This year, the ball shouldn’t have that kind of impact on which team wins the World Cup. In wind tunnel tests, Goff found that Telstar 18 has a very similar aerodynamic profile to the 2014 Brazuca ball, which flew without the wobbles of the Jabulani. The Jabulani was the first ball to have six seams and despite having a roughened surface, it was too smooth, says Goff. When the Brazuca was released, it had 68 percent more seams than the Jabulani to help change the airflow around the ball. The Telstar 18 is even more improved. Instead of transitioning to laminar flow in the middle of free kicks, Goff found that the Telstar 18 goes through its drag crisis at a lower speed of 38 miles an hour.
“I kind of feel sympathy for the players and especially the goalkeepers that have to get used to a new ball,” Goff says. So far the Telstar 18 has received criticism from a few goalkeepers that played with it starting in November, unhappy with how it moves in the air and the way the surface feels. Goalkeepers, unlike every other player on the pitch, have to predict where the ball will go in order to block it, while also not having the freedom to run around the field to adjust as the ball flies. That means goalies often have the most complaints about a new design. “Every time there’s a World Cup and a new ball the goalkeepers complain, because they’ve been given a new ball,” says Goff.
This ball has a TPU cover that we wouldn’t describe as “highly durable” for rough play. Although it handles indoor turf, it won’t handle concrete, gravel, or court-based play like you have with futsal. This ball prefers to have a natural or artificial grass surface and that is about it. If you happen to impact a tree, run the ball on concrete, or have it bounce on a gravel driveway, the outer cover does tend to get scratched up pretty rapidly. The butyl bladder is of a higher quality than other balls at this price point, allowing the ball to hold its inflation pressure with an impressive amount of consistency.
Grab a soccer ball for matches, training or to support your kids favorite team. adidas carries official NHS approved soccer balls that are perfect for your club or high school teams. Look for technology like threadless, seamless, beveled edge (TSBE) soccer balls that provide a seamless surface for touch. Get ready to take your skills to the next level.
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