The beautiful game, sand and a beach soccer ball? What could be better? If you like the sand, sun and soccer then I think you've found the new love of your life. You won't know how much you will love kicking your new ball around the sand until you try it, I hope you are a skillful player because those are the players who can really make things happen on the sand. Grab your new beach ball and find everything you need to know about it here.
Typically there are 5 components to a quality beach soccer ball. No matter the brand or where it is made look for these components to know if you are getting a ball that will play and last like a pro ball.
1. Waterproof outer layer - with high temperatures during a match lots of sweat and other moisture tends to get on the ball so this is an important piece to keep the ball dry and playable. It's also great if you ever want to kick the ball around with some friends in the water.
2. Reinforced 2nd layer - you won't be able to see this layer but make sure after you push the soft part of the outer layer you can feel another layer pressed up against it.
3. Foam cover - the foam allows for a softer more comfortable contact from the ball to your bare foot.
4. 6 panel design - less panels on the ball obviously allows for less seems on the ball. This makes for smoother spots on the ball so when you shoot the ball you will have a more solid contact and not hitting the grooves and creases on the ball.
5. Machine stitched seams - make sure the stitching on the seams are tightly sewn and are sealed. Look for any gaps or lumps that might indicate a bad sewing job of one seem to another.
Weight, material, water absorption and feel to a name a few. Although the basic round ball you put in the net never changes from outdoor to indoor to beach there are some differences you want to make sure you know about before diving head first into the sand.
Weight - Although it is still a size 5 you will find the beach soccer ball to be a touch lighter then your typical outdoor ball. There is less stitching and the balloon layer isn't as thick which will make for a slightly lighter ball.
Material - The material of the ball may be the biggest difference from a beach to an outdoor ball, this is due to the waterproof layer and the 6 panel design. Thiner balloon layer coupled with the waterproof layer and the soft outer later will still give you a great ball just built with slightly different materials
Feel - The feel of the beach ball will feel lighter, softer and when you strike it you will feel less of an impact on your barefoot due to the soft outer layer. Getting used to the feel will take some adjusting but you will soon find it plays beautifully on the sand and in a beach game.
They come in both size 4 (for youth) and size 5 (for 14+). The typically sized beach ball you will see on beach courts or at the pro level will of course be a size 5. Sometimes because they seem a little lighter in nature because of the materials used to make it, it may seem like a size 4 but more often then not you will be seeing the size 5 on the sand courts. Smaller than that isn't typical but you may come across one, for anyone serious playing on the beach with some friends or even in some beach tournaments then stick to a size 5 and get a good stretch in will ya!
Well now that you got the most important thing (your beach ball) the rest can be done at various levels, I explain what I mean. After the ball all you really need is somewhere to play on sand and two goals. Now the sand is difficult to be creative with, either there is a beach near by or there isn't and as for nets you have a couple options here. You can do the old fashioned way and make a goal with a couple of shoes, some trash cans or rocks, you can also go ahead and buy pop up goals for a couple hundred bucks. If you can afford it, go for it, if not I guess you'll have to wait until you win some beach tournaments and have enough money to buy them.
Well I can see how you may confuse one with the other but there are some important differences to remember, let's compare them in a few categories.
Size - A futsal is a size 4 ball where a beach soccer ball is a size 5 (beach balls also come in size 4 but the standard typical size is 5)
Weight - A futsal is created on purpose so it doesn't bounce as much, they are really bottom heavy so they stay on the ground more where a beach balls weight is evenly distributed. If you can get a chance and hold a beach ball in one hand a futsal in the other and drop them to the ground you will see a significant difference in bounce.
Material - A futsal's outer material is a rougher material then a beach ball to deal with the elements of the floor and more touches then the beach game, a beach balls outer material is a bit softer and suited for contact on bare feet.
This ball is pretty tough and will last you a long while even without proper cleaning and maintenance but if you want to squeeze out every last day out of the ball here are a few cleaning steps you can take.
Step 1 - As soon as you get off the sand be sure to hold the ball with one hand and slap down on the ball with the other to get any excess sand off that may be in the seams.
Step 2 - Rub your towel over the entire surface of the ball to dry off any excess sand, water or sweat that may still be lingering on the ball.
Step 3 - Take a damp paper towel or cloth and place it over your index finger and slowly rub in-between the seams to get the deep excess sand, dirt and whatever else may be on the ball.
Step 4 - Store it somewhere where the temperature doesn't' get too cold or too hot to avoid the ball from alter it's shape.
Step 5 - Don't be tempted to use the ball for non-beach activities and sports, this will compromise the life of the ball.
Between a futsal and a size 5 outdoor ball the beach soccer ball will probably last the longest of all three. Why you ask? Well first you probably will only be playing beach soccer a fraction of the time compared to the other two but that's not the only obvious reason. I've had my beach soccer ball for over 4 years mainly because it's made from incredibly durable material but also because there are no cleats digging into it and no turf or hard surfaces for it to skid off of every second.
Well you could but I wouldn't recommend it. I mean if you have no ball then sure it's better then playing soccer on your playstation but a beach soccer ball isn't exactly suited for outdoor grass or indoor turf. If you do decide to use a beach ball on concrete, turf, grass or anything besides sand then you need to be ok with scuffing it up or possibly damaging it further. A beach soccer ball was specifically designed for the sand and bare feet, that's why the materials are such to suit the elements and feet that contact it. Same goes for an outdoor or indoor ball, you can use it on the sand and it may work fine but if you start taking the sport seriously you will want to play the game with the right ball. Long story short, use an outdoor ball for outdoor games and a beach ball for the sand.
Of course you can. It isn't the exact weapon of choice but it will do just fine. Make sure you use a size 5 ball and you should be good. Beach balls are typically a littler softer and have less panels on them so an outdoor ball might sting your foot a little more on the bare foot but all in all you should be just fine. The transition from using an outdoor ball on beach is a little easier than a beach ball outdoors. Why? Well besides the occasional redness on the top of you foot, the size of the ball is the same so you will be able to manage just fine.
After you've purchased the ball I can't help you so don't rush into this if you're not sure (if you're reading this while you're at the store looking at the shelf then read it twice to be sure!) Take all of these factors into consideration when choosing your beach soccer ball, good luck!
1. Material - Make sure the outside of the ball is constructed with a strong durable material, stay away from plastic on the outer layer, you want this thing to last.
2. Brand - Stick to Forza, Select or Senda. These are some of the most trusted names when it comes to producing high quality beach balls that will serve you well for a long time.
3. Certified - Be sure that the ball is certified by FIFA as a pro standard ball so you know you are buying quality.
Take care of yourself and the ball by following these simple guidelines before hitting the sand, keep that receipt just in case!
1. Get used to the weight before you start unloading shots, the deceiving weight may lead to a pulled hamstring or two.
2. Using it off the sand as regular outdoor ball
3. Glass/foreign objects on the beach
1. Wash it lightly after each use. Although it is designed to be durable and use on the beach you want to make sure to give it a good wipe down and wash to get any sand out of the seams after each use.
2. Only use it on the sand. Don't be tempted into using it on the street in front of your house or on turf. It will work just fine but you will start to compromise the life of the ball by over use and using it on surfaces it wasn't meant for.
3. Don't let people sit on it. This isn't a typical outdoor ball where sitting on it may not affect it all that much. A couple bigger friends start sitting on it and you will start to see the ball change shape and before you know it will be next summer and you'll be looking to buy a new ball.