Differences of ball machines

Explanation (Features / Trainings)

(some common features of regular ball machines)
  • Normally a ball machine can shoot at every position on the court. Sometimes the 1 position should be set at one of some predefined positions, sometimes a button should be pressed to let the machine move to a location and press again at the preferred position, the easiest is when it will be set with arrow buttons and a number for the horizontal and vertical position (height).

  • The machine can shoot random between 2 horizontal positions at 1 depth for letting 1 player move left/right and simulate some kind of matchplay. This is a feature for 1 player at the court and automatically train more the left/right footwork and preparation for different strokes. This is also more fun after training lots of 1 fixed position balls.

  • Vertical variation shoots between 2 positions at different depths (between service- and base-line). It is used to train the forward / backward footwork and to train short / deep balls. 

  • The 2-line (horizontal) function shoots balls left and right again and again but always at fixed positions so you know exactly where the ball will be shot. This feature is often used for shooting at 2 (groups of) players and makes training of groups much more efficient. When one group player hit the ball, the machine moves already to the other group and in the first group the next player is still preparing for the next shot. The 2-line is often in 3 distances between the 2 positions: narrow, middle and wide. Narrow can be used for 1 player hitting forehand, backhand, forehand etc.

  • The 3-line function will shoot the ball on 3 fixed horizontal positions (left - middle - right - middle- left......) and is a good training for 1 player on the court. It is useful between 1 fixed position training and random training. The player should move between each shot but knows where the next one will be shot. The 3-line is not useful for more than 1 player because the middle position gets more balls than the outside positions.

  • The random function shoot balls everywhere (random) at the court so it simulates a matchplay. Often the random function is just a combination of horizontal and vertical variation so there is still some prediction. Sometimes the random function is real random so you can't predict the next ball, this is real fun and is also useful for training volleys.

  • Some machines have inbuilt trainings. Even though this could be nice, you often like to have the training a little different. Some inbuilt trainings could be for "going to the net", "constant at the baseline" or more basic like 2 cross balls (different horizontal and depth position).

  • When you can easily create your own programs, there is no need for inbuilt programs anymore. When programming your own trainings, it should be easy to create. Especially for (group) trainings, programming is a nice feature. But when there are 8 children at the tenniscourt screaming for the trainer, you have hardly time to create a program and sure no time to first read the manual. 

1 Fixed position (left / middle / right)
2-line / 3-line / Random
  • Normally a ball machine can shoot at every position on the court. Sometimes the 1 position should be set at one of some predefined positions, sometimes a button should be pressed to let the machine move to a location and press again at the preferred position, the easiest is when it will be set with arrow buttons and a number for the horizontal and vertical position (height).

  • The machine can shoot random between 2 horizontal positions at 1 depth for letting 1 player move left/right and simulate some kind of matchplay. This is a feature for 1 player at the court and automatically train more the left/right footwork and preparation for different strokes. This is also more fun after training lots of 1 fixed position balls.

  • Vertical variation shoots between 2 positions at different depths (between service- and base-line). It is used to train the forward / backward footwork and to train short / deep balls. 

  • The 2-line (horizontal) function shoots balls left and right again and again but always at fixed positions so you know exactly where the ball will be shot. This feature is often used for shooting at 2 (groups of) players and makes training of groups much more efficient. When one group player hit the ball, the machine moves already to the other group and in the first group the next player is still preparing for the next shot. The 2-line is often in 3 distances between the 2 positions: narrow, middle and wide. Narrow can be used for 1 player hitting forehand, backhand, forehand etc.

  • The 3-line function will shoot the ball on 3 fixed horizontal positions (left - middle - right - middle- left......) and is a good training for 1 player on the court. It is useful between 1 fixed position training and random training. The player should move between each shot but knows where the next one will be shot. The 3-line is not useful for more than 1 player because the middle position gets more balls than the outside positions.

  • The random function shoot balls everywhere (random) at the court so it simulates a matchplay. Often the random function is just a combination of horizontal and vertical variation so there is still some prediction. Sometimes the random function is real random so you can't predict the next ball, this is real fun and is also useful for training volleys.

  • Some machines have inbuilt trainings. Even though this could be nice, you often like to have the training a little different. Some inbuilt trainings could be for "going to the net", "constant at the baseline" or more basic like 2 cross balls (different horizontal and depth position).

  • When you can easily create your own programs, there is no need for inbuilt programs anymore. When programming your own trainings, it should be easy to create. Especially for (group) trainings, programming is a nice feature. But when there are 8 children at the tenniscourt screaming for the trainer, you have hardly time to create a program and sure no time to first read the manual. 

1 Fixed position (left / middle / right)
2-line / 3-line / Random

Explanation (Parts of ball machines)

(some detailed parts of regular ball machines)
  • How to control. In the past, ball machines should be controlled on the machine and you needed to run fast to the other side after start shooting. Now, all machines have a remote control and some still have a machine panel. The remote control often is quite small to put into the pocket and could control (almost) everything or it's an app on the mobile phone, but there still are some old style ball machines with a remote control that only could start shooting and horizontal variation. So it's important to check what you can control with the remote control before choosing your machine.

  • The power of ball machine is often battery and (220V) power supply. The battery could be internal or external. Internal battery is easy to carry but also has some downsides. The machine will be more heavy (6kg extra), when battery is old or not working well anymore, it should be replaced and who will do this and is it easy to do?
    How long the machine work with the battery depends on the intensity and speed of the training and what kind of battery is used. Most new batteries work between 2 and 8 hours. An external battery could be charged separate from machine and only should be connected with a cable to the machine.

  • The ball hopper holds the balls for shooting, the number of balls of the hopper should be minimal 100 and maximal about 200. Most ball machines have a ball hopper that fits perfectly upside down on the machine which makes it more compact and easier to transport. Some users like to transport the balls inside the hopper so they can take the machine and balls together. For transport over tiles/stones, it is important that the ball hopper don't easily loosen from the machine because then the balls fall down. Some machines do this by some pins, others by fitting the hopper very tight on the machine and the easiest way is when the hopper will be put over the handle.

  • The shooting system exists mostly of 2 shooting wheels above each other where the upper wheel could turn faster (topspin) or slower (slice) than the lower wheel. When you don't want to easily predict the location of the balls, the shooting system should move left/right internally. If the whole machine turns left/right (like a Lobster/Tennis Tutor), the player already walks to the side where the machine is moving to.
    The wheels should have grip on the balls to shoot these, a little "hollow" helps to better pickup the balls. For 2-line and some other features, the machine should know when a ball was shot. Some machines don't measure this and move to the other 2-line side, even when a ball was not shot. Other machines have a switch which turns on when the ball rolls over it. The latest system for this is to measure the speed of the wheels. The wheels always loose a bit speed part of a second, when the ball was shot. This is a software switch which never can break.

  • When carrying the ball machine over the tiles/stones of a tennis park, bigger wheels are preferable. Often the ball hopper is formed like the shape of the machine so that it could be placed upside down on the machine for compact and easy shipment (in a car?). 
    For easy transportation, a handle is preferable, like a small shopping bag on wheels. This could be an extendable handle (like a suitcase) or a fixed handle. For transportation it should be possible to make the handle small (retract) or easily disable from the machine.

  • For safety, it's important that the players don't stand before the machine and the machine not suddenly shoot balls. When start shooting, some machines have a delay of a few seconds before it really start shooting. Also, when the ball hopper is almost empty, very important is that the machine stops shooting when the ball hopper is empty, otherwise players/children start picking up the balls before all the balls were shot. Some machines have a timer (after x seconds no balls shot, machine stops shooting). Some machines have a "not perfectly formed" ball hopper, so some balls will not be shot and stay in machine. When the machine then still is in "shooting mode", players start picking up the balls while a ball still could be shot (vibration of machine let ball fall down in machine), the trainer should be careful with this. Despite it is not nice to be shot by a ball, normally a ball only hurts the person a little (a bruise).

  • When the player can see which direction the next ball will be shot, the effectiveness of the training is degraded very much. In older style machines the whole machine is moving left/right which easily could be seen by the players so they already move to the next position before the ball will be shot. Newer style machines have the shooting system inside and also move left/right with only the shooting system. The direction of the next ball couldn't be seen by the player. 

  • Even though customers never ask for this part of a ball machine, it is the most important part. A ball machine is, like a car, a product that sometimes need service. For cars, there are many garages but for ball machines, most sellers don't know anything of the machine. So, even a small problem (most problems are small), will result in not using the machine anymore. The Racketclub has almost all parts of the machines on stock and lots of knowledge and experience of their machines. We also provide information and documents on our website for repairing simple problems (most problems are simple) by customers themselves.

Explanation (Parts of ball machines)

(some detailed parts of regular ball machines)
  • How to control. In the past, ball machines should be controlled on the machine and you needed to run fast to the other side after start shooting. Now, all machines have a remote control and some still have a machine panel. The remote control often is quite small to put into the pocket and could control (almost) everything or it's an app on the mobile phone, but there still are some old style ball machines with a remote control that only could start shooting and horizontal variation. So it's important to check what you can control with the remote control before choosing your machine.

  • The power of ball machine is often battery and (220V) power supply. The battery could be internal or external. Internal battery is easy to carry but also has some downsides. The machine will be more heavy (6kg extra), when battery is old or not working well anymore, it should be replaced and who will do this and is it easy to do?
    How long the machine work with the battery depends on the intensity and speed of the training and what kind of battery is used. Most new batteries work between 2 and 8 hours. An external battery could be charged separate from machine and only should be connected with a cable to the machine.

  • The ball hopper holds the balls for shooting, the number of balls of the hopper should be minimal 100 and maximal about 200. Most ball machines have a ball hopper that fits perfectly upside down on the machine which makes it more compact and easier to transport. Some users like to transport the balls inside the hopper so they can take the machine and balls together. For transport over tiles/stones, it is important that the ball hopper don't easily loosen from the machine because then the balls fall down. Some machines do this by some pins, others by fitting the hopper very tight on the machine and the easiest way is when the hopper will be put over the handle.

  • The shooting system exists mostly of 2 shooting wheels above each other where the upper wheel could turn faster (topspin) or slower (slice) than the lower wheel. When you don't want to easily predict the location of the balls, the shooting system should move left/right internally. If the whole machine turns left/right (like a Lobster/Tennis Tutor), the player already walks to the side where the machine is moving to.
    The wheels should have grip on the balls to shoot these, a little "hollow" helps to better pickup the balls. For 2-line and some other features, the machine should know when a ball was shot. Some machines don't measure this and move to the other 2-line side, even when a ball was not shot. Other machines have a switch which turns on when the ball rolls over it. The latest system for this is to measure the speed of the wheels. The wheels always loose a bit speed part of a second, when the ball was shot. This is a software switch which never can break.

  • When carrying the ball machine over the tiles/stones of a tennis park, bigger wheels are preferable. Often the ball hopper is formed like the shape of the machine so that it could be placed upside down on the machine for compact and easy shipment (in a car?). 
    For easy transportation, a handle is preferable, like a small shopping bag on wheels. This could be an extendable handle (like a suitcase) or a fixed handle. For transportation it should be possible to make the handle small (retract) or easily disable from the machine.

  • For safety, it's important that the players don't stand before the machine and the machine not suddenly shoot balls. When start shooting, some machines have a delay of a few seconds before it really start shooting. Also, when the ball hopper is almost empty, very important is that the machine stops shooting when the ball hopper is empty, otherwise players/children start picking up the balls before all the balls were shot. Some machines have a timer (after x seconds no balls shot, machine stops shooting). Some machines have a "not perfectly formed" ball hopper, so some balls will not be shot and stay in machine. When the machine then still is in "shooting mode", players start picking up the balls while a ball still could be shot (vibration of machine let ball fall down in machine), the trainer should be careful with this. Despite it is not nice to be shot by a ball, normally a ball only hurts the person a little (a bruise).

  • When the player can see which direction the next ball will be shot, the effectiveness of the training is degraded very much. In older style machines the whole machine is moving left/right which easily could be seen by the players so they already move to the next position before the ball will be shot. Newer style machines have the shooting system inside and also move left/right with only the shooting system. The direction of the next ball couldn't be seen by the player. 

  • Even though customers never ask for this part of a ball machine, it is the most important part. A ball machine is, like a car, a product that sometimes need service. For cars, there are many garages but for ball machines, most sellers don't know anything of the machine. So, even a small problem (most problems are small), will result in not using the machine anymore. The Racketclub has almost all parts of the machines on stock and lots of knowledge and experience of their machines. We also provide information and documents on our website for repairing simple problems (most problems are simple) by customers themselves.

Our ball machines (Features / Trainings)

Compare the differences of our ball machines
Powershot 1
  • Horizontal variation

    The PS1 has a button "horizontal" for moving the machine left-right-left...

  • Vertical variation

    The height should be changed on the machine and so the machine can't move up/down.

  • 2-line

    No.

  • 3-line

    No.

  • Random

    No random function but it can move randomly left/right.

  • Inbuilt trainings

    No.

  • Programming

    No.

  • Spin balls

    Normal, topspin and slice balls.

  • What is special?

    Low weight, only need charge external battery, simple control of machine and necessary features for private trainings.

Powershot 2
  • Horizontal variation

    A button "horizontal" for moving the machine left-right-left...

  • Vertical variation

    The machine could shoot at 2 vertical (depths) positions.

  • 2-line

    Yes, the machine can shoot at 2 exact horizontal positions which can be used for 2 (group of) players.

  • 3-line

    Yes, the machine can shoot at 3 horizontal positions.

  • Random

    Yes, the machine can shoot random between 6 positions (3 horizontal, 2 vertical).

  • Inbuilt trainings

    Yes, the machine has 4 cross trainings.

  • Programming

    No.

  • Spin balls

    Normal, topspin and slice balls.

  • What is special?

    Machine is especially for private use with 2-line and random function.

Powershot 3
  • Horizontal variation

    The PS3 has a button "horizontal" for moving the machine left-right-left...

  • Vertical variation

    Vertical variation between 2 positions and vertical 2-line.

  • 2-line

    2-line at narrow, middle and wide positions.

  • 3-line

    Yes.

  • Random

    This random function is the best you can find. Real random, not just a combination of hor/vert. variation.

  • Inbuilt trainings

    6 types of cross trainings.

  • Programming

    Make your own programs at 28 positions (7 hor x 4 vert). Great feature!

  • Spin balls

    Normal, topspin and slice balls.

  • What is special?

    The programming feature is great and easy programming. The random function is unique, the machine is moving real random between the 28 positions on the court. The battery is the best of all machines. For clubs and private high level players the best machine.

Powershot 3 NG
  • Horizontal variation

    The PS3 has a button "horizontal" for moving the machine left-right-left...

  • Vertical variation

    Vertical variation between 2 positions and vertical 2-line.

  • 2-line

    2-line at narrow, middle and wide positions.

  • 3-line

    Yes.

  • Random

    This random function is the best you can find. Real random, not just a combination of hor/vert. variation.

  • Inbuilt trainings

    6 types of cross trainings.

  • Programming

    Make your own programs at 28 positions (7 hor x 4 vert). Great feature!

  • Spin balls

    Normal, topspin and slice balls which could be set all speeds.

  • What is special?

    The programming feature is great and easy programming. The random function is unique, the machine is moving real random between the 28 positions on the court. The battery is the best of all machines. For clubs and private high level players the best machine. The difference with the "original" PS3 is the huge topspin at high speed which is now great for top tennis players as well.

Spinfire Pro 2
  • Horizontal variation

    Horizontal variation wide and middle, so for higher and lower level.

  • Vertical variation

    Vertical variation between 2 positions, no vertical 2-line. Special Padel vertical variation for moving up/down over much bigger angle.

  • 2-line

    2-line narrow, medium and wide positions.

  • 3-line

    No.

  • Random

    Random function is combination of horizontal and vertical variation.

  • Inbuilt trainings

    No.

  • Programming

    No.

  • Spin balls

    Normal, topspin and slice balls which could be set at all speeds.

  • What is special?

    The machine has a very compact remote control (credit card size) for all functions of machine. The machine also has a machine panel, easy when you forgot your remote control. The speed could easily combined with topspin which results in very high speed balls with topspin, this is why professional players still choose Spinfire instead of the much more featured Powershot 3.

Our ball machines (parts)

Compare the parts you get with our ball machines
Powershot 1
  • Control

    All function by remote control except height by turning button on machine. No control on machine (except height).

  • Power

    Standard by 220V and external battery (3 hrs).

  • Ball hopper

    For about 130 balls (150 with top). Ball hopper fits perfectly upside down on machine and can't fall off machine because handle goes over the hopper.

  • Shooting system

    Shooting system moves internally in machine. Good wheels above each other, good grip on the balls.

  • Transportation

    Normal wheels, extendable handle and ball hopper can't fall down when carrying balls in machine. Because battery is external, low weight and easy to put in car. For charging, only battery needs to be charged and machine can stay in car/tennisclub. 18 kg.

  • Safety

    Good shaped ball hopper so all balls will be shot, no misunderstanding when last ball has been shot. When starting machine, shooting starts automatically after few secs.

  • Effectiveness

    Player can't predict where next ball will be shot, shooting system moves internally.

  • Service

    2 years guarantee by The Racketclub. We are distributor and have (almost) all parts on stock and our own service center.

Powershot 2
  • Control

    All function by remote control, need some time to get used to operation of machine. Difficult to use for smashes. No control on machine.

  • Power

    Standard by 220V and internal battery (3 hrs).

  • Ball hopper

    For about 150 balls (170 with top). Ball hopper fits perfectly upside down on machine and can't fall off machine because handle goes over the hopper.

  • Shooting system

    Shooting system moves internally in machine. Good wheels above each other, good grip on the balls.

  • Transportation

    Big wheels, extendable handle and ball hopper can't fall down when carrying balls in machine. 27 kg.

  • Safety

    Good shaped ball hopper so all balls will be shot, no misunderstanding when last ball has been shot. When starting machine, shooting starts automatically after few secs.

  • Effectiveness

    Player can't predict where next ball will be shot, shooting system moves internally.

  • Service

    2 years guarantee by The Racketclub. We are distributor and have (almost) all parts on stock and our own service center.

Powershot 3
  • Control

    All function by remote control. Despite the many functions of the machine, the remote control is very easy to use. Numbers on RC display for horizontal (10-70) and height (10-40). Even though, remote control is perfect, no control on machine.

  • Power

    Standard by 220V and perfect Lithium battery (6-8 hrs!).

  • Ball hopper

    For about 150 balls (170 with top). Ball hopper fits perfectly upside down on machine and can't fall off machine because handle goes over the hopper.

  • Shooting system

    Shooting system moves internally in machine. Good wheels above each other, good grip on the balls.

  • Transportation

    Big wheels, extendable handle and ball hopper can't fall down when carrying balls in machine. Machine is 29 kg.

  • Safety

    Good shaped ball hopper so all balls will be shot, no misunderstanding when last ball has been shot. When starting machine, shooting starts automatically after few secs.

  • Effectiveness

    Player can't predict where next ball will be shot, shooting system moves internally.

  • Service

    2 years guarantee by The Racketclub. We are distributor and have (almost) all parts on stock.

Spinfire Pro 2
  • Control

    All functions easily controlled by very compact remote control. Also control on machine itself via manual panel.

  • Power

    Standard internal battery (3 hrs), 220V optional by external Power Supply.

  • Ball hopper

    For about 160 balls (180 with top, feeding gets more difficult with so many balls). Ball hopper fits perfectly upside down on machine and is quite tight on machine, it can fall down but not easily. Due to the handle at the bottom, the machine rolls quite skew so only a few balls could be taken in the ball hopper, otherwise these fall out of machine.

  • Shooting system

    Shooting system moves internally in machine. Good wheels above each other, good grip on the balls.

  • Transportation

    Normal wheels, extendable handle at bottom of machine and ball hopper fitting tight on machine. 28 kg.

  • Safety

    Ball hopper is okay but regularly a few balls stay in the hopper, the machine stops shooting after 45 secs not shooting. People should only start picking up the balls after machine stopped shooting or a trainer stopped shooting manually.

  • Effectiveness

    Player can't predict where next ball will be shot, shooting system moves internally.

  • Service

    2 years guarantee by The Racketclub. We are distributor and have (almost) all parts on stock.

Visit machine:
Powershot 1

Powershot 1

Machine for private use. Easy to use but good features like left/right movement, topspin, remote control, battery and 220V, and small and light weight.

Powershot 2

Machine for private use. Especially meant for basic private training as replacement of "a tennis partner" for playing forehand, backhand and volleys. Inbuilt cross and random balls training.

Powershot 3

Powershot 3

Machine for private use, tennis clubs and tennis trainers. Easy to use and most features and trainings of all machines. Especially programming feature makes this machine special.

Spinfire Pro 2

Machine for private use and trainers. Easy to use and especially the max. topspin combined with max. speed makes this machine the favorite for top tennis players.