Dimples with a Goal: Longer Kicks

Sports: a soccer ball with improved aerodynamics

Photographs by John B. Carnett

DISTANCE DIMPLES
Puma's dimples (inset) cut friction, improving aerodynamics.
Photographs by John B. Carnett

Conventional soccer balls have lousy aerodynamics. The round shape and smooth surface cause air to stick to the front of the ball and slow it down-or send it hooking or slicing. Puma's Cellerator Shudoh flies as much as 20
percent farther, thanks to hundreds of golf-ball-inspired symmetrical dimples on its surface. The dimples reduce
air friction, redirecting turbulent air around the back of
the ball. This results in less drag and straighter, smoother flights. Price: $100.