A beach volleyball is a game ball perfectly designed for a multitude of ways in which it can be used. In spite of the name, the best volleyballs aren’t necessarily made to be used outdoors, on the beach. Some volleyballs are beach balls only in name, being actually designed for indoor use.
This doesn’t mean that you absolutely can’t take an indoor volleyball to the beach and vice versa, it just means that there are subtle design differences between the major types of volleyballs that make them better suited for one type of use over the others.
To help you navigate the potentially confusing task of choosing the best volleyball, we’ve put together this guide that will tackle any kind of volleyball. We will also double up with advice on how to choose the best volleyball for your needs, whether you plan on using it on fun day at the beach with friends or elsewhere.
How To Choose A Beach Volleyball – Buying Guide
If you’ve made it this far in our guide, searching for the best volleyball to buy, but still feel undecided, here are a few suggestions that will hopefully make you feel more confident in your choice.
Things to consider before buying a beach volleyball
When shopping for the best volleyball for your needs, you should have a pretty clear idea of how and where you’re going to use it. If it’s mainly for light beach games every now and then, and you’re not really used to playing volleyball, you should look for a lighter and softer one. If you plan on heavy volleyball training, you should look for a sturdier outdoor one, and also look for a ball which can be used indoors for regular training.
You should also remember that some volleyballs may ship to you deflated, for a safer arrival. This means you should keep a ball pump on hand to remedy the problem and make the ball ready to use. If you also own a bike or inflatable furniture for camping trips, this shouldn’t be a problem since you probably already have an air pump for those.
Here are the other factors you should consider when shopping for the best volleyball.
Indoor vs. Outdoor
The differences between indoor and outdoor volleyballs aren’t obvious, and for the most part all beach volley balls can be used in both environments. The differences become more pronounced only if you really practice volleyball very often, and you begin to feel the need for a specialized ball for each medium.
On average, an indoor volleyball tends to be softer to the touch and less heavy, and also to make slightly less noise on hard flooring. An outdoor volleyball ball, on the other hand, will be more resistant to powerful hits, to potential cuts from debris, and to water and dirt should it be left outside for long periods of time.
Still, the top-rated volleyballs will be perfectly versatile and you should be able to use them well in any kind of setting, whether indoor or outdoor. Most of the volleyball balls in our top can easily be used like that.
Professional vs. Recreational
The same principle applies to professional volleyballs vs. beach volleyballs designed for recreation purposes.
If you want the best volleyball for a fun day outdoors and just some casual games, then you don’t need to pay a lot of attention to all the details regarding surface, performance, and so on. Any volleyball from our top will probably do. If you or the people you plan on playing volleyball with aren’t particularly used to sports and hitting sports balls, you will be better off with a softer ball.
But if you’re really into practicing volleyball on a professional or semi-professional level, then you should pay much more attention to the kind of volleyball you choose. The best volleyball for you in this case should be endorsed or recommended by a professional organization or sports competition. You also need to look at things like durability and a good grip. If you’re still in doubt, taking a look at other volleyball reviews can always help you get a better idea of what to expect.
Q: What Are Beach Volleyballs Made of?
A: A long time ago, all game balls were made out of leather. But with tech progress and innovation, volleyballs have been manufactured from more complex materials for quite some time now. Butyl rubber and resin polymer fiber are but two of the substances blended with leather for superior results.
Inside this leather-based upper cover, there is also a bladder and possibly another structure layer between this bladder and the outside shell. The bladder can be made of anything from reinforced leather to special polymer plastic, depending on what the designers can develop for maximum durability and flexibility.
Q: Which Is Softer: A Beach Volleyball or an Indoor Volleyball?
A: An indoor volleyball is theoretically softer to the touch, because there are fewer things that can cut or damage the ball in an indoor environment. Therefore, the manufacturer can make it softer without fear that it will get damaged by harsh conditions.
Still, this is only a guideline, the truth can contradict it in practice. Some outdoor volleyballs are especially designed to be softer, like the Wilson Soft Play Outdoor Volleyball (described in our top above). This one can hold its own in a softness comparison with any indoor volleyball.
Globo Surf Overview
If you’re browsing beach volley balls with some casual games in mind, whether indoors or outdoors, the little differences between each of the top-rated models don’t matter so much. In this case, feel free to go for the model you like best simply based on looks and feel (it should feel soft so it doesn’t strain the hands and arms of players who don’t practice volleyball that often).
If you’re looking for the best volleyball for more frequent practice, then the individual differences matter and you should look for a model which is heavy duty enough for professional play. When deciding for a pro or semi-pro volleyball, also consider where and how you will use it, in order to see if it will keep well for a long time.
- Safety Tips for Practicing Volleyball, Kidshealth.org
- Volleyball Buyers Guide and Recommendations, Volleyball.org
- Cast Away (2000), imdb.com
What kind of beach volleyball did you play games with so far? Do you have a favorite kind or do you remember a type of volleyball that really made an impression on you? What kind of beach volleyball do you plan to buy? Share your experience with the Globo Surf community by leaving a comment below.
Globo Surf Beach Volleyball Reviews