Groovy, like we said (the grooves “promote a more stable flight”, Nike claims).
Official match balls are football’s equivalent of reinventing the wheel. Each time one comes out it is accompanied with a press release trumpeting how it is the most aerodynamic, advanced ball ever made. The cynical among you might already be shouting ‘Marketing horseshit!’ and you’d be within your rights to do so. But, stop, Nike’s new ‘Flight’ ball, the official rock for next season’s Premier League (and several other major leagues), actually does seem as if it might live up to the hype (disclaimer: we haven’t actually kicked it). And it does look very cool, both retro and futuristic somehow, like something NASA might have come up with during its lunch break.
This isn’t a sponsored post, by the way. Perhaps Pies is getting less cynical about stuff like this as the years roll by, but when you read about all of the effort and science that’s gone into it – hundreds of pro athletes testing 68 different iterations before Nike arrived at this one – you almost forget that you are being fed aforementioned marketing horseshit. Bottom line: it’s claimed to fly 30% truer than its Nike predecessor, which is not only a big claim, and potentially very good news for goalkeepers, but also makes you wonder what the Nike ball boffins were playing at last time; no one likes a wobbly ball (Adidas Jabulani, we haven’t forgotten you).
On the downside, all of this tech comes at a steep price. A new Flight costs £120, so be careful not to hoof it into next door’s garden.