Tennis Ball Hoppers
The tennis ball hopper is one of the most helpful pieces of equipment used in tennis. People can choose from a wide variety of types, including the traditional tennis ball hopper, wheeled tennis ball cart, tennis ball tube, and tennis ball roller.
What Are Tennis Ball Hoppers Used For?
The tennis ball hopper makes collecting balls a lot easier in tennis. Specifically, this piece of equipment is very useful in practices when a lot of tennis balls are being used for drills. The ball hopper allows players to significantly cut down on the time they spend picking up balls. In addition, this piece of equipment acts as a perfect mechanism for storing tennis balls for an extended amount of time.
Ball hoppers can come in a variety of types and sizes. It is very common for ball capacity to be between 40 and 140. On the other hand, wheeled tennis ball carts can hold around 325 balls. These types of ball hoppers are mainly used to hold tennis balls during practices. The tennis ball tube can only hold around 15 balls at a time, although it can pick them up very quickly.
Things to Consider
When looking for tennis ball hoppers, you'll want to consider the following:
- What type of tennis ball hopper are you looking for?
- How many tennis balls do you need to hold?
- Do you need the ball hopper to be portable?
- How much money do you have to spend on a tennis ball hopper?
What Are You Looking For in a Tennis Ball Hopper?
- Maximum capacity
- Easy to transport
- Ease of use
The main types of tennis ball hoppers include the traditional tennis ball hopper, wheeled tennis ball cart, tennis ball tube, and tennis ball roller.
Tennis Ball Hopper or Basket
The traditional tennis ball hopper is used to collect and hold tennis balls that are scattered across a court. This type of ball collector is characterized by large handles that make the process of picking up tennis balls easier. Some models will also have handles that transition to a stand, allowing for more convenient access to the basket.
To use this type of ball hopper, players lift the handles to carry the hopper over a ball. After doing so, players drop the basket down onto the tennis ball with force. This forces the tennis ball through the metal bars on the bottom of the hopper. A typical ball hopper will collect around 75 balls at full capacity, although multiple different sizes are available.
- Easy to handle
- Various capacity options available
- Can’t be dragged
- More cumbersome to carry
Wheeled Tennis Ball Cart
The wheeled tennis ball cart doesn’t pick up individual tennis balls but holds a large number of balls in a metal cage. Although this specific equipment weighs around 40 pounds, the wheels on it make transportation a lot easier. In addition, its large size allows for many balls to be placed in it, with some models holding over 300 tennis balls at once.
- Largest capacity for tennis balls
- Wheels allow for easy movement
- Sturdy structure
- Doesn’t pick up balls automatically
- Most expensive type of ball hopper
Tennis Ball Tube
The tennis ball tube is a lightweight tube that collects tennis balls. Players put the circular end of the tube over a single tennis ball. Afterwards, they drop the tube down on the tennis ball with force in order to capture it. Normally, this type of tennis hopper can hold around 15 tennis balls at once, although some models can hold up to 21. These tennis ball tubes will often be transparent so that individuals can see how many balls they have collected.
- Easy to carry around
- Able to see how many balls you have collected
- Low capacity for tennis balls
- Low durability
Tennis Ball Roller
This type of tennis ball hopper is able to collect balls with a rotating wheel that’s attached to a long pole. In order to use this, players push the roller with the help of the long pole. The rotating wheel collects balls automatically as it runs over them. The tennis ball roller only weighs 10 pounds, which makes utilizing this type of hopper very easy. Athletes can collect a maximum of 50 balls at a time with this device.
- Fairly straightforward collection process
- Collects a large number of balls
- Makes picking up balls quick and convenient
- Not easily stored
- Lots of pieces make for difficult assembly
The main types of tennis ball hopper brands include Tourna, Gamma, and Wilson.
This brand offers a unique version of the tennis ball hopper with a special design. This ball hopper is made of recyclable material that won’t rust. In addition, it can be carried or freestanding. There are also sliding bars on the top of the basket, which helps prevent any balls from escaping. Tourna ball hoppers come in various sizes, holding between 35 balls for their mini hoppers to 85 balls for their advanced models.
This tennis equipment brand offers traditional tennis ball hoppers, wheeled tennis ball carts, and tennis ball tubes. Gamma’s long history of manufacturing tennis products makes the company a reliable choice for athletes. Gamma is most known for its variation of the traditional tennis ball hopper but carries tennis ball carts as well.
Historically, Wilson has been known for producing high-quality tennis rackets. While their tennis ball hopper inventory is not very expansive, they offer traditional tennis ball hoppers for a fair price. Wilson’s ball hopper comes with a no-spill lid, which prevents balls from escaping.
How do you use a tennis ball hopper?
Using a tennis ball hopper can be fairly easy, regardless of the type. For a traditional tennis ball hopper, a person grabs the two long metal handles on the piece of equipment in order to carry it around. For proper collection, a person drops the hopper directly onto the tennis ball. It is important to note that people can only collect a few balls at a time, as only a certain amount of balls can fit through the metal bars of a hopper at once.
When were tennis ball hoppers invented?
The tennis ball hopper was invented in the 1960s by Jake Stap. While working as a tennis camp instructor, Stap had experienced the inconvenience of picking tennis balls up by hand. His pupils caused a lot of tennis balls to be sprawled across the tennis court. In an attempt to combat this time-consuming process, he invented the earliest version of the tennis ball hopper. This hopper was made using a wastepaper basket with a wire handle and bars on the bottom.
How much do tennis ball hoppers cost?
Traditional ball hoppers will typically cost between $30 and $70 across all brands. These hoppers are available in different sizes, so their capacity will have an effect on the price. For wheeled tennis ball carts, there is little variation in the prices. These cost around $150 depending on the brand and features. Wheeled carts that are produced by popular brands such as Tourna will typically cost more. The tennis ball tube is the cheapest type of ball hopper to purchase, costing at around $30 regardless of brand. The tennis ball roller can be found in the range of $70 for smaller models and around $200 for more advanced versions.