Latex bladders are used in high-quality balls. These kind of bladders are soft and provide good feeling. They offer better response and bounce than Butyl bladders, but the downside of this kind of bladder is they don’t hold the air for too long. As a result, they require filling more frequently. Air escapes due to micropores on the cover, but nowadays some balls are constructed with carbon latex bladder to help to close these micropores. As a result, the balls can hold air for a longer period.
In 2010, the infamous Jabulani balls for the World Cup in South Africa transitioned from turbulent to laminar flow between 50 and 45 miles per hour, right at the speed for corner and free kicks. The transition between these different types of flow causes even more drag on the ball, which caused the Jabulani to wobble in the air and drop in ways that players weren’t expecting.
At the World Cup level, these tiny changes in a ball’s aerodynamics can legitimately impact a team’s performance, so the intense scrutiny of the World Cup ball is perhaps to be expected. “You could argue that it’s the most important piece of equipment in the most popular sport in the world,” says John Eric Goff, Professor of Physics at University of Lynchburg.
This ball also comes in sizes 5, 4, and 3 and ships at one pound exactly, and it does not appear to come inflated. This soccer ball ships within the US and is not eligible for international shipping. For the low price and quality of this ball, it is totally worth the value because the exact ball that the pros use is around $100, and this pro soccer ball replica is a fraction of the price.
To be honest, this ball’s a bit like a classic car, in that it’s awesome – when it works. The Jabulani is prone to valve issues, although they can be fixed. If you need something durable, we wouldn’t recommend this ball. However, if you’re looking to add an awesome ball to your collection – and you’ve got the cash – consider grabbing a Jabulani before they go extinct.