How Do You Deflate An Old Basketball?

How Do You Deflate An Old Basketball

It is very common for a basketball player to go through many basketballs when playing the game. Though they are generally very sturdy, basketballs can definitely wear down with time and use, and will eventually need to be replaced. When this happens, it’s smart to deflate the old basketball so that it stays in better condition, it is less dangerous and generally volatile, and it is far easier to store, handle, or dispose of. A player might also need to deflate their basketball if it has too much air in it, which causes it to be far bouncier and more unpredictable, or if they need to store it away or travel with it. Although it is very easy to do, deflating a basketball should be done correctly and with care to ensure the ball is not damaged and can be used again in the future.

Before Deflating

In order to properly deflate a basketball, you’ll need to have an inflation needle from a basketball air pump. Basketballs can also be deflated with similar objects, such as paper clips, but these substitutes have a high chance of permanently damaging a basketball, and are generally more difficult to use. If you are deflating your basketball because it has too much air in it, a good test to determine the right level of inflation is to drop the ball from chest level. If it bounces up to your waist, it is inflated to the ideal level. If it goes any higher or lower, the basketball’s air level should be adjusted accordingly. If you have access to a basketball air pressure monitor, this process is even easier and more precise; attach the needle to the monitor and insert it into the valve. The monitor will begin displaying the air pressure inside the basketball; the ideal air pressure for a basketball is between 7.5 and 8.5 PSI, or pounds per square inch.

Deflating the Basketball

To begin, prepare the air pump needle by moistening it with water. This lubricates the needle, which greatly reduces the chances of it damaging the basketball or the air valve. Then, insert it into the air valve of the basketball (the small black dot with the hole in the center). After a short moment, the needle will begin releasing air from the basketball. You’ll likely need to squeeze the basketball with moderate force to speed up the flow of air. Continue applying pressure until the ball is at the desired pressure. If deflating an overinflated ball, conduct the drop test or use the pressure monitor to check for an ideal level of inflation. If deflating the ball entirely, apply pressure until its surface loses firmness, but do not over-deflate, as this could damage the internal integrity of the ball.

How to Deflate a Basketball

Here are basic steps to deflate a basketball:

  1. Prepare the basketball and an air pump needle
  2. Lubricate the needle with water
  3. Insert the needle into the valve of the basketball
  4. Carefully squeeze the basketball to push air out
  5. Deflate to desired air pressure