Why buy a beach ball?
An inflatable, multicolored white, red, yellow, and blue beach ball is a staple of beach equipment; if you’ve ever seen one in a picture or at the store, its association with sandy beaches and the ocean or pool probably immediately sprung to mind. Because they’re inflatable, beach balls float on water and through the air even better than regular balls do. You’ll never have to worry about them sinking to the bottom of the ocean or pool. Thus they’re great toys for various water and beach games. From more organized games like water volleyball or polo to made-up games or even simply hitting them back and forth between a group of people, beach balls are fun and versatile toys to have on hand for beach or lake trips or to bring to your community pool. If you have a pool in your backyard, you’ll likely get even better mileage from your beach ball.
What should you look for in a beach ball?
- Inflation: Determine if you want a ball that can easily be filled with exhaled air or one that will need an air pump. Filling up a beach ball with your breath is usually a quicker, less involved process, but air pumps are generally more effective at filling the ball. If you’re getting a jumbo-sized ball, you may want to be sure you have a pump to fill it up so that you don’t have to sit and exert your lungs for several minutes before enjoying the fun.
- Size: Most are between hand-sized and up to three feet in diameter, though there are also bigger options. Smaller balls will fit better through basketball hoops, but larger ones can be very exciting, especially for young kids. Remember that bigger beach balls tend to float through the air at a slower pace and take longer to come back down to earth because they’re full of more air. Thus, a bigger beach ball might be better for playing volleyball in the water or other keep-away games. When picking looking at a beach ball’s size on its product listing, bear in mind that the size listed for more beach balls is its stem-to-stem measurement rather than its diameter or circumference.
- Design: Consider whether you want beach balls in their classic rainbow colors or a different fun design. There are many fun, modern, updated designs for beach balls nowadays. You can find beach balls with prints that make them look like other balls (basketballs, soccer balls, etc.), globes, emojis, team logos, animal faces, etc. They can be tie-dyed, have sparkles or glitter, and even light up.
How much should you expect to spend on a beach ball?
In general, a beach ball isn’t going to be an expensive investment for your home or beach trips. You should easily find a decent one somewhere in the $5 to $10 range; especially useful since their soft exteriors put them at risk of popping or getting torn by mistake, so they need replacing more often than other recreational balls. If you buy a set of several beach balls, a larger-than-average model, or a specialty type of beach ball like a light-up or glow-in-the-dark one, they may run you a little more money.
Intex Glossy Panel Beach Balls
It doesn't get any more classic than this set of glossy, brightly colored vinyl beach balls.
Pros: Meant for long-term use, these classically-colored and designed beach balls are made of glossy and surprisingly sturdy vinyl; they shouldn’t rip apart or lose air easily. Yet even with their classic design, they’re also a bit larger (20 inches stem-to-stem) than the average, standard beach ball (which usually measures around 16 inches from stem-to-stem). And since you get three identical beach balls for one low price, you get excellent value for your money, whether you want some spare beach balls on hand or need more than one for a party or event.
Cons: The plugs on some of these beach balls tend to pop off when inflated to full size. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you may want to blow up the ball(s) to slightly below total capacity.
Bottom Line: This pack of beach balls contains three larger than average 20-inch balls for near-endless fun at multiple trips, parties, and events. They’re perfect additions to parties, carnivals, beach days, and more.
Big Mo's Toys Rainbow-Colored Inflatable Beach Balls
Get great bang for your buck with this set of twelve rainbow-hued, medium-sized beach balls.
Pros: Buying in bulk tends to be the more cost-efficient option on average, and these beach balls are no exception. You receive not one, two, or three but a pack of 12 vibrant rainbow-hued beach balls that are much brighter and more colorful than many similar models. This makes them equally useful as decorations for a party or event, not just toys. Since you receive a dozen beach balls for one low price, you know you’re getting a good bang for your buck, especially since these beach balls are so easy to inflate and deflate as needed.
Cons: These beach balls are definitely on the smaller side, which may be ideal for certain games or activities but may not make them the best option for others, like pool volleyball.
Bottom Line: Great for the beach, outside, parties, and more, there are endless activities for these colorful little beach balls. Due to their size, they’re especially great for pool basketball or younger kids.
Unknown Amor Inflatable Glitter Beach Ball
Whether you've got young kids at home or want to bring a little more glitz to your beach trip, you can't go wrong with this sparkly beach ball.
Pros: Classic multicolored beach balls aren’t your only option. If you want something more stylish or unique-looking, this pink and clear beach ball with gold glitter will be right up your alley. Kids, in particular, will love how glittery and sparkly this beach ball is; some will even entertain themselves just by shaking the ball and watching the glitter move around inside it. And since the glitter is inside the ball, you don’t have to worry about it spilling everywhere when they do so. Not only that, but the PVC vinyl material is UV-resistant to boot, so the hot pink patches of the beach ball won’t lose their bright color even after long hours in the sun. This beach ball and its quick valve system can be inflated either by a pump or by mouth.
Cons: Even though its UV resistance gives this beach ball better durability in that area, it does tend to rip or lose its shape easier than many classic beach balls.
Bottom Line: Sparkly and adorable, this is the best beach ball for young kids and adults who want something a little fancier than the usual fare. Whether you plan to use it as an everyday toy, save it for beach trips, or as a decoration for pool parties, this beach ball will draw admiration and compliments from your guests or fellow beach-goers.
Pangda Inflatable Globe Beach Balls
Whether you want a beach ball with a unique design or something a little more educational, these beach balls with accurate world maps printed on them will be right up your alley.
Pros: Another beach ball that offers a unique look, this pair of globe-like beach balls can be educational and provide fun in the sun. They’re especially great for teaching basic geography to young children, and kids will love playing with “earth” and finding and reading over country names. Thanks to the printed font across both balls, this task won’t be an issue. Not only are continents and countries labeled, but capitals and major cities in each country are too, as well as oceans, rivers, lakes, mountains, and even deserts and international boundaries, much like on a real map.
Cons: These beach balls are more complicated to inflate than most, especially if you’re using your breath rather than a pump.
Bottom Line: Even with their educational angle, these beach balls are awesome for beach, sand, water, and pool play alike. They also make great classroom props for teachers who want to incorporate more fun and playful aspect into learning, all the better to keep the attention of young children.
LED FURY Glow-in-the-Dark Beach Ball
Light up your evening lawn games, pool parties, or campfires on the beach with this large, glow-in-the-dark beach ball with multiple lighting modes.
Pros: The built-in LED lights of this beach ball set it apart from all the other models. This glow-in-the-dark beach ball is perfect for nighttime parties, especially on the beach or in the pool—though it functions equally well as a regular beach ball. When not lit up, plain white can be rotated between three possible colors and seven different lighting modes when you want it to light up the night sky. A clearly labeled switch makes it easy to flick the lights on or off quickly, and the batteries needed for the glow-in-the-dark function come included and pre-installed.
Cons: Because of its LED feature, this is the priciest item and is more expensive than the average beach ball.
Bottom Line: These inflatable beach balls are made with durable and high-quality PVC plastic. Perfect for camping, nighttime pool parties, bonfires on the beach, and all kinds of other evening and night events, these beach balls are also an excellent substitute for light up balloons or glow sticks especially since they’re reusable for future celebrations and parties.
Beach balls are indelibly associated with the beach and water sports, and with good reason. Though a simple, inexpensive toy, you’ll be amazed at how much mileage you’ll get out of your new beach ball and in how many different environments it can be used.