Slam balls are a versatile and hugely popular piece of workout equipment, yet, what they are made from is a bit of a mystery to most users?
Slam balls can absorb impact and change shape ever so slightly, but they always return to their original shape and most importantly, they are incredibly durable items. Despite this, there are times when a slam ball appears to go flat and this raises an important question – do slam balls need air?
In this article, I’ll cover whether or not slam balls need air (spoiler – they do) and how you can fix a flat slam ball by adding air. Get a bike tire pump at the ready and read on…
Do Slam Balls Need Air?
Most slam balls are made from a combination of air and either a cement or sand mixture to give the ball weight. Slam balls, therefore, require a certain level of air to be fully functional and if they have lost shape due to lower air pressure, they will then need to be pumped up with air.
Slam balls need to have proper pressure to get the full impact and benefit from their use when training. If you notice that your slam ball is losing shape, chances are it is losing air. That means these balls do need air because they need to maintain a circular shape and functionality.
Since there are so many benefits to using a slam ball for exercise, it is important to make sure it is filled properly. If you think your slam ball needs more air, you can fix it. However, in some cases, the ball might be beyond repair.
To extend the life of your slam ball and prevent the need to add air often, you will need to take care of it properly. This includes cleaning your ball once a month to get rid of any dust and dirt build-up that can cause tears in the ball when you use it.
What’s Inside a Slam Ball
Slam balls are made from a durable rubber exterior which allows them to maintain the shape but also remain intact after repeated contact against a surface with force – hence the name.
The inside of a slam ball however is considered a mystery to most users. While you can get different items that make up the inside of slam balls, the most common items inside of a slam ball are air (which allows it to absorb impact) and a weighted granular substance like powdered cement or sand.
This combination allows slam balls to hold a given weight whilst also being able to absorb impact when making contact with a surface. This is important for protecting the surface that you use a slam ball on and not necessarily for protecting the slam ball from damage!
How to Fix a Flat Slam Ball
If you notice your slam ball isn’t doing as good of a job as it used to, don’t immediately throw it away. You can save money by trying to fix the ball instead of heading out to buy a new one. The items you are going to need to fix the ball are much cheaper than a new ball and you can use them for multiple repairs.
There are a few different reasons your slam ball might be losing air. It could just be slowly leaking air because of constant use, or there might be a hole in the surface of the ball. If this is the case, you will need to patch the hole before you put any air into it.
Some of the items you will need to repair your slam ball include:
- Microfiber cloth
- Rubbing alcohol
- Tire patch
- Bike tire pump
The process is pretty simple and shouldn’t take you long at all.
First, check the ball for holes. If you do find a hole, you will need to patch the hole before you do anything else. Gently use the sandpaper around the surface of the hole. Make sure you don’t press hard enough to break through the shell surface of the ball. The point of this step is to create enough of a rough surface for the glue to hold to the ball.
Clean the surface of the hole with the microfiber cloth and the rubbing alcohol. This will get rid of any dust, dirt, and debris on the surface of the ball. This will also increase how the glue will stick to the ball and fill the hole.
The glue you want to use for this process will be the tire patch. Cut out a small circle and place it over the hole that you found. Press the patch firmly on the surface of the ball, then set the ball with the patch down and wait for it to dry.
After the hole is patched, you can start to fill it with air. You don’t want to add too much air, so only put in one pump of air at a time. Feel the firmness of the ball after each pump of air. You don’t want to inflate the ball too much or it can expand and pop.
It is recommended that you wait about 24 hours for the patch to completely dry before you try to fill it with air. This will ensure that the patch sticks properly to the surface and doesn’t come off while you fill the ball with air. When you finish filling the ball, you can use the slam ball like normal.
Can You Pump Up a Slam Ball?
Whether or not you can pump up a slam ball depends on if the ball is still under warranty or not. If your ball is newer and still under warranty, it is not recommended to pump any air in as it will void the warranty. This means that if anything else goes wrong with the slam ball, you will not be able to return it for a new one.
If your ball is not covered under warranty any longer, you can pump it up with a bike tire pump. When you add the air, you will want to slowly add it to the ball. This will prevent you from filling the ball too much and making it too thick. It is much easier to add more air to the ball than it is to take it out, so pumping the air in slowly is your best option.
Slam balls are weighted and rubber-coated balls that are specially designed to absorb impact when used during a workout. Due to their relatively unique use – mainly being forcefully thrown against a hard surface like concrete – the interior needs to contain certain items.
This is usually a weighted, granular component like sand or cement but slam balls also need air internally to function properly. Therefore, flat slam balls can be a common occurrence over time and this is either due to a hole in the surface that would need to be patched or just from air escaping through frequent use.
Fortunately, slam balls can be re-inflated for extended use and it’s a relatively easy process to follow, you just need to have the correct tools/equipment to do this yourself (which isn’t difficult and most people would be able to do this).