How to Choose The Best Soccer Balls To Up Your Game?
Soccer is the favorite sport of Miamians. If you are pursuing the game, you should know that there's a variety of soccer balls available in the marketplace that often confuses novice players. So how do you know which one suits you the best?
Here’s a quick guide to all the important elements that you must take into consideration:
The bladder is the first layer of the ball and contains the air, thereby being responsible for the overall shape and motion of the ball. Bladders come in two types:
- Rubber: This is seen in high-quality models and enhances the bounce. However, the downside is that this type of bladder doesn’t retain air for long, requiring frequent refilling.
- Butyl: Compared to rubber, this type of bladder is less playable, but its ability to retain air for long is certainly a plus point.
The cover is the exterior layer that's primarily responsible for shaping the feel and durability. Generally, manufacturers use three types of material to produce covers for soccer balls:
- Synthetic leather: This is quite a premium option since it provides greater control and softness even though it falls a little short of durability.
- Polyurethane (PU): This material is mostly seen in training balls as it provides significant robustness than the previous option.
- Poly Vinyl Carbonate (PVC): This is the least expensive of the options and provides a high durability. However, you may lose control with this material.
Soccer balls are available in four sizes:
- Size 1: These are mini or skills balls, which are used just for fun or to improve basic footwork.
- Size 3: These are the smallest official soccer balls which are used while playing matches or for training children under the age of 8.
- Size 4: These soccer balls are suitable for children between the ages of 8-12.
- Size 5: Usually this is the official size. These soccer balls are the largest and suitable for all players above the age of 12.
You must also pay attention to the panels (the different segments forming the outside covering) of the soccer ball. Most balls come with 32-panel covers, which can be stitched or glued. There are also ones that are designed with 18 or 26 panels.
In general, fewer panels mean that the ball can be kicked in curves, while more of them translate to increased control.
So keep these points in mind while investing in a soccer ball. They can really make a difference in your performance on the field.