How to Choose the Best 29.5 Basketball? – Buying Tips

Spoiled by the basketball size choice? Starting from 27.5 inches to 29.5 inches, each player can find the ideal size based on usage and level of playing skills.

The 29.5 inches represent the official basketball size used by the NBA, and is also the same size commonly seen in men’s college and high school basketball leagues. So if you are an adult man aiming to select a proper training ball or professional gaming ball, go for a 29.5 inches basketball directly.

Alongside the basketball size, from texture to bounce rate, bunches of the uniqueness of each 29.5 basketball are just as important. For this article, we will discuss the major considerations you should make before buying.

29.5 inch basketball


Is 29.5 Inch Basketball Suitable for You?

The official basketball size adopted by professional basketball games or men’s basketball leagues is 29.5 inches, measuring 9.43″ to 9.51″ in diameter.

Men ages 15 and over should play with the official size. With enough strength and skills, men at the age of 15 are able to handle the largest size in multiple training games or professional plays.

Women and girls ages 13 are recommended to choose 28.5 inches in circumference. And youth ages 9 to 11 will find it much easier to control 27.5 inches basketballs.

For women or youth, if you feel in full control of the ball and are able to move it any way you want, then it is time for you to move up to a 29.5 basketball.

29.5 basketball


How to Choose the Best 29.5 Basketball?

To enhance your game and improve your skills, it’s important to take the time to understand what sort of ball you require.

1. Size 7 is the Right Size You Should Pick.

In terms of ball size, size 7 measures 29.5 inches in circumference. With a standard weight of 22 oz, it is the largest and also the official size for male players in the majority of professional basketball associations and leagues.

So if 29.5 inches ball is the one you want, then size 7 is the correct size.

2. For Indoors, Leather Basketball Gives Pros A Better Grip.

Full genuine leather basketball is highly recommended for pro players playing indoors. This soft and comfortable material on basketballs enhances a better grip and bounces on hardwood courts, remains unrivaled on both ball control and feeling. In stadium and carpet gym, this property of leather basketball ensures the players have their skills shown off.

The price of all leather basketball can be costly among other types, normally from $60 to $100. As the official league balls are usually full genuine leather, buying such balls gives you the same experience as the competitive players, which will advance your skills and confidence effectively.

However, you should only use leather basketball for indoor use, hard surfaces will easily get leather ball wear and scuffed.

Check this Wilson leather 29.5 basketball for your indoor training.

29.5 indoor leather basketball

Compared with its old model, this version of Wilson basketball is quite grippy and feels wonderful to play with, because it is soft enough but not as rubbery and slippery as other leather balls.

For both beginners and pro players, this can be a ball to help train and improve your overall skills.

3. For Outdoors, Rubber Basketball Can Be An Ideal Option.

When playing on rough outdoor surfaces, rubber balls tend to be more durable and wear-resistance. Though weak in grip and bounce, rubber balls withstand harsh outdoor conditions and are also considerably cheaper than its counterpart, mostly $10 – $30.

For beginners seeking a training ball or a gaming ball used on the street or in the garage, the less expensive rubber ball is considered vastly preferable to the leather one.

Check this Spalding 29.5 Rubber Basketball for outdoor play.

spalding rubber basketball for outdoors

It has a tacky grip and its wider grooves make it still outstand when your hand gets wet or dirty. The wonderful grip also allows you to use it as a shooter or ball-handler for most beginners.

4. Composite Basketball is the Most Popular One for Both Gym And Street Play.

Composite leather balls are the only types that can be used both indoors and outdoors. Made of synthetic leather, it requires no breaking in and offers a perfect blend of grip and durability for long time use.

Make sure you get the composite basketball with moisture-reducing surfaces, deep channels, and deep grooves. These are all necessary points to help you line up one “swish” after another.

If budget is your priority consideration, the balls around $25 are the most proper.

Check the Spalding React Compsite Leather 29.5 Basketball for both indoor and outdoor use.

29.5 composite basketball

Costs around $20, this composite basketball does not feel like plastic or rubber as other cheaper basketballs.

5. Check the Guidelines for Ball Color Choice.

Most of the official 29.5 basketballs use a burnt orange or dark brown color, it is also the standard ball color for leagues and teams.

But there are also some other color options, like black, white, red, yellow, or even multi-colors. Those balls with colorful designs are more about style rather than functions.

If you are playing in the leagues or for professional games, you’d better contact your teams for color requirements on balls for more details.

For those in need of daily practicing balls, you are free to choose whichever attracts you the most.

6. Consider Training Balls to Develop Your Skills.

Training balls can be an ideal choice if you want to develop your skills for competitive games or play.

The traditional trainer is a kind of weighted rubber ball designed for beginners to develop strength.

Its weight usually doubles or triples than the regular basketballs, working for enhancing your strength and power in ball control. When you are capable enough to handle a traditional trainer, you will find the basic basketball skills from dribbling, passing, shooting, and ball-handling no longer a trouble.

This SKLZ Control Training 29.5 inch Basketball can help you to improve your dribbling and ball control.

29.5 indoor basketball

The shooter’s basketball can be used for intermediate players practicing shot skills.

The precise markers on the basketball indicate the right hand placement and how you should hold the ball in taking a shot, thus aiding you in improving shooting technique.

For this, we recommend Baden Skilcoach Shooter’s Basketball as your training ball.

29.5 shooter's basketball

The connected basketball is a new type of smart basketball, using technology to help track your shot and develop a series of skills, thus it is a good option for pro players.

The high-tech basketball connects with your smartphone and collects all the needed data, like shooting percentage, makes, misses, and other stats. In this way, you can get a sense of the weakness in your play.

After knowing all the ins and outs of basketball, then which brand is the most reliable and worth buying?


How to Choose 29.5 Basketball From Famous Brand?

Today’s basketball market is dominated by three brands, Spalding, Wilson, and Nike.

Spalding gives a better grip and feels in use for advanced players.

In terms of basketball performance, Spalding remains invincible. The major reason that Spalding outshines other brands in its ball feeling is the genuine leather used in its constructions. And that is why it served as a supplier of official NBA and WNBA basketballs for the past 37 years.

Sure enough, because of full genuine leather or composite leather use in its manufacturing, Spalding 29.5 inches basketball price is also the highest.

For pro players, Spalding basketball with Official Size 7 costs around $80, some go higher than $100.

For beginners or intermediate players, you can pick the composite leather balls for indoor use, it needs around $20 to $40. Like this Spalding Zi/O Indoor-outdoor Basketball.

Spalding 29.5 indoor outdoor basketball

Wilson proves to be more durable and cost-effective.

Wilson is replacing Spalding and is currently thriving at the top of the pyramid. From the 2021-2022 season, Wilson will begin providing basketballs for the official NBA, and will also start to be an official supplier for WNBA from 2022.

The previous Wilson 29.5 inches basketballs are honored for their durability and less expensive price, making it an ideal choice for beginners or amateur players.

If you are a pro player, try $50 – $80. These balls are normally designed with faux leather and perform well for professional games. Click here to get the Wilson Official Game Basketball For Advanced Players.

For a beginner, the ball at around $30 is not a bad choice. Choose composite leather balls for stadium or carpet gym use. For outdoors, the cheaper rubber balls at around $20, like this Wilsion NCAA Killer Crossover 29.5 Basketball, will not let you down.

For a cost-effective choice, we would highly recommend Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball.

wilson 29.5 basketball

This ball offers a decent grip under its price range and satisfies daily games. And for competitive games, it is not as soft as spongy, meaning there is a large chance you can outplay others in the shooting motions.

Besides, cheap in price, you can still feel it a leather ball instead of a composite ball while taking a shot.

Nike helps youngsters to show their styles. 

Nike can always lead the trend in the area of basketball shoes, but in terms of Official Size basketball, it also has some models that put it out of the pile.

The Nike Elite Championship 29.5 Basketball is one of the models, Its composite leather construction gives a premium grip for advanced players to use in the indoor court.

For outdoor play, this rubber-made Nike Basketball is also the most cost-effective choice.

Now, let’s make it easier for you.

  • If you are a beginner trying to start your basketball training, try Nike basketball.
  • If for daily training or practicing to improve skills, Wilson will be your best choice.
  • If you are an advanced player who is picky about the feel of basketball, then you can always trust Spalding.


What Size Hoop Is Suitable for 29.5 Basketball?

The official basketball hoop size, or say, the basketball rim size is 18 inches inside diameter with a radius of 9 inches. This is a standard hoop size adopted by NBA professionals, college leagues, and high-school stadiums. It fits an Official-sized ball with 29.5 inches.

For most amateur games or street play, this is also the common size that fits ball size from 27.5 inches to 29.5 inches. We can also put it in this way, all the ball sizes, apart from toy balls used by kids or youth, can be well-matched with 18 inches diameter hoop.


How to Properly Inflate a 29.5 Basketball?

To properly inflate your basketball, you should first know about the psi.

Psi refers to the amount of air needed in a basketball, the level of psi determines the performance of the ball.

NBA rules claim that 29.5 inches basketball should be inflated to between 7.5 and 8.5 pounds per square inch. 

A higher psi will be damaged or totally burst while inflating. On the contrary, when the ball is inflated below the required level, you will find it hard to bounce correctly.

After knowing the right psi, here comes the steps to fill your basketball.

-How to inflate a 29.5 basketball?

What You Will Need?

  • Inflation needle
  • Air pump
  • Air pressure gauge (optional)

Steps to inflate your basketball

  1. Attach the prepared needle to the air pump part.
  2. Get the inflation needle moistened.
  3. Slowly insert the needle all the way into the valve.
  4. Inflating slowly with an electric pump or a hand pump.
  5. Remember to check the air pressure after finishing.

Check the video here for detailed instructions:

-How Do You Know If A Basketball Is Properly Inflated?

After inflating the basketball, you need to check whether it is in the right air pressure. Here are some simple steps you can take:

  1. Raise the basketball at the same level as your face.
  2. Drop the basketball.
  3. Let the basketball bounce freely.
  4. Check if the ball bounces back to the same height as your waist.



1. Is an NBA Basketball 29.5?

Yes, the size 29.5 inches is the standard and official size used by various professional leagues and games, so does NBA.

2. How to Tell If A Basketball Is 29.5?

29.5 inches in basketball refers to the circumference of the ball, it also means the diameter between 9.43 inches to 9.51 inches.

3. What Size FIBA Basketball Is Equivalent to 29.5?

The FIBA ball is actually the same size as the NBA ball, which means it also uses 29.5 inches basketball as the official size.

4. How Much Is a Size 29.5 Basketball Supposed to Weigh?

29.5 inches basketball weighs about 22 ounces (oz), or 1.4 pounds (lbs).

5. What Is the Proper Psi for a 29.5 Basketball?

The proper psi for a 29.5 basketball should be 7.5 and 8.5 pounds per square inch.