THE ULTIMATE BUYERS GUIDE TO OUTDOOR BASKETBALLS
Spending countless hours playing ball on a rough outdoor court certainly takes it's toll on a basketball. Over the years I have destroyed many indoor basketballs by playing with them on the blacktop.
I should have been smarter and chosen a basketball that is specifically made for the demands of outdoor play.
If you are dedicated streetballer or just love to shoot around on your portable basketball hoop at home, buying a quality outdoor basketball is definitely a worthwhile investment.
In this buyers guide I am going to introduce you to the 5 best outdoor basketballs currently available for every budget.
I will also teach you a few very important things that you need to know before purchasing any basketball to use for your outdoor training and games.
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IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR 3 TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST OUTDOOR BASKETBALLS
BEST BUDGET PICK
Spalding NBA Street
OUR TOP PICK
Spalding NBA Zi/O
Under Armour 495
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5 IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING AN OUTDOOR BASKETBALL
We will get to the top 5 list of the best outdoor basketballs shortly, but first it is important that you consider the following 5 things before purchasing a ball to use outdoors.
1. Which Material Of Basketball Should You Choose For Outdoor Use?
OPTION 1 - Rubber Basketballs For Outdoor Use
Rubber is often the cheapest option and great for baller's on a strict budget.
Generally speaking, these outdoor rubber basketballs tend to wear out very quickly, and once bald are very slippery.
If you are looking for a quality cheap rubber basketball that is actually quite durable we suggest the >>> Spalding NBA Street
OPTION 2 - Synthetic/Composite Leather Basketballs For Outdoor Use
Synthetic leather balls are a great mid price range option with great play-ability.
Good quality composite leather balls feel much like a genuine leather ball, without the hefty price tag.
If you are after one of the best synthetic leather outdoor basketballs we suggest the >>> Spalding Zi/O
2. How to Find an Outdoor Basketball That "Feels" Like A Pro Indoor Ball?
Every baller prefers to play with a basketball that has that "pro feel".
Large seems and a soft but responsive touch help provide proprioceptive feedback to the fingertips which in turn can help with performance.
Feel is vital in basketball.
Whether you are shooting a three or throwing a nasty crossover you want a ball that is grippy and tacky.
The quality outdoor basketballs on the following list provide that pro feel similar to a quality indoor basketball.
3. How To Choose The Correct Weight Outdoor Basketball?
Always try to choose an outdoor basketball that is the same weight as that of the balls used for your official indoor games.
Choosing a ball that is too heavy can greatly affect your shot performance and technique. All of the balls we have reviewed below are standard weight size 7 balls.
If you click on the links to the product pages below each featured basketball you will notice that most provide the option to purchase a smaller size/weight.
4. How To Choose an Outdoor Basketball That Is Durable and Stays Pumped Up?
The cheapest rubber basketballs tend to deflate very quickly due to the poor quality rubber bladder used to hold the air inside.
Losing the air in a basketball is very frustrating if you are out and about. A flat basketball will also severely reduce play-ability.
You don't usually have to worry about the ball deflating quickly with quality balls such as the Spalding Zi/O as the bladder quality is of a much higher standard.
For those of you on a budget you will be happy to know that Spalding has come up with an innovative solution to stop their cheaper range balls going flat. This is known as Neverflat and guarantees that your ball won't need to be pumped up in a year.
Our favorite Neverflat ball >>> Spalding NBA Hexagrip
It is also a good idea to store your ball away in a basketball backpack or bag to keep it away from moisture.
5. What Size Outdoor Basketball Should You Choose?
You should always try your best to buy a basketball that is the same size as the ball that you use in competition play.
Using the correct size for your age, gender and size will help develop better shooting and skill development.
Choosing a ball that is too large can be very detrimental to performance, particularly in youth athletes.
Here is a helpful chart I created to help you find the perfect sized outdoor basketball for you.
Standard youth ball for ages 7-11
Standard women's ball, boys ages 12-14
Standard mens ball ,boys 15+ years
LIST OF THE 5 BEST OUTDOOR BASKETBALLS YOU CAN BUY IN 2019
#1. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor Outdoor basketball Review
The Spalding Zi/O plays and feels like a pro basketball. Best yet, it is much cheaper than balls with similar feel and play-ability.
This ball has a great pro feel and bounce to it. If you are after a durable outdoor ball that plays much like a more expensive indoor ball than this is the ball for you.
The combination of the silky smooth and responsive exterior combined with the extra deep channels make this ball a treat to dribble and shoot.
#2. Under Armour 495 Outdoor Basketball Review
The Under Armour 495 is an indoor-outdoor basketball that has a great pro feel. It is a little on the heavy side and takes a little while to break in, but it is sure to please any die hard basketball player.
If you are after an outdoor ball that plays like a much more expensive indoor ball then this is a great option.
When you first unbox this basketball you will notice that it comes with a shiny protective layer on top. This layer does make it a little slippery to play with but after a while it will break in nicely.
Any decent basketball takes a while to break in, so this is nothing new. I think that breaking in adds character to a basketball.
#3. Spalding NBA Street Outdoor Basketball Review
Product price last updated on 2020-09-30
The Spalding NBA street is a great budget option for basketball players who don't want to break the bank. This is just a plain cheap rubber outdoor basketball. However, it is made by Spalding and their strict manufacturing standards.
Even for such a cheap price this ball offers very good playability. It is a great ball for beginners and can make an excellent gift idea for a basketball player.
The ball comes with nice pebbling which privides great grip and deep seams give great feedback in jump shots.
If you are on a super tight budget you will not find a better basketball for the price.
#4. Spalding NBA Street Phantom Outdoor Basketball Review
Product price last updated on 2020-09-22
The Spalding Phantom is another great value for money outdoor basketball. The ball comes with Spaldings latest "Soft Grip Technology".
This innovative tech makes the ball super grippy. Even my 13 year old son can palm this full size ball. It is also great to shoot with.
There are a range of neon lettering colors available in the Phantom range making this one of the most visually appealing outdoor basketballs on the market.
#5. Spalding NBA Hexagrip Soft Grip NeverFlat Review
If you are sick of your basketballs going flat then you have got to check out this Hexagrip ball with Neverflat technology.
A big issue with most outdoor basketballs is that they go flat fast.
Spalding invented “never flat” technology and have implemented it into this ball. Never Flat means that they guarantee it stays inflated for at least one year without the need for a pump.
The covering on this ball has hex shaped etching rather than traditional dimples. Basketball purists may find this difficult to get used to. The hex design helps to wick the water away and allows you to play through any weather.
This is a super durable ball that will provides years of intense basketball sessions on the blacktop.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CHOOSING A BASKETBALL TO USE ON OUTDOOR COURTS
We hope you have found our comparison and reviews of what we consider to be the 5 best outdoor basketballs currently available helpful in empowering you to make an informed decision upon purchase.
Hopefully you know have better idea of the differences in the features and benefits that the most popular outdoor basketballs offer.
As you can see, many of these quality outdoor basketballs are quite affordable and can provide hours of healthy fun outdoors.
Be sure to check back to this page in the future as we regularly update the post with the latest and greatest outdoor basketballs on the market.
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