The most recent big new pickleball ball release is the Selkirk Pro S1. I was lucky to be given some of these to test out and review for the blog. Selkirk is a huge brand in the game and a performance ball was an obvious gap in their line up. Their first ball releases failed to make a positive impression in the market and there’s been little word on new balls until the launch of these.
They come with a one year, no-crack warranty from Selkirk, with some specific conditions to claim on that. You must have four balls break within a year, send them postage cost for replacement, buy from a specific dealer/website. And be in the USA! So no crack, no warranty for the UK.
These are a unique 38 hole design with some tiny holes as well as the more regular sized holes. They are the seamless rotomolded type ball and come in a more muted green colour than normal. The hole pattern is claimed to increase flight consistency.
How do they play? I’d use the word lively and it hits “heavy”. They certainly seem to play quicker than a Franklin X40 at times, bounce a tad higher and feel more powerful off the paddle. So far, no signs of any cracking at all and holding shape reasonably well. There are reports of them going eggy and out of shape but all balls eventually seem to go that way. It’s just a case of when they lose shape, not if. It’s the nature of a plastic ball being repeatedly hit against hard surfaces: paddles, floors and walls. So far, the balls are flying true in the air but again, no wind to test that theory out.
I’m a big fan of a quick ball but less so of an overly skiddy or bouncy ball, as it tends to neuter the softer game. These seem to be a bit bouncy but I’ve not been able to truly test on their ideal outdoor surface: winter in the UK is not outdoor friendly. Even the preferred X40 played indoors on tarmac bounces too high so there is a real phenomenon of a mismatch between ball and surface. I’d imagine these to play pretty true, fast and fly accurately on a gritty surface, but possibly a bit bouncy on a plexicushion acrylic court. On a weathered tarmac court, I’d also expect solid play characteristics.
Right now, I’m not comfortable calling this post a review, as I’ve not had enough time to fully test out the ball. I’ll continue to use the ball in sessions and will post an updated blog in the future when the ball has a few more hours on it. Hopefully they remain solidly playable to love up to their billing and don’t go “eggy” too rapidly. Right now, I can’t seem to find anywhere in the UK yet to supply these so I hope they last and I don’t fall too in love with them! I’m going to upload an additional ball blog shortly where I’ll share the main characteristics of many of the balls available in the UK.