Let’s face it. Many indoor/outdoor basketballs are usually just meant to be played indoors. They can handle some outdoor use, but they wear out quickly with consistent outdoor use. The Baden crossover flex composite basketball is one of the few basketballs we’d recommend for outdoor players. Not only does the dark cover hide much of the scuffing and wear that you see on more traditional designs, but the grip stays consistent over time, even with extensive play.
If you have a driveway basketball hoop, then you’re likely going through a few basketballs every year if you use it fairly often. This ball will stand up to the wear and tear better than other balls, but for this benefit, you’ll need to make some other compromises.
Our Notes from Playing with the Baden Crossover Flex
The first impression we had of this particular basketball was that it was solid. The grip was nice and firm. Your palm doesn’t get sweaty when you’re working with this ball over a prolonged period of time. That “solidness” also translates into a ball that feels a bit heavy in the hand compared to other indoor/outdoor basketballs.
We found the bounce of this particular basketball depended on the type of court and backboard that you’re used to having. If you use this Baden ball on concrete, it will replicate what you’d receive in a gym from an indoor ball. Using this ball indoors, however, tends to make this ball feel a bit flat and dead.
Cylinder reaction was good from an indoor and an outdoor perspective. The type of backboard being used, however, did somewhat dictate the experience of using this basketball once again. If you’re using an acrylic or polycarbonate backboard, we found that this ball would give us a superior reaction compared to other basketballs. For a tempered glass backboard, the reaction was much less than we’d expect.
Does Inflating This Basketball Improve Its Reaction?
This Baden basketball does a good job of maintaining its inflation point. It does tend to lose just a little air after an hour or so of use, but a quick top-off with a handheld pump can put that issue to rest. We wondered if we overinflated the ball just a little, would it be able to improve its performance from an indoor perspective?
In a word: no.
The composite surface and core seem to be designed to work specifically with surfaces that have less give than a wooden floor. The cover is also a bit tougher and more rigid than other indoor/outdoor balls, though the grip is still fairly soft, so it can withstand the grind of some outdoor grit pretty well.
Over time, the grip does tend to wear off, making the ball become slick, but that comes with extended play. If you send the kids outside to play basketball every day in the driveway or you have a backyard court, you’re going to love the value of the Baden crossover flex composite basketball. It gets the job done.