Tennis Industry magazine

 

Guide to Ball Machines 2009

For 2009, new machines from Lobster and Silent Partner join the list.

By Dave Bone

Anyone who’s been thinking about buying a ball machine will be excited to hear that the USRSA has updated its Ball Machine Selection Guide for 2009. This is the only source anywhere that allows ball-machine buyers to compare the features from all the different brands in one easy-to-use guide.

Five new machines have been added to the 2009 guide — one from Lobster and four from Silent Partner — and you’ll find short descriptions of them below. To see how they compare to all the other ball machines available, check out our 2009 Ball Machine data page.

Remember, many machines offer options that can be added at the time of purchase. We list all the features that come standard with each machine, but we also list all the options available, along with the cost of adding each.

Silent Partner • 800-662-1809

The Lite (Edge Series) is Silent Partner’s least expensive and lightest new addition. It feeds balls at intervals from 1.5 to 10 seconds at speeds up to 95 miles per hour. It’s elevation can be adjusted manually and it is able to feed lobs, topspin and underspin. The Lite offers random oscillation, runs on battery power and comes with a smart charger. It includes wheels for portability, and a cover can be added for $40.

Silent Partner Edge ball machine series

Suggested Retail Price: $799

Dimensions: 24" × 22" × 19"

Weight: 35 lbs.

Ball Capacity: 200

Propulsion: Spinning wheel

Top Speed: 95 mph

Power Source: Battery

Warranty: 1 year

The Star (Edge Series) is the Lite’s big brother. It offers the same dimensions and all the features available on the Lite. But the extra weight and the extra $300 gets you a better battery and a wireless remote control, which controls oscillation. For another $100, the Star can run on a power cord only; for an extra $249, it can run on battery or power cord.

Suggested Retail Price: $1,099

Dimensions: 24" × 22" × 19"

Weight: 46 lbs.

Ball Capacity: 200

Propulsion: Spinning wheel

Top Speed: 95 mph

Power Source: Battery, with AC option

Warranty: 1 year

The Rival (Scoop Series) is a little bigger and heavier than the Lite and Star and offers wheels for portability. It has 1.5- to 10-second feeding intervals and an electronic elevation control so it can feed lobs, topspin, and underspin. It features random oscillation, can store three programs with adjustable depth, height and interval. The standard Rival comes with battery power only and features a battery life indicator. For an extra $100, you can have it built to run on power cord only, and for an extra $249, it can run on both power sources. The Rival comes with a smart charger and 16-button wireless remote that controls oscillation and program settings. A cover is an extra $40.

Silent Partner Scoop series

Suggested Retail Price: $1,399

Dimensions: 28" × 22" × 18"

Weight: 48 lbs.

Ball Capacity: 300

Propulsion: Spinning wheel

Top Speed: 95 mph

Power Source: Battery, with AC option

Warranty: 1 year

The Quest (Scoop Series) offers the same dimensions, weight, warranty and all the features and options available on the Rival, but the extra $400 gets you programmable oscillation with up to four shots in a program. You also get a 20-button wireless remote instead of the 16-button, and an adaptive vertical oscillator.

Suggested Retail Price: $1,700

Dimensions: 28" × 22" × 18"

Weight: 48 lbs.

Ball Capacity: 300

Propulsion: Spinning wheel

Top Speed: 95 mph

Power Source: Battery,

with AC option

Warranty: 1 year

Lobster Sports • 800-526-4041

The Elite Grandslam V is the latest in Lobster’s Grandslam line and has the same dimensions as its predecessors. This is a portable machine with wheels included and should fit in most car trunks. It offers 2- to 9-second feeding intervals and features electronic elevation control and can feed lobs, topspin, and underspin. Users have the options of random oscillation, programmable oscillation and player-simulation mode. The programmable oscillation allows six shots in a program and can store up to 6 programs. You can adjust depth, spin, height, and interval within a program. The Grandslam V runs on battery power only and features a battery life indicator and comes with a smart charger. For an extra $300, you can get a wireless remote, which controls oscillation and program settings. A cover is an extra $49.

Lobster Grand Slam V

Suggested Retail Price: $2,199

Dimensions: 24" × 16" × 19"

Weight: 44 lbs.

Ball Capacity: 150

Propulsion: Spinning wheel

Top Speed: 80 mph

Power Source: Battery

Warranty: 2 years

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About the Author

Dave Bone is the CEO of the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association, and co-publisher of Racquet Sports Industry magazine.

 

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