Tennis Twist


 Ball Machines




My experience with the Tennis Twist Ball Machine

    My first exposure to the tennis twist was on a tennis vacation.   A group of adults and I were using it for some hitting practice.  I remembered that I wasn't very impressed with it.  It wasn't powerful enough to feed the balls over the net, it just tossed the balls a few feet so you had to place the machine close to you on the same side of the net. It tosses the ball in a short arc just like how a parent might feed balls to a kid, but it pushes out the tennis balls a little faster.  Tennis Twist Ball Machine

    The construction of the machine is as basic as you can get allowing it to be the cheapest ball machine on the market.  It only holds 28 tennis balls which sit on ramp that twists around the machine. The steep angle of the ramp provides the means along with gravity to feed the throwing device.  A small spring controlled arm flips the balls into the air using a small electrically controlled motor.  To keep the costs down it doesn't use a battery, only an electric cable.  It's a very short in length one so you need to use the machine with an electric extension cord.  Running only on electric power really limits what courts you can play with it at.  The machine only has one control - the on/off switch.  There is a device under the bottom of the ball machine that allow you to adjust the spring for the throwing arm, by changing the spring tension you get some control over the throwing angle and thereby the arc of the ball.  The speed is constant (about one every 5 seconds) and once you start-up the machine the tennis balls are kicked out of the machine until it runs out.

    A year later I came across a Tennis Twist that someone had thrown away.  I picked it up even though I already owned a much better ball machine - the Prince Model One.  I figured that I could use it as a loaner that I would supply the machine to people with young kids.  It was good for that purpose, but that's about all.  I sometimes carried it to the courts when my Prince ball machine's battery wasn't charged up or when I just didn't feel like dealing with dragging out the much heavier machine.  When I used it for practice the only useful thing that I like using it for was to practice my backhand volleys and backhand overheads, everything else was too easy to do with the easy ball feeds.

    After moving away from courts that had no electrical outlets the machine sat a few years in my garage with no use so I dropped it off at Goodwill so that they could find a new home for it.

    My advice to adults players or serious juniors players would be to get a real ball machine and if you don't have the money for that then just pass on the Tennis Twist.  Adults with small kids might find it useful, but only if you have access to a court with electrical power (not common on most public courts unless they are lighted, even then they often do not have an electrical outlet).


    Update:  I found out that they also offer a battery operated version of the Tennis Twist. Since it uses six ‘D’ size batteries you don't have to worry about running out of power because you can always keep an extra set of batteries in the car.


Last Updated: 11/23/09   Site Map

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