The last months many people ask me, as tennis ball machine specialist, engineer and tennis trainer, to give my opinion about the Slingerbag. Even top tennis players and trainers think that this machine is good for them, but why is this? Because the Slingerbag has a huge marketing for making it popular, not because it is a good tennis ballmachine.
Some facts about the Slingerbag:
- This ball machine is looking very “cool” and many people think that this “must” be a good ball machine
- The Slingerbag has only one shooting wheel, how is it possible then to shoot good balls?
- One bag includes all parts for a tennis training: ball machine, balls, some bags, a ball picker and even a mobile phone charger
- The Slingerbag position, in almost all the video demo’s on Youtube, is before the net, so same side of the net as the player
- The Slingerbag price is below € 1000,- so within the budget of many customers who can’t spend much money for a good ball machine
- The marketing of Dunlop is huge and Dunlop is a well known tennis brand so the ball machine might be good as well?
The main problem of The Slingerbag
The ball machine has hardly any features but that is not my objection to the machine. When a ball machine is cheap, it is simple, so this is reasonable. The main problem of the Slingerbag is that there is only 1 (!) shooting wheel. The ball shoots only from the top side of the ball. The bottom side of the ball is laying at some metal guide, when shooting. The Slingerbag only shoots with very low speed and extreme topspin because of this. And the player should position close to the ball machine. It could only offer a ball like a coach should do by offering a ball by hand to a player.
Low speed is only suitable for low level players or beginners. But the huge topspin is not good for beginners, every tennis trainer can explain this. Balls to beginners should have low speed and without topspin. High level players should have high speed balls. The Slingerbag can’t offer this. So, the Slingerbag is NOT good for beginners and also NOT good for higher level players. This means that only moderate players can play with the Slingerbag. But I doubt if it is good to always train with low speed topspin balls. This is not the right tennis training.
A bad ball machine but why so popular?
But why is the Slingerbag so popular? The low price and the nice features, that nothing have to do with tennis training, and the amazing “look”, makes customers easily persuade to buy such a monstrosity of a ball machine. For me it is still a wonder why some moderate tennis players on Youtube speak positive about this ball machine? Maybe they don’t know what many/all other real ball machines can do. Or Dunlop sponsored them to make a positive video. Maybe they paid almost € 1000,- for something they can only use for ball bag and charging their mobile phone. And then you sure don’t say that you regret that you bought the wrong machine for your tennis training.
Check yourself by seeing video’s
But why is the Slingerbag so popular? I then think that everyone, who wants to buy a ball machine, should see some videos of this machine on Youtube. And then see the video’s of, for example the Spinfire and the Powershot 3. Often the marketing makes it popular. Comparing Spinfire/Powershot 3 with a Slingerbag is not even like a Ferrari with a Smart car. This is comparing a Ferrari with some kind of Smart car (looking nice from the outside) with a “45 km vehicle” motor. But there are many better ball machines in the market, even the ball machines that De Racketclub don’t sell and also close to € 1000,-.
I don’t say bad words about most ball machines, that we don’t sell. Every ball machine has some advantages and disadvantages. I honestly only warn customers for a crap ball machine when it is really a “bad buy”. Even though De Racketclub might sell a lot Slingerbags if we want. But we never will sell a tennis ball machine that is not good for tennis training and learning better tennis. Maybe we are not good sellers? But we sure are honest to our customers! If I ever develop my own ball machine, probably I would learn from the “looks” and the marketing of the Slingerbag. Because that part is amazing. Many ballmachine producers could learn from Slingerbag to make their product more “looking good”.
I am interested to hear other opinions……