The Tennis Twist Ball Machine is an interesting, new and innovative portable coaching tool.
This simply designed, compact ball machine looks to be an outlier in the market, with most of its competitors being bigger, heavier and altogether more robust.
So, you may be excused for thinking that this funky new device is no more than a gimmick.
However, where most tennis ball machines range between $1,000 and $5,000, the Tennis Twist ball machine is on sale for just $300.
Now, this may seem too good to be true, and we are here to find out whether this is hype or a legitimate challenger to the big names in the tennis ball machine space.
What Sets it Apart
The compact, lightweight design makes this a very portable machine, ideal for use on mini courts, in gardens or garages.
The unique spiral design means the balls are housed inside the machine itself, making it great for storage and travelling.
The handy travel handle makes it easy to pick up once you’ve exhausted the 28 ball capacity, meaning you can quickly move it around the court and even juniors can pick it up and collect balls!
The Tennis Twist is also made of robust plastic, meaning it can withstand being knocked over or hit whilst playing.
The machine is mainly designed for shorter ‘hand feeding’ rather than traditional machines that will feed across the whole length of the court.
This is one of the distinguishing features of this ball machine, making it very well suited for children and beginners.
It shoots balls in an arc ranging from 10 to 20ft, meaning you can set the Tennis Twist Ball Machine up around the service line and practice hitting deep, loopy groundstrokes from the baseline.
You can then move forward and hit short balls and volleys. There are a wide variety of beginner drills you can do with the Tennis Twist!
Moreover, there are five adjustable height settings, allowing you to hit from different ball heights.
This is a useful feature from such a small and compact machine, which helps to facilitate dynamic practice sessions where you can practice different shots and patterns of play. You can even practice volleys with this ball machine!
The relatively gentle cannon speed makes for a manageable volley feed, allowing you to focus on your technique rather than worrying about getting a ball to the face!
Of course the main factor that sets this ball machine so far apart from the competition is its price.
Being around a fifth of the price of most mainstream entry level ball machines, the Tennis Twist really comes into its own with beginners and non tennis players.
It offers an easy access point for recreational players of all sports practice their games on their own or help facilitate their coaching.
This simple but effective ball machine can be used for catch, baseball, cricket and even launching a ball for your dog!
Below are the tech specs of the Tennis Twist ball machine, so you can easily compare it to other options you may be considering.
Feed Rate: 5 Seconds
Feed Distance: 10-20ft
Battery Life: 5-10 hours
Dimensions 11” x 10” x 22”
The Tennis Twist also comes with the option of either battery powered or AC connected models.
Six D size batteries will elicit between 5 and 10 hours of battery life depending on your usage, however these are not provided with the machine when you purchase.
So take into consideration whether you will want to use the machine close to a mains socket or you would rather use batteries.
Who is it For?
Given that the Tennis Twist ball machine is primarily designed to replicate ‘hand feeding’ rather than shots from the other side of the net, it is ideal for children and beginner players.
This is because the low cannon fire speed and adjustable ball arcs make for a gentle feed, rather than a full power shot.
Most children and beginner players would only be able to return a slowly fed ball to begin with, whilst learning technique, timing and court position.
So this makes the Tennis Twist perfect for those in the early stages of learning tennis.
Moreover, the 5 second reload time means that players have plenty of time to recover and get ready for their next shot.
If you are a beginner player looking to purchase a Tennis Twist ball machine, you may well also want to think about the type of tennis balls you use along with the best tennis rackets for beginners.
Pressureless tennis balls are a great place to start, due to their lower bounce and more solid feel.
They also have a much longer lifespan than pressurised tennis balls, so you’ll save money not having to replace them every session!
What’s more, the Tennis Twist is also a great tool for tennis coaches.
Most club coaches will work with recreational players, beginners and juniors on a regular basis, all of which would make great use out of the Tennis Twist.
Having a ball machine that can feed slow balls at relatively long intervals allows coaches to really take a good look and analyse their players, and give more detailed analysis.
This is also a much lower investment for coaches to make, meaning a coach could purchase their own Tennis Twist rather than having to share a larger ball machine with many other coaches.
So, the Twist Tennis ball machine is really aimed at recreational tennis players at beginner or intermediate level and juniors just learning the game.
Due to its very low price point, you may see the Tennis Twist transcend other sports too.
The simplistic nature of this machine means you can get really creative in your sessions.
The delayed reload time means you can get a great workout in, improve your footwork and even improve your tennis on your own!
Should you Buy One?
This is the big question. And the answer really depends on what you are in the market for…
If you are looking for the absolute best tennis ball machine on the market, that you can use for advanced players to really hone their skills and replicate realistic match like situations, then the Tennis Twist probably isn’t for you.
This is because the compact design makes it impossible to have a powerful enough cannot to fire a ball across the entire length of a tennis court at speeds in excess of 50mph.
Therefore, if you are after a comprehensive training tool for coaching, or even personal use, with a range of modes, spins, heights and speeds, you will be better served going for a more traditional tennis ball machine.
These will hold anywhere from 100 to 250 balls, have a range of playing modes and be able to feed balls between 20 and 95mph generally speaking.
They’re ideal for coaching large groups and a great investment to make for a full time coach or tennis club.
However, if you are a beginner and trying to improve your tennis game, then the Tennis Twist could be the perfect training companion for you.
The low price point makes this a very attractive and low commitment piece of equipment to buy, especially when compared to a more traditional tennis ball machine.
You can use the Tennis Twist for a wide range of different activities outside of tennis, and it is compact enough to use in small spaces, unlike many more conventional machines.
This really sets the Tennis Twist apart from the competition. You can easily carry it to your local park, tennis courts or friends garden or driveway and use it to its full capabilities.
It is also a great training tool for parents looking to get their kids into tennis or other sports for that matter.
If your child is having weekly tennis lessons, and they are looking for a way to improve their game, get more practice and therefore more enjoyment out of the sport, then using a Tennis Twist machine is a great option.
Especially if you aren’t the best at feeding or hitting accurately, it really takes the pressure off.
So, overall the Tennis Twist ball machine is a great new comer to the market. It offers a new entry point to the tennis ball machine sector, one that has always been dominated by expensive, large ball machines.
If you are a beginner, have or know a child looking to improve their game, or simply aren’t the best at throwing a ball accurately, the Tennis Twist ball machine is a great alternative product to own.