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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

What the H is an X-Ball?

There is a new tennis ball in town, move over Prince, Dunlop and Wilson the X-Ball is here.   In February we were provided with a case of The X-Ball's for our use throughout the year on the blog.   We recently used them in our last blog entry Chicken Tennis.   We found the balls to have excellent bounce, durability and still retain a soft feel.    If you would like to order some you may buy them direct from

So here is the X-Ball story direct from the founder. The brand was started in 1997 by Paul Prior just after he retired off the tour and started coaching. At that time it was part of Volkl Africa which was the Southern African representative of Volkl Tennis based in Switzerland. The company noticed a gap in the local and international market sue to the variety of high quality tennis balls available. The brand of X-Ball was created upon the belief and foundation of producing a tennis ball that a professional player would love. Very quickly we had good success based on the good products. We soon had distribution clients in Europe, South America and Asia.

One of the important developments over the years is the rubber compound and ball felt. The Magna-Rubber compound we now use allows the ball to be more cushioned by the string bed of the racquet, giving greater feel and comfort during good contact and less shock during bad contact of the ball and racquet. A big part of being in the US now is that we have been able to develop and purchase from a US supplier the felt. The felt has the highest wool content in the industry giving the ball a thicker, longer lasting felt than our competitors.

X-Ball has been producing and leading the development of the "Transitional/ Quickstart" tennis balls since 1998 and have run various testing. The one major point that we feel is that these tennis balls are really designed for all ages, not just U10 players. In testing we had found that rally length with the Orange training ball tripled when played with by the average 3.5 player. By increasing the rally length players were able to spend more time playing tennis and less time picking up balls, more time practicing their strokes and running after the balls, meaning that players improved faster and received more of a work out in the same period of time.

In the late 90's we spent many research Dollars on these products which then allowed us to find the solution for the best performing pressureless tennis ball in the market. The X-Ball Air ball plays most like a pressurized tennis ball than any other pressureless tennis ball winning many awards in the European market.

X-Ball was launched in the US in 2013 and was created as a division of Pennies for Reading (, a not for profit Employee owned Co-operative. The goal of Pennies for Reading and X-Ball as one of the divisions of the organization, is to run businesses to create profits and funds to invest into the employees lives and communities lives, making the city more sustainable while raising it hopefully from the position of the poorest city in the United States.

X-Ball continues to pursue the goal of being one of the major tennis ball brands internationally.

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