Two moves In every tennis match, I remember my backhands are rubbish. I over-grip the racket and aim horribly, if the ball falls anywhere within the white line, I am lucky. This is a lack of skills in elementary school summer camps, high school doubles and continuous sibling competition. But now that I am 30 years old, it’s time to do something. Tennis is one of the few sports that can be played for a lifetime, and I can’t wave it every time the ball is on the left side of the court in the next few decades.
This is why I eagerly agree to the test Slinger Slingshot T-One, A portable tennis launcher that looks like a rolling duffel bag. Charge it up and throw up to 144 balls at the top, and you can set it up from volleys to my terrible baseline backhand. For only $599—much cheaper than most competitors (and a few months of tennis lessons)—you can practice your shots on public courts on your own time. Slinger is a great training tool for people who don’t have the time or money to join a tennis club and hire a coach.
Let the ball roll
The best part of Slinger is that it is very simple to use. The blue and black roller bag has two large zipper pockets on the front. One is used to hide the launching mechanism and the speed and speed at which it shoots the ball, and the other is used to hide the ball funnel. On the side, a small zipper hides an angle adjustment lever. (Loosen, adjust to the angle you want, and then re-tighten the screw.)
There is a large internal part that can be accessed through the top of the bag, where you can put some tennis rackets, and a side sling for the optional retractable ball grabber (Slinger sells many accessories for use with the bag, but This is the best). If you want to capture your strokes for TikTok or Instagram, there is a USB charging port for your phone in the upper right pocket, and an optional phone holder that can be fixed to the telescopic handle.
Such smart design and simple and logical functions allow you to easily bring all the equipment to the court. Just roll the bag containing the tennis ball, launcher and racket to wherever you want to play, unzip the zipper, and you can leave. It weighs 33 pounds, so it is not too difficult to remove it from the trunk of the car.
It takes a little practice to set the perfect shot for a given practice, but once you figure out the settings of the machine, they are easy to dial in. The speed and ball flow knobs on the front of the bag are easy to adjust, they go from very slow to very fast. The included remote control looks a lot like a car key, allowing you to turn it on or off across the court. There is a short warm-up time (approximately 30 seconds) before the machine starts.
Number of shots
I usually start practicing on a machine close to the net but on the same side as me. It provides some nice, gentle warm-up shots at low speeds and medium ball feeds. Once I feel more confident, I push the launcher to the other side and set the angle and speed for the type of shot I am trying (recently, volleys and terrible backhand shots).