Are you looking to improve your tennis game? Sometimes you just want to go out and hit the ball over and over. If this is what you need to do, a portable tennis ball machine may be what you need. Ball machines help you with technique if you limit the number of balls you hit and focus on what you are trying to improve. North State Resurfacing offers a wide variety of portable tennis ball machines to suit any number of scenarios.
Portable tennis ball machines have several positives:
- You get conditioned with a great workout using a ball machine. Hitting tennis ball after ball for as long as you like helps get you in great physical condition, especially during the off-season.
- You have a simple hitting session. With an instructor, you get a lot of feedback, whereas, with a ball machine, you just hit balls. With a tennis ball machine, you can make a note of one thing you want to work on beforehand, focus on that, and take the human feedback element out of the process.
- You can work on your service. It gives you the perfect opportunity to practice serving on your own.
How to choose a tennis ball machine?
There are several factors you need to take into consideration when selecting the best tennis ball machine for your specific needs. Let’s look at some of the features you should pay attention to.
Features to consider
If you are a tennis club or an individual, you’ll want to look at your situation and select a portable ball machine that has features that benefit you. Will it get a lot of use and need capacity? Will tennis players of different abilities be using it and, therefore, need different ball speeds? Are there outlets available near the court, or do you need a machine with a battery? Let’s look at some of these features.
When shopping for a tennis ball machine that suits your needs, you must look at the ball capacity. Most tennis ball machines have a ball capacity of between 50 and 300 balls.
External vs. internal oscillation
If you are looking for portable tennis ball machines that can simulate real play by shooting the ball in multiple directions, check out the oscillation features. The most common is horizontal oscillation, which can fire tennis balls at random from side to side. There are machines that include vertical oscillation that help you practice closer to the net or on the baseline. Some more advanced tennis ball machines can program oscillation, suitable for advanced players who are drilling down on a specific routine.
You should consider the ball speed when selecting the right ball machine for you. Your style of playing tennis and your practice goals often require a wide range of speeds. A faster ball speed is essential for intermediate and advanced players, especially for practicing quick volleys and groundstrokes. Most tennis machines range from 10 to 95 mph.
Tennis machines come in two power options–A/C power and battery power. A/C power provides the power you need without needing to recharge, but tennis players must always have a suitable power source near the court. If you’re looking for a more portable tennis ball machine, battery-powered could be the right choice.
Feed rate or interval
You definitely want to consider the speed that the balls are fed. Depending on your skill level, you may want a slower or faster speed. Speeds typically range between 12 to 105 mph.
The spin has to do with propulsion. Different tennis ball machines offer different topspin and backspin shot features. These features allow the tennis player to get better at different kinds of swings and swerves.
There are two main types of tennis ball machines: spinning wheels (also known as counter-rotating wheels) and air pressure (pneumatic pressure). The spinning wheel is the most popular type of tennis ball machine on the market. It is more consistent compared to the compressed air models and is quieter than an air pressure model. Tennis balls will wear out sooner using the rotating wheel.
An air-pressure ball machine with pneumatic propulsion shoots the tennis ball through a tube using air pressure. Compressed air isn’t as hard on the tennis balls during use and is a less expensive option than those with a rotating wheel. But, it can be quite noisy.
The weight of the machine is important. Remember, you will need to move it around. And, the number of balls it holds affects the weight as well. Most manufacturers attest that the majority of players don’t come close to using the entire capacity.
You should expect to spend anywhere from $600 to $2,500 for a quality tennis ball machine and the balls that go with it. The median price is $1,700 and the average price is $2,000.
Our Top 11 Portable Tennis Ball Machine Picks
We have a wide selection of portable ball machines at North State Resurfacing. As stated earlier, there are quite a few factors to consider in order to get the best ball machine for your situation. However, we’ve put together a list of some of our top picks for the best tennis ball machines, based on specific factors.
Top Overall Tennis Ball Machine
According to Tennis Companion, three of the machines we carry made it to their six best overall ball machines list:
A ball machine with remote control is very helpful in saving steps back and forth to the machine.
Most Portable Machine
In our opinion, Lobster manufactures some of the best battery-powered portable machines. We offer several Lobster sports elite battery ball machines at different price points.
Best Value Ball Machine
Two Sports Tutor machines come in on several lists for the best value. Both are compact, lightweight, and suitable for beginning and intermediate players. These are aptly named because you’ll feel like you have a tennis tutor using this tennis machine!
Highest Ball Capacity
The Playmate Half Volley Portable Ball Machine stands out from other ball machines on the market with its impressive ball capacity. The machine’s integrated, sliding ball hopper can hold up to 200 balls, giving players ample time to practice without needing to constantly refill the hopper. This feature is particularly helpful for players who want to focus on their game and not spend time picking up and reloading balls.
In addition to its large ball capacity, the Playmate Half Volley Portable offers a range of other features that make it a great investment for tennis players and coaches. With a non-memory, removable battery pack system that offers up to 3 hours of use for the Half Volley model, players can practice for extended periods without worrying about running out of power. The machine’s electronically variable ball speed and feed rate, as well as its variable topspin and backspin capabilities, allow players to customize their workouts to their specific needs.
The machine also features a simple point-and-shoot design, making it easy to use for players of all levels. The machine’s commercial pitching wheels are capable of pitching both new and old tennis balls, and its manual height control allows players to adjust the machine to their desired settings. Despite its impressive features, the Playmate Half Volley Portable is also highly durable, with all aircraft aluminum construction, and comes with a 2-year limited warranty.
Most Advanced Tennis Ball Machine
The Lobster Phenom® Two Electric Ball Machine (Model #EC02) is the most advanced option for tennis ball machines available. With its fully programmable design, this machine incorporates digital technology to offer complex functionality through a simple user interface. Users can choose from 12 pre-programmed drills or build their own custom drills that can shoot to an incredible 18 locations with personalized speed, spin, and feed rate settings. The machine is capable of simulating match play like never before, allowing users to turn their weaknesses into areas of complete domination on the court. With its cutting-edge digital technology and infinite variations, the Lobster Phenom® Two is a game-changing addition to any tennis player’s training routine.
In addition to its advanced programming capabilities, the Lobster Phenom® Two Electric Ball Machine also offers a range of other impressive features. With random horizontal and vertical oscillation, a 2-line function, and fully random settings for speed, spin, and feed rate, this machine can challenge even the most skilled players. It offers a ball speed range of 35-80 mph and a feed rate of 2-9 seconds, providing a customizable and challenging workout for players of all levels. The machine also has an electronic elevation function that can be adjusted between 0-50 degrees, and a ball capacity of 250, making it ideal for extended practice sessions. The machine is AC-powered, which means that users can practice for unlimited periods of time without worrying about battery life. While the remote control is optional, it can be a useful addition for players who want to customize their workouts from a distance. Overall, the Lobster Phenom® Two Electric Ball Machine is a top-of-the-line option for serious tennis players who want to take their game to the next level.
Shop North State for All Of Your Tennis and Tennis Court Equipment Needs
Shop North State Resurfacing for all of your tennis and tennis court equipment needs. We offer a wide selection of tennis ball machines, with some of the best on the market. Contact us today for all your tennis needs! Call us at (919) 365-7500 today!