SKLZ Thunder Bolt Pro Pitching Machine
Well I know the SKLZ Company hated around here but this product has really impressed me. I've played with one of the top organizations in the country and we kept it pretty simple there- soft toss, BP,and tons of tee work. However, like most, I didn't have full time acess to fields, pitching machines, batting practice pitchers etc.
I really like this product because it can be used without a partner, in limted space, and without a net. The small foam balls give a wiffle golf ball sized experience with more swing feedback. They do go farther but, one big positive is that the tube at the top comes off and acts as a shagger. These balls can be used almost anywhere with almost no chance of broken windows.
I have used the machine (although not extensively) and you can get a lot of cuts into a short amount of time, making it an ideal warm up. It adjusts in height and move it forward for more speed. It is small and can be pretty convient to store.
I was wondering if you have more throughly tested it and found any problems. I like the product as I think it gives and authentic bp experience.
Swing Smarter Response:
I appreciate the submission and it sounds like you're a believer in it. I guess I have a couple questions: 1) how loud is the motor? Does it sound like a leaf blower? 2) How quality is the craftsmanship? And 3) How do you know when the ball is coming out of the shoot? Is there a light that comes on or do you figure based on the 5 second rule.
I haven't personally used this one, but it looks and sounds okay. The price point at $59.99 makes me look toward craftsmanship because the far superior Sandlot Slugger runs in the $200's. Not saying price is a gauge of craftsmanship, but I've talked to George at Sandlot Slugger and he's a retired engineer who's wicked smarter. I guess for limited use on smaller Little League teams the SKLZ Thunderbolt Pro Pitching Machine would work.
Addressing number 1)...how long the thing is is a big concern with my Swing Smarter readers. A lot of these types of products use a leaf blower motor, which is super loud.
Number 2)...craftsmanship is always an issue, and with a low price point, I can't see this being built to last.
Finally number 3)...having a light come on when the pitch will be delivered is a big visual cue, as you know, so a hitter can time the next pitch. We don't want to get into timing a pitch like a dancer counts their steps.
I would love it if someone out there used this machine and could answer some of these questions :) Great find!
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