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.
This ball truly lives up to its name as a “glider,” having a stable flight path when shot and a nice feel when passed. The surface is relatively grippy, which is great for goalkeepers looking to practice their catches. Because the ball isn’t as slippery as some other replicas, you can shoot it with a bit more swerve, and dribbling and skill moves are a bit easier.
In 1937, the regulation soccer ball put on a little weight, increasing from 13-15 ounces to 14-16 ounces. Soccer balls used to be made exclusively of leather. Not so these days! Current technologies have come up with leather-like synthetic materials that are softer, more lightweight, water-proof, and perform as well if not better than leather soccer balls. As for the look, early soccer balls were tan but difficult to see from the stands; although white leather-washed soccer balls are known to have been used. White soccer balls replaced their tan predecessors in the 1950s, and were composed of 18 panels. Black spots were added to allow soccer players to track the ball's swerve. Today's soccer balls come in an array of colorful designs and styles to suit every player.
Well-fitted long kids soccer socks offer compression-like support for small shins and calves. Have your child try soccer socks made with climalite® moisture-wicking fabric which pulls sweat away from the skin as they run up and down the pitch. Ventilation in the sock’s toe area and extra cushioning in the foot-bed will provide breathable support and comfort for the entire match.
Using a wind tunnel, Goff has researched the flight properties of the Telstar 18, drawing its drag curve to discover where the ball might dip and swerve in the air, similar to the knuckleball free kicks favored by Cristiano Ronaldo “Even if aerodynamically the Telstar 18 isn’t that different from the Brazuca, it’s still going to wobble a little bit differently because the panel shapes are different,” Goff says.
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.
Whether it was a size 3, 4, or 5, we found that the Adidas Starlancer performed as it should. This allows beginning players at any age to begin getting a feel for what it is like to have the ball at their feet. There are two color options that come with the Starlancer as well and each performs as it should. For normal passing, crossing, and shooting drills, we found this soccer ball to be true to form. The machine stitching is strong and offers a fairly long lasting performance.
This can be used as a great option for goalkeeper training as well. Why? Look, you can hardly see the lines on this ball, hence you won’t be able to guess the direction by only seeing the spin of the ball. That means as a goalkeeper you will have to give full concentration to detect the direction of the sliding balls. This is obviously helpful if you are a goalkeeper, and looking for a sliding challenge.