Best pressurized ball for ball machine

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by Ken Sortaplay, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Ken Sortaplay

    Ken Sortaplay New User

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    I just bought a Silent Partner Lite and am looking for the best balls for it. Luckily I found out they recommend pressurized balls. Before I found that out I had been going in the direction of pressureless but was concerned about heaviness or extra hardness from these type of balls due to tennis elbow problems I have had. In my case it will just be me hitting about 4-6 hours a week so its different than people buying them to teach classes with etc. I can go to my local stores and get Penn 1-4's for $1.84 plus 9% tax=2.01 and I just found another local store with a ball I'm not familiar with "DUNLOP CHAMPIONSHIP HARD COURT TENNIS BALLS" with a price of 11.29 (12.30 with tax for 16 balls) so $.77 a ball. I don't find any good rates online yet. I would appreciate recommendations for buying 75-100 balls. Thanks
     
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  2. Ken Sortaplay

    Ken Sortaplay New User

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    I just came across an earlier posting that deals with using pressurized balls with a ball machine but I'd still appreciate knowing if I can get a better deal by buying online.
     
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  3. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Penn Championship pressurized balls seem to lose their pressure faster than Wilson or Dunlop Championship pressurized balls. ("Championship" tennis balls are typically the ones you see for about $2 in stores like Wa**mart.)

    Once balls start to lose their pressure, then the bounce will be different than what you will see during hitting sessions or match conditions. So your timing will be off.

    Also balls that lose pressure do so at different rates. So some balls will bounce higher and further than others. That makes trying to train your eye/brain/muscle function difficult. You won't get the benefit from your ball machine to be prepared for match play.

    Since you are only going to hit for for 4-6 hours a week, your balls are soon going to be flat. I think you are being "penny wise and pound foolish".

    Why not invest in the best pressureless ball available, the Tretorn Micro X ball?
    "Unlike traditional balls, the Tretorn balls have 700 million balloon-like microcells inside them that don't leak. They keep their pressure much longer than traditional gas pressured tennis balls. We found these balls to play very similar to regular heavy duty tennis balls." http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Tre...less_Tennis_Balls_x72/descpage-TRETPRESS.html

    Check more past threads on tennis balls for a ball machine and I think you see an overwhelming recommendation for this ball. It is what I use in my SP ball machine, and they really do feel much more like a regular pressurised tennis ball than any other pressureless tennis ball.

    As for your tennis elbow, make sure you are using a flexible frame with soft multifilament or gut strings if you are planning on increasing the number of ball impacts you are expecting your arm to take.

    Also be sure your technique is correct, as you don't want to risk injury, or ingraining a technique that is flawed.

    And strengthen your foream muscles to prevent tennis elbow:
    http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/rotator-cuff-exercises.html
    If you check the health and fitness forum on Talk Tennis, you will also see that many players have prevented a recurrence of tennis elbow by doing exercises with the ~$20 Thera-Band Flexbar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB3TVb8a5mk
     
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  4. Ken Sortaplay

    Ken Sortaplay New User

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    Thanks. Those are some nice simple illustrations for exercises. Do you find the Micro-X balls any heavier or harder than regular pressurized balls?
     
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  5. newbostonian

    newbostonian New User

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    You could also buy a Tennis Ball Charger from set-usa tennis for about $290. This is an airtight plastic container with a built in manual pump that will keep your pressurized balls at the required pressure for a prolonged period. I have had mine for about 2 months and it has been keeping a set of Dunlop practice balls at constant pressure over that time despite being used for 6 hours or so each weekend over that time. I expect that I'll be able to continue using the same balls next spring once the weather improves enough for me to start using my ball machine again.
     
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  6. Ken Sortaplay

    Ken Sortaplay New User

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    Thanks for the comment and good that it works for you. It's too expensive for me. For that money I could buy 400 pressurized balls. BTW, which Dunlop practice balls are you using?
     
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  7. ktmailserv

    ktmailserv New User

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    Have you considered using tretorn micro-x balls? Apparently, they play softer than pressureless balls and are also more durable.

    I personally use gamma pressureless balls with my ball machine and yes, they feel heavy (especially as they age). I am going to try tretorn micro-x next season...
     
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  8. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    Just an FYI, I tried Penn pressureless balls with my ball machine for a while and it was very tough on my arm. The earlier post about technique is correct but I still feel that pressureless balls are very dangerous with a ball machine especially for someone who has tennis elbow.

    As far as the pressurized balls are concerned, I feel they help in terms of your training because you get a slightly different bounce on every ball and you have to adjust accordingly. Which is a better simulation of a match, where every ball bounces different. It forces you to move your feet and stay on your toes. Just my opinion.
     
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  9. newbostonian

    newbostonian New User

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    They are actually called Dunlop practice and have the word "practice" printed on them. They are apparently regular balls that don't meet the criteria for the standard championship, etc balls due to minor cosmetic flaws.

    Without the Charger, 400 pressurized balls would last me about 2-3 months using 100 at a time and having each batch go flat in about 2 weeks. With the Charger, each batch of 100 could (and, in the case of the ones I am using at the moment, actually has) lasted for almost 2 months with no loss of pressure, and seems likely to be usable for another 2 months at least. When they do have to be replaced, it seems likely that that will be because of baldness instead of lost pressure.

    I think it's a big money saver even in the short term - the additional 300 balls I would have had to buy over the past 2 months would have cost (at $50 for a case of 24 cans) about $200 already. The point above about tennis elbow problems with pressureless balls also has to be considered IMO.
     
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  10. mmaster

    mmaster Semi-Pro

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    the problem with balls that retain their bounce for a long time is that they lose their felt fuzz. so it might not make sense to spend a lot of money on expensive balls like tretorn micro-X.
     
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  11. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Well I bought 108 (a bucket of 96 and 4 more 3 pack boxes) micro-x balls in February when I bought my SP Star and have used them at least 40 hours since then and they are still in good shape. Every ball is going to lose its fuzz if you play with it enough but my actual experience with micro-x balls has proven to me that they are a good buy and definitely cheaper than buying pressurized balls and replacing them when they go dead.
     
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  12. spiderman123

    spiderman123 Professional

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    Sorry to ask an unrelated question but I am also thinking of SP lite and was wondering how much time can you get from its battery? Is it worth spending the extra 100 bucks for the better battery. I will play for about 1.5 hrs at a time.
     
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  13. Noah

    Noah Banned

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    I use the micro-x balls, they do last quite a bit longer. And that is the ONLY reason I use them. They are HARD. Much harder than any "practice" or "pressureless" ball I have ever used. I remember when I got my first bunch, I was really put off at how hard they felt. But I got used to it and they really do last quite a bit longer. Much better investment in the long run. They are for practice, so who really cares how they feel, they keep bounce for a long time and maintain a trajectory of a real tennis ball. Just feel different.
     
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  14. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    It's interesting that you thought they were so much harder than any practice or pressureless balls that you had used.

    I would have put them softer than any pressureless ball I had used before, but not as soft as a regular pressurised ball.
     
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  15. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    I think the Tretorn micro-x maintain their fuzz quite well.

    Remember, in a ball machine, you are probably using 100 balls, not the 3 balls in a can you would hit in a match or practice session.

    Most people only refill the machine a few times each practice session, so each ball is only being hit a few times per session.
     
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  16. MonkeyMuggs

    MonkeyMuggs Rookie

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    I'm surprised that S.P. would recommend using only pressurized balls. I don't remember seeing that when I was researching ball machines. Did they really come out and say that?

    I like my Tretorn Micro X's. But I must say that the fuzz is wearing out faster than I thought. I think the machine itself tears as much felt off the balls as the court and hitting do. They are still playing OK, but I can see that keeping a machine stocked with good balls is going to be an expense no matter which balls you use. There is no question that using the Tretorns will be cheaper however.
     
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  17. mmaster

    mmaster Semi-Pro

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    somebody needs to come out with super overly fuzzy balls just for use in ball machines.
     
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  18. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    My guess is that the nap on a "super fuzzy" ball would get raised too much by the throwing wheels in the ball machine, with customers not happy with the overly fuzzy ball coming at them.

    A nap of Kevlar (using fibers that are in Kevlar strings) might be longer lasting, but prohibitive in cost.

    My guess is that the overall market for balls for ball machines will not likely generate a super long lasting tennis ball anytime soon. (Although it is hard to tell, as someone out there may be ready to launch a better "mousetrap".)
     
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  19. Ken Sortaplay

    Ken Sortaplay New User

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    Yes, I sent them an email specifically asking that and they replied they recommend pressurized for this machine. Those Tretorn at $1.50 a ball (and never any on sale or discounted) plus the reputation of hardness left me and my sensitive elbow buying a bunch of Dunlop pressurized.
    Also I'd say somewhere like 450-550 balls on the smallest battery. I'm going to start a separate thread for owners of this machine looking for tips in using it. Thanks for the input.
     
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  20. Roger No.1

    Roger No.1 Rookie

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    I used Dunlop Championship Hardcourt balls with Tennis Tutor Pro Light model and found that they lose felt pretty quickly. I didn't make accurate comparison since I didn't use them all for equal time, but Penn and Wilson seemed hold up better with ball machine use. Once I saw Wilson Practice balls at Wallmart for $1.36/can.
     
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