Slinger tennis ball machine

#1
I'm just curious what the tennis community thinks about the Slinger tennis ball machine. I've seen it mentioned a few times here and there and it appears that you can currently order it through indiegogo (was a kickstarter project).

What do you think? I have owned a few tennis ball machines in my time and end up not using them very often because I find them inconvenient to port around. Maybe this would be better?
 
#3
They haven't shipped from the Kickstarter campaign, so I don't think anyone has actually seen/used one yet.
Yeah, I know they don't ship until October. I was just wondering if people thought it looked like something that might be useful or more of a gimmick. It looks like you can adjust the speed and how often it fires the ball but you can't adjust the spin. I like the idea of it being a bit more portable but am concerned it might not work very well. I guess time will tell.
 
#4
Looks like a great portable solution and the ability to add on remote and rotating platform makes it a pretty solid machine at a good price. The only concern I have is the ball capacity. It's less than a standard ball machine but I think the portability and features make up for it. If I was in the market for a personal ball machine I would definitely give this one a look.
 
#5
Looks like a great portable solution and the ability to add on remote and rotating platform makes it a pretty solid machine at a good price. The only concern I have is the ball capacity. It's less than a standard ball machine but I think the portability and features make up for it. If I was in the market for a personal ball machine I would definitely give this one a look.
Smboogie, thank you for your feedback. I'm thinking I might take a shot and order one.
 
#6
I like this just for the new battery tech. The established makers could remove most of the weight from their machines just by going with a modern battery pack. This would add cost but make them much more portable.

Be wary though, the battery is NiMh, which has memory issues. I wonder if it is easily replaced.
 
#7
Smboogie, thank you for your feedback. I'm thinking I might take a shot and order one.
When I was looking for a personal, portable ball machine, like tennis tutor. I was seeing used pricing around $400 and I would have to replace the battery to be sure it worked correctly and that would be at least another $100+. So at this price for the features I think it's a good deal.
 
#9
I "bought" one on Kickstarter. I wanted something that would feed me balls when I didn't or couldn't find a hitting partner. I can't wait to get it. I doubt it will be shipped by October. Nothing I've backed on Kickstarter has ever shipped on the original schedule. I know this and I don't mind waiting. I've backed 6 different products on Kickstarter over the years, I've received 3 of them. Another one is slowly being shipped out now; about a year and a half later than expected. And the other two aren't supposed to be shipped until this fall, the Slinger is one of them.

I thought it was a good price to take the risk. The campaign received a lot more backer money than what was originally hoped for. Products like that give me a little more faith they'll be completed. There are no guarantees, but I think this one will make it. I even bought the extra revolving base and remote start.

I'll post a review after I receive it and get to use it. From my experience with Kickerstarter campaigns, I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't get it until next year sometime, so it may be a while for my review.
 
#10
Hmm, looks like @msyl19 is right. Delay in shipment in their update dated 13th Sep.

As you know, all of the pictures/videos that we have showed of Slinger were of our prototype. Having taken our prototype and beginning to prepare for manufacturing, we came across a few design changes which will make slinger more durable, as well as smaller in size. Our updated plan includes changes to the bag, the frame and even the electronics - making all of them even better!

As well, with each add on, specifically the remote, rotating platform and hopper, changes needed to be made to the internal/external workings of Slinger.

Due to these points we are looking at a delay in shipping of 90 - 120 days. While our only goal at this point is to fulfill your orders and for you to get Slinger out on the court, we do not want to ship a version of Slinger that is not at it’s best.
Was hoping to get some early reviews soon. If I take the plunge now probably won't see the machine until Spring/Summer 2019.
 
#12
10/18 delivery date with no deliveries of 1/19. It looks bad. I was hoping this would work out if only for using 1990s battery tech instead of 1890s battery tech in all other machines.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#13
I purchased two slingers at the kickstarter price. As of now they have a delivery date of mid February. It’s been a work in progress, they’ve run into several design problems. I honestly don’t think they’ll make this February delivery date. I think it’ll probably more like April/May when they finally get them out. I do believe it’s going to be a great product when it’s all said and done.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#15
I asked that same question here was the answer direct from the inventor

“Firstly, thank you for your continued support. What was shown in the videos, pictures and throughout the campaign was a working prototype of Slinger. As you know, we also hoped that Slinger would be mass-production ready in time for the initial delivery date, but as with any new and innovative product, with testing comes a deeper understanding and sometimes issues which need to be addressed. We quickly realized that the Slinger we had presented was not the best version of itself and could be made even better in terms of its durability, functionality, etc...

The challenge that we are facing now is not something we anticipated at all and the launcher/PCB was working perfectly fine as you were able to see in the recent video we sent. However, we are glad that we found this issue now before moving forward will full scale manufacturing since this would have been much more difficult to fix if we had.
Further to the update that we sent, we are waiting for the new PCB's to arrive so that we can test them and determine what the issue is. Hoping for a quick fix, as I am sure you are too! Thank you again for your continued support.”
 
#16
I asked that same question here was the answer direct from the inventor

“Firstly, thank you for your continued support. What was shown in the videos, pictures and throughout the campaign was a working prototype of Slinger. As you know, we also hoped that Slinger would be mass-production ready in time for the initial delivery date, but as with any new and innovative product, with testing comes a deeper understanding and sometimes issues which need to be addressed. We quickly realized that the Slinger we had presented was not the best version of itself and could be made even better in terms of its durability, functionality, etc...

The challenge that we are facing now is not something we anticipated at all and the launcher/PCB was working perfectly fine as you were able to see in the recent video we sent. However, we are glad that we found this issue now before moving forward will full scale manufacturing since this would have been much more difficult to fix if we had.
Further to the update that we sent, we are waiting for the new PCB's to arrive so that we can test them and determine what the issue is. Hoping for a quick fix, as I am sure you are too! Thank you again for your continued support.”
I hope he comes through but this is pretty generic, oh the cpu/ x part is not working like we thought. I mean with good editing you can make a totally non functioning product look like it's got all the bells and whistles. Let's just say I've seen way too many of these not pan out and I'm tired of seeing people getting ripped off when the intention was never to deliver or deliver at remotely timely manner. Hell my bitcoin miners that I preordered delayed for like 1.5 years plus so when I got them they were basically paperweights.
 
#18
I almost pulled the trigger to back it. Luckily I didn’t after doing a tonne of research etc. I still remember backing a pair of Bluetooth headphones a year out from the AirPods. And I received them 2 months after I bought the new AirPods (~6months delay). And they were reputable Kickstarter/indigogo* people*
 
#19
If you look inside a Lobster, Silent Partner or any other tennis ball machine (engineered decades ago) you will see that there is almost nothing to be simplified or made smaller in size or enhanced. Therefore when I look at photos of a Slinger ball machine I think only of a Tennis Twist machine, a simple toss machine for kids, but not a working ball machine. Stories about "pcb" sound like a b..****.
 
#21
Funny about the story with the pcb aye. And not allowing refunds too. So crazy. I would be interested if it was ever released and reviewed. But unless that happens. To me that campaign is just a scam
 
#23
If you look inside a Lobster, Silent Partner or any other tennis ball machine (engineered decades ago) you will see that there is almost nothing to be simplified or made smaller in size or enhanced. Therefore when I look at photos of a Slinger ball machine I think only of a Tennis Twist machine, a simple toss machine for kids, but not a working ball machine. Stories about "pcb" sound like a b..****.
This is true you need a strong enough frame, big enough motors and big enough wheels to make it work properly.
 
#25
Not sure what settings they had it on in the video, but throwing lob-esque shots from just behind the service line to just inside the opposite service line is not that impressive, at least to me. Didn't invest, but I'll still stick with my Twist.
 
#28
What a bunch of poop:

...it became clear to us that balls launching out at speeds of over 45 MPH were both unnecessary and unsustainable.

Yeah, definitely unsustainable, but unnecessary? That's such a crock.
 
#30
What is the point of SLinger ball machine? That is it portable and fits in a backpack? If you look and compare it - it looks even bigger, than SP or Lobster. If you put the ball hopper SP is even smaller.




 

TagUrIt

Professional
#32
What is the point of SLinger ball machine? That is it portable and fits in a backpack?
No, the original idea was that it was light enough you could roll it or carry on your back.

There are ALOT of angry backers on their forum (which only backers can comment)
I’m one of those backers, it has been a long process and I expect it’ll be even longer until they actually deliver. There are ton of people talking about a class action lawsuit. I’m not sure that’s an option being as though it’s a kickstarter project. The speed being reduced from 80mph to 45 was really big let down. Despite all this drama surrounding this project, at the end of the day it’s still a portable ball machine. They’re aren’t any affordable ones on the market so I’ll enjoy mine when it finally comes in.
 
#33
No, the original idea was that it was light enough you could roll it or carry on your back.
Well, the most heavy part in tennis ball machine are motors. You can't make them light and keep power level. You can't make the battery light. You either make it very small or it is still that heavy. :rolleyes:
 
#34
No, the original idea was that it was light enough you could roll it or carry on your back.



I’m one of those backers, it has been a long process and I expect it’ll be even longer until they actually deliver. There are ton of people talking about a class action lawsuit. I’m not sure that’s an option being as though it’s a kickstarter project. The speed being reduced from 80mph to 45 was really big let down. Despite all this drama surrounding this project, at the end of the day it’s still a portable ball machine. They’re aren’t any affordable ones on the market so I’ll enjoy mine when it finally comes in.
Yep, I'm with you. Even if it's just a slightly better version of the Tennis Twist, I was an early backer and only paid $219 (versus $300 for a new Tennis Twist). It should also have significantly more ball capacity (72-100 versus 28). All that being said, my hope is that it finally ships this spring!
 
#35
Sorry, I am really glad I did not back this. I would be p!ssed. Heck, I am mad just reading this thread. For everyday that passes their delivery date that is time lost practicing. What is that worth? $50 a day? Eventually it is no longer a bargain or worth it. I would definitely be with those folks looking at class action. I bought my Twist used off the auction site for $100 shipped. A $5 5 gallon bucket and a bit of cutting and engineering expands its capacity significantly. With rechargeable batteries, I'm maybe at $150 invested.
 
#36
I read that backers are considering a class action for Kickstarter 3D headphones. I guess it’s fairly common. If I was a scammer I would use Kickstarter too. Zero protection for backers, it’s literally free money. Just make up some fake video with an impossible idea. Isn’t hard to do.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#38
The creator is finally addressing the issue of a refund to the backers. Again I haven’t been very happy with the entire experience. When the Slinger Kickstarter was first presented it gave the impression that it was ready to produced. The Kickstarter was just a way to fund the project. As it turns out, the actual product featured in the promo video was just a prototype. They basically went back to the drawing board to completely redesign Slinger. That right there was enough to **** a LOT of people off! (me included) They’ve finally finished the project and are ready to mass produce it after Chinese New Year is over (yet another delay). This isn’t how I wanted my Kickstarter investment to go, but this ball machine will revolutionize the market.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#40
What makes you say that? Just the price point?
They’re on to something with this portable ball machine. I know there are other portable ball machines out there, but none like this. I have a feeling this is just version 1.0 of the Slinger and they’ll perfect it even more after they have some success with this one. The price point won’t be as big of selling point. They plan to retail Slinger at $300-$400 dollars a unit. So it’ll be comparable to other ball machines. The Kickstarter/Indiegogo backers are the only ones reaping the benefits (and cons) of getting in on the ground floor.
 
#41
Looking at the name and the pictures I assume the Slinger slings balls rather than squeezing balls through two rotating wheels. This will lessen wear on balls considerably. That being said, the 45 mph speed of the Slinger makes me happy to be the owner of a Silent Partner.
 
#42
Looking at the name and the pictures I assume the Slinger slings balls rather than squeezing balls through two rotating wheels. This will lessen wear on balls considerably. That being said, the 45 mph speed of the Slinger makes me happy to be the owner of a Silent Partner.
I wouldn't make any assumptions on the mechanism that launches the ball based on the name of the product. I guess we'll find out when a production model finally rolls off the line and is on a court.
 

mmk

Hall of Fame
#45
I just put in for a refund. The 45 mph limit, and the video made up my mind. If I do decide to get a ball machine, I'll likely go with a SP from their occasional demo units offered on the big auction site.
 
#46
I’m glad they offered refunds. I think they raised almost 1mil at one stage. Down to 731k now. Interesting.... I’m still highly sceptical the product would be of any use or last longer than a few months (unless it’s sub 45mph). I’m still waiting for the portable tennis ball launcher revolution
 
#47
No, the original idea was that it was light enough you could roll it or carry on your back.



I’m one of those backers, it has been a long process and I expect it’ll be even longer until they actually deliver. There are ton of people talking about a class action lawsuit. I’m not sure that’s an option being as though it’s a kickstarter project. The speed being reduced from 80mph to 45 was really big let down. Despite all this drama surrounding this project, at the end of the day it’s still a portable ball machine. They’re aren’t any affordable ones on the market so I’ll enjoy mine when it finally comes in.
Well, the most heavy part in tennis ball machine are motors. You can't make them light and keep power level. You can't make the battery light. You either make it very small or it is still that heavy. :rolleyes:
i was thinking the same thing... probably dropped the battery... maybe from 12v to 6v, which then meant they didn't have enough juice to power high watt motors, so they dropped that too? batteries are heavy AF
 
#48
i was thinking the same thing... probably dropped the battery... maybe from 12v to 6v, which then meant they didn't have enough juice to power high watt motors, so they dropped that too? batteries are heavy AF
:) Voltage does not have anything related to battery weight or motor power. :) I guess, they just can't make it light enough so they just cut down the features.
 
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