Hit Zone Deluxe Air Tennis & Tee Ball Machine
Last updated date: April 28, 2021
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We looked at the top Tennis Ball Machines and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Tennis Ball Machine you should buy.
Editor's Note May 6, 2021:
Checkout The Best Tennis Ball Machine for a detailed review of all the top tennis ball machines.
This air-driven device floats a ball at just the right height for serve or batting practice. The height adjustment makes it suitable for prospective players of all ages. Even with the air jets, the operation is surprisingly quiet.
In our analysis of 27 expert reviews, the Hit Zone Hit Zone Deluxe Air Tennis & Tee Ball Machine placed 5th when we looked at the top 5 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
SEE THE HIT ZONE TENNIS AIR TEE IN ACTION by clicking on the “Video” link on the left (below the photos). You can also scroll down this listing page for more photos, FAQ, and info! And lastly - you can click on the “Hit Zone” link at the top left of the listing to visit our Hit Zone store. A UNIQUE & FUN WAY for kids to practice tennis! Students at Teddy Tennis and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center cannot wait to practice on the “Magic Machine”. Kids are mesmerized as the ball magically floats in the air. When they are having fun, they are much easier to teach! TRAIN AT HOME! The Hit Zone also makes it easy for the players to practice at home. And during the cold winter months, you can even set up a training station for them in the basement! COACHES LOVE TEACHING with the Hit Zone swing trainer. The Hit Zone air tee practice machine is a great teaching aid to help a player develop proper stances, spatial awareness to the contact point, and proper swing paths. NO FEAR OF HITTING THE “TEE”! We use a patented system incorporating a fabric sleeve to deliver the powerful air stream. If the player hits the "Tee" - no big deal – their racket will swing right through it. Your Hit Zone air tee comes packed with a 9” fabric sleeve. AS AN EXTRA BONUS, we now also include a 14.5” fabric sleeve. In addition to being able to adjust the height of the ball with the variable speed control, you can also easily switch sleeves to practice at different heights! EASILY ADJUST THE HEIGHT OF THE BALL! The Hit Zone Deluxe comes with a variable speed control knob which allows you to adjust the height the balls float. It also allows you to use a variety of types of balls. ("Red" balls do not work well) The Gamma foam ball included works great on the Hit Zone. Oversized foam balls also work well. When using a real tennis ball, it is best to use ones that are slightly worn as fuzz is not very aerodynamic! IMPORTANT: Use 120V only - Not for use with 220V.
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An Overview On Tennis Ball Machines
If you want to improve your tennis game, a good sparring partner is worth his weight in gold. But while real opponents are the best way to hone your skills, they can’t always be there when you’re ready to practice — and that’s why a good tennis ball machine is the next best thing.
In its most basic form, a tennis ball machine is just a bin with a propulsion mechanism that can toss balls over the net. And if you’re a first-time player, straight shots might be all you can handle. But since the whole point is to step up your game, you’ll soon need a machine that can give you a little variation. Everybody plays a bit differently, so finding the right mechanical tennis partner means looking for features that will keep you challenged in a reliable (and hopefully, affordable) package.
The features you’ll hear the most about in a tennis ball machine involve the launch mechanism. You’ll want to know not only how the balls are launched but how fast and how often. The most basic machines have a standard rate at which the balls are fired, and faster isn’t necessarily better. You’ll want to be able to tweak the amount of time you have to recover in between each successful return, and a good tennis ball launcher will have an adjustable feed rate that you can increase as your skills improve. The best ones will even have a random setting to keep you on your toes.
The next thing to consider is where are those balls being sent? A machine that only launches to one spot will only help you improve one type of swing — and it won’t be much use for long. Most machines have a firing tube that can oscillate, which is say that it moves. Some of those tubes can oscillate from side to side, and you’ll ideally want as much distance as possible so that you get balls that cover the entirety of the court. A launcher that can also oscillate up and down, even to a slight degree, is even better.
Higher end machines will let you control both the feed rate and oscillation. Some may even have a remote that lets you program certain types of shots in succession so that you can work on certain returns. Just make sure the mechanism isn’t so complicated that you spend more time hitting buttons than actually playing.
Machines will typically launch their balls through one of two ways: A spinning wheel or air pressure. The first type feeds the “ammo” into a pair of counter-rotating wheels, and this process generally results in a more precise shot. (It’s also easier for the machine to put spin on the ball, for obvious reasons.) Pneumatic, or air pressure launchers use jets of compressed air to launch the balls, which generally requires a bit more power. For that reason, they tend to be cheaper and will usually need to remain plugged in. On the other hand, they’re likely to be less expensive.
Once you’ve considered the ballistic features, don’t overlook one common statistic that will make a big difference in your practice sessions: The ball capacity. This number varies widely between models. The average number of balls is around 100-125 balls, which is enough that you won’t be stopping to reload your machine every five minutes. You can find more expensive machines that might hold up to 300 or more, though.
While more capacity is always better, it will come at a tradeoff. Depending on what kind of court you’ll be playing on — and how far away it is from home — portability will make a big difference. You don’t necessarily want a huge mechanism that wears you out even before you’ve turned it on. make sure to also check whether your court has a power outlet handy. If not, you’re limited to battery-powered machines.
Finally, as with any outdoor device, take a look at the materials. You don’t want one rainy day to end your practice sessions forever.
The Tennis Ball Machine Buying Guide
So you’ve got your machine set up and you’re ready to face off against it for your first few lessons. If you want to get the best use out of it, you should still seek out a tennis coach or at least an experienced player. If one isn’t available, just start by focusing on doing exactly what comes natural: Trying to hit the balls as they’re sent your way. Of course, that’s only the beginning. Once you’ve got some rhythm and accuracy, try to focus on where you’re returning those shots. One good way to do this is to set up the machine in the doubles lane and trying to keep your returns in the same lane. You might even try hitting the machine itself, if it’s durable enough. Once that’s starting to feel natural, try varying your target. By this time, you should also be altering the machine settings so that you’re fielding balls in more than one area of the court.
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