How Many Holes Does An Outdoor Pickleball Have?

An outdoor pickleball looks like a ball of swizz cheese, with its many holes and yellow color. Ever wondered how many holes there are in an outdoor pickleball? Compared to an indoor pickleball, it seems to have a lot more. The old-timers and pros know the answers, but what about the newcomers?

Pickleball manufacturers are allowed to insert a maximum of 40 holes in an outdoor pickleball product – according to Rule 2.D.1 (page 6) of the USA Pickleball Rulebook. The rule also instructs that the spacing of the holes and the overall design must conform to flight characteristics.

Outdoor pickleballs are designed to be heavier and more durable to withstand the harsh elements of the outdoors. The 40 small holes found in the outdoor pickleball have a lot to do with how the ball performs in the wind, and it’s an essential design element that helps the ball conform to the correct flight characteristics required.

How Many Holes In An Outdoor Pickleball?

Rule 2.D.1 (Page 6)  of the official USA Pickleball Rulebook states the following with regards to the design of pickleballs: 

“The ball shall have a minimum of 26 to a maximum of 40 circular holes, with spacing of the holes and overall design of the ball conforming to flight characteristics.”

Outdoor pickleballs can have a maximum of 40 holes, whereas indoor balls are typically manufactured with 26 holes. Most outdoor pickleballs will incorporate the allotted 40 holes maximum in their respective designs.

Why Are There So Many Holes In Outdoor Pickleballs?

Outdoor pickleballs are designed differently from indoor pickleballs, mostly due to the different environments that each is used in.

Outdoor pickleballs are manufactured with heavier and thicker plastic and many small holes (up to 40). The increase in these smaller holes – indoor pickleballs have larger and fewer holes (26 minimum) – is that they have been found, through extensive testing, to enhance the aerodynamic performance when playing outside.

The addition of 14 holes ensures that the ball still follows an exact flight path even when the wind is enjoying itself across the outside courts. Inserting more holes in the outdoor pickleball decreases the ball’s wind resistance.

Each outdoor pickleball manufacturer has some form of “True Flight Technology” that they incorporate into their pickleball designs. The number and placing of the holes play a massive part in how the ball will perform in outside elements.

Are All Outdoor Pickleballs Holes The Same Size?

Most outdoor pickleball manufacturers implement holes of the same size in their ball designs. Symmetrically placing them is also a favored option, as studies have suggested that this is the best type of design for outdoor pickleballs.

One notable exception is the patented design of Dura Fast 40 outdoor balls, which has 16 large holes paired with 24 small holes. The idea behind the design is the different sized holes assists with the general flight of the ball in windy conditions.

It seems that Dura was spot on with the assessment, and patent, for that matter, as their balls were selected for many major tournaments and are the favorite ball of many a pickleball player.

Which Type Of Pickleball Spins The Most?

Maybe it’s due to the lighter plastic used, the textured surface, the 26 holes in its body, or the air not moving when playing on an inside court – the indoor pickleball spins more than its outdoor counterpart.

Indoor pickleballs are also slower and easier to control, whereas outdoor pickleballs are much faster when you hit them hard. With true flight technology, the heavier outside pickleball can move comfortably through the air, especially when the wind tries to resist the ball’s movement.

Best 40-Hole Outdoor Pickleballs

Now that you know how many holes there are in outdoor pickleballs – let’s look at some of the best 40-hole outdoor pickleballs that you can choose from when playing outdoor pickleball:

Best Outdoor Pickleballs For Serious Pickleball Players

Whether you enter pickleball tournaments or play at a very high level, the following balls meet tournament specifications and could be perfect for you:

  • Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleballs

  • Day 1 Sports Outdoor Pickleballs

  • Franklin Sports Outdoor Pickleballs

  • Dura Fast 40 Outdoor Pickleballs

Best Outdoor Pickleballs For Beginners.

If you are new to pickleball, you are in for a treat, as its one of the sports in the United States with the fastest growth rates. When I started playing, I was advised to first cut my teeth with some cheaper beginner-friendly balls before upgrading to the more expensive balls.

Didn’t make sense to “practice” the fundamentals of pickleball with the same expensive balls the pros use. Ultimately when my game improved to a higher level, so would my balls, and that’s exactly how it panned out for me.

Here are some well-priced outdoor pickleballs for beginner players:

  • Tourna Strike Outdoor Pickleballs

  • TOP Outdoor Pickleball

  • Core Outdoor Pickleballs

Can You Play Indoor Pickleball With An Outdoor Ball?

Technically, you can use an outdoor pickleball inside if it’s your only ball option. Be advised that the game will be less fun, as the ball will skid and slip off the gym floors due to its smooth skin.

If you are used to softballs, long rallies, and more control with your shot-making, don’t go spoiling it by using a ball that’s not made for indoor play.

Some players prefer to play outdoor pickleball with an indoor ball, as the ball makes the game slower, and you have more control of your shots. Rallies tend to be longer when you play with an indoor pickleball on outside courts.

Just be aware that the indoor pickleball doesn’t last as long on these abrasive courts, and weather conditions will wear it down even more. Also, indoor balls are not designed to perform in windy conditions, so expect a different experience.


Outdoor pickleballs have 40 holes, whereas indoor pickleballs can, at a minimum, have 26 holes. The holes in outdoor pickleballs are usually smaller than those found in indoor pickleballs.

The number of holes found in a pickleball is your clearest indicator of what type of court it should be used on.


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