If you are buying a ball machine....things you should know first.

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by guitarplayer, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    Here is my Silent Partner Edge Star. I use it twice a week. I love it.......for what it is. I think the unsatisfied people have unrealistic expectations.

    People! It's a machine, it's not a person. If you want an easy wonderful way to practice your ground strokes....this is it. Take 15 minutes to set it and forget it. You are done adjusting forever. Get the remote and larger battery. Put it on the baseline, fill the hopper, walk to the opposite baseline, touch your remote and hit away! It is perfect for this application. You can bang forehands and backhands all day long. Sweep or stay in the same position. It is perfect for this.

    Now, if you are wanting a session of hitting lobs, volleys, and ground strokes.......then call a friend! Otherwise you will be spending too much time constantly adjusting the machine to lob, then re setting it to volley, then resetting it yet again for ground strokes. This will be a long tedious and frustrating process. Just not worth it for me.

    Get a nice ball hopper that holds enough balls. Enjoy your machine, it's a great supplement when a hitting partner isn't available. Just have realistic expectations.

  2. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

    Apr 30, 2004
    I have the old Silent Partner Lite and I love it. As a grown man with a full time job and a family, I sometimes go months without getting together with anyone to hit. The ball machine is great for when I suddenly have some spare time to jet over to the local courts at 9pm.
  3. bobtodd

    bobtodd Rookie

    Jul 21, 2013
    Hampton Roads, VA
    I own a SP Edge with regular battery and use it every week. I set it up and the whole family takes turns hitting and retrieving balls. We have a tube and hopper to pick up balls. Really enjoy this machine. It's a big hit on the local court.
  4. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Feb 17, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    You may be right about adjusting the Silent Partner for lobs. I have not done so but once or twice. My SP Edge machine tends to be less reproducible at low ball speeds than at higher ball speeds. I'm not sure what it would do for lobs which are lower speed shots.

    But it should be somewhat reproducible for low speed lobs or at least the reproducibility probably depends mostly on the condition of the balls.

    This clever scale or a similar one could save some time in setting the elevation, especially for lobs. Or, a mark or two with a Sharpie. ?
    Silent Partner should put a setting scale on their machines or include decal scales.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  5. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

    Jul 23, 2009
    Roswell GA
    great idea for a thread.....

    I recently got my first ball machine (SP) and was a little let down at first, due to unrealistic high expectations. Picking up balls with the hopper is a pain and the pressureless balls I initially bought felt like rocks. Lugging it to and from the courts is also a pain. But I love hitting tennis balls and working on my technique, so that part is great.

    Like u said...just be realistic about it and you won't be let down.
  6. frank52

    frank52 Semi-Pro

    Jan 30, 2013
    That Silent Partner Edge is a fine looking machine. I am quite envious.

    I have an older Silent Partner with flimsier plastic and tiny wheels. Still works great though. I have mine on a cart with two ball baskets which I walk four blocks to my local court. The cart gives the machine a little extra height. I may build a taller stand at some point.

    Ball machines seem to last a long time. An acquaintance cleaned out his basement recently and gave me a Sports Tutor model 1 from the early 1990s. I hooked up a different battery and it worked great.
  7. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Feb 11, 2005
    So Cal
    Great thread. But you left out - that friend must have absolutely 0 ego, is ready to hit at any time, and is good enough to feed you the ball you want.

    Ball machine = very useful for improving your technique (strokes and footwork) and a great workout.

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