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Slinger Pickleball Slam Pack: A Comprehensive Review and Analysis

Your new pickleball buddy that is always ready to show up on time

ball machine
(Image credit: Dan Langston)
The machine’s ability to simulate a range of shots, including lobs, dinks, drives, and serves, ensures you are prepared for every possible in-game situation. The Pickleball Slinger can really aid in skill development and honing in the basic shots for beginner to intermediate players. Users highly recommend the machine for pickleball players, coaches, and facilities, and it’s considered one of the best value deals considering the price point for its high-quality build, capabilities, and features. However, while the Slinger is a solid choice for many, professional players seeking advanced and specialty training capabilities may need to look at an alternative that can offer additional features, such as complex pre-programmed drills, greater variability in shot patterns, and higher speeds.

View at Oncourt Offcourt
Price$949.99 (on sale for $799)
Demensions 14″ x 18″ x 34″ (35.6cm x 45.7cm x 86.4cm)
Weight 42lbs/19kg
Power source and battery liferechargeable Lithium Ion battery lasts up to 3 hours
Ball capacity and feed rate 120 balls / feed frequency between 2 and 7 seconds
Speed 10-45 mph (16-73 km/h)
Spin Capabilitiesunderspin, flat, and topspin
Randomization featuresadjustable launching angle between 10° and 40°
Remote control optionsyes

First Look

The Pickleball Slinger features easy-to-grab zippers along with ample storage pockets for essentials like paddles, phones, keys, wallets, water, and snacks. Additionally, it’s equipped with sturdy handles, allowing you to either carry or conveniently roll the entire unit. The ball machine is much larger in person than it appears online. Included with the machine is a remote controller—an appreciated addition, although its range is limited to approximately 5 feet. For optimal utility, the ability to operate the machine from across the court would be desirable.

All of the dials feel well made and are easy to adjust. A unique aspect of the Slinger is its unconventional soft shell design, which sets it apart from its counterparts—more on this feature later. In terms of added benefits, the Slinger comes equipped with a built-in USB phone charger and a phone mount system. Conveniently, the mount is designed to fit perfectly onto the machine handle, providing an ideal setup for recording gameplay. Additionally, the Slinger includes a telescopic ball tube capable of picking up 18 balls, and it mounts easily and firmly to the side of the machine.

Build Quality

Materials and construction

Unlike all other pickleball machines on the market, the outer portion of the Pickleball Slinger is made of nylon and the inner shell that houses the guts of the ball machines is plastic. The outer nylon layer has a very secure and tight fit to the inner plastic shell because they are bolted to each other at the top and bottom of the machine. Although I like the overall design they were able to achieve by using nylon, I think it has a higher chance of wear and tear and is harder to keep clean.

The firing wheels that launch the pickleball are made of polyurethane, which is what you have seen used for skateboards or longboard wheels. Polyurethane is the perfect material because it can handle all types of weather conditions and has really good resistance to abrasions caused by friction, like a pickleball zipping through a ball machine 500+ times a day.

Portability and ease of transportation

The Pickleball Slinger stands out for its ergonomic design that enhances portability, resembling a roller duffle bag once the handle is extended. However, as a spry 25-year-old, I still find it somewhat cumbersome when loading the machine into my truck. Weighing in at 42lbs / 19kg, it’s within a manageable range for the average individual. Yet, it’s worth noting that the Simon 2, despite its robust stainless steel and aluminum construction, weighs only 32 lbs, making it a lighter alternative.

Ball Delivery Mechanism and Shot Variation

The ball delivery mechanism of the machine features a rotating plastic plate with a single hole. This design allows for each ball to drop down sequentially towards the firing wheels.

rotating plate
(Image credit: Dan Langston)

The Slinger offers a variable ball feed rate that can be adjusted between 2 and 7 seconds, providing flexibility based on the user’s training needs. The machine also features a variable spin function, allowing for underspin, flat, and topspin settings​​. It can adjust the launching angle between 10° and 40°, providing a wide range of shot possibilities​​. The ball feeding is consistently smooth, contributing to a reliable training experience​​ in my opinion. When you press start on the remote, the ball-machine sounds like an electric rocket, cause it is, but the sound is pleasant and extremely quiet. You don’t really notice the noise level at all, even when the ball is launched.

I ran four different branded outdoor balls through the machine; Penn 40, Onix, Franklin X-40, and a cheap no name brand made in Taiwan. The Pickleball Slinger feeding mechanism had no issue throwing any of these and has never jammed in my experience.

4 different types of balls
(Image credit: Dan Langston)

Performance & Accuracy

I wasn’t able to measure the exact consistency in ball trajectory and speed, but I definitely noticed there was variability in both. Occasionally, when the machine was set to skim balls just over the net, they would fall short and hit the net instead. Moreover, I also observed fluctuations in the ball direction from time to time, but nothing major or unexpected.

Flexibility to create different match-like scenarios is easy with the Slinger and you can achieve a decent ball speed of 45mph if you leave the spin mode on “flat”. On the flip side, the Slinger can put in incredible amount of under and top spin on the ball, and I would say it’s even more challenging than a real world scenario because you can’t really read when the ball is coming and you can’t even see the ball until it gets launched, which is unlike in a real game when you can always keep your eye on the ball.

Battery Life & Charging

The machine comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that provides up to 3 hours of continuous playtime at average speed and feed settings. When you first get your Slinger, make sure to charge it about 5hours. You are supposed to charge the machine after each use, but if you are lazy like me, you can get away with a min of charging the machine every 3 months as they suggest. Try to store your Slinger indoors with temperatures around 64F-82F, it’s not good for it to sit in any extreme temperatures. Here are the recommended max temperatures:

  • Operation temperature: -20 to 140F
  • Storage temperature: +40 to 80F
  • Charging temperature: +32 to +110F

If you need to order a battery replacement, you purchase one at SlingerBag.com. The battery is easily removable with just your fingers by loosening 4 screws.

showing that the battery is removable
(Image credit: Dan Langston)

User Experience

I think generally speaking, the Slinger is easy to use and practical. You just need to charge the machine, load the balls, transport it, unzip the front hatch, and then flip the ON switch on both the machine and the remote controller. You will first hear a one second beep when clicking the start button and then another 3 second beep when the machine is just about to start launching balls.

When adjusting settings such as ball speed and frequency, start at lower settings and gradually increase to your desired levels to prevent unexpected high-speed launches. It’s important to never stand in front of the machine when it is operational to avoid potential injury, and don’t forget to turn the switch that is actually on the ball machine to OFF when you are done. I forgot to do this one time and I accidentally hit the ON switch on the remote controller.


The Pickleball Slinger Limited Warranty covers your Slinger Bag and associated components – Launcher, Oscillator, Collector Tube, and Cell Phone Holder – for manufacturing defects for 1 year from the date of purchase (2 years for EU member markets). To activate your warranty, visit slingerbag.com/warranty and register your product using its unique serial number.

The warranty is valid only for the original owner and is non-transferable. If a defect arises within the warranty period, Slinger Bag may replace or repair the affected component. This warranty does not cover: pickleballs, the Lithium-Ion Battery’s charge capacity or life, normal wear and tear, cosmetic damage, damage from improper use or weather.


I wanted to compare the Pickleball Slinger with a higher-end professional grade machine like the Simon X that cost $2500 vs the Slinger at 949.99 (on sale for $799) so that you can decide if you think it’s worth upgrading from the more affordable options.

To start, the Simon X sets itself apart with its remarkable power, offering a range of speeds from a gentle 5 MPH to a blazing 70 MPH. This broad range allows players to practice everything from soft touch shots to high-speed returns, making it an excellent choice for serious players and professionals. The Pickleball Slinger, while offering a range of speeds and spins, does not quite match the Simon X in terms of top speed.

In terms of portability, the Slinger, at 42lbs / 19kg, is significantly lighter than the Simon X, which weighs in at 65 lbs. This makes the Slinger easier to transport for a single person, and it comes with features like a roller duffle handle to aid in this. The Simon X, although heavier, is also designed with mobility in mind. Its rugged Tri-Wheel system even allows it to climb up steps, and it has two handles for easier lifting by two people.

As for durability and build quality, the Simon X is described as “built like a tank” and is the only model on the market that offers a lifetime guarantee on the pitch/throw wheels, which are typically the most susceptible to breakdown. While the Pickleball Slinger’s construction is solid and its components are durable, it doesn’t come with a similar lifetime guarantee.

Price is another area of difference. The Simon X carries a higher price tag, but it’s justified by its top-tier build quality, innovative design, and lifetime warranty. The Slinger, while not as expensive, still offers a range of features and a solid build for its price.

So if portability and a budget-friendly price point are top priorities, the Pickleball Slinger could be a suitable choice. However, for professionals, serious players, or institutions like clubs and resorts looking for an advanced, top-quality machine with a lifetime guarantee, the Simon X may be the preferred option.


In conclusion, the Pickleball Slinger is a solid choice for those looking for a versatile, feature-rich, and portable ball machine that offers a range of customizable options for shot placements and types. It’s ideal for individual or group practice and is especially appealing to beginner and intermediate players. For further details about the Pickleball Slinger, you can check the manual.

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About Dan Langston

With experience in the ecotourism industry and time well spent as a fly fishing guide in the remote absaroka mountain range for 6 years, Dan brings a unique perspective on customer service to the digital world. As the operator, Dan is now committed to revitalizing Pickleball Portal and plans to build a support system for content creators and provide helpful information for the pickleball community. dan@pickleballportal.com

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