Perfected over eight years and 1,700 hours of testing, the Nike Flight Ball is a soccer lovers’ dream.
The Nike team went above and beyond to create a soccer ball that was far more consistent than any ball has been before.
Thanks to Nike’s new Aerowsculpt technology, the Nike Flight uses moulded grooves to disrupt airflow across the ball which results in less drag and more stable flight.
This innovation has actually resulted in a 30% truer flight compared to Nike’s previous Merlin ball, which means you have a greater chance of getting the ball exactly where you want it.
While it’s not foolproof, the new technology does mean the ball gets less wobble in the air, making it far more predictable than previous soccer balls.
The Nike Flight Ball went through three phases of testing — Explore, Recreate and Innovate. According to Man of Many, tracking systems were used in the Explore phase to measure ball flight when kicked numerous different ways.
The Recreate phase included the use of a robotic leg to replicate kick types seen on the pitch so the Nike team were able to track any differences in the performance of the ball.
The final stage of Innovate saw everything come together including materials, construction and aerodynamics. Over these three phases, there were 68 different iterations of the ball and over 800 professional athletes were asked to put the balls to the test.
So, it’s safe to say that while $200 for a soccer ball might seem steep, the research and development behind said soccer ball is incredible. You can get your hands on the Nike Flight via the Nike website.