Best Tennis Ball Hoppers
Using a tennis ball hopper can be a great way to make the most of your time out on the court. Having the ability to feed ball after ball and use repetitive drills can really improve consistency and even allow you to focus on one specific technical or tactical aspect of the game.
As a recreational player, you may only ever usually have access to a ball hopper when receiving a group or individual tennis lesson. However, purchasing your own hopper means you can work on whatever drills you like with your regular hitting partner, or you can even hone in your serve on your own!
But, are all ball hoppers just the same or are there actually major differences between them? Should you use one and which are the best ball hoppers on the market today? We answer all of these and more below!
Popular Ball Hoppers
TheTennisBros.com's #1 Choice!
Eats Up Balls Effortlessly
Compact & Lightweight
OnCourt OffCourt Master Pro
Highly Weather Resistant
Multiple Ball Types
Tourna Ballport 325 Cart
Heavy Duty Trolley
Wilson Pick Up Hopper
75 Ball Capacity
Why Use a Tennis Ball Hopper?
Tennis ball hoppers can be used by players, coaches and parents to improve the quality of a tennis session. It goes without saying if you can take more balls on to the tenn court you can practice with more variety and repetition.
For a coach it is obvious that a tennis ball hopper is pretty essential to running an effective and time efficient session. A ball hopper allows a coach to feed balls easily in quick succession and also acts as a focal point for players to gather round and listen to coaching advice and instructions.
A recreational player may want to use a ball hopper to work on specific elements of their game with a regular hitting partner or on their own. Using a ball hopper means they can set up their own drills and work on aspects of their game for as long as they like, rather than being constrained by the length of a tennis lesson or what a hitting partner or opponent wants to do.
This gives a great sense of freedom and can really help improve a recreational player’s game thanks to the sheer number of additional balls they will be able to hit.
From a parent’s perspective, investing in a good quality ball hopper can be a great way to get extra practice in with their child outside of scheduled tennis lessons. A parent doesn’t necessarily need to have any tennis ability themselves to help their son or daughter improve their game.
They can simply hand feed balls to their child over and over again, focussing on consistency and deep practice. Using a ball hopper makes this a lot more effective thanks to the far greater number of balls that can be fed in quick succession compared to holding the balls in your hand.
What to Look for in a Tennis Ball Hopper
To the untrained eye, ball baskets and hoppers may broadly look the same. Afterall, the whole idea is that it holds tennis balls for you to use and that it, right?
Well, there is actually a lot more that goes into producing a tennis ball hopper than you might think. There is actually a lot of variation in terms of ball capacity, shape and size and cost. So, let’s take a closer look at these elements and see what you need to consider.
Of course, one of the main factors you will need to consider when weighing up which ball hopper to go for is the ball capacity. How many tennis balls do you actually need to hold at any one time? This will of course depend on whether you are using the hopper for personal, recreational or professional use, so be sure to consider this before you buy.
Some very compact ball hoppers may only be able to hold 20 balls or so, whereas much larger trolley shaped hoppers will be able to hold hundreds of tennis balls.
You should also think about how much storage space you have when thinking about which ball hopper to buy. No one wants their hopper left out on the court, so you’ll definitely want to store it away in a cupboard, garage or shed so it is out of the way.
Again, another thing to consider is the materials that the ball hopper is made from. Do you want a more sturdy but heavy metal ball hopper, or would you prefer a lighter weight but potentially more flimsy plastic hopper.
Of course, the cost, shape and size of the hopper will play into which materials have been used to make it, but it is another factor that needs to be considered before you go ahead and purchase one.
Shape and Size
This is where a lot of the variation in tennis ball hoppers comes from. The shape and size of a hopper can vary greatly depending on its intended purpose, features and price point.
On the most basic end of the scale, you have small and simple metallic ball hoppers that are simply designed and robust by nature. These are usually very cost effective and can last a long time if well taken care of.
Look out for whether they have a plastic coating or protective paint however, as this can massively impact the weatherproofing of a ball hopper. Without either of these, your ball hopper may rust quickly if it is often used in rainy conditions.
Most of these basic ball hoppers tend to be cube shaped, so they can hold more balls. However, there are some more ‘V’ shaped ball hoppers that are sturdier and more versatile than their rectangular counterparts.
These tend to be made from more robust materials and therefore stand the test of time better, whilst also having collapsible legs that fix into place. These are built into the design and when retracted form the carry handle for the ball hopper, making it convenient to store and transport between courts.
However, when these legs are clicked into place they create a useful ball hopper design that stands up on its own and means a vast number of tennis balls can be accessed very easily.
Some hoppers also have undercarriages that allow you to pick balls up by pressing down on them so they fit through the bottom of the hopper. This makes it incredibly easy to pick up tennis balls, simply by pressing the hopper down onto the balls rather than having to bend all the way down, collect balls on your racket and then go and place them in the hopper itself.
You also need to think about whether your ball hopper needs to have wheels or not. Ball hoppers with wheels tend to be more substantial in weight and larger in size compared to ball machines without wheels, since their construction needs to be more permanent in nature.
However, these are great for use across multiple courts as they can be wheeled across large distances very easily and can make your tennis sessions a lot more versatile. However, it is worth noting that wheeled ball hoppers tend to be more expensive and less portable to carry and store outside of the tennis court than their wheeless alternatives.
The Best Tennis Ball Hoppers
- TheTennisBros.com's #1 Choice!
- Eats Up Balls Effortlessly
- Exceptional Durability
One of the most innovative and intuitive designs in the tennis ball hopper space is the Kollectaball. Made from a series of flexible metal rods, it can be rolled along the tennis court to pick up balls a lot more quickly than a traditional ball hopper.
Kollectaball looks almost like a lawnmower when it is being used to collect balls, since it makes use of a robust, long handle. This can then be turned upside down to create a self contained, self standing ball hopper.
Simply deploy the metal hooks on the side of the hopper itself to part the flexible metal rods and create an opening for you to easily grab balls for feeding.
The Kollectaball is a unique design that saves a lot of time when you want to pick up balls and maximise your time on the court!
- Compact & Lightweight
- Free Standing
- Good Durability
The Tourna Ballport is a small, compact and lightweight ball hopper that is a staple at many tennis clubs around the world. It is made from high grade plastic that is robust enough to withstand impacts but still lightweight enough to be extremely portable.
You can also pick up balls individually with the bottom of this ball hopper and it comes with free standing legs for easy ball access. This is a great option for the coach or player that wants a high capacity ball hopper and needs to travel between multiple courts on a daily basis.
OnCourt OffCourt Master Pro
- Highly Weather Resistant
- Strong Base
- Multiple Ball Types
One of the more robust and well put together ball hoppers on the market, the OnCourt OffCourt Master Pro ball hopper is a very popular product. It is made from reinforced metal and is coated to make it even more weather resistant.
It has sturdy legs that lock into place and utilises a EZ Glide bar that makes picking up multiple balls at once even easier. This ball hopper comes in multiple capacity sizes, so you can buy the one that suits your needs the best. The hopper also picks up all variations of tennis balls, from mini red, to mini orange to full sized yellow balls.
Tourna Ballport 325 Cart
- Huge Capacity!
- Heavy Duty Trolley
- Locking Wheels
One of the larger and most substantial ball hoppers on our list is the Tourna Ballport 325 teaching cart. This is clearly designed for a tennis coach that needs to store a lot of balls at once, making the 325 ball capacity an absolute game changer.
It is a heavy duty ball trolley that has a self contained shelf under the ball storage hopper itself, so you can also take equipment such as throw down lines, cones and skipping ropes with you onto the court. This ball hopper also has locking wheels so you can easily move it around the court, whilst being able to lock it in to place so players don’t run off with it!
Wilson Pick Up Hopper
- 75 Ball Capacity
- Classic Design
- Weather Resistant
One of the most basic but effective ball hoppers out there today is the classic Wilson pick up ball hopper. Its rudimentary design has stood the test of time thanks to its robust construction, lightweight and 75 ball capacity. It is made from high quality steel and is painted to make it weather resistant.
The Wilson Pick Up Hopper can easily collect multiple balls at once thanks to its square crossed bottom design. This is a high quality product that is easy to maintain and will definitely stand the test of time.
Overall, there are a number of reasons why a ball hopper can be used to improve your time out on the tennis court. They are the ideal companion for tennis players, coaches and parents alike and come in all different shapes and sizes to suit your every need.
There is a lot of variation when it comes to tennis ball hoppers, from small and compact plastic hoppers to much larger, heavy duty ball carts. There has been some impressive innovation in this space, with the Kollectaball design revolutionising the way ball hoppers are made.
So, whatever your needs are when it comes to ball hoppers, we are sure you can use our guide as a starting point for your search!
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