Under Armour might not have a particularly long basketball history, but they have become a big name after securing a whooping $35 million dollar sponsorship with Steph Curry. The Under Armour 495 is an indoor/outdoor basketball that features the UA Gripskin for optimal grip and feel.
Grip And Feel
Thanks to its full pebble design, the grip of the Under Armor 495 is very good, and better than the majority of indoor/outdoor composite leather basketballs. When first used, the surface of the ball felt a little slick, but after a few days use the basketball was nicely broken into. Compared to other indoor/outdoor basketballs, it does feel a little softer, so durability-wise it won’t last as long as some of the harder balls out there. Its 80% nylon windings for shape retention and 100% rubber bladder for air retention, do however mean that you won’t have to worry about it losing shape or air after prolonged use.
In terms of bounce, the Under Armour 495 feels a little on the heavy side. Not only does the ball itself feel slightly heavier in general (despite being within the regulation weight range), the bounce feels ever so slightly flat compared to some of the other indoor/outdoor basketballs we’ve previously tested. You can pump more air into it to give a stronger bounce, but that has the consequence of making the ball feel harder.
The channels are another aspect that is often considered when assessing a basketball. Despite claiming to feature deep channels, the Under Armour 495’s channels are actually relatively shallow and wide. Channels are a matter of preference, but personally I prefer slightly deeper channels that contrast with the composite leather panels.
Size And Weight
The Under Armour 495 is available in Intermediate (28.5”) and Official (29.5”) sizes.
It falls within regulation weight, but feels marginally heavier than some other popular composite leather balls like the Wilson NCAA WAVE.
Indoor Vs Outdoor Use
Despite being an indoor and outdoor basketball, the UA Gripskin is quite soft and doesn’t hold up too well outdoors. At the same time, it is definitely not as soft as an indoor composite leather basketball, so it can definitely be played outdoors as well as indoors. If you are someone that is planning to play ball inside and outside with a 50-50 split, the Under Armour 495 makes a lot of sense. However, if you are primarily looking for a ball to be used outside, the 495 is not as durable as some of the basketballs from Wilson and Spalding.
The Under Armour 495 is no doubt a very solid basketball. It offers plenty of grip, has a consistent bounce and good shape and air retaining qualities. However, priced slightly higher than a lot of other indoor/outdoor basketballs from Wilson, Spalding and Molten, it is difficult to recommend it over these other basketballs which are not only cheaper, but provide a superior bounce and superior outdoor durability.
Overall, the UA 495 gets a 3.5/5, on the basis of its higher cost, slightly heavy feel and ever so slightly flat bounce.