Beach volleyball is a fantastic way to get exercise, hang out with friends, and enjoy your day in the sand. But when you're shopping for the best beach volleyballs, keep in mind that they will be different than indoor balls in a few ways:
- They're softer: Although the weight is the same (about 260 to 280 grams), the air pressure for beach volleyballs is lower, which helps them interact more efficiently with the sand. Beach balls are only inflated to 2.5 to 3.2 PSI, while indoor balls range 4.3 to 4.6 PSI. This give the beach balls a softer feel and sometimes makes some people think there's a difference in weight.
- They're slightly bigger: The diameters of beach volleyballs are 66 to 68 centimeters while indoors balls range 65 to 67 centimeters.
- The material is different: Indoor balls are made with leather whereas beach volleyballs are often constructed with a composite material (sometimes with leather mixed in) to make them more water-resistant.
- They're sewn together: Indoor balls are usually molded and glued, while beach volleyballs tend to be sewn, with separate panels that are stitched together. This makes them better equipped to handle outdoor conditions.
Generally speaking, beach volleyballs are more rugged and better equipped for the outdoors. You can play with an indoor ball outside, but it will get beaten up faster.
Now that you have a better idea of what to look for, take a peek at the best beach volleyballs below. In addition to the differences listed above, think about overlapping qualities you want like smoothness, responsiveness, and shape-retention (aka being able to hold air).