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If you’ve ever taken your footy down to the park and found it went in a completely different direction than you were intending, there’s a good chance that you either need to work on your technique or your football has seen better days. Investing a bit of time into football upkeep is important to ensure that kicking your footy is reliable every time, regardless of whether you’re going for a casual kick in the backyard or are practicing for a big game. In this article, we provide a few simple tips for footy upkeep to help ensure that your football lasts the distance.

Materials and storage

As far as AFL merchandise goes, footballs are about as good as it gets. They not only give you a better appreciation of the game itself, they can help make social occasions even more fun. The one caveat here is that footballs require a bit more love and care than a lot of people expect, as without the proper attention the appearance and durability of a football can quickly suffer. As with many sports materials, it can be quite helpful to know what footballs are made of, as this can give you a clearer understanding of how to care for them. Footballs in Australia are actually made from a diverse selection of materials, which may surprise some people. While the official football used in professional AFL and league games is made from Australian cowhide leather, many of the other models are actually made from PVC plastic or synthetic rubber. Regardless of what your football is made of, it’s important that you follow the same storage recommendations. It’s generally advised that you leave footballs in a cool, dry place, as extended periods of heat – such as being in a steaming hot car – can cause the internal bladder to expand and irreversibly damage the football. Sunlight can also affect the finish, and it’s important to keep at least some air in the bladder when not in use.

How to inflate footballs

It might also surprise some people to earn that there are very specific rules related to football inflation. It’s important to note that the values related to inflation will depend entirely on the football purchased, but are always measured in kPa, which translates to kilopascal. Paying close attention to the values supplied with the ball will ensure that you don’t damage the internal bladder, so just going by what you’ve used on previous balls is not always a good idea. It is also highly recommended that when inflating a ball, a drop of Vaseline or silicone oil should be placed onto the valve or the needle of the pump before you start inflating. Bladder positioning is also an important part of inflation. To ensure that it isn’t inflated in the wrong way, it’s always worth half inflating the ball to see if the bladder is positioned in the centre. If it is, you can resume with your inflation.

Are you using your football properly?

Although care and maintenance can go a long to help a football, improper use can sometimes undo all this hard work. It’s valuable to note that if you plan using your football on any surface a synthetic material should be your best option, as leather balls and PVC balls are only suitable for use on grass.

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