The unfortunate truth about tennis is that you aren’t always going to have someone to practice with. There are going to be days – more days than any of us would like – where all of your tennis friends are going to be busy and unavailable to hit the court and practice with you.
When that happens, you need a backup plan. Tennis ball machines are the perfect solution to this problem, and the Slingshot T-One Launcher tennis ball machine offers some of the best value for money when it comes to tennis ball machines.
So, if you’re on the hunt for a shiny new tennis ball machine, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for our full review of the Slingshot T-One Launcher tennis ball machine.
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Slingshot T-One Launcher Tennis Ball Machine
The Slingshot T-One Launcher from Slinger proves that we are close to a price revolution in the world of tennis ball machines. Slinger planned to begin their T-One Launcher sale in the summer of 2019 with a fabulously low price tag, and while they eventually ended up increasing the price slightly, it is still one of the most affordable tennis ball machines on the market right now.
The launch was postponed, but now that the Slingshot T-One Launcher is available for purchase, it immediately became a bestseller. One of the most appealing features of this tennis ball machine is that it looks like a wheeled sports bag, which instantly sets it apart from other, more generic tennis ball machines on the market.
You are able to drop up to 144 balls in its top feeder, which is more than enough for your extended practice sessions. What’s more, you can set it to shoot anything from a basic backhand to intense volleys. You really don’t see versatility like this in tennis ball machines, really anywhere.
Who is This Product For?
Tennis ball machines that fall into the same price category as the Slingshot T-one Launcher tennis ball machine are generally best suited for beginner and intermediate players. It does not provide a whole world of features, but the features that it does provide are certainly more than adequate for beginners and intermediates to hone in on their skills and make the most of their solitary practice sessions out on the court.
The Slingshot T-One Launcher is also a fantastic option for anyone that is working on a relatively tight budget, thanks to how affordable it is. You’ll be able to purchase it without breaking the bank, which can’t be said for many other tennis ball machines on the market.
Its low weight makes it wonderfully portable, so if you are worried about how you’re going to transport it to and from the court, don’t. The Slingshot T-one Launcher tennis ball machine is able to fit into any car with ease, and its low weight makes it extremely easy to carry around. Plus, it comes with a handle and wheels, so you don’t even have to carry it anywhere – you can just roll it behind you! It doesn’t get more convenient than that.
- 10mph – 40mph ball feed speed
- 2 seconds – 7 seconds ball feed interval
- 144 ball capacity
- 10° – 40° manual elevation
- No programmable drills
- No phone compatibility
- 5-hour battery life
- 4-hour battery charge time
- 33lbs / 15kg weight
- Plastic & textile body construction
As with many tennis ball machines in its price range, you can’t really expect the Slingshot T-One Launcher tennis ball machine to provide you with every feature and technical tweak under the sun. Usually, more affordable tennis ball machines are there to serve the purpose of training your simple flat shots again and again.
Tennis ball machines that cost more than $1 000 will also offer a spin feature, as well as a random horizontal oscillation feature that can help more intermediate players hone in on their skills. If you are looking for remote control functionality, you will have to pay an additional fee, which is not uncommon for tennis ball machines, especially ones that are as affordable as the Slingshot T-One Launcher machine.
You might be happy to know that Slinger Bag – the company that produces the T-One Launcher – is working to produce a tennis ball machine that costs under $800, which would certainly revolutionize the tennis ball machine industry, especially for tennis players working on a budget. This price would make the machine available to pretty much anyone, and for the asking price, the work-in-progress machine offers a surprising number of exciting features.
The ball capacity is said to be 144 balls, which is close to the standard for many other tennis ball machines like the Lobster. The ball will be launched with pre-set topspin that can even increase when you set the machine to churn balls out at a greater speed. It is also said that you will be able to adjust the angle of the launch manually, anywhere between 10° to 40°. That’s a lot of options for such an affordable machine, and we’re excited about its arrival.
Now, back to the Slingshot. Its ball feed speed can be set to a range of 10 miles an hour to 40 miles an hour, with a variable feed interval range between 2 seconds and 7 seconds. This is quite a bit of customizability, especially for an affordable option, and the options the Slingshot T-One Launcher tennis ball machine offers are more than enough for beginner and intermediate players to practice various essential court skills.
The maximum speed and feed interval are, however, slightly lower than what other machines in this price range offer, but we still feel that they are perfectly adequate for the machine’s target market. Moreover, these parameters are generally in line with the standard market and what other machines have to offer.
Slinger Bag did not offer an oscillation mode initially, but, at the request of their backers on Kickstarter, they promised to sell an additional rotation platform. To everybody’s surprise, this platform did not increase the price of the machine drastically, which is a far cry from many other tennis ball machine brands, who try to grab as much money from their consumers as possible with add-ons.
When it comes to its available drills, the speed and feed intervals are all that you are able to set before you turn on the Slinger Slingshot T-one Launcher tennis ball machine. The programmable nature is a feature that you only really see in the most expensive and extravagant tennis ball machines on the market.
A simple on and off remote control is part of the bundle’s package of this tennis machine and, as we mentioned earlier, is going to cost you a few extra bucks. However, we believe that it is well worth the price. The remote control is able to turn the Slingshot T-One Launcher on and off from a distance and also does so for the oscillation platform that you can purchase separately.
The remote control is not a standard accessory that comes with your tennis ball machine, and there are not many models on the market that even offer the option for you to purchase a remote control. So, if you are looking for an additional layer of convenience, we suggest that you purchase the remote control – it’ll make your life that much easier.
In terms of recharging and the machine’s battery life, the court time of the Slinger Bag Slingshot T-One Launcher tennis ball machine will last you up to 5 hours, which puts this machine amongst the top in the market. 65 hours is generally more than enough for you to get all of your essential practicing done in one session, and we highly doubt that beginners and intermediate players will need more time than that.
What’s more, when it comes to recharging time, the Slingshot T-One Launcher also places itself at the top of the market. It has 4 hours of recharging time and protection against overcharging to ensure that the inner mechanisms of the machine are not damaged during overnight charging sessions.
The great thing about the Slingshot T-One Launcher tennis ball machine is that it is made from durable textile and plastic. It reminds you of a large suitcase with oversized wheels, but don’t let its appearance deceive you – this is a fully functional tennis ball machine wrapped up in an ultra-convenient package. One thing to note is that this is an abnormally tall tennis ball machine, which means that you may have a little bit of trouble getting it in your car or storing it.
However, it has a very light form factor, which makes the machine extremely easy to transport around the court. Juniors and kids should have no problem moving it around. Another unique feature that the Slingshot T-One Launcher provides is that it comes with an additional compartment for you to store water bags, towels, and you’ll even find a bottle holder to keep you hydrated.
It doesn’t end there. This tennis ball machine even comes with a USB port that allows you to charge your phone.
The best part about the Launcher is how easy it is to use. The black and blue rolling bag comes with two large zipper pockets at the front – one to hide the firing mechanism and the speed and rate that it launches balls, and the other to disguise the hopper. On the side of the machine, you are going to find a small zipper that hides the lever used to adjust the angle of the machine. To adjust, unscrew the lever, tilt the machine to your desired angle, and retighten the screen.
There is a spacious interior area that can be accessed through the top of the bag, which allows you to store some tennis rackets. There is also a side sling for an optional telescopic ball grabber. With such a simple, logical, and intelligent design, your trips to the court with the Slingshot T-One Launcher will be a breeze. Simply roll the bag, which contains all of your tennis balls, the Launcher, as well as your rackets, to wherever you’re going to play, open it up, and get cracking.
Setting up the perfect shot for your specific exercises is going to take some time to get the hang of, but once you have mastered the settings that the machine offers, they become extremely easy to dial in. The speed and ball-flow knobs at the front of the bag are easily adjustable, and they go from pretty slow to lightning fast. You should know that the machine does take a little bit of time to warm up, usually about 30 seconds.
So, don’t worry if nothing happens for a few moments after you have turned it on – the Launcher is just getting the ball rolling (pun intended) internally, and it’ll be ready to go in a few seconds.
This startup time is actually the perfect window for you to get from the side of the court that you have set the machine up on to the side that you are going to be practicing at, which is a luxury that not many other machines provide, as they usually have a relatively small window before they start firing off the first few balls. This can lead to a few wasted balls.
- Very affordable
- Compact form factor
- Long battery life
- Very short recharging time
- Large ball capacity
- Spacious interior
- Bottle holder
- Includes USB for phone charging
- Low maximum ball speed
If you are looking for a top-of-the-line tennis ball machine that is packed with features, but won’t break the bank, look no further than the Slingshot T-One Launcher from Slinger Bag. It’s a fantastic option for players of all skill levels.