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 – Slingshot T-One Launcher in summer 2019, with a price tag below $500. In the end, they will sell their product in the range from $675 to $1000 (more details about pricing strategy can be found below).
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 SlingerBag 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 (June 2020 is the planned 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.
+ Light Weight
+ Battery life up to 6 hours
+ Recharging time just 4 hours
+ Ball capacity (144 balls)
+ Embedded bottle holder and USB port for phone recharging
– Maximum ball speed
(as presented by Slinger Bag Ltd.)
Ball Feed Speed: 10 to 40 mph (15 to 53 km)
Ball Feed Interval: 2 to 7 seconds
Ball Capacity: 144 balls
Elevation: 10 to 40 degrees (manual)
Programmable Drills: none
Phone Compatibility: none
Battery life: up to 5 hours
Battery charging: 4 hours for a fully charged battery
Weight: 33 lbs (15 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 also have 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 $800. This price would make the tennis ball machine available for almost anyone. And surprisingly it offers a lot of exciting features for this price.
The ball capacity will be 144 balls, which is close to the Lobster standard of 150 balls. Balls will be shot with pre-set topspin (that can increase with higher speed set). There is also the possibility to manually adjust the angle of the launch from 10 to 40 degrees.
The ball speed feed can be set in the range of 10 to 40 mph, and the feed interval range is 2 to 7 seconds. The maximum speed and maximum feed interval are slightly lower than other machines offer. But generally, these parameters are still in line with the market standard in this category.
Initially, Slinger Bag did not offer oscillation mode. However, at the request of their backers on Kickstarter, they promised to sell an additional rotation platform. And surprisingly, it did not raise the price of the machine too much.
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 top category of tennis ball machines.
Are you looking for a more advanced model with preprogrammed drills and remote control? Check our Spinshot Player tennis ball machine review.
Simple on/off remote control is part of the bundled package. The remote control can switch on and off the Slingshot T-One Launcher and also oscillation platform. The remote control is not a standard 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 average battery life of most models is up to 4 hours. Also, in terms of recharging time, Slingshot T-One Launcher belongs to the top of the market. Four hours recharging time plus overcharging protection are 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 the other hand, the Slinger bag tennis ball machine weighs just 33 lbs (15 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 a bottle holder. Additionally, SlingerBag also has a USB port for phone recharging. 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
The pricing of the Slinger Bag is very reasonable. The machine (Slingshot T-One Launcher) itself costs $550. The oscillator comes at $120, telescopic pickup tube at $45, and a camera holder at $40.
Slinger Bag is promoting three different packages at the moment. The first is called Slinger Bag Grand Slam Pack that includes all items mentioned above for $755. Slinger Bag Grand Slam Player adds one case of Slinger Trinity Balls (72 balls), and price rises to $855. Slinger Bag Grand Slam Champion adds two cases of Wilson Trinity Balls (144 balls), and the price is $955. That should be catalog prices, but we expect they will offer some kind of discount for early bird orders.
The very competitive pricing makes Slinger Bag a real contender among tennis ball machines under $1000. The weight, battery life, recharging time, ball capacity, and remote control make SlingerBag Slingshot T-One Launcher unique.
Slingshot T-One Launcher 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.