Regular lacrosse balls are manufactured in China, using vulcanized rubber, as well as cheap fillers and oils that are added into the rubber. Over time these materials, specifically the fillers, separate from the molecules of the rubber and go to the surface of the ball. This makes the ball, super hard and very slick, making it loose the natural “grippy” feeling of the ball. Guardian, now has a solution to this problem with their new Pearl ball. The Pearl has the same weight, same bounce and same feel as a normal lacrosse ball. It is also NOSCAE certified and meets NCAA and NFHS specs, making it legal for all levels of play.
The Pearl is made in the USA, with the balls manufactured in Guardian’s facility in Louisville, CO. The Pearl is made with a more advanced elastomeric material, where the actual molecules of the parts collide and crosslink to form one pure polymer. Doing this, without the cheap fillers, prevents the ball from becoming a greaser.
Guardian, sent me a few to try out and I put them to the test in the rough Buffalo weather. The only difference I felt initially when I picked up the Pearl the first time was that it was “squishy-er” than a standard ball, but besides that it seemed to perform exactly the same as a new standard one.
For a month I left one in my backyard to see if it really stayed the same. Knowing that doing this would turn a standard ball into a greaser, I wasn’t too sure of what to expect out of the Pearl. Through the month the ball sat through the Buffalo weather of rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain, hail and ice coming down on it and a range of temperatures from 70 degrees and below freezing. At the end of my test, when i picked it up out of the frozen layers of snow and ice, it felt EXACTLY the same as when I tossed it out there. Same feel, same grip, everything. This made my shots way more accurate than if I did the same thing with a standard ball which would’ve been super hard and very slick after a month of sitting out in the crap weather. It also keeps the ball safer, since it stays soft.
The Pearl is available now in white, yellow and orange. It is a bit more expensive than a standard lacrosse ball, but well worth it in my opinion, as I was very impressed with it. As long as you don’t lose it in the woods or something, these balls will last much longer than you could ever imagine a standard lacrosse ball lasting. These new non-greaser balls are making a much needed change in the industry, which is absolutely going to benefit everyone who uses them.