One thing which customers often complain about soccer balls is their poor air retention ability. After a few days on the field, the ball starts to deflate which serves as a big problem for anyone who has to use it on a daily basis. However, there is no such thing with the Top Glider as inside this ball is the butyl bladder which is becoming a norm with the majority of the Adidas soccer ball’s nowadays for better air retention.
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Our main intention of finding the official match balls was to help you find a solution which is good in quality, and you can use it for league plays. The process was tough we must say. Not all the replica balls have good quality. That is why we were very choosy in the process. We filtered the balls not only based on our experience but also based on the experience of other users.
When a tournament is held (like the FIFA World Cup), the sponsor of the event will design a brand new ball. These are official match balls – they’re used by professionals during real matches. They are designed to the highest possible build quality, have textured surfaces to improve stability in flight, and feature thermally-bonded panels for durability.
While this ball is absolutely adorable and feels like it's a good quality, I'm disappointed with the one I received. It has little chips in the design—there are a few little white marks in the sections that are orange. Also, there is some sort of sticky stuff on the ball, almost like residue from an old sticker. I can probably remove it with Goo-Gone... I'm just not thrilled that it seems to be used or at least bought and returned. While I'm sure my nephew will love it for his 1st birthday party tomorrow, I'm mildly embarrassed to give it to my brother and his wife because of the appearance. If the party weren't tomorrow, I'd return / exchange it. Frustrating!
“We found that the grooves and pimples on the Telstar 18 ball are very orderly and a little bit flat,” says Alam. The pimples that texture the surface of the ball are not as raised as on the Brazuca, and the seams are narrower and shallower than they have been in the past. All of the elements of the ball—the increased seam length, the more regular pimple pattern, orderly pimple and seam shape—add up to a more symmetrical, balanced ball, Alam says. “We expect this ball to have better flight stability.” And since all 11 stadiums in Russia are at the same altitude, Alam says the ball should play the same way across all matches.
If you’re working on headers, then your forehead won’t feel like it is being repetitively hit with a meat tenderizer thanks to the design of this ball. That soft touch also translates to a reasonably authentic movement when working on crosses or shots. There is a reasonable bend that allows players to wrap a leading ball around a defensive line, curve a shot around a wall, or work on accurate passing. Control skills off of the chest or knee feel close to authentic as well.
Despite the similarities with the Brazuca, the few differences between this ball and what players have gotten used to over the last four years will have an impact on play, says Firoz Alam, an aerodynamics engineer at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, who has also performed wind tunnel tests on the Telstar 18. “When the player is making a short pass, they have to push a little harder, because at less then 60 kilometers per hour [or 37 miles per hour]it has more flight resistance than the Brazuca,” says Alam. The mid-range passes and corner kicks that gave the Jabulani so much trouble have been resolved. Compared to the Brazuca, the Telstar 18 is also more aerodynamically efficient in the 40-50 mile an hour range, so Alam says players will actually have to kick a little softer or they’re likely to overshoot. Over 55 miles an hour the two balls will feel very similar.
Over time, many soccer balls tend to go out-of-round, especially if they are well-used. The Glider is designed to maintain its shape without losing air thanks to the firmness and consistency of the butyl bladder. Under regular use, we found that the air pressure was consistent enough that we didn’t need to add more air to the ball. If you play in organized soccer, then having consistency from the practice ball to the game ball is very important for skill development. The machine-stitched panels offer that experience for most players, even though the ball has the standard panel design.
For those taking their game to the next level, it’s important to train with a ball similar to what is used for your matches. Your passing, shooting and general foot skills will be different for lighter soccer balls made with a premium bladder like latex. Try out an NFHS approved ball which is used for some club, high school, and college teams. To be NFHS approved, the soccer ball needs to: