Figuring out Which Tennis Ball Machine is Best for You can be Done by Comparing the Slinger Bag, Spinshot, Lobster, and Proton

Large tennis clubs were the only ones that had access to tennis ball machines for a considerable amount of time. Now some options bring the price of such devices down to a point where they are accessible to the general public. Slinger Bag vs. Spinshot Plus 2 vs. Lobster Grand V Elite Three vs. Proton Tennis Ball machine? All of these are well-liked alternatives to consider. In this article, we examine their technical specifications, features, costs, and other relevant information.

Which option is most suited to your needs? This article, we hope, will be of assistance.

Why Should You Purchase a Tennis Ball Machine?

Renting or buying a tennis ball machine is an option that will eventually be considered by most tennis players who take the sport at least somewhat seriously. Many possible motivations could drive you to want to carry out this action.

To begin, the use of these kinds of technologies will make your game more enjoyable. Practice indeed makes perfect, and the ideal opponent is anything that throws balls in your direction consistently and accurately until you can no longer hit more.

Consider that your backhand is in need of some improvement. Simply programming a computer to throw balls to your backhand is a fantastic method to enhance your technique and self-assurance when playing tennis. If you complete thousands of tasks, your performance is sure to increase vastly. The key to success is consistency.

If you spend some time hitting targets and doing some hitting drills, you’ll soon find that taking these shots comes naturally. You are able to accomplish the same thing with volleys, forehands, overheads, slices, and a variety of other shots. These kinds of devices, if put up correctly, can also help enhance your footwork.

The fact that you don’t have easy access to hitting partners is just another justification for investing in a tennis ball machine. It is possible that you may have no issue finding someone to play matches with; however, it may be more challenging for you to locate a striking partner that is on the same skill level as you. The vast majority of individuals would prefer to compete in a match then put in practice time because, let’s be honest, competing for points is a lot more enjoyable.

Then there’s the physical activity component of it. You have a willing and ready partner waiting for you in the basement or garage of your home; you can always count on them. A spouse that never becomes weary or cranky. One can obtain the advantages in a variety of ways. Getting in shape can be as simple as picking up a ball machine and starting to play. All you want to do maybe get rid of a few extra pounds or improve your endurance.

Training vs. Ball Machines

Tennis courses are always an option, so don’t exclude that route entirely. And doing so is most likely a smart move, especially if you are starting the field. Tennis ball machines may be able to assist you in refining your technique, footwork, and other aspects of your game, but it is unlikely that they will improve the fundamental aspects of your game. You will need a human at the other end of the court in order to accomplish that, specifically a tennis coach.

When you are just beginning something, it is much simpler to learn the principles than it is after you have been doing it for a number of years. It is far easier to avoid developing poor habits in the first place. You may have become an expert at utilizing the improper form. You might succeed with tennis players who are on the same level as you or at a lower level than you, but it will be tough for you to advance and compete with better players.

After years of playing tennis, one of my tennis buddies signed up for tennis lessons for the first time. During the first few months of his tennis lessons, he saw virtually no improvement in his game. He couldn’t prevail against me in any setting. But the return on investment was substantial over the medium to long term. His technique advanced, and as a result, he became a more capable player overall.

Lessons can be rather costly. Additionally, the expenses can soon pile up. There are those people who cannot afford this. Therefore, a tennis ball machine can end up being a cost-effective investment. However, hitting practice with a tennis ball machine and working with a tennis coach is the optimum way to achieve the best possible outcomes. Doing so will likely enhance your game more than simply concentrating on one aspect or the other.

When Looking to Purchase a Tennis Ball Machine, There are a Few Things to Keep in Mind

When looking to get a tennis ball machine, you should pay careful attention to the price. The price of these devices might range anywhere from $650 to several thousand dollars. The machine will often come with improved features and specifications when you spend a higher price. There are specific alternatives available for a meager price; nevertheless, it is unlikely that these will add much to the overall quality of your game.

Let’s imagine you purchase a tennis ball machine for the price of $1,500. It will only cost you $2 per session if you take the device to court 52 times over a period of two years and go once a week. If you wanted to use a tennis ball machine at your local club, you would probably have to spend ten times as much for a one-hour session. Considering a standard ball machine would likely survive at least 4-5 years, it can work as a cost saver over the long run. But not if it’s already in your garage taking up space! Consider it instead as an investment for the best results.

As far as you are committed to making significant strides in your tennis ability, it is an investment that will pay off. If not, and if you don’t anticipate playing very often, then it’s probably not a buy that would be worth your money.

It is a common misconception that tennis ball machines are only suitable for players at the primary and intermediate levels. There is some validity to the statement, but even exceptionally skilled players may improve their game by working on their form and their strokes. Because of this, the machine’s specifications and its capabilities are pretty crucial. This covers aspects such as speed, ball capacity, oscillation features, remote controls, warranty - the list goes on. Higher-end hardware will provide you with more significant advantages following your level of expertise. On the other side, people who are just getting started probably care more about how simple something is to use.

Portability is another aspect that ought to be taken into consideration. Not all tennis machines are created equally; some are considerably more portable due to their reduced size, weight, and complexity. Remember that in your search.

Then there are the available power choices. Batteries power the vast majority of tennis ball machines. However, others run on alternating current (AC) electricity. The first type is often more portable than the second and is also simpler to operate because it does not require a source of power on the field. But you will need to charge them up after a few hours on the field.

How noisy is it? Because care for players competing on adjacent courts is so vital, this is something you might want to give some thought to. Thankfully, the motors included within these machines are getting more silent due to advances in technology.

The Slinger Bag, the Proton Tennis Ball Machine, the Spinshot Plus 2, and the Lobster Grand V Elite are some of the tennis ball machines that we consider to be among our favorites. The pricing, the design, and the capabilities of these might differ quite a deal from one another.

Because everyone has their own unique requirements, what works well for one individual might not be appropriate for another. Therefore, it is in your best interest to read all of this information very carefully and to give some thought to the particulars of your situation, including your skill level and the frequency with which you intend to utilize a tennis ball machine.

Design: Slinger Bag vs. Spinshot vs. Lobster vs. Proton

1) Slinger Bag

Unlike any other available product, the Slinger Bag is an innovative tennis ball machine. It is shaped like an oversized tennis bag and comes with a handle. It is an original and ingenious idea that was made possible thanks to the support of two highly successful crowdfunding campaigns. Ever since that time, the company’s operations have only become better and better.

During the course of our hands-on evaluation, we concluded that the whole item seems to be highly beautifully crafted and of sturdy build quality. Tennis racquets, water bottles, towels, and other items can all be stashed away in the bag’s many compartments and pockets. There is even a USB connector for charging your mobile device, should you need it.

The primary storage pocket has a second pocket below it that can hold up to 72 tennis balls. When the hopper is opened, there will be enough for twice as much. The feeder plate and the mechanism that pulls the balls into the chute and then shoots it out in your way may be found directly below this.

The lower front end of the unit is where the unit’s brains are located. Additionally, one can find the battery in this location. You will receive a little remote with your purchase, and you can use this to turn the machine on and off. This is included with your purchase. You will, however, need to use the control panel to make any necessary customizations. Right next to it is a short lever that, when pulled, allows you to set the angle at which the balls will travel. This gives you the ability to select the speed as well as the feed rate.

In addition to that, there is also an oscillator (optional purchase). It is designed to slide underneath the device and connect to the primary battery. This will provide you with a more demanding workout as the unit will move from the left to the right. Since it provides a new challenge for the exercises, purchasing this in conjunction with the Slinger Bag makes the most sense.

On a single charge, the battery will last for approximately 3.5 hours. This ought to be sufficient for at least two good practice sessions at the very least.

2) Proton Tennis Ball Machine

Additionally, Proton offers a tennis ball machine that is designed to be portable. On the other hand, in contrast to the Slinger Bag, this one has a more classic appearance than the other.

The Proton Tennis Ball Machine has the distinction of being the lightest of all the gadgets that are discussed in this article. With a weight of little over 9 kilograms, it is most likely the lightest fully-featured ball machine that people can purchase anywhere. It was initially conceived as part of a crowdfunding initiative.

In terms of its proportions, the Proton is roughly equivalent to one-half the size of a conventional tennis ball machine. It is only 38.1 by 43 by 22.9 centimeters in size. Its dimensions are presumably comparable to those of a carry-on bag of average size.

This one can hold approximately one hundred balls at a time. The ball hopper may be folded down, making it much simpler to transport and store.

Control is exercised by an app that is available for use on the companion smartphone. There is a version available for the iPhone, and a beta version of the app for Android is currently being developed. The smartphone program allows users to specify the rotation, pace, placement, and scheduling of shots. Tap the location on the screen where you want the ball to go, and the app’s specialized algorithms will take care of the rest. In that regard, the Proton Tennis Ball Machine has more advanced controls than Slinger Bag.

You also have the opportunity to personalize anything by using controls that are already integrated into the system itself. The digital input lets you customize the configurations, and this is all presented with prominent LEDs.

One charge of the battery is sufficient for approximately one thousand balls. That’s around 5 hours. You may easily switch it out for a reserve battery, giving you more play time between charging cycles.

3) Spinshot Plus 2

Now we are entering into the area of typical tennis ball machines. These are bulkier, more pricey, and more efficient than the compact type.

One of these is the Spinshot Plus 2. This mid-range device combines features from the original Spinshot Plus model with the sophisticated Player model.

Square in appearance, its measurements come in at 45.7 x 30.5 x 50.8 cm and weight at 18kgs. The ball quantity is roughly 120. Despite the massive size, you can tote the item about with the inbuilt wheels.

There are various strategies to manage Spinshot Plus 2. You can do that through the control interface on the side of the device or install the mobile application. This enables complete coding of drill parameters. Another alternative is to acquire a remote control. The fourth option is to utilize an Apple Watch.

As far as energy, you may count on the batteries for roughly 3 hours of time on the field. Because of this, you are able to make use of both the battery and the electrical outlet. Optionally, you can get a hybrid power and battery option.

4) Lobster Grand V Elite

The final device on our list is the Lobster Grand V Elite. Although it has a classic appearance, this one is considerably different from the Spinshot Plus 2 in operation. In terms of its general appearance, it is somewhat reminiscent of a lawnmower.

This one is the biggest and bulkiest of the lot, with a total weight of 20 kilograms and dimensions of 73.7 x 53.3 x 39.4 centimeters. Thankfully, one may easily transport a set of enormous wheels from place to place.

The Lobster slot machine is unquestionably one that people should only play with very substantial cash. There are many different functions to choose from, as there is a ball capacity of 150. Although the controls are integral to the device, a feature-packed remote control is available for purchase if you want a more convenient alternative. The outstanding remote, though, will set you back a whopping $300.

You can get a fast switch reserve for $99; a single battery may provide between four and eight hours of playtime on the court. There is no choice for electric power with this one.

Features Slinger Bag Proton Tennis Ball Machine Spinshot Plus 2 Lobster Grand V Elite
  1. Portable
Yes – designed for portability. Yes – designed for portability. Yes Yes
  1. Weight
15 kgs 9.1 kgs 18 kgs 20 kgs
  1. Dimensions
35.6 x 45.7 x 86.4 cm 38.1 x 43.x 22.9 cm 45.7 x 30.5 x 50.8 cm 73.7 x 53.3 x 39.4 cm
  1. Ball capacity
144 100 120 150
  1. Max ball speed
73 kph 113 kph 109 kph 113 kph
  1. Feed rate
2 to 7 seconds n/a 2 to 10 seconds 2 to 9 seconds
  1. Remote
Yes – free (on/off control) Yes – free Optional. You can control via smartphone app instead. Optional ($300)
  1. Battery
Up to 3.5 hours. Up to 5 hours. Optional quick swap battery (costs $75). Up to 3 hours. 4-8 hours. Quick swap battery $99.
  1. Smartphone app
Under development Yes Yes Built into remote
  1. Return policy
30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
  1. Warranty
1 year + 2 years (1 in the EU) when you register 1 year 2 years 2 years
  1. RRP
$645 and up $1,595 and up $1,899 and up $2,599 and up


Comparing the Slinger Bag, the Spinshot, the Lobster, and the Proton in Terms of their Functionalities

When it comes to their functionality, the four computers that are discussed in this article have both similarities and variations amongst them. Those who are contemplating a purchase will place a higher priority on this than they would on the cost.

The Slinger Bag has the lowest specification of the lot. That particular one does not come with any drills or anything else like that. However, you have control over the feed rate, ball angle, and speed of the balls themselves (up to 46 miles per hour). In addition to that, you may also get something called an oscillating bottom, as was just explained. We strongly recommend that you get this in addition to the machine since it makes for a more authentic gaming experience.

As a result of the fact that every ball has a top spin, it is impossible to specify the spin of a ball. However, this is not necessarily a negative development in any way. The ball will pick up speed after it has bounced, making it more challenging to hit. It compels you to acquire the skill of quick reaction.

When it comes to functionality, Proton has more to offer. It comes with sophisticated controls that not only allow you to adjust all of the aspects mentioned earlier but also allow you to regulate how the spin of the ball. In addition, the smartphone app makes the personalization process very simple. Choose from the beginner, intermediate, or advanced play options to get started immediately. Alternately, you can select one of the pre-programmed practice regimens. This encompasses everything from basic footwork to the development of specific strokes and game scenarios.

In terms of its operational capabilities, the Spinshot Plus 2 is not all that, unlike the Proton Tennis Ball machine. Both allow ball speeds up to approximately 110 kilometers per hour and come with advanced smartphone controls that allow for the complete programming of drill settings.

The last of these is the one that packs the most punch in terms of its feature set. One can alter the exercises and routines to accommodate a staggering 18 different shot locations. You can select one of the 12 court drills that have already been pre-loaded, or you can create your own by selecting the shot position, ball speed, ball spin, and the feed rate. You might even go for the entirely random oscillation that has completely arbitrary settings. That is the closest you are going to get to actual match play.

Price Comparison: Slinger Bag vs. Spinshot vs. Lobster vs. Proton

One of the most efficient and time-efficient ways to improve your tennis game is to use a tennis ball machine. However, most of these will put a strain on your finances.

The Slinger Bag is a tennis ball launcher that is intended to be more accessible financially, making it possible for many people to own one. It has the lowest beginning price of all the other computers that are discussed in this article, which is only $645. You will not find a tennis ball machine that is less priced than that anywhere else. The ones at a lower price point are more similar to toys than they are to actual computers.

Comparatively, the Proton costs around twice as much as the Slinger Bag. Those who don’t mind shelling out that much cash will value the increased functionality of the gadget in addition to its more compact dimensions.

Conventional tennis ball machines are available. However, they come at a significantly higher cost. Remote control is not included in the base price of the Spinshot Plus 2, but it is available for additional purchase. It’s likely the bottom of the price range for classic tennis ball machines.

The Lobster Grand V Elite is the product that offers the widest variety of features among those discussed here. It should not be surprising that it is far more expensive, beginning at $2,599. When you factor in the remote control cost, you’re getting close to the $3,000 threshold. This is an excellent choice for organizations, such as clubs or households in which many individuals wish to engage in regular practice. Or maybe one for individuals who have loftier goals when it comes to their tennis playing.

The Conclusion: Slinger Bag against Spinshot versus Lobster versus Proton, That is The Question

We make no secret of the fact that we are supporters of the Slinger Bag. The device comes out on top in terms of appearance and cost. It is the first tennis ball machine of a decent quality that is readily available to the general public. It is a beautiful alternative that won’t break the bank for gamers who are just starting out or who are intermediate in skill. Plus, it looks fantastic!

When comparing the Slinger Bag with the Proton Tennis Ball Machine in terms of portability, we would put them in direct competition with one another. This one is twice as pricey as the other, but it comes with a significant number of additional drills and intelligent controls. In addition to this, it enables you to direct the direction in which the ball will spin. Only balls having topspin can be sent via the Slinger Bag.

Players at the highest level are most likely to be interested in purchasing a conventional tennis ball machine. The Spinshot Plus 2 and the Lobster Grand V Elite are two of the most well-liked choices. However, they will significantly strain your financial resources—especially the lobster in this case. However, for that price, you will receive a professional tennis ball machine that provides unlimited practice and drills possibilities.

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