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).
1. The Best Overall
What's great about it: Designed with strong, hand-stitched construction and 18 panels of a high-quality composite consisting of microfiber and leather, this top-grade choice is the official beach volleyball of the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. The rugged design makes it exceptional at weathering the elements, and the elastomer bladder helps it play smoothly and retain its shape.
What fans say: "Perfect! I've been playing with this all summer long. Strong and durable, with a good grip."
2. The Runner-Up
What's great about it: Another great choice, this Mikasa beach volleyball is made with a soft composite cover and double-cloth backing that helps it keep its shape, even with heavy use. It's lightweight and water-resistant with a smooth, responsive design that's used by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) for pro games. It has fewer panels (10 versus 18), which some fans say makes it more consistent, and it features a bright blue, yellow, and white pattern for easy visibility.
What fans say: "I love playing with this ball! It floats well and is predictable to pass. It is a little harder to set than other beach balls in my opinion, but it also is significantly more water resistant than the other balls and, unlike some other beach balls ... this ball has stayed in a spherical shape."
3. The Best All-Weather Beach Volleyball
What's great about it: The Spalding King of the Beach volleyball is a popular choice among pros and amateurs alike because it's known for holding its shape and responding quickly, according to fans. Not only that, but it's also easier to control in light rain and doesn't hold onto moisture as much as some other balls do, making it an especially great option if you live in a climate that's prone to wet weather. It's hand-stitched with strong, durable composite material and a soft, textured design.
What fans say: "From time to time we end up playing when it's raining. The previous ball would get noticeably heavier when wet and obviously wasn't good for your shoulder. This ball is light and very durable as well as providing great play. Definitely worth the price."
4. The Best Budget Option
What's great about it: If you don't necessarily need to use what the pros are playing with and you just want a decent ball at a good price, this budget beach volleyball is a great option. It has 18 panels with high-quality stitching, and it has solid reviews, too. The sponge-backed composite cover makes it soft and responsive, while the bright color makes it easy to spot. It doesn't hold air as well as the higher-end options, but it's a decent tradeoff for the price. Plus, you can use it indoors, too.
What fans say: "This has been a solid and durable volleyball that is not too hard like some of the others we have purchased in the past. It is a good bargain for the price."
5. The Best For Kids And Beginners
What's great about it: This children's beach volleyball is great for kids and beginners because it's specifically designed to reduce or even eliminate the slapping, stinging feeling of the ball hitting your hands, giving your body time to adjust as you learn. It has a soft, pillowy shell with a waterproof design that lets you to play in light rain, too. In fact, you can even use it in the pool. Reviewers say it is smooth, lightweight, and durable.
What fans say: "It is very soft on the outside and doesn't 'sting' when in use meaning that [my daughter] can play longer without her arms and hands hurting like they do at school and since she is a beginner, it was important to me that it was a no sting ball. Highly recommended!"
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