The Tennis Tower ball machine comes in 4 models, the Competitor Classic, Competitor, Club, and Professional Player. Find out which is best for your tennis game.
The Tennis Tower ball machine is designed and manufactured by Sports Tutor, which makes many of the world’s most popular tennis ball machines. They produce six tennis ball machine models, the Tennis Twist, the Tennis Tutor Prolite, the Tennis Tutor ball machine, the Wilson Portable, the Tennis Tower ball machine, and the Shotmaker. You can read more about all of the Sports Tutor tennis ball machine models in the Sports Tutor section of this website.
Sports Tutor produces four Tennis Tower ball machine models, the Competitor Classic, the Competitor, the Club, and the Professional Player model. The Tennis Tower ball machine is a larger size model than the other machines offered by Sports Tutor and it is targeted more towards clubs, camps and home court owners. It is designed to be durable and strong for high usage situations. Although you can fit it in your car, it is heavier and larger than most portable ball machines.
In this review, we look at the features offered by each of the Tennis Tower ball machine models and how they compare to other each other. We then recommend which of the models you should buy based on overall customer satisfaction, ratings, reviews, and positive and negative consumer comments. We also offer our own rating and recommendation on whether to purchase the Tennis Tower ball machine.
The primary differences between the Tennis Tower ball machine models are as follows:
- Competitor Classic – offers no spin control, costs around $1,275
- Competitor – includes spin control and built-in oscillation, $1,545
- Club – has all of the features of the previous models and adds a 2-function remote control, $1,795
- Professional Player – adds Player Mode enhancement which simulates the shots that a real opponent would hit and includes a two-line feature which helps an instructor work with two lines of students, $2,195
Of these Tennis Tower tennis ball machine models we recommend you definitely spend the extra $270 to get spin control with the Competitor model. Whether you are going to use the Tennis Tower at a club or group setting or by yourself, spin control is essential.
As for the other models, in a club or teaching situation, you have to have at least a 2-function on/off remote. Ideally a ten or fifteen function remote would be best in a teaching situation, so that the instructor can adjust the tennis ball machine settings without having to go back and forth across the court. Most optional remotes we’ve seen cost $200, so an extra $250 is in line with that, although a little higher. As an individual, having a remote is certainly nice, but not essential. You’ll need to decide whether the extra $250 is worth it.
Depending on your budget, the Tennis Tower ball machine Professional Player model offers Player Mode. Basically the Player Mode function simulates the shots that a real player would make. You use a button on the machine to select beginner, intermediate or advanced. The ball machine then fires balls according to how that level of opponent would hit balls to you. For example, the beginner setting fires balls more towards the middle at a slower speed, whereas the advanced setting fires shots all over the court and at varying speeds, elevation, and spin. This is a fantastic feature, however, it is also offered with the Tennis Tutor Plus ball machine Player Model, which costs around $1,650 versus $2,195 for the Tennis Tower tennis ball machine Professional Player model.
The remote is extra with the Tennis Tutor Plus ($200) and included with the Tennis Tower Professional Player model, so the price difference is $345.
So, why pay the extra $345? If you are an individual and expect moderate usage (maybe an hour or so each afternoon) then go with the Tennis Tutor Plus ball machine. However, if you expect high usage (5-6 hours per day) or will be using the machine at a club where it could get banged around a lot, then go with the Tennis Tower Professional Player model over the Tennis Tutor Plus.
You also get additional ball capacity with the Professional Player model, 225, versus 150 with the Tennis Tutor Plus. Also you get the 2-line feature with the Tennis Tower ball machine Professional Player model that lets you set up 2 lines of students for instruction. The Tennis Tutor Plus Player model does not offer this.
Tennis Tower Ball Machine Features Overview
Power Type – All of the Tennis Tower ball machine models are electric powered, 100 watts.
Oscillation – This is a key feature when analyzing tennis ball machines and one of the major factors affecting the cost. The Tennis Tower ball machine models all offer random, horizontal and vertical oscillation, which means the machine fires balls randomly back and forth at multiple depth settings.
Spin control – the Competitor, Club, and Professional Player models all offer a dial in the control panel that lets you control the degree of top spin and backspin.
Elevation control – you have 10 settings to adjust for the angle that the ball is fired from the machine.
Weight – All Tennis Tower ball machine models weighs 60lbs (27.22kg), which puts them towards the high end of ball machines in terms of weight. The ball machines we’ve reviewed on this site range in weight from 11 lbs (5kg) for a very, very basic ball machine to 90lbs (40.82kg) for a heavy duty commercial type model. 60lbs is difficult to pick up and put in your car by yourself, so you may want to ask for help. As for moving around on the ground, the Tennis Tower ball machine has four wheels so that you can push it around the court.
Dimensions – All Tennis Tower ball machine models measure (Length x Width x Height) 23 x 22 x 44 inches (.58 x .56 x 1.12m), which makes it taller than most portable models where the average height is about 24 inches (.61m).
Speed Range – All Tennis Tower ball machine models fire tennis balls between 10-85 mph (16.10-136.79 kph). The ball machines we have reviewed range in speed from 10 mph to 95 mph (152.89 kph), so the Tennis Tower ball machine falls within the optimal range for speed. Children and beginners can easily practice with balls at a speed of 10 mph and most advanced players will feel challenged by balls coming at 85 mph.
Ball Capacity – All Tennis Tower ball machine models hold 225 tennis balls. Ball capacity on machines we’ve reviewed on this site typically average 150, with economy tennis ball machines holding 50 balls and some other machines holding up to 300 balls. A 225 ball capacity is at the high end, and a very nice feature.
Feed Rate – this is how fast the balls are fired out of the machine. All Tennis Tower ball machine models fire at a rate ranging from 1.5-8 balls per second. The fastest machine we’ve seen fires at a rate of a ball every 1.5 seconds, and the slowest fires at a rate of a ball every 12 seconds. So, 1.5-8 seconds should be sufficient for most players.
Warranty – All Tennis Tower ball machine models come with a one year warranty on parts and service. Most tennis ball machine brands offer a 2 year warranty, which is a term we feel more comfortable with. We have found only one deluxe model that offers a 3 year warranty, and that model is over $3,500.
Extras – there are no optional extras listed for the Tennis Tower other than the extras you get with each incremental increase in model type.
Customer Ratings and Comments
Sites with Customer Reviews Posted (6)
Number of Reviews (6)
Average Score (5.0 out of 5)
|Easy to use (5)||Hard to lock wheels (1)||Intermediate (4)|
|Improves performance (3)||Professional (4)|
|Casual athlete (2)|
Summary of Positive Comments: All of the comments talk about how easy to use the Tennis Tower ball machine Competitor model is, as well as how great the customer service is at Sports Tutor. One reviewer represented a tennis club and talked about how their tennis members love the ease of use of the machine. For the Professional Player model users described the Player Mode simulator as “amazing.”
Summary of Negative Comments: The only negative comments came with the Tennis Tower ball machine Classic model. It received an average rating of only 3.0 out of 5.0 stars. Most comments talked about how the balls jam, and the oscillator malfunctions.
Don’t recommend — Recommend with reservations — Recommend — Strongly Recommend
The “strongly recommend” rating here applies only to the Competitor, Club, and Professional Player models. We can’t recommend the Competitor Classic simply because it lacks spin control and some of the other features found in the higher level models, also the reviews tended to be a bit negative for this model. If you are buying for a club or high usage situation, then the Club model and the Professional Player models are both excellent fits. If you are looking for a ball machine for individual or family use, then the Tennis Tower Ball Machine Competitor model is the way to go. If you have the money go on to the next level machine, the Club model, and get the remote as a nice bonus.
If you are an individual or moderate user and want all of the top-of-the-line features found with the Tennis Tower Professional Player Model, then we feel that the Tennis Tutor Plus ball machine Player Model is a better buy for you.
Where to Buy the Tennis Tower Ball Machine
Tennis Tower Competitor $1,544.99
Tennis Tower Club$1,794.99
Amazon sells everything, including tennis ball machines. You can find some really great deals here on other tennis accessories as well. If you’ve ever bought anything on Amazon you also see suggestions based on your previous purchases, as well as numerous consumer product reviews. Amazon is a great resource for shopping for just about anything.
Rate the Tennis Tower Ball Machine Yourself
If you have tried out this tennis ball machine for yourself, let us know. You can write a review in the comments section and give it a rating below.