Straight up: we’re going to call this basketball a “beginner’s model.” It’s a full-size composite leather basketball, but one that can struggle to compete in the cylinder compared to some of the other basketballs out there. We see the Under Armour 395 as a good entry-level basketball for kids who are just stepping up to a full-size ball for the first time. It also works well as a home recreational ball or perhaps for some light workouts at the local gym.
Just because we see it as a beginner ball doesn’t mean that it is “inferior.” The nylon windings built into this basketball help it to keep its shape better over time than most outdoor balls tend to do. It also has a 100% butyl bladder that helps the basketball stay inflated to the proper level so that you receive consistent reactions when using it.
The Under Armour 395 Is a “Mostly” Indoor Basketball
Although the composite leather is fairly durable, we found that the structure of the ball is built more for an indoor court. It doesn’t take much for this basketball to begin scuffing up and becoming slick to the hand, even if you are using it on a well-maintained park basketball court. If you have one of the best backyard composite tile outdoor courts, however, this basketball maintains itself pretty well.
From an indoor perspective, we found this basketball to be a viable low-priced alternative to some of the other basketballs that are available today. You get predictable movement from the ball during a shot and the bounce is true, so you know where the ball is going to be when you are dribbling.
There are some slick points on the ball that do take a little getting used to having there from a player standpoint. In particular, the “395” logo on the ball is a unique feeling on the hand, especially if you’re trying to go up for a touch shot.
Comments from Playing with the Under Armour 395
The channels of this basketball are recessed just a touch more than you’ll find on other basketballs. This has its own pros and cons. You have more grip for the rotation, which gives you a bit more backspin on a jump shot and more touch for a layup. It also gives the ball a weak point when being used on gritty surfaces that can affect the air integrity of the ball.
Some basketballs tend to feel a little heavy on the hand, even though they meet the size and weight requirements. We didn’t have that problem with this basketball at all. The 395 is a consistent performer that will let you hone your game, especially if you’re working out indoors with it.
If you play basketball a few hours every day, the Under Armour 395 isn’t the right basketball for you. If, however, you’re introducing your kids to the game or you want an affordable practice ball that you can take with you anywhere, then you’ll be pleased by the value that you’ll receive with this purchase.