Slinger tennis ball machine

bertrevert

Hall of Fame
The fact that there was even discussion here of whether there need be a revolution in tennis ball machines, to me, speaks volumes on the point that there probably does need to be, that there is some pent-up demand for something other than what's been delivered so far. Don't know what we're expecting but they're already expensive, and wanting more usually means paying more...

My overall assessment of Slinger. Pros: the price/portable/delivers a heavy topspin ball
I've only used a machine (rarely) over time. Clubs just don't seem to have one on hand anymore. Guess the cons outweighed the pros. Rarely seen anyone using a machine for personal-use either.

In a video of the Slinger it seems to spit out the sort of one-roller ball, insanely heavily topspun that you just wouldn't get in a match.

Nothing wrong with that, the machine still offers valuable practice.

However, the ball the Slinger launches lobs over the net, drops halfway, grips, and rips towards you. What's that like? Is it useful?

And because not particularly life-like, not something you're gonna face (unless playing Nadal maybe), does the weight of the resultant ball cause fatigue?
 

BobbyR

Rookie
The fact that there was even discussion here of whether there need be a revolution in tennis ball machines, to me, speaks volumes on the point that there probably does need to be, that there is some pent-up demand for something other than what's been delivered so far. Don't know what we're expecting but they're already expensive, and wanting more usually means paying more...
Very interesting discussion here. Love my ball machine (Spinfire, Proton on order for my son). It does everything except allow me to program a ball sequence to specific locations but the Proton will do that, but not sure I want to bother with that. Given I only get an hour of court time I just want to get hitting immediately. With my machine I have about 15 drills I can invoke instantly without wasting time tyring to fiddle with programming. I'll see if my son ends up bothering with programming when he gets his Proton later this month (fingers crossed!).

What features are you finding that are missing in the ball machines on the market today, price and lower weight aside? I'm at a loss to try to understand what you are driving at.
 

bertrevert

Hall of Fame
what you are driving at.
Life-like, match-like, real-time balls... that you would expect to receive from an opponent.

If we understand that perhaps "the" crucial thing to do in training is to read the ball:

Then we need orient ourselves to it (the ball) dictating our play, to track and respond, so then we owe it to ourselves to want to receive the sort of real ball we're gonna receive in a match.

Now I know tennis ball machines cannot really do that (?) but perhaps this is what we really want from them? A better machine better at producing the deliveries we're gonna face.

I've linked it before, but the machines that deliver cricket balls to batsmen are quite advanced (life-like) now.

Have alook.
 

bertrevert

Hall of Fame
Watch 8:50 onwards, ball delivered is all topspin, so to get a ball "not accelerating" he chg placement of machine then tried intermediate speed to be more "realistic" so it's doable. Maxspeed unrealistic...

 

mmk

Hall of Fame
Life-like, match-like, real-time balls... that you would expect to receive from an opponent.

If we understand that perhaps "the" crucial thing to do in training is to read the ball:

Then we need orient ourselves to it (the ball) dictating our play, to track and respond, so then we owe it to ourselves to want to receive the sort of real ball we're gonna receive in a match.

Now I know tennis ball machines cannot really do that (?) but perhaps this is what we really want from them? A better machine better at producing the deliveries we're gonna face.

I've linked it before, but the machines that deliver cricket balls to batsmen are quite advanced (life-like) now.

Have alook.
Real opponents mix topspin and slice, lobs, drop shots, flat shots, etc., and can change from shot to shot. I won't say that is impossible for a machine to do, but it would be exceedingly difficult.
 

djkahn86

Rookie
The topspin on this machine is so unrealistic. It never plays like an opponent. It takes a while to read the balls trajectory because of this. This being said, it’s a ball machine and thus it will deliver a consistent ball to practice strokes with and get reps. I have a tennis tutor that is great, but this machine is portable and I like it.
 

bertrevert

Hall of Fame
Yeh it's too much to ask from a machine, that's true. Instead it gives reps and a workout. Just the way the ball hits the court and accelerates, I guess one roller will always mean that though...
 

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
Odd conclusion for you to come to regarding Proton.

As for Slinger, their financial situation sure is precarious.
What is your conclusion? I dont find it odd at all. What percentage of the tiny ball machine market can you hope for Proton to capture? Will it push the ball machine market past other tennis markets? Doubt it. What impact will they make on the industry as a whole?
Tennis industry is roughly .5 BB a year. Ball machine market is under 30 MM. Proton isnt disrupting that. Players in this thread make up the exception, but tennis players in large part wont spend their tennis racquet and tennis ball money on a ball machine. Even one as specced as Proton.
 

BobbyR

Rookie
What is your conclusion? I dont find it odd at all. What percentage of the tiny ball machine market can you hope for Proton to capture? Will it push the ball machine market past other tennis markets? Doubt it. What impact will they make on the industry as a whole?
Tennis industry is roughly .5 BB a year. Ball machine market is under 30 MM. Proton isnt disrupting that. Players in this thread make up the exception, but tennis players in large part wont spend their tennis racquet and tennis ball money on a ball machine. Even one as specced as Proton.
My conclusion was in my post. Slinger's situation is precarious. Proton's is not. I can't predict whether Proton will disrupt the market or not but I think they will make great inroads. Features that exceed the Lobster V LE at almost half the price is bound to shake up the market a bit.

I have no clue how big the ball market is, but what is your source for claiming it is under 30M?
 

bobleenov1963

Professional
My conclusion was in my post. Slinger's situation is precarious. Proton's is not. I can't predict whether Proton will disrupt the market or not but I think they will make great inroads. Features that exceed the Lobster V LE at almost half the price is bound to shake up the market a bit.

I have no clue how big the ball market is, but what is your source for claiming it is under 30M?

According to this article, tennis ball machines market is less than 40M. Wow, that's nothing.... Amazon makes 40M in less than an hour.
 

blablavla

Legend

According to this article, tennis ball machines market is less than 40M. Wow, that's nothing.... Amazon makes 40M in less than an hour.
that's what I told here:
whether people like you and me like it or not, there are enough folks out there chasing novelties and latest technology.
you'd say a car should last at least some 10-20 years, and yet many folks are renewing their cars in 3-4 years cycle.

the only caveat for the ballmachine manufacturers is that not so many folks are actually to hire a coach or regularly go through a training with a wall or ball machine.
which translates into a much smaller market than let's say mobile phone, or car industry.
not sure if a company can actually succeed by keeping major updates every 3-4 years, as this would essentially fragmentate the target market.
but then on the other side, there are plenty examples out there of companies coming with a "face lift" or other bs marketing to stay on top of the news without any significant progress behind
and that's why companies are limited in how much they can invest into R&D
but then on another side, if someone finds a way to grow the market by innovation, someone could make a fortune.
 

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
My conclusion was in my post. Slinger's situation is precarious. Proton's is not. I can't predict whether Proton will disrupt the market or not but I think they will make great inroads. Features that exceed the Lobster V LE at almost half the price is bound to shake up the market a bit.

I have no clue how big the ball market is, but what is your source for claiming it is under 30M?
No worries, I'll do some of the work for you. Proton's situation isn't far off from Slinger's, and is arguably not as disruptive and at this crucial stage of getting the Proton to market, a bit more precarious.

You'd think "Features that exceed the Lobster V LE at almost half the price is bound to shake up the market a bit." is sound logic. And it might shake something up a bit, but the disruption will only be driven by those willing to spend north of $1k on a single piece of tennis equipment (ie. those individuals already spending money in the ball machine market which is not at all a significant portion of the tennis consumer market as a whole). That's a high threshold for the kinds of players who make up the overwhelming bulk of the recreational market. It could disrupt the tennis club market if the Proton can withstand commercial use (1 year warranty is precarious) and if they can make deals with high level orgs and clubs. If they do find success it will be through here first IMO then the high-end market, although both are small. Proton is very much in a precarious situation, I'd love to see them get their pre-orders out and have a healthy production run afterwards, but that part is tricky and product companies struggle getting to the other side. Then they need to market and sell these things. Slinger on the other hand is currently in full production. So as of yet, it's Proton who is in a more precarious situation, naturally.

As far as my source to my claim of the tiny ball machine market, someone posted a link above. It was 27MM in a 2017 market with a projection of 33.6MM by 2027.
 

BobbyR

Rookie
that's what I told here:


and that's why companies are limited in how much they can invest into R&D
but then on another side, if someone finds a way to grow the market by innovation, someone could make a fortune.
That 'article' you cited is actually an advertisement under the guise of a press release from a market research company trying to flog their research. All tennis ball machine companies are private and don't disclose their sales so they are just guessing and don't really know. However, I agree the market is small, which stifles innovation, but is it 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70M annually? No one actually knows but I bet a lot less than $100M
 
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BobbyR

Rookie
No worries, I'll do some of the work for you. Proton's situation isn't far off from Slinger's, and is arguably not as disruptive and at this crucial stage of getting the Proton to market, a bit more precarious.

You'd think "Features that exceed the Lobster V LE at almost half the price is bound to shake up the market a bit." is sound logic. And it might shake something up a bit, but the disruption will only be driven by those willing to spend north of $1k on a single piece of tennis equipment (ie. those individuals already spending money in the ball machine market which is not at all a significant portion of the tennis consumer market as a whole). That's a high threshold for the kinds of players who make up the overwhelming bulk of the recreational market. It could disrupt the tennis club market if the Proton can withstand commercial use (1 year warranty is precarious) and if they can make deals with high level orgs and clubs. If they do find success it will be through here first IMO then the high-end market, although both are small. Proton is very much in a precarious situation, I'd love to see them get their pre-orders out and have a healthy production run afterwards, but that part is tricky and product companies struggle getting to the other side. Then they need to market and sell these things. Slinger on the other hand is currently in full production. So as of yet, it's Proton who is in a more precarious situation, naturally.

As far as my source to my claim of the tiny ball machine market, someone posted a link above. It was 27MM in a 2017 market with a projection of 33.6MM by 2027.
You didn't really 'do the work' for me as I disagree with your analysis. Proton is targeting the individual consumer market, not the club market, so is not interested in disrupting it. Why, the machine can't even be powered from an electrical outlet, a must for the club market. That said the individual consumer market is thousands of times larger and Proton will do very well in that market. Slinger will die a slow death.
 

bertrevert

Hall of Fame
Proton will do very well in that market. Slinger will die a slow death.
Agree but of course better tech not always win thru: who gets to market first, can install at base, or bundle a whole package (sales and service) grabs it...

Wonder if manufacturers launch their products looking in the rearview mirror?

Methinks they drive looking forward: whatever the market is now isn't what it can become. If machine genuinely offer something new then who knows...

Slinger sort of a bundled idea: is carry bag, ph recharger, filming stand, and app.

Proton difference? Portability, take on public transport, women's market, small footprint possible use other than on court eg.next to hitting wall (covid safe).
 

blablavla

Legend
Proton difference? Portability, take on public transport, women's market, small footprint possible use other than on court eg.next to hitting wall (covid safe).
you can safely forget about public transport or women market for Proton based on the design.
it's not portable in comparison with Lobster or SpinFire.

You need not only the ball machine, but as well balls and your tennis equipment.
Last time I've seen Proton photos there were no wheels or anything that would help you move Proton from A to B.
So you have both hands busy moving Proton.
Unless you believe someone will take the hopper with balls in their mouth, good luck selling Proton to the folks that need to take it on public transport or to women.
 

bobleenov1963

Professional
you can safely forget about public transport or women market for Proton based on the design.
it's not portable in comparison with Lobster or SpinFire
.

You need not only the ball machine, but as well balls and your tennis equipment.
Last time I've seen Proton photos there were no wheels or anything that would help you move Proton from A to B.
So you have both hands busy moving Proton.
Unless you believe someone will take the hopper with balls in their mouth, good luck selling Proton to the folks that need to take it on public transport or to women.
I do have to take issue with this, based on my experience:

- When I worked in Washington DC and took subway to work, I never saw anyone with a tennis ball machine on the metro in the four years span that I used subway in Washing DC, Virginia, or Maryland region,

- Most people who play tennis drive. haven't met anyone who take public transportation to play tennis. These days, you have Uber and Lyft so do people still take public transportation anymore? I've not stepped into a bus since 1995 and subway since 2015 when I visited NYC for the US Open. Watched the US Open final live that year when Djokovic beat Fed when Fed had like 24 break points on Djokovic serve,

- I've never seen a women with either a Lobster or Spinfire by herself in the past 30 years, unless there is guy with her. Imagine a woman tries to get the 41lbs Lobster or 54lbs Spinfire off the SUV for a lady. Talking about having back problem or herniate disc :cry:,

- I've seen women carrying the 17lbs lite tennis tutor ball machine to the tennis court and practice by themselves. Most of these women drive Tesla and the Proton or Lite Tennis tutor will fit into the Tesla. The same can not be said about Lobster or Spinfire,

- Most of the tennis courts, at least with the HS tennis courts, in the DMV are built in such a way that the tennis courts are less than 5 yards from the parking space. Women do not need to carry everything at once. They can take their time for ball machines, balls, racquets, etc...

- I am in my 50's and I would not use the Lobster or Spinfire even if I get them for free. Last thing I want to happen is to hurt my back from lifting it up and down the SUV,

- Imagine you live in an two level apartment or condo where there is no elevator (very common in Orlando Florida) and you have to carry Lobster or Spinfire up and downstairs. No thanks.

I think Proton, if it works as advertised, will be a hit for women and guys like me.
 

blablavla

Legend
I do have to take issue with this, based on my experience:

- When I worked in Washington DC and took subway to work, I never saw anyone with a tennis ball machine on the metro in the four years span that I used subway in Washing DC, Virginia, or Maryland region,

- Most people who play tennis drive. haven't met anyone who take public transportation to play tennis. These days, you have Uber and Lyft so do people still take public transportation anymore? I've not stepped into a bus since 1995 and subway since 2015 when I visited NYC for the US Open. Watched the US Open final live that year when Djokovic beat Fed when Fed had like 24 break points on Djokovic serve,

- I've never seen a women with either a Lobster or Spinfire by herself in the past 30 years, unless there is guy with her. Imagine a woman tries to get the 41lbs Lobster or 54lbs Spinfire off the SUV for a lady. Talking about having back problem or herniate disc :cry:,

- I've seen women carrying the 17lbs lite tennis tutor ball machine to the tennis court and practice by themselves. Most of these women drive Tesla and the Proton or Lite Tennis tutor will fit into the Tesla. The same can not be said about Lobster or Spinfire,

- Most of the tennis courts, at least with the HS tennis courts, in the DMV are built in such a way that the tennis courts are less than 5 yards from the parking space. Women do not need to carry everything at once. They can take their time for ball machines, balls, racquets, etc...

- I am in my 50's and I would not use the Lobster or Spinfire even if I get them for free. Last thing I want to happen is to hurt my back from lifting it up and down the SUV,

- Imagine you live in an two level apartment or condo where there is no elevator (very common in Orlando Florida) and you have to carry Lobster or Spinfire up and downstairs. No thanks.

I think Proton, if it works as advertised, will be a hit for women and guys like me.
Lobster and Spinfire are not easy to take with you by public transport.
What makes you think that a Proton without wheels will be transportable by public transport? by women?
 

bobleenov1963

Professional
Lobster and Spinfire are not easy to take with you by public transport.
What makes you think that a Proton without wheels will be transportable by public transport? by women?
I NEVER said that. This is what I said:

"When I worked in Washington DC and took subway to work, I never saw anyone with a tennis ball machine on the metro in the four years span that I used subway in Washing DC, Virginia, or Maryland region,"
 

blablavla

Legend
I NEVER said that. This is what I said:

"When I worked in Washington DC and took subway to work, I never saw anyone with a tennis ball machine on the metro in the four years span that I used subway in Washing DC, Virginia, or Maryland region,"
ok. good.
then what is your long post about?
or how it is connected to my post?

I am saying that the Proton design is less transportable in comparison to Spinfire and Lobster.
Which means that people can forget about the dreams of transporting Proton by public transport, or by women in public transport.
 

bobleenov1963

Professional
ok. good.
then what is your long post about?
or how it is connected to my post?

I am saying that the Proton design is less transportable in comparison to Spinfire and Lobster.
Which means that people can forget about the dreams of transporting Proton by public transport, or by women in public transport.
This is what you said in the previous post #319: "you can safely forget about public transport or women market for Proton based on the design."
This is what you said in post #323: "Which means that people can forget about the dreams of transporting Proton by public transport, or by women in public transport."

Can you see the differences between the two?
 

blablavla

Legend
This is what you said in the previous post #319: "you can safely forget about public transport or women market for Proton based on the design."
This is what you said in post #323: "Which means that people can forget about the dreams of transporting Proton by public transport, or by women in public transport."

Can you see the differences between the two?
it's not good to take phrases out of context and try to look smart.
it makes you look silly in fact.

let's try again:
Proton difference? Portability, take on public transport, women's market, small footprint possible use other than on court eg.next to hitting wall (covid safe).
you can safely forget about public transport or women market for Proton based on the design.
it's not that difficult :cool:
 

blablavla

Legend
LOL... Btw, who is still taking public transportation to play tennis these days? People don't use Uber or Lyft anymore?
I don't know
I was just answering to the poster that there is a design flaw that will prevent Proton to be public transport friendly, probably will prevent it as well from being truly women market friendly and certainly will prevent it from being friendly to women that need to take public transport to have a training session
 

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
You didn't really 'do the work' for me as I disagree with your analysis. Proton is targeting the individual consumer market, not the club market, so is not interested in disrupting it. Why, the machine can't even be powered from an electrical outlet, a must for the club market. That said the individual consumer market is thousands of times larger and Proton will do very well in that market. Slinger will die a slow death.
Whatever suits your line of thinking. Like I said, it wont tap into even a small percentage if the consumer market. Theres alot more that goes into a successful product other than good specs. Going to production is one of those things
 

BobbyR

Rookie
Yes, but assuming production results in the product working as advertised then Proton is the very promising if you can accept the many disadvantages.
 

paulorenzo

Hall of Fame
Yes, but assuming production results in the product working as advertised then Proton is the very promising if you can accept the many disadvantages.
You’re mouth is probably salivating at the thought of Proton IPOing. I like the optimism
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
Used my Slinger bag today...just like almost every week since I got it. Still works for me, still no complaints.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
doubtful. I only wanted a machine to help keep my strokes grooved. This does exactly that.
Proton will give you same shots that pros hit. you can rise to ATP tour level UTR if you practice against Proton AI. 3000 RPM at 70 mph , not many USTA league players can produce that kind of shots
 

Rattler

Hall of Fame
Proton will give you same shots that pros hit. you can rise to ATP tour level UTR if you practice against Proton AI. 3000 RPM at 70 mph , not many USTA league players can produce that kind of shots
hahaha. I’ve been on court with Fed, Nadal, Djoker, Delpo and a ton of other ATP players...can’t hit like them, and wouldn’t try.

I’ve hit with Laver, Johnny Mac & A Rod, not very well, but I’ve done it.

I’m perfectly fine in the 3.5-4.0 bubble.
 

BobbyR

Rookie
Proton will give you same shots that pros hit. you can rise to ATP tour level UTR if you practice against Proton AI. 3000 RPM at 70 mph , not many USTA league players can produce that kind of shots
Hardly! Top ATP pro's can regularly return a ball at 80mph+. The Proton's advertised top speed is 70mph, if that is actually what it achieves once it comes to market.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Hardly! Top ATP pro's can regularly return a ball at 80mph+. The Proton's advertised top speed is 70mph, if that is actually what it achieves once it comes to market.
So what man ?? 70 MPH is still pretty close. Did you READ the Andrei Medvedev Average Groundie speed,,,, it's like 64 MPH,,,,,,,,,, Dude...............and Duettes. Good enough to spank muscular RAFA butt ,, wasn't it ?
 

blablavla

Legend
Proton will give you same shots that pros hit. you can rise to ATP tour level UTR if you practice against Proton AI. 3000 RPM at 70 mph , not many USTA league players can produce that kind of shots
and I won't need special pro stock frame and special pro stock shoe and special pro stock socks?
all with Proton machine?
without a coach?
with loopy technique?
with poor footwork?
 

blablavla

Legend
yes free, your discover card will pay it for you. and you have 1 year to pay it off FREE of interest. Dang. That's good
no dude, if I have to pay it free of interest, it means that I have to pay the body of the credit, which is NOT free. Dang.
try again to convince me that it is free. Dang
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
no dude, if I have to pay it free of interest, it means that I have to pay the body of the credit, which is NOT free. Dang.
try again to convince me that it is free. Dang
It's $1700 AI machine. how can it be free ? This is the most technologically advanced ball machine in the world, breakthru in engineering. You are getting a bargain. It really should cost ~4900 dollars. but you are getting it much cheaper. There is also a good chance if you don't buy it now, price will go up due to HIGH demand.
 

blablavla

Legend
It's $1700 AI machine. how can it be free ? This is the most technologically advanced ball machine in the world, breakthru in engineering. You are getting a bargain. It really should cost ~4900 dollars. but you are getting it much cheaper. There is also a good chance if you don't buy it now, price will go up due to HIGH demand.
1. those are your words, not mine, so don't question me please
Proton is you Coach . free coach , amazing
2. as it was pointed out, Proton does NOT have AI, so please stop spreading fake news
3. please stop nudging people to take credit cards and build debts, this is irresponsible, to say the least
4. please don't speculate on how the price might go up
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
1. those are your words, not mine, so don't question me please


2. as it was pointed out, Proton does NOT have AI, so please stop spreading fake news
3. please stop nudging people to take credit cards and build debts, this is irresponsible, to say the least
4. please don't speculate on how the price might go up
You are so Wrong.......... Building debt ??? Wrong again. you are builiding CREDIT. you need a course on fundamentals of financial stability.
 

bobleenov1963

Professional
please enlighten me how credit is different from debt
I'll bite...

Scenario #1: If you have plenty disposable income and can afford the Proton, go ahead and pay for the proton with the credit card. Because it will be "interest free" for one year, you can use that $1700 and put it in a 1 year CD and earn some interest while building up your credit history, That's financial responsibility,

Scenario #2: If you can NOT afford the Proton but decide to buy it anyway using the credit card even with "interest free", that money still has to be payback after one year but you don't have the money to afford it in the first place. Well, that will lead you to financial ruin, just like the 2008 housing crisis. It is called living beyond your means. How is that, according to @Nostradamus, fundamentals of financial stability?
 

blablavla

Legend
I'll bite...

Scenario #1: If you have plenty disposable income and can afford the Proton, go ahead and pay for the proton with the credit card. Because it will be "interest free" for one year, you can use that $1700 and put it in a 1 year CD and earn some interest while building up your credit history, That's financial responsibility,

Scenario #2: If you can NOT afford the Proton but decide to buy it anyway using the credit card even with "interest free", that money still has to be payback after one year but you don't have the money to afford it in the first place. Well, that will lead you to financial ruin, just like the 2008 housing crisis. It is called living beyond your means. How is that, according to @Nostradamus, fundamentals of financial stability?
point 1 makes sense either for folks that can take the money and invest them elsewhere, where the incoming interest is higher than what you pay for credit, in this case it should be higher than 0%
alternatively it makes sense if you don't have the money now, but you have a more or less guaranteed stream of income, and then you can start using today something that you pay within 12 months, rather than waiting for 12 months and pay it upfront.

point 2, it doesn't matter if you call it debt, credit, leasing, or whatever else, as you say, it is living beyond your means.
hence, I am curios in that explanation what makes credit good, debt bad, and what about leasing and other ways to finance something that you can't afford
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
point 1 makes sense either for folks that can take the money and invest them elsewhere, where the incoming interest is higher than what you pay for credit, in this case it should be higher than 0%
alternatively it makes sense if you don't have the money now, but you have a more or less guaranteed stream of income, and then you can start using today something that you pay within 12 months, rather than waiting for 12 months and pay it upfront.

point 2, it doesn't matter if you call it debt, credit, leasing, or whatever else, as you say, it is living beyond your means.
hence, I am curios in that explanation what makes credit good, debt bad, and what about leasing and other ways to finance something that you can't afford
Slinger biased opinions
 
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