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Hoops Fiend Rating: Baden Elite Indoor Basketball
Hidden valve helps to minimize the chance for funky off-center bounces
Cover is super tacky and will make it easy for most basketball players to grip or palm the Baden Elite
Polarizing channel design that is different from most other basketballs
Price is similar to other premium indoor basketballs like the Wilson Evolution and Molten GG7
Baden is a lesser known sports equipment manufacturer that has been around for many years. This sporting goods brand was started in 1979 and is family owned. Personally, I like to support smaller sporting goods manufacturers like Baden as they are a relatively small business.
This brings me to their top of the line indoor game basketball, the Baden Elite Indoor Game Basketball. I picked up this basketball from Amazon for around $55. I was excited to try it out because I like their Baden Contender Indoor/Outdoor Basketball and wanted to see how the Baden Elite stacked up against some of the other indoor basketballs I’ve tested.
The first thing I noticed about the Baden Elite when it arrived at my door was that this thing has some serious tact. I mean SERIOUS. It is very easy to grip and feels like it literally is sticking to your hands. Whether you like this or not is often about personal preference. I tend to prefer basketballs that are more about feel than grip. Basketballs that smoothly and calmly spin in your hand while you make a crossover dribble often are at the top of my list.
That being said, if you do like basketballs with maximum grip and tact then the Baden Elite should be considered. Most players will be able to easily palm this basketball which is good for control when attempting a dunk or layup.
As I just mentioned in the first impressions section of this article this basketball has a lot of tact. Otherwise, the cover of this basketball is very similar to other indoor basketballs in this price range. It obviously will scuff up quickly if used on outdoor surfaces like concrete or asphalt. But if used properly indoors the Baden Elite should last many years.
For those unaware the bladder is the part of the basketball underneath the cover that holds air and has a lot to do with the consistency of the bounce of a basketball. The bladder of the Baden Elite is good, but a bit below my expectations when it comes to high end indoor basketballs.
When I dribble the Baden Elite Indoor Basketball it just doesn’t make me feel super confident that it is going to go where it should. Based on my testing and observations I feel that this is due to a slightly lower quality bladder than those found on other indoor basketballs. I’m not saying it is bad, but it is not my favorite.
The bladder quality of my favorite indoor basketball, the Wilson Evolution, really stands out.
One thing that Baden does with their basketballs that is really innovative is their valve design. On the Baden Elite Indoor Basketball the air valve is actually hidden under the cover. I like this because it makes it less likely for the air valve to impact the bounce of the basketball.
Baden has one other feature to their basketballs that I’ve seen nowhere else which is their unique channel design. The angle at which the lines on the side of the basketball travel is a bit “flatter” on the Baden basketballs. It is hard to explain, but you may notice it in the picture I’ve posted above. Whether or not you prefer this channel design will be a matter of personal preference.
As for the features of the actual channels of the Baden Elite they are a bit on the wide side, which I like. The depth of the channels is pretty standard so nothing crazy to note on that front. When it comes to their channels Baden seems to have taken the middl road between the traditional style found on Spaldings and the extra wide and deep channels featured on most Wilson basketballs.
- The valve cover feature on the Baden Elite is cool and makes for a more consistent bounce
- Pricing is similar to other quality indoor basketballs
- Channel design
- Features a quality cover
- Too much tact for my liking
- Channel pattern is a bit weird
- Bladder is not the best for an indoor basketball
The Baden Elite will most likely satisfy buyers who are looking for an indoor basketball with maximum tact and grip. While it is a good indoor basketball, there simply are better options out there at a similar price point in our opinion. If you are in the market for an indoor basketball check out our review of the Wilson Evolution and The Rock for comparisons.