It seems that we are close to the price revolution in the tennis ball machines industry. Slinger Bag Ltd. planned to start the sale of its Slinger Bag portable tennis machine in summer 2019 with a price tag below $500. That would make the Slinger Bag immediately one of the cheapest tennis ball machine available. However, the start was postponed. The first units of the Slinger Bag tennis ball machine were shipped in January 2020 to supporters from the Kickstarter campaign. And now, everybody is waiting for the regular sale to start (maybe June 2020 will be the date). The question stands: What will you get for your money? Is it a fully equipped tennis ball machine or not? We looked at technical specifications and features Slinger Bag offers and here is our opinion.
SLINGER BAG TENNIS BALL MACHINE
Still some unclearness about details
Oscillation feature just for additional fee
Easy to transport
Higher than comparable products
Battery life up to 5 hours
Recharging time just 4 hours (overcharge protection included)
Large ball capacity (144 balls)
embedded Racket Bag and Bottle holder
A lot of features for really low price
SALE EXPECTED TO START: NOT KNOWN
(as presented by Slinger Bag Ltd.)
Ball Feed Speed: 10 to 45 mph (16 to 73 kmph)
Ball Feed Interval: 2 seconds to 10 seconds
Ball Capacity: 144 balls
Programmable Drills: none
Phone Compatibility: none
Battery life: up to 5 hours
Battery charging: 4 hours for a fully charged battery
Weight: 22 lbs (10 kg)
Dimensions: Height: 33 in (83 cm) Length: 20 in (51 cm) Width: 18 in (45 cm)
Case Construction: Durable plastic & textile body
You can not expect many features or technical tweaks in under $1000 category of tennis ball machines. Usually, they serve just for the practice of flat shots again and again. Tennis ball machines with a price closer to $1000 have also a spin feature or random horizontal oscillation possibility. Remote Control, if available, is usually for an additional fee.
Slinger Bag is trying to produce a tennis ball machine under $500. This price would make the tennis ball machine available for almost anyone. And surprisingly it offers a lot of interesting features for this price.
The ball capacity will be 144 balls, which is really close to the Lobster standard of 150 balls. The ball speed feed can be set in the range of 10 to 45 mph and the feed interval range is 2 to 10 seconds. Both parameters are in line with the market standard in this category. Balls will be shot with pre-set topspin. There will be also the possibility to adjust the angle of the launch.
Slinger Bag does not offer oscillation mode. However, at the request of their backers on Kickstarter, they promised to sell an additional rotation platform. Unfortunately, it will be sold for an additional fee of $95 to $99.
The speed and feed interval is all you can set before you switch on the Slinger Bag. The programmability is a feature you will get in the upper category of tennis ball machines.
Looking for a more advanced model with preprogrammed drills and remote control? Check our Spinshot Player tennis ball machine review.
It is not clear yet if the Remote Control will be part of the Slinger Bag basic setup or not. It was requested by backers on Kickstarter, but the company did not confirm yet how they will approach this issue.
Remote control is not a common accessory in this price category and just a few models have the possibility to buy a remote control for an additional fee.
Battery life & recharging
Court time up to 5 hours ranks the Slinger Bag at the top among the tennis ball machines. The usual battery life of the most models is up to 4 hours. Also in terms of recharging time, Slinger Bag belongs to the top of the market. 4 hours recharging time plus overcharging protection are really the top what you can get.
The Slinger Bag is made from durable plastic and textile. It reminds a bigger suitcase with oversized wheels. Slinger is substantially higher than comparable products, which can cause problems with storing or transporting in the car. On another hand, the Slinger bag tennis ball machine weighs just 22 lbs (10 kgs). It makes this model very easy maneuverable on the court. Juniors, ladies or even kids will have no problem with this portable tennis machine.
Another extra feature you will get with Slinger Bag is space for towels, water bags, and tennis rackets. Designers incorporated the tennis racket bag and bottle holder into the case of a tennis ball machine. I like this idea as these are the small details which make the life of a tennis player easier.
Slinger Bag Inc. announced that they enter into the partnership with Nick Bollettieri, who becomes Head Coach of the brand.
Slinger Bag also cooperates with Bryan brothers, famous doubles tennis players.
Balls for Slinger Bag
Slinger signed a strategic partnership with Wilson about Slinger Trinity Tennis Balls. The first fully recyclable tennis balls Wilson Trinity will be made with a custom Slinger logo. More about Wilson Trinity tennis balls can be found here.
It is recommended to use pressureless tennis balls for tennis ball machines so we will see how Trinity balls will handle it.
Slinger Bag Pricing & Our Verdict
There are still some unclear things about the Slinger Bag tennis ball machine. However, if the price will be set under $500 and the features already published will come true, we have a new leader among tennis ball machines under $1000 category. And it is not just because of the price. The weight, battery life, recharging time, ball capacity and embedded tennis racket bag makes Slinger Bag really unique. Slinger Bag will be the best starting point for any beginner or intermediate player in need of practice shots. And if you miss some features, do not forget that this is an under $1000 tennis ball machine.