Beach volleyball is the perfect combination of fun and fitness, allowing you to enjoy the sun while staying active with friends. But did you know that choosing the right beach volleyball can greatly impact your game? In this article, we’ll be reviewing two of the most popular beach volleyballs on the market: the Wilson AVP and the Spalding King of the Beach.
- The Difference Between Beach Volleyballs and Indoor Volleyballs
- Why the Wilson AVP and the Spalding King of the Beach?
- Pricing: A Tie
- AVP and King of the Beach First Impressions
- How We Tested: Moisture Wicking, Air Pressure Retention, and Grip/Control
- The Best Beach Volleyball: Wilson AVP Takes the Crown
- Do’s and Don’ts for Beach Volleyballs
- Final Thoughts
The Difference Between Beach Volleyballs and Indoor Volleyballs
Before we dive into the comparison, let’s understand the differences between beach volleyballs and indoor volleyballs. Indoor volleyballs are smaller, heavier, and have less cushion compared to beach volleyballs. They are not suitable for outdoor use and are not designed to withstand the elements. On the other hand, beach volleyballs are slightly bigger, offer more cushion, and have features that make them suitable for outdoor use. It’s crucial to choose a volleyball specifically designed for the beach to ensure the best playing experience.
Why the Wilson AVP and the Spalding King of the Beach?
Both the Wilson AVP and the Spalding King of the Beach are highly regarded among serious beach volleyball athletes. They have received outstanding user reviews and are trusted by professionals. We have personally tested several beach volleyballs over the years and have found these two to be at the top of our list.
Wilson AVP: A Cult Favorite
The Wilson AVP is the most widely used ball among beach volleyball players. It is the official ball of the Association of Volleyball Players and is frequently used in top-level professional tournaments. Many enthusiasts refuse to consider any other beach volleyball. The Wilson AVP’s popularity speaks for itself, but we wanted to compare it to a challenger that has been gaining traction.
The Rise of the Spalding King of the Beach
In response to the growing popularity of the King of the Beach Volleyball Tour, Spalding created the Spalding King of the Beach volleyball. This volleyball has garnered positive feedback from users who claim it surpasses the “overhyped” Wilson AVP. Naturally, we were curious to find out for ourselves.
Pricing: A Tie
Both the Wilson AVP and the Spalding King of the Beach are similarly priced in the low to mid $40 range. Beware of significantly cheaper replica volleyballs, as they do not match the official balls in terms of materials and quality.
AVP and King of the Beach First Impressions
Upon receiving both volleyballs, we were impressed with their fit, finish, and overall quality. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Wilson AVP: A Soft and Squishy Feel
The Wilson AVP features a microfiber composite material that feels soft and provides excellent cushioning for low forearm passes. Although it doesn’t resemble actual leather, the material is of high quality. The hand-sewn seams are almost imperceptible, and the needle hole for filling the ball with air is practically invisible. The Wilson AVP is lightweight and ready for action, making it hard to believe any volleyball can feel better.
Spalding King of the Beach: Genuine Leather Feel with Excellent Grip
The Spalding King of the Beach stands out with its firm material that feels like genuine leather and offers exceptional grip. The hand-sewn seams are noticeable and have hard edges, unlike the flat seams of the AVP. The needle hole has a plastic surrounding that protrudes from the surface. Although slightly heavier than the AVP, the Spalding King of the Beach exudes durability and provides a solid grip.
How We Tested: Moisture Wicking, Air Pressure Retention, and Grip/Control
To determine which volleyball reigns supreme, we conducted tests in three crucial areas: moisture wicking, air pressure retention, and grip/control.
Beach volleyball often involves exposure to moisture, including sweat, rain, or accidental contact with water. We tested how effectively the volleyballs wick away moisture by pouring 4 ounces of water over each ball and measuring the amount of water left in the pan. The Wilson AVP proved to be superior in wicking away moisture, while the Spalding King of the Beach struggled due to its more genuine leather-like surface.
Air Pressure Retention
Beach volleyballs are constantly exposed to outdoor conditions, so it’s important to have a ball that retains air pressure. We filled each volleyball to the recommended pressure and measured the loss of pressure over seven days. Despite exceeding its recommended maximum pressure, the Wilson AVP outperformed the Spalding King of the Beach in terms of air pressure retention.
Grip and control are crucial for a beach volleyball. The Wilson AVP excelled in controlled conditions, offering better control while passing and hitting. However, windy conditions posed a challenge for this lightweight ball. On the other hand, the heavier Spalding King of the Beach performed better in windy situations, making it easier to bump set and open-hand set. Both volleyballs displayed excellent grip and control, making it a tie in this category.
The Best Beach Volleyball: Wilson AVP Takes the Crown
Based on our tests, we have to give the nod to the Wilson AVP as the best beach volleyball overall. However, each volleyball has its strengths in different conditions. If your budget allows, we recommend having both volleyballs to use the Wilson AVP in less challenging conditions and the Spalding King of the Beach in windier settings. Regardless, both volleyballs are excellent choices that will not disappoint.
For more information about the Wilson AVP and the Spalding King of the Beach, visit the Ambassadeur Hotel website.
Do’s and Don’ts for Beach Volleyballs
To ensure your beach volleyball lasts and performs at its best, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Store the ball indoors when not in use.
- Wipe away sand and moisture after each use.
- Personalize your volleyball with a unique design to deter theft.
- Avoid sitting on the volleyball, as it can warp.
- Do not overinflate the volleyball.
- Keep the volleyball away from water or wet conditions.
- Do not store the ball in a hot environment, such as your car’s trunk or a garage.
- Never leave your volleyball unattended at the beach.
- Avoid bouncing the ball on hard surfaces.
Whether you choose the Wilson AVP or the Spalding King of the Beach, you can be confident in your purchase. Both volleyballs offer exceptional quality and performance. However, due to its superior air pressure retention and moisture-wicking capabilities, the Wilson AVP emerges as our top pick. Get out there and enjoy a game of beach volleyball with your Wilson AVP!
To ensure you don’t forget any essentials for your next beach trip, including your Wilson AVP volleyball, check out our comprehensive beach packing checklist.