Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Robert A. Foreman
Tennis ball machines are not a new idea, yet they used to be owned by clubs and schools. Even 5-6 years ago, our thought was so restricted we couldn’t even think, why can’t every single player own his/her ball machine?
By this time, I got to know about the revolutionary Slinger tennis ball machine. Then everything was history; the company sold $1 million worth of Slinger bags in the next four months. Here I am about to present to you the Slinger bag tennis ball machine review. Surely you’ll get the idea why this machine’s concept blew an exciting air to the tennis community.
- 1 Key Takeaways
- 2 First Impression: Is it an Accessories Bag or a Ball Machine?
- 3 Slinger Bag Tennis Ball Machine Review:
- 4 Specifications
- 5 Features at a Glance
- 6 What to Look for When Buying The Slinger Bag Tennis Ball Machine?
- 7 Ball Holding Capacity
- 8 Portability
- 9 Speed and Throwing Frequency
- 10 Practicing with Slinger Bag
- 11 Drills for Beginners
- 12 Drill-1
- 13 Drill-2
- 14 Drill-3
- 15 Are There Any Drawbacks?
- 16 Comparison of Slinger Bag vs. Competitors
- 17 Price
- 18 Portability
- 19 Features
- 20 Battery Life
- 21 Tested And My Experiences
- 22 Tips And Recommendations For Using The Slinger Bag Tennis Ball Machine
- 23 Best Practices For Getting The Most Out Of The Slinger Bag:
- 24 Maintenance And Care Guidelines:
- 25 Recommended Accessories To Enhance The Experience:
- 26 Faq
- 27 Is It True You Cannot Adjust the Top Spin?
- 28 Does the Oscillator Operate at the Same Speed?
- 29 Are there any recommended tennis balls to use with the Slinger Bag?
- 30 Conclusion
- It comes with all the necessary accessories like a tennis bat bag, ball pick-up tube, oscillator, etc.
- The ball machine comes storage bag.
- It can hold enough balls and throws a ball at a decent speed.
- Different ball-throwing height adjustments and ball-throwing frequencies are available.
First Impression: Is it an Accessories Bag or a Ball Machine?
It looked like luggage to me at first, and I was literally searching for the ball-throwing machine from outside. That’s where the slinger bag impressed at the very beginning. The slinger bag has a unique design of a few compartments. So while setting up this ball machine, I think there’s no need to carry our accessories like tennis racket water bottles in a different bag.
Reviewing a ball machine for commercial purposes is not my thing to do. I’m still doing it because I think the slinger bag has revolutionized tennis practice. As soon as I started practicing using it, I realized from now on I don’t need any practice partner.
This package comes with the launching ball, remote control, oscillator ball tube, tennis bag that holds two to three rackets, and camera holder.
Slinger Bag Tennis Ball Machine Review:
There’s no competitor of Slinger bags at this price range. It offers so much in one package. Slinger launched this ball machine in 2020, and since then, it has been collaborating with people like Patrick Mouratoglou and his academy, Genie Bouchard, David Gruitman, and Darren Cahin. So no doubt about its potential. Now let’s know more details about this all-in-one package.
- Ball Capacity: 144
- Launching Speed: 10 – 45 mph (16-73 km/h)
- Battery Type: Lithium
- Battery life: Little more than 5 hours
- Dimensions: 14″ x 18″ x 34″ (35.6cm x 45.7cm x 86.4cm)
- Weight: 33lbs/15 kg
Features at a Glance
Oscillator Plate: This plate comes with Grand Slam packs. Using an Oscillator plate, I Oscillate the throwing machine in different directions.
Different Ball Speed: There are two regulators in the front to set different ball speeds and ball throwing frequencies. On the bottom of this machine, there is a charging port, an on/off switch, and a connector for the oscillating phase.
Height Adjustment/Elevation Control: On the side under the cover, the height adjustment control allows you to shoot the balls at 4 different heights (10 to 40 degrees).
Upper Compartment: It holds enough balls for throwing. I use this hopper even for storing the balls after a training session.
Remote: Very basic remote; that has an on/off button to launch or stop ball throwing. But be aware, don’t lose track of this remote like me. Without it, you can’t launch throws. The new remote will cost 25 bucks.
Ball Pick-Up Tube: This is an excellent addition to a tennis ball machine under 1000. It’s like a good friend helping you out at your bad time. Definitely better than picking up the balls by hand. There is a spot on the bag to hang the tube too.
Phone Mount on Pulling Handle: Even I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first noticed it. Though I never tried mounting my phone and recording my training, surely a great idea. Also, they provide one USB charging cable to charge your phone.
|● The luggage-like design makes it look attractive.|
● Portable and easy to pull because of medium size wheels.
● It allows to practice groundstrokes, volleys, overheads, cross-court drills, footwork drills, etc.
● It has additional storage compartments.
|● Never stop adding topspin.|
● 30-second delay to throw the first ball after every reset.
What to Look for When Buying The Slinger Bag Tennis Ball Machine?
Tennis players require a lot of drills to make muscle memories; they mostly focus on precision rather than skill. Practicing a single shot for hours is necessary.
But if the ball machine can’t supply balls in the right place or at the right speed, then the practice is just a waste of energy. Let’s find out the things you must notice before having a tennis ball machine.
Ball Holding Capacity
I went through a Slinger bag review on Reddit and noticed most of the players are satisfied with the 144-ball holding capacity. But many ball machines have more than thousands of ball capacities. Do you think they are suitable for you? Yeah, especially if you have a big truck. So focus on a decent ball-holding capacity.
Most of us don’t have a tennis court near our house, so portability is an issue. You have a very precise unit, a lot of speed, and throwing angle variations, but too bulky and heavy, so it isn’t worth it. Get something lightweight like the Slinger bag.
Speed and Throwing Frequency
There must be quite a few ball-throwing speed options and a few throwing frequency options. Because these are very basic thighs for doing drills, your muscle memory will likely be lacking if you can’t do the drill shots between the same time gap and the same speed.
Practicing with Slinger Bag
I have been using a Slinger bag for more than six months, and guess what! I have my own efficient method of practicing using it. Yeah, my drills are set by tennis experts and coaches. So, first of all, let’s talk about some drills to groove strokes.
Drills for Beginners
The first thing to consider is the setting you want to use on the slinger bag if you are new to tennis. Ideally, beginners need much time on the ball between each stroke. It’s not good to have the ball coming too fast to them.
I suggest keeping the speed at the lowest and the feed setting somewhere around the middle, which gives you time. So here are the practicing positions:
Slinger Bag Position: Right up close to the net
Standing Position: Just behind the service line
The angle of the Machine: 20 degrees
Objectives: It gives a chance to hit shots slowly and gain control. Once you get the confidence, you will progress back toward the baseline.
Method: The slinger bag is in the center of the court at the net. Now just shift your body a little side so you can play by forehand. The main focus should be that the racket returns when the ball leaves the machine so that you will get a lot of time to play the ball.
Continue this practice on your backhand too. Just gently cheap the ball over the net on the court.
Slinger Bag Position: Just inside the service box
Standing Position: Just on the baseline.
The angle of the Machine: 20 degrees
Objectives: Start to hit the ball further and gradually increase the speed of your swing and the length of the swing.
- Show the same intent and focus, and get your racket back as soon as the ball leaves the machine.
- Don’t be too static and wait for the ball to come; continue moving side to side on your toes and hit the ball.
- Do this drill on the back-hand side too.
Slinger Bag Position: Inside the service box but slight angle.
Standing Position: Just on the baseline.
The angle of the Machine: 20 degrees
Objectives: The machine will throw the ball at an angle, and you will run there to play the shot in both forehand and backhand, and you must return to the center of the baseline.
Method: Don’t change the machine setting; firstly point the machine at your forehand side. Make an effort to get back in the middle after playing the shots. Then do the same practice on the backhand side too. To make this drill more interesting, keep some cone targets on the other side of the net in two service areas. Try to hit them. Aim for one target on a single service area for 10 shots in a row.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
When it comes to the Slinger Bag Tennis Ball Machine, there are a few drawbacks that I have noticed during my testing and research.
- Limited shot variety: The Slinger machine always supports topspin, but it does not offer flat or slice shots. This limitation may affect the variety of shots you can practice with the machine.
- Inconsistent ball launch: Some users have reported that the Slinger bag may not consistently launch balls when it should, causing occasional delays during practice sessions.
- No empty machine indication: The Slinger bag does not show any indication when the machine is empty, which could be inconvenient during practice
Comparison of Slinger Bag vs. Competitors
When it comes to tennis ball machines, there are a few competitors that come to mind, such as Lobster Sports and Spinshot. In this section, we will compare Slinger Bag with its competitors based on a few key factors.
Compared to its competitors, the Slinger Bag is more affordable, making it an excellent option for those on a budget. The Lobster Sports Elite Liberty, for example, costs nearly double the price of the Slinger Bag.
The Slinger Bag is also more portable than its competitors. It is lightweight and comes with a built-in carrying case, making it easy to transport to and from the court. In contrast, the Spinshot Plus and Lobster Sports Elite Liberty are both heavier and bulkier, making them more challenging to move around.
When it comes to features, the Slinger Bag stands out with its unique design that allows for multi-functional use. It can be used as a tennis bag, a ball machine, and a storage unit. In contrast, the Spinshot Plus and Lobster Sports Elite Liberty are designed solely as ball machines.
The Slinger Bag also has a longer battery life than its competitors. It can last up to five hours on a single charge, while the Spinshot Plus and Lobster Sports Elite Liberty can only last from two to four hours.
Tested And My Experiences
Slinger Bag has garnered a lot of attention from tennis enthusiasts, with many users sharing their experiences and reviews online. Here’s what some of them have to say:
- “I’ve been using the Slinger Bag for over two months now, and I must say it is worth every penny. The machine is sturdy and functions reliably, making it a great investment for any tennis player.”
- “The Slinger Bag is the best tennis ball machine I’ve ever used. It’s easy to operate and has a wide range of features that enhance the tennis training experience.”
- “I recently tested out the Slinger Bag and was pleasantly surprised by its performance. It offers a great combination of portability, functionality, and affordability”.
Tips And Recommendations For Using The Slinger Bag Tennis Ball Machine
Best Practices For Getting The Most Out Of The Slinger Bag:
- Familiarize yourself with the machine: Read the user manual thoroughly and understand the different settings and functions of the Slinger Bag. This will help you optimize your training sessions.
- Start slow and gradually increase speed: If you are a beginner, start with lower ball speeds and gradually increase as you build confidence and skill. This will ensure a smooth learning curve.
- Vary your shot selection: The Slinger Bag allows you to adjust the height, speed, and spin of the balls. Take advantage of this by practicing different shot types, such as forehands, backhands, volleys, and lobs. This will improve your overall versatility on the court.
- Utilize the oscillator function: The Slinger Bag comes with an oscillator that randomly moves the machine from side to side, mimicking a live opponent. Make sure to incorporate this feature into your training sessions to improve your footwork and reaction time.
Maintenance And Care Guidelines:
- Clean the machine regularly: After each use, wipe down the Slinger Bag with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. This will help prolong its lifespan and maintain its performance.
- Store in a dry and safe place: When not in use, store the Slinger Bag in a cool, dry place to prevent any damage from moisture or extreme temperatures. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or rain.
- Check for any loose parts: Before each use, inspect the machine for any loose screws, bolts, or parts. Tighten them if necessary to ensure optimal performance and safety.
Recommended Accessories To Enhance The Experience:
- Extra tennis balls: Having a sufficient number of tennis balls will allow for uninterrupted training sessions. It is recommended to have at least 50-100 extra balls.
- Ball retriever: A ball retriever will save you time and effort by automatically picking up the tennis balls and loading them back into the Slinger Bag. This accessory is especially useful when practicing alone.
Is It True You Cannot Adjust the Top Spin?
Top spin is really a problem I’ve come to know from the slinger bag tennis review. However it didn’t bother me much because I mostly used low ball throwing speed, and low speed generates less topspin. And that is the only way you can adjust the topspin.
Does the Oscillator Operate at the Same Speed?
Yeah, the oscillator comes with a slinger grand slam pack, it helps to throw the balls in different directions of the court. But it has only one speed, so you will learn to cope with the changing direction within a few days.
Are there any recommended tennis balls to use with the Slinger Bag?
The Slinger Bag is compatible with all standard tennis balls. However, it is recommended to use pressureless tennis balls as they tend to last longer and perform better in the machine.
Whoever thinks this machine is still costly, please look for the slinger tennis ball machine for sale advertisement on social media. People who get to the professional level by practicing, look for further steps. Clean the machine once a week and vacuum the fuzz from the control panel. I hope you have a great journey with Slinger.
Hello, I am Robert A. Foreman. I have had experience in Tennis for a long time since 2016. I know the exact problems that a beginner faces and know the solutions also. I have shared all my knowledge about Tennis and Badminton on my website. Feel free to read them and know more important things and facts about Tennis and Badminton. follow me Twitter