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How to Mark Pickleball Balls — Permanently!!

A constant frustration for our pickleball playing customers is the speed at which they lose their balls.

Most frequent players buy balls often. The problem is, they aren’t buying them because they are breaking them. They are buying them because other players keep taking them.

You know the story. You go to play pickleball. You are the first one there, so the group ends up playing with your ball.

Next thing you know, you go home and leave your ball behind. So somebody who did not pay for your ball now has a free ball.

Laser Engraved Pickleballs

Laser engraved pickleball balls are permanently marked and more likely to come back to you than balls marked any other way.

Have you tried writing your name on a ball? A lot of good that does.

Permanent marker is not really permanent. You can use it to write your initials on your ball, but it’s not long before the ink is so faded that your initials are barely visible.

Next thing you know, somebody writes their own initials over your faded initials — and your ball is lost forever.

Laser engraving solves that issue permanently because engraving never fades. Pickleball balls that are laser engraved will have your name (or initials) on them forever.

So the chances of getting your balls back goes up significantly and the costs of replacing balls goes way, way down.

Want proof? Buy a dozen and see for yourself.

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Pickleball Ball Warranties


To the best of our knowledge, no manufacturer offers a warranty of any kind on pickleball balls. They will not replace cracked balls or broken balls regardless of how long they were used before they broke.

The same is true for our customers. We do not offer a warranty on pickleball balls. Nor do we offer a warranty on balls for any other sport.

Balls are made of nylon or polymer, not steel. So they can break. Some balls break the first time you use them. Some last for years. On average, a ball will last several weeks under normal usage.

We do not charge more for the balls that last for several years. We do not offer refunds on balls that last for a few minutes.

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Choosing Pickleball Balls


Within drop-in pickleball groups, there are more arguments about balls than anything else in pickleball. Everybody, it seems, wants to play with the ball that gives them the greatest advantage.

Players who like to spin, want to play with Onix balls. Players who don’t want to receive balls with a lot of spin, want to play with Durafast. And players who have trouble seeing the ball, want to play with flourescent green Jugs balls.

Beyond that, we have observed another trend which is players who are accustomed to playing outdoors in the USA show a decided preference to playing with outdoor balls even when playing indoors. On the other side are players who only play indoors and play exclusively in Canada. These players tend to prefer indoor balls.

Here at Racquet Network, we don’t involve ourselves in the inter-player arguments. We carry everything.

However, for program directors who are caught in the middle and just want to come to a fair decision about the best ball for their group, we can offer the following advice.

Best Ball for Outdoor Use

If your group is playing outdoors, the best ball to choose is an outdoor ball. Outdoor pickleball balls have smaller holes and they are a bit heavier. This makes them better for days when there is a breeze, which is pretty much everyday outdoors.

Best Ball for Indoor Use

Indoor balls can’t really be used outside unless you are playing on a windless day. But there is no rule to say that outdoor balls can’t be used indoors. Many programs choose to use outdoor balls indoors.

Indoor balls are a bit lighter and travel a bit slower than outdoor balls. As a result, men and intermediate/advanced ladies tend to prefer to use outdoor balls. This is because a heavier, faster ball leads to a faster game that benefits better players, while a lighter, slower ball is best for beginners.

Best Ball for Beginners

When playing outdoors, the best ball will be an outdoor ball, regardless of the levels of the players. But when playing indoors, an indoor ball is best for beginners because it is lighter and slower than an outdoor ball. So if you have an indoor program and you want it to be beginner-friendly, choose an indoor ball.

Harder balls are also better for beginners because harder balls are harder to spin. Softer balls (like Onix) are preferred by intermediate to advanced players because they like to hit with spin. If, therefore, your intention is to choose a beginner friendly ball, your best choice will be a harder, indoor ball, such as Jugs or Durafast.

Best Ball for Intermediate/Advanced Players

There is no question that the majority of intermediate and advanced pickleball players prefer softer, faster balls. This allows them to better use their power and reflexes. It also allows them to use soft placement shots (call dinks) when they are up at the net.

More advanced pickleball players also tend to prefer a ball they can easily spin — something that most beginners loathe. The best ball for spin is a softer ball, such as the Onix Fuse G2. So if you are a program director who wants to build a program that favors more athletic players, choose a soft, outdoor ball even if your group is playing indoors.

In our experience with indoor pickleball groups here in Canada, the green Jugs polyball is the best overall compromise ball for most groups. Because it is liighter and slower, it favors beginners and newer players. Jugs are also softer than Durafast balls but harder than Onix, so it is still possible to spin them, although not as easily.

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Reported Issues with Onix Fuse Pickleball Balls


We have had several inquiries about Onix pickleball balls in the past few weeks. Rumor has it that Onix balls are breaking after only a few uses. What the rumors are not making clear, however, is WHICH Onix balls are breaking.

In response to those rumors and to general concerns from our customers, we did some investigating. This is what we have learned.

Several years ago Onix released a new called the Onix Pure 2 pickleball ball. The was an indoor version and an outdoor version. Both were available in two colours: orange and yellow. In less than a year, the Pure 2 became the most popular ball in pickleball.

To be clear, there were no problems that we are aware of regarding breakage with the Pure 2 pickleball balls. We sold thousands. We never had a single complaint.


All good things come to an end, however, and the Pure 2 has now been discontinued. At the time of writing this article, we still have nearly 2000 Pure 2 pickleball balls in stock, but they are not making anymore so these will soon be gone.

In 2018, Onix replaced the Pure 2 with a new ball called the Fuse pickleball ball. Like the previous ball, there was an indoor version and an outdoor version and both were available in orange and yellow.

The Fuse indoor pickleball ball was an immediate hit, says the manufacturer. The Fuse outdoor ball, however, was a disaster. Due to a quality control issue at the factory, the poly was brittle and the balls cracked too easily.


Shortly thereafter, Onix pulled all remaining stock and released a new outdoor ball with a new — slightly different — name. It was called the Fuse G2. G2, of course, means Generation Two. So, in other words, it was the second version of the Fuse outdoor pickleball ball.

As far as we know, there have been no problems with the Fuse G2 pickleball ball. This is also what the manufacturer is telling us: “To date, there are no know problems with the new Fuse G2 outdoor pickleball balls.”

If you have other information, please share it with us by sending an email to