend to slow down more quickly in windy conditions, which makes them ideal for playing outdoors.
Choosing Material & Construction Type
The type of material used in construction also plays a major role in determining how well an outdoor volleyball will hold up against tough weather conditions like sun and rain exposure. The two most common materials used are leather and composite (also known as “soft touch"). Leather is more durable than composite but also tends to cost more money; composite offers a good balance between durability and affordability. Depending on your budget, either material can be a great choice for your games outdoors.
You should also consider what kind of construction type is being used when selecting an outdoor volleyball—namely, hand-sewn or machine stitched. Hand-sewn volleyballs typically offer superior performance but they’re also more expensive than their machine-stitched counterparts; however, if you want a high-quality ball that will last through multiple seasons of play then it may be worth considering shelling out for one that has been hand sewn.
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