If you walk to your nearest public tennis courts, you’ll probably find a smattering of discarded balls that have been used once, as well as a bunch of discarded plastic cans and metal lids that are probably destined for landfills at best, or like, the local river or whatever at worst.
Wilson’s brand new Triniti tennis ball, which the company hails as the first major innovation in tennis balls in 40 years, looks to change that. The core of the ball is made from a lighter weight plastomer that allows for thicker walls without changing the overall weight or feel of the ball. In theory, that means you’ll be able to play with this ball four times longer than a standard ball before it starts to lose its bounce. The redesigned felt on the outside is designed to be more durable as well, so the whole ball should be able to last for multiple matches. Or even for a single, inexplicable Sascha Zverev five setter against, like, Aljaz Bedene. That means fewer ball in landfills, and less money spent buying a new can every time you play.
The durability of the ball means that Wilson is able to ship them inside paper cartons, rather than the currently ubiquitous pressurized can. While those cans are usually made from recyclable plastic, the metal rims on top make them difficult for recycling centers to actually process, so they tend to end up in landfills eventually. The cartons, by contrast, are fully recyclable. And if they do end up in the trash, at least they’ll eventually make like Nick Kyrgios’s concentration, and break down. If this ball (or better yet, this style of packaging) catches on, it’ll be a sea change in the amount of waste produced by this small, specific corner of the recreational sports world.
The Triniti balls are on sale now for $5.49 a can (carton? sleeve?) direct from Wilson, or $110 on Amazon for a case of 24. That’s roughly double what you’d spend on regular balls, but if they last four times as long, you should come out ahead. I’ll be picking up a few cans myself, and will be back with my own impressions soon.