Best balls for ball machine

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by gutted, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. gutted

    gutted Guest

    Just about to get the club a tennis tutor ball machine. What are the best value balls to use ? Do normal balls work okay ? Any tips for the smooth running of the machine ? e.g. I've heard that you shouldn't use it when the courts are wet.
     
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  2. polakosaur

    polakosaur Rookie

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    any ball will do as long as it bounces i'm lucky i got friends at a sporting goods store that cop me balls for free
     
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  3. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Tretorn Micro-X balls work great but at a club, you should have plenty of balls to fill the machine.
     
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  4. borisboris

    borisboris Semi-Pro

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    :twisted: THE ALL TIME GREATEST BALL MACHINE BALL = DUNLOP GRAND PRIX!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY HOLD THERE COVER LIKE NON-OTHER AND THE OUTER CORE = VERY HARD. PENN-WILSON EVEN REGULAR DUNLOP ARE WEAK. OUR CLUB RE-SELLS A 3-CAN FOR $1.50 = BEST VALUE ON THE MKT.
     
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  5. JAYDOG THE RDX ATHLETE

    JAYDOG THE RDX ATHLETE New User

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    If it's used only for outdoors, I would use pressureless balls. Well thats not really my suggestion but for some reason everytime I use a ball machine, i'm hitting pressureless balls.
     
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  6. axle

    axle Guest

    I too have had the best luck with the grand prix balls. I just replaced a bunch of worn out grand prix with the Penn Practice balls and these hit good too but are a bit softer than the grand prix balls. But hey, $40 a case for the penn practice ball is VERY reasonable. Can't comment on the durability b/c I have only had them in my machine for a few days.
     
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  7. Agas Samp

    Agas Samp Guest

    Please let me know where can I buy them at that price?
     
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  8. mark rodgers

    mark rodgers Rookie

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    When you buy the machine I hope you get the AC option. Anyway, my local tennis center puts out buckets and asks people to donate their used balls. I own a Model 4P and the owners manual recommends that you not put new balls in the machine because the ink from the label rubs off on the wheel and makes them slick. This of course slows down the ball feed speeds. I'd say that if you can get a steady stream of used regular balls that would be the way to go. To me, pressureless balls feel different than regular balls. Our local tennis center used pressureless balls and people (like me) started complaining. They went back to using regular balls. And lastly, never put wet balls through the machine. The wheels have problems with grip and balls just get jammed up inside the machine
     
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  9. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    There is a ball pressure-izer called Pro-bounce that can help new balls retain the original pressure and allow a nearly endless life.
     
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  10. borisboris

    borisboris Semi-Pro

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    If you live in Seattle - go to Seattle Tennis Center. $1.50 per can!
     
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  11. Javi

    Javi New User

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    It's ALIVE!!! :D

    There are a lot of threads regarding balls but I want to be specific to the use in ball machines.

    I have had good experience w/the pen pressureless bucket in a non-ball machine capacity. They are going on three years or so and used them for practicing against the wall and serves etc. They still have great bounce but the felt is getting a bit worn. They are harder than regular balls but have what I would call a break in period, where they soften up afterwards but never to the point of normal balls. They haven't bothered my elbow or shoulder much in that type of use.

    I recently bought a lobster elite grand four ball machine, put in a fresh bucket of penn pressureless balls and notice lots of green fuzz all over the place. Physically it makes sense as the balls are being accelerated via two rotating wheels which I imagine is much harder on the felt than a tennis racket (ie more contact area).

    I wonder how long balls in general last for others in ball machines? For pressureless balls it seems the felt will go much before the bounce which could reduce the usefulness from an economic perspective. I surely don't want to hit flat balls just to save money though. It defeats the purpose of practicing.

    I am thinking that it might make sense to look into a pressurized tank for normal pressurized balls as an alternative. If it is indeed the case ball machines wear down the felt quickly, then I could see the advantages of doing so economically, playwise, and maybe even long term health of your arm.

    Look forward to hearing some thoughts.
     
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  12. nytennis-74

    nytennis-74 Rookie

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    Anybody can talk about durability of tretorn vs. penn? Does heat affect durability? (Eg can I leave in hot car over the summer or should I bring inside)? I like the idea of tretorn since nobody else has them so no confusion on courts.... Then again u can lose 70 penn balls and still break-even...
     
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  13. Hangman

    Hangman Rookie

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    Costco sells a box of 20 cans of Penn balls for $35. That's 60 balls to the box. I have been using 3 of these boxs to fill my SP Edge ball machine, and besides having lots of fuzz, have had no issues with the machines or balls so far.
     
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  14. Javi

    Javi New User

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    Thanks for the info @Hangman. Any feel for how long you can use them before they go flat and/or the felt goes bad.
     
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  15. Hangman

    Hangman Rookie

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    I have only had the machine for about a month, so not enough time to really give input on how long the balls will last. Been using it about 2 hours every other day.
     
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  16. Javi

    Javi New User

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    Compiling relevant comments from other threads regarding pressureless balls. Thanks to everyone who commented.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/presureless-tennis-balls.404/#post-9872432

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/your-best-pressureless-balls.534292/


    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/inde...s-balls-stroke-development-arm-health.506768/
     
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  17. Javi

    Javi New User

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    I ordered a bucket of the Pressureless Penn's and have them in the ball machine now. I have put 5 hours on them, and I am getting a little concerned about the long term health of my arm using them. I used them for practicing against the wall and serving but in the past but I believe using in a ball machine is different as it can launch at a much faster pace and with spin. My entire arm feels sore right now but I had a long winter layoff so most of this is probably due to just getting back into hitting balls. For reference, I hit with Solinco Tour Bite Soft (17) on an AeroPro Drive strung at 62 lbs, play as an aggressive baseliner, fast swing, no tennis elbow problems.

    I was debating whether or not to build (buy) a pressurized container and go the normal pressure ball route (spent to much time researching options o_O).

    The downsides from what I can tell for pressureless balls are upfront price, play a little different than standard pressurized balls, and increased shock on impact. I ended up ordering the Tretorn Micro-X b/c most say they are better than the Penn Pressureless bucket (especially for comfort) and I wanted to avoid the hassle of emptying my hopper into a pressurized container. I figured I would give them a go for a bit and see how my arm feels. If I get any discomfort I might go the pressurized container w/normal balls route.
     
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  18. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Looks like you have a combination of factors that could, potentially, result in ongoing problems with your shoulder, elbow or wrist some time in the future. Quite a few players have experienced issues with APD rackets -- they tend to deliver a fair amount of shock to the arm. Ditto for polyester strings -- even "soft" poly strings. You might consider going 10-15 lbs less for your stringing tension if you plan to stick with poly strings. Note that the lowish Comfort score (TW reviews) for the APD is an indication of harshness (shock).

    Pressureless balls could be the "final straw" as far shock factors go. If you decide to give pressurized ball a try, you should consider Prince Tour extra-duty balls. The have a much softer feel than pressureless and last nearly as long in my experience. The cost a little bit more than some other balls but their durability more than offsets the initial cost. Some poster have also indicated good results with ProPenn Marathon balls. I believe.
     
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  19. nytennis-74

    nytennis-74 Rookie

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    Thanks for update Javi. Please keep us posted on your experience with tretorn. I have had arm problems in the past and now I am definitely not ordering Penn.
     
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  20. Javi

    Javi New User

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    Appreciate your comments SA :) I agree that I have several potential 'aggravation' source w/my playing style/setup and is why I wanted to add it to the post. I currently don't have any injuries (knock on wood) but I plan to increase my amount of play per week substantially and would rather error on the side of caution so I can play til I am old and gray ;)

    I have hit pressureless balls for 3-4 years now (penn bucket) and they are definitely harder than pressurized balls. With the ball machine launching then at higher paces and me putting in the hours I thought it worthwhile to do the legwork up front.

    Will check out the Prince Tour balls you suggested. What has been your experience with the bounce (how long before they go flat) and felt wear (how long before the felt iso noticeable worn)?
     
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  21. Javi

    Javi New User

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    Yeah if you have had problems in the past I would suggest trying some out before buying the bucket. Will keep you posted.
     
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  22. Javi

    Javi New User

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  23. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I have not used Prince Tour balls very much in a ball machine so I don't know if there are any issues there. My experience, and that of others in my area, is that the durability of the pressure/bounce and the felt wear is excellent. Have heard the same from other sources. There was a few years, I believe, that they were not available in most or all areas. That might be why they are mentioned in only 1 of the 3 threads you just listed.

    Some ppl prefer the regular duty ball (esp for clay) while many prefer the XD version. A few sources have indicated the the felt wore a little bit on the quick side. No complaints about pressure/bounce tho'. I'm wondering if these are local differences. It might be differences associated with temp, humidity, court roughness, etc.

    It could also be dependent on hitting/playing style. Some players have complained about Wilson US Open extra-duty ball fluffing up after a while. The players that I know that have this complaint hit a lot of low-skidding balls either flat or with underspin. When we don't play with these guys, we never seem to have that fluffing issue. It could be that the felt wear on Prince Tour balls might be related to some hitting styles.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
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  24. JBH

    JBH Rookie

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    I've used a Babolat APD 2013 and had multiple sources of pain. If anything, the extra weight/density of pressureless balls, Tretorns in this case, causes less discomfort rather than more. I believe the reason for this is that the discomfort is due to the racquet's harmonic frequency, which is lowered with the denser ball.

    I've now used both types of ball for a good amount of time, and IMO a major factor for which ball you will prefer is how the machine will be used. Briefly-

    If your main use is to groove your swing mechanics through repetition, use pressureless balls. If you use standard balls, any variation in type, age, pressure, or felt density will cause variation in ball speed, and the repeatability of ball location will not be good at best, and worthless at worst.

    If you are using the machine to simulate play, standard balls are better, at least from a play realism standpoint. Pressureless balls feel and fly differently, while the placement variation will generally go unnoticed.
     
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  25. Javi

    Javi New User

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    Thanks for the advice @JBH. I am currently using the machine for grooving strokes bc of the winter in CO (Go Buffs ;) ). I think once I am back to level I will be using the all random mode and player drills to simulate match play more. I will also try some normal balls in the machine. I know from hitting penn pressureless balls w/a partner they feel much harder/harsher than normal balls particularly at higher racquet head speeds. Normal balls have more give and feel cushy afterwards.

    As far as ball variations for pressurized balls, I think the main difference would be variation in the pressure. If you where to keep the balls in a pressurized container I am guessing this would extend the life of the ball by quite a bit. If you could get, say 6 months out of pressurized balls, I would say that's the route to go. It would reduce the economic/waste factor quite a bit while providing more realistic bounce and a softer impact. It would add the hassle of placing the balls in a container after every session to be effective.

    If anyone has experience with pressurized containers and ball longevity I would love to get your take.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
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  26. JBH

    JBH Rookie

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    My experience is that most pressurized balls retain adequate pressure for no more than 2 months regardless of use and typically more like one month. For machine use, I use 72 balls, mostly since that's what Tretorns come as. I personally can't see replacing 72 standard balls every month.
    The Tretorns have lasted a year of admittedly uneven use. I keep them indoors when not in use as people have reported hardening when leaving them outside or in a garage.
     
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  27. Javi

    Javi New User

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    My Tretorns are on the way so I am looking forward to trying them out.

    1-2 months out of balls that are rarely used AND kept at or near atmosphere sounds about right to me. The alternative is to keep them in a pressurized container/vessel around 14-20 psi to extend the life of the bounce. I am sure the felt can last but not so sure how long the bounce will even under pressure. I might mix in a few regular balls that I will keep in my Tennis Saver can (~14 psi) and see how many hours I can put on them.
     
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  28. Javi

    Javi New User

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    FYI, I ended up cancelling my Tretorn order. It less expensive to build a pressure container for 50 balls and see how that works out. If it does well then that's that. I will also get to test @JBH theory.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
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  29. nytennis-74

    nytennis-74 Rookie

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    I ordered mine .... I will post an update in ten days or so when I get them. Reviews were good on average
     
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  30. Javi

    Javi New User

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    I ended up order Wilson Championship Extra Duty balls b/c of a good deal. I think I will do a drop test before and after a certain number of hours to keep track of how well keeping them under pressure extends the ball life.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
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