Regarding balls and breakage etc. I have thought about it a lot, and talked to other manufacturers of balls for not only pickleball but other sports.
In squash, players use a ball for 1-5 games before switching out to a new one. Looks like a comparable ball to the Onix Fuse balls(most used ball in Canada) would cost $52 for a 12 pack on Amazon. A 12 pack of Onix Fuse or Onix Fuse G2 balls is a little cheaper.
Titleist golf balls are over $60 for a dozen and a player can hit it into the water or lose it in the trees(I know from personal experience lol). As well, think about 4 players using a dozen balls. Most pickleball is played with (4) players as you know.
I googled how long a tennis ball should last: For the competitive player, a new can of tennis balls will last for one match or session of play. This is usually 2-3 hours of constant hitting.
Wilson tennis balls are retailing at around $6 for a 3 pack. Our Fuse balls retail for $11,90 for a 3 pack. However in my experience, the Fuse/Fuse G2 (3) pack lasts longer than 2-3 hours.
I played 12 games over two days at the most recent Canadian Nationals in Kingston on Canada Day weekend 2019. They used the indoor Onix Fuse pickleballs. In those 12 games, one ball cracked. Our average game lasted about 20 minutes, so that’s one ball lasting for about 4 hours. I think that is acceptable.
Update July 2020: We have been playing outside when safe and following the pandemic rules. We have been playing with the Onix outdoor Fuse G2, and the DuraFAST 40 outdoor balls. The DuraFAST are great, but they do crack quicker than the Onix Fuse G2 balls. The Fuse G2 balls definitely last longer. We do not sell Franklin balls anymore. The problem we found was while they may not crack as quickly as a DuraFAST 40 outdoor ball, they bounce lower and lower, which changes the game, not in a good way.
Let me know if you have any questions. David Bussiere, owner Third Shot Drop Canada. www.thirdshotdrop.ca.
David Bussiere is a player, an instructor, owner of a pickleball business, a marketing manager for one of the largest pickleball suppliers in the the world, formerly a morning radio host, a high level manager in finance, he now lives and breathes pickleball.