Choosing a tennis rebounder to buy or build

FrankATracy

New User
I am contemplating ideas myself as I feel lockdowns won't go away. How do you guys think a bed mattress against a wall would fare?
Well, if it doesn't work, you can always take a nap!

Updated 2/16/2021 Just found this video of pros using mattresses to practice in their hotel rooms for the 2021 Australian Open:

You know, crow doesn't taste very good! LOL!
 
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I made my own backboard using only 2 cans of spray paint, a measuring tape and the outside of the local high school gym. The wall abuts the bus parking lot. I measured up the height of the net above the 2" sidewalk and narrowed it by a foot on the width. Then in the parking lot, I painted a regular court half (my side) in white and the (opponent) side in red shorter in length to account for the ball compression. I talked to the tennis coach who liked the idea. When spring comes we are going to get the radar gun from the baseball team and set up a ball machine to fine tune the red lines. Might have to have different colors for different service speeds.
 

FrankATracy

New User
I made my own backboard using only 2 cans of spray paint, a measuring tape and the outside of the local high school gym. The wall abuts the bus parking lot. I measured up the height of the net above the 2" sidewalk and narrowed it by a foot on the width. Then in the parking lot, I painted a regular court half (my side) in white and the (opponent) side in red shorter in length to account for the ball compression. I talked to the tennis coach who liked the idea. When spring comes we are going to get the radar gun from the baseball team and set up a ball machine to fine tune the red lines. Might have to have different colors for different service speeds.
That reminds me of when my friend Ron and I, aged about 13, were first learning to play tennis. We had never been on a tennis court so we just spray painted a line across our neighborhood street, bought really cheap $4 or $5 tennis rackets at the local Alpha Beta store and then practiced seeing who could hit the ball over the line the most. Good times!
 

FrankATracy

New User
The four tennis players who inspired me the most to want to play, and to keep playing:

Jimmy Connors


Ilie Nastase


Frew McMillan


And Virginia Wade


The other players who also had a real impact on me were Guillermo Vilas, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

Jimmy Connors is my all time favorite player and the T2000 tennis racket was the first one I used on the tennis team. But I never got to see him play.
Jimmy Connors on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jimmy-Connors-22840895307/

But I did get to see several of the others play when I went to watch Team Tennis.

Oh, my favorite racket of all time was my Vilas.

And because of Frew McMillan, I used to wear a cap like his back in the 1970's and 80's. Good times!
Update 12/20/2020. I recently started wearing this type of cap again. And I started an extensive YouTube playlist for anyone interested. It's called - The world of flat caps & newsboy caps (w/playlist notes & links): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTgHf_B4EipaSuZ4ShgMaH-CIFxFGGWai Here are some more pictures of Frew here on TalkTennis: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/the-frews-white-cap.566399/ Updated 12/28/2020 I wasn't sleeping well due to a migraine, so this morning I created a YouTube playlist dedicated to my all-time favorite doubles tennis player - Frew McMillan: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTgHf_B4Eipbq1ya4m9vt3J_MdgocQxzd

Updated 2/21/2021 I just found some old pictures and realized that I actually had a newsboy cap in my late teens into early twenties, but then had a (somewhat floppy) flat cap when I was closer to 30. Maybe I'll post them some time. I kinda messed up the flat cap by bending the brim too much. Didn't know back then that most brims are made of a cardboard type material.

Virginia Wade on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Virginia-Wade-154758154651890/ Updated 12/28/2020 A month or so ago I also created a Youtube playlist dedicated to my favorite woman tennis player - Virginia Wade: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTgHf_B4EipbpajGc5DOMeHYAw9FndMyK
Here are the other three that really inspired me.

Guillermo Vilas


Chris Evert


And Martina Navratilova
 
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FrankATracy

New User
The PlayMore tennis wall rebounder - this seems to have been discontinued


Unfortunately the PlayMore seems to have been discontinued.
 
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FrankATracy

New User
Part 1 of 2: My new XK tennis rebounder (along with my Soloflex and Harbor Freight 30" pedestal fan)


The XK and 4 yoga blocks used to raise it higher


My tennis rackets and DIY ball dispenser


Here's my new tennis rebounder (the first of several) that replaces the old cheap one I used to have.

The notes below will be ongoing and ever changing as I grow with this rebounder (or am not allowed to update my notes anymore) so check back as often as interested:

First, different designs of rebounders will inevitably react a little different, so I'm trying to take good notes, and eliminate errors on my part, or adjust the rebounder as needed.

Just like when I got my first Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard, also called a split keyboard, I felt in the beginning like I had made a bad purchase because I just couldn't get the hang of it. But as with the Keyboard, both became two of the best purchases I've ever made. I just had to hang in there.

Some of the areas that I knew would probably need to be adjusted after studying the YouTube videos over the last couple of years:
1. My being 6'5" tall meant I would have to raise the rebounder, as I knew by the videos that it was actually designed for much shorter individuals. By the way, I learned a long time ago that most all workout gear is basically designed for those 6'2" and shorter. So I lifted all four legs to suit my taller frame. Of course if you're taller than me then you probably will want to raise the rebounder even higher. If you watch the videos it looks like those using it don't even come close to being 6' tall, let alone 6'2" or 6'5".
2. To get even greater or less angle of the rebound surface I can adjust either just the back leg height or the front leg height, though I haven't done that yet.
3. So far I've just used the built in feature of attaining the steeper angle.
4. The knobs at the bottom front of the rebound surface affect how high the ball will bounce. I used a tape measure to find the setting to get the highest bounce.
5. The knobs at the top back of the rebound surface affect the tension of the rebound surface so I adjusted those for maximum tension.

More notes:
It's very important to wear the same shoes, shorts, shirt, etc. as when I'm actually on the court. Anything less is lazy on my part and I will (and have gotten) lazy results.
It's also important to use the same tennis rackets, tennis balls, etc. as when on the court. Anything less is lazy on my part. I've learned this the hard way with my first rebounder.
I should have done this sooner, but I'm hoping to take videos and pictures of myself on the tennis court so I can try to duplicate my form with the rebounder. So those would be of my forehand, backhand, serve, volley and half volley. Of course if you're fortunate enough to own the Dragonet setup, then you can also take pictures and videos of your overheads.

Note: I did not buy this rebounder because of the price. I bought it for the following reasons: 1) My son's room is right next to the garage and this unit is very quiet to use (compared to many others). 2) Limited space in my two car garage. Also in the garage are my car, my Soloflex, a treadmill, a stationary bike, free-weight equipment, cabinets, a work bench, washer and dryer, two water heaters, a body weight exercise unit, bicycles, etc. etc. 3) I'm older now and far from being in the best of health, so I wanted my first unit like this to hit at more of a warm-up rally type ball speed rather than hit as hard as I can like on a kill shot. So this unit is giving me about 30 strokes a minute, much slower than say what the Perfect Pitch Rebounder is capable of. 4) I will list more here as I remember them.

Just as we have all faced varying opponents on the tennis courts with varying strengths and weaknesses, I plan on getting several different kinds of rebounders with varying qualities and distinctions. So when I eventually sell my old 2009 car and start parking outside again, I will probably add a second rebounder to the garage. Also, either one or two for my backyard, and another portable unit (probably the Perfect Pitch rebounder) for using in the house when my wife is out of town, or for taking on vacation or to show a friend. Time will tell. But at the very least I will get one more for the back yard. That one may be on wheels, depending on the one I finally decide on, and how big it is.

If you happen to buy a big pedestal fan like I did in the top photo here, be warned that the motor on the one I got gets pretty hot, so I use the smaller pedestal fan to keep the motor on the bigger one cool. If I had know this beforehand, I would have gotten one somewhere else. Also, the chain on the big fan that changes the fan speed looks like it could eventually break off. But I've been using it now for a year or two, and so far, no problems.

As far as the results I've gotten so far, and after having not played tennis for almost a year, and having come through COVID sickness personally, things started out rough. By nature I'm not a natural at tennis (unlike my friend Dave). I have to really work at it. No different here. But I needed a new rebounder to get me motivated to work out again. So I'm getting better and better at it and presently use it along with my new workouts. I hit alternating forehands and backhands to warm up. Then once ready I hit 25 forehands followed by 25 backhands (though this will go up as the weeks go by). Then I do my first set of exercises with my Soloflex and free-weights. I repeat that 3 times. Then move on to the Total Gym workout in my house, followed by a warm down using the XK tennis rebounder. So far I'm really enjoying this routine. With the rebounder I try to be very mindful of form, attitude and the results I want. I do not want to get negative results from the rebounder by using it in a care-free lazy manner. Again, I will add, edit and change these notes as I progress or think of other info. Oh with every set I change tennis rackets and the tennis ball I'm using.

Oh, here's a little tidbit about the big pedestal fan and I'm not sure why no-one had posted a video about this on YouTube. The perfect dolly to set the big pedestal fan on is a 24" round plant caddy/dolly. The black one I bought will hold up to 500 lbs. and has six wheels, including one in the center.

Here's the (wall mounted) DIY tennis ball dispenser video:

Getting to the results of how this rebounder reacts to different shots, here's what I've noticed so far for me (your results may be different):
1. When I hit a forehand or backhand cross court, the ball comes back in a cross court fashion. To get the ball back in the center I just need to hit the ball up the line. Then it returns to the center. Miss hits cross court will not return the ball in a cross court fashion. I didn't realize how many miss hits I was getting until I stopped making them. Once I got the hang of it, I actually make a lot less backhand errors than I do on the forehand. I've always been that way on the tennis court.
2. Any miss hit on my part never seems to come back in a good way. And that's the way it should be. It's teaching me to watch the ball better, rather than where I want to hit to.
3. When hitting the ball in a consistent direction is the goal, I barely need to move my feet position, if at all.

I will add more notes as I have time.

My hope is that you can find at least one thing above that is helpful. Enjoy and remember to take good mental or written notes if you decide to buy a rebounder.
 
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FrankATracy

New User
Part 2 of 2 - My new XK Tennis Rebounder (they also make a lower angle racquetball rebounder)


Obviously I have a small car. It's there, you just can't see it.


Please go to YouTube and see my notes beneath the video for more details.

I just found out that these posts are limited to 10,000 characters so that's why there's a part 2.

Starting tomorrow (3/19/2021) I will add in much needed stretching routines, both dynamic and static. Dynamic for before working out. And static for when I'm all done. And starting today I started using the inversion table again, but at the lowest "workable" angle, which is 20 degrees. That will help a little with the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) effect for the legs and lower back. I may also add back in hanging from the hands on my Total Gym, which helps with the DOMS effect concerning the arms, shoulders and upper back.

A tidbit about inversion tables: I hadn't used mine in about a year because my back was doing well enough not to go the chiropractor. A couple months ago I decided to use it again (like I should have all along) to get my back to an even better place. Well, I went to my normal 60 degree angle and all was fine at first. But then I missed the next two days at work because I started back using too steep of an angle. So starting out at 20 degrees is a good idea after a layoff, then up it 5 degrees each week till you get to where you want to be. This is the procedure I followed when I first bought the inversion table back in, I think, 2014. By the way, I love inversion. It's great. Just need to be smart about it.

As I'm running out of space in my garage and Total Gym workout room (now that the inversion table is set up again), I may end up selling or giving away the Trio Trainer, unless my wife wants to use it in the family room. Or I may hold on to it till I have more space in the garage - either after I sell my old car or my oldest moves out and takes his treadmill, power tower body weight machine and other miscellaneous stuff with him.

Since my car is parked in the garage and I work out soon after getting home, the first thing I do after backing into the garage is to turn on the big fan and point it at my car to cool it down (the engine is in the back of the vehicle). So by the time I get back out there about 30 minutes later, the heat from the car is negligible. Updated 6/2021 I'm back to working out in the mornings - it's cooler, I'm more consistent and it prepares me for the day ahead.

I have a lot more organizing to do in the garage, especially a big pile of stuff you can't see here.

Oh, sorry if I get words like effect and affect mixed up. English was my worst subject in school. But my wife majored in English in college so maybe I'll have her take a look. Though I doubt that will happen.

Q&A section (as I look around the web and see past questions, problems and concerns others have asked about over the last decade or more)
1. Can a tennis rebounder give a good aerobic workout? Absolutely. But can you even do this for 20 minutes without stopping or miss-hitting? More than likely it will kick your butt. (But then I'm older). See my post further up for more on this.
2. Can a rebounder improve my game? If you're a natural at tennis (like my friend Dave), then probably not a lot though it may help keep you from making simple errors. If you're not a natural at tennis (like me) then absolutely it can help. But you have to stay focused, keep good notes, and learn from your mistakes. Take videos of yourself using it to see what you can improve.
3. Can a rebounder improve how fit I am? Absolutely! I cover this in a few different places above.
4. Can a rebounder help get me from, say a 3.5 to a 4.0. player, or maybe from a 4.0 to a 4.5. player? Yes and maybe more. It can help you watch the ball better, improve footwork, improve mental toughness, improve cardio, etc. But no guarantees.
5. How much do I need to spend to get a good rebounder? That goes anywhere from $0 to possibly $2000 or more. And way more than that for the fancy curved wall designs. Do you have a wall or hard surface to hit against? Are you a handyman? if so you might build your own. How much space do you have? It can take a lot of research to finally settle on what you want or need for your circumstances. I have a ton of info above if you can take the time to check it all out. But it really all comes down to personal preference.
6. How many choices do I have to choose from? A lot! There are rebounders using vinyl and tarp rebound surface materials, wire and rope rebound surface materials, straight and curved walls, homemade, and more. It will take time to choose.
7. What type of rebounder would you consider the XK rebounder? The XK is basically a rebounder for beginners at tennis, beginners at this type of rebounder, or for those that don't play very often or need a very quiet rebounder. The Perfect Pitch Rebounder also gives rebound returns for intermediate and advanced players, as well as for beginners. That one will most likely be my next rebounder, for use in my back yard, for portable use and for vacationing. I wanted it for my garage but it's way too loud (in my case) for that area.

Q&A for elastic string trainers:
1. Can an elastic string trainer change your swing path? As noted in one of the video reviews above, these types of trainers are not for beginners. That's one very big caution! Actually I have two videos above by experienced players using these. If you cannot control the ball like they do, then you probably should use some other form of rebounder until you become more advanced. In those videos they look like 5.0 players or higher. That's above my pay grade! LOL. Overuse of this type of device could possibly affect your swing path. Buyer beware!

More Q&A as I have time to find them.
 
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FrankATracy

New User
Maybe I'm wrong, but the person in this video seems to lack control and good technique - something necessary when doing reviews!
He doesn't seem to have the control needed for such a device, though in time he would probably improve.

In a couple of the videos I posted much further up, a number of things become quite apparent:
1) These types of elastic string trainers are not for beginners or for those who will not push themselves.
2) You need to hit with more pace, or more power, to assure that the ball only bounces once, if you want to simulate real play.
3) Hit the ball with less power (so the ball bounces twice) to simulate practice rallying.
4) Shorten the string if need be to assure just one bounce. (In real tennis the ball only bounces once between each hit).
5) Also shorten the string for smaller areas and for volleying.
6) You need good control to keep the ball going out in front of you in a straight path, rather than having it go out at crazy angles.
7) The ball may return in some way you were not expecting, just like in real tennis.
8) An advanced player will make this look easy. A beginner or low intermediate player will not.

Use this as a means of just having fun rather that thinking of it as a training device. If done too much it could mess up your game.

Also, at my age, these types of trainers will kick my butt! I will try it again one day if I can get in better shape.

Note: notice the difference in the different videos of those who show a lot of control and those who do not.
 
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FrankATracy

New User
Big pedestal type fan (like I use in my garage - above)


24" plant caddy (dolly) top view. It can hold up to 500 lbs.


24" plant caddy (dolly) bottom view


My 30" pedestal fan from Harbor Freight sitting on a 24" plant caddy/dolly


This is, to me, the best combination of pedestal fan and dolly.

Together they are almost as tall as me (I'm 6'5").

If needed, some of these also come with locking wheels (though not needed in my case).

I've also seen units that can be made smaller or larger for a custom fit, though I have not yet seen those in the larger sizes.

Here’s a link to some different kinds of plant caddies: https://wiki.ezvid.com/best-planter-caddies

When searching for these, you will find them under these names, maybe more:
plant caddy
plant caddie
plant dolly
plant trolley
 
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