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Are Pickleball Machines Worth It?

Are Pickleball Machines Worth It
Written by Alex

The terms “two is better than one” and “the more the merrier” are quite an underrated term that holds tons of value especially if you are playing sports because having teammates offers support, motivation, and accountability.

In contrast, multiple players bring varied skills all while implementing a layer of complexity and thrill making the session incredibly addictive even if you play the game a million times. And that is exactly why, playing alone might be no less than a bummer, especially in games like pickleball where teamwork and camaraderie are often the key to success.

Nevertheless, to address this fiasco in Pickleball, Pickleball machines come into play and save the day from boredom, but Are Pickleball Machines Worth it? Or is it just a temporary fix with a hefty price tag That can’t fully replace the joy of playing with others?

Well, to answer your question, let’s explore how it works, 

What Exactly Is A pickleball Machine?

To some extent, you could call a pickleball machine a fancy ball thrower and in some scenarios, it might even cost you an arm and leg, however, that doesn’t take away the fact that they act as a static Pickleball assistant whenever you are left lonely in the court.

In other words, it is a practicing machine designed for those players who love a tailored experience with repetitive scenarios until they have mastered it. These specific “scenarios” are often simulated by the machine as it has multiple adjustable settings which include speed, oscillation for spinning, and directional control. 

A pickleball machine can come in various sizes and some are even advanced enough to provide a realistic human-like experience as they may output backspins and topspins so a player could prepare or warm up for the real-world scenarios in the court.

The Bright Side Of Pickleball Machines

Pickleball machines are undoubtedly an awesome investment if you dive down into the logic behind them. Here are a couple of reasons explaining it.

  1. Consistent & Reliable

A Pickleball machine delivers shots of all kinds, whether they are fast or slow or have variable spins, regardless of the settings you place it in, it will never disappoint you as the margin of errors is little or none.

A human being, no matter how hard they try or perfect it, can never have the same results in repetition as there is always randomness involved. A robot or a machine, keeps things consistent, allowing you to train better.

So if you are really looking to dig further into your instincts and build sharper reflexes, the machine will help you since it is able to throw the ball at much higher speeds with peak efficiency. 

  1. All-Day Use Case

The court might be crowded on weekends while being empty on working days. You cannot blame people or your peers for such behavior because everyone has to live their life on their own and work commitments take priority.

In that case, a pickleball machine is seen as a godsend and an active partner that never gets tired of entertaining you, at least on the court because you can literally practice all day long, customize patterns and speeds, and as long as it has power, you will be able to partake in session without any hassle, it’s just that simple.

Henceforth, it even lets you adapt to various scenarios and practice with much more focus since you have no one else to disturb you in the court.

  1. Ideal For Weakness Reinforcement

If you feel like your backhand serves are considerably weaker and need to be worked on or you are downright struggling to keep up in volleys, using a pickleball machine might be one of the best ways to get you geared up because you can literally repeat multiple scenarios with peak consistency.

In other words, you could also enhance your overall gameplay by programming the machine to your liking, it’s basically your personal target practice since the machine has oscillation customization, speed, and pattern changes which will not only illuminate your weakness but also prepare you better for surprises you never have experienced before.

While the feeling might be monotonous considering the fact you have no one else to play with in the wider perspective you could set your own records and break them by working on your stamina and even building a better body form along the way.

The possibility is simply endless, once you embark on countless drills it has to offer, making up for the lost companion in the court.

The Uglier Side Of Pickleball Machine

A Pickleball Machine might offer its wholesome moments, however, in some scenarios, it might not be worth it at all, here is why,

  1. No Social interaction 

A Pickleball machine basically goes against the core rules of Pickleball itself, since the sport was designed to be highly recreational and to keep an individual entertained without putting much stress on your body all while you enjoy with your buddy and other peers on the court while connecting with them on a whole new spiritual and mental level.

In other words, you aren’t building bonds, you are just doing the exact opposite which leaves the Essence of the game much more bland, tasteless, and dull. Moreover, there is also little to no motivation left because you aren’t being actively criticized or have the possibility to receive feedback on your gameplay.

So if you are making mistakes while practicing, you will be literally making the same mistakes over and over again without anyone in the court actively pointing out the errors of your ways since these machines even though are quite advanced and much more efficient, cannot still provide real-time feedback, analyze your technique, or offer strategic advice like a human coach or partner can.

  1. The Price Factor

Pickleball is all about having fun and spending less than any other sport on the field. Most of its equipment comes cheap at entry level as long as you are playing moderately competitively or in casual settings. 

A Pickleball machine is a whole different story, it is extremely expensive even in the casual range and will certainly cost you a couple of hundreds of bucks, and if you are looking to get your hands on the ones that come with all bells and whistles, its safe to say you could at least expect shelling out wads of cash on the premium ones.

If you can afford such investment for the betterment of your game or for solo sessions, this aspect might sound trivial to you, however, for budget players that are already tight on cash, a Pickleball machine is not only a misleading route but can be seen as a gimmick that certainly has much more better alternative such as actually playing with your teammate because with a human being you certainly get much more better perks at no cost at all as long as they are willing.

  1. Baggage Issues

Once you are in the mood to play pickleball, you could call or text your friend and they will eventually show up on the court in due time, a pickleball machine, is a whole different story because you will be willing to carry it with you all the way across from your home to the court, the level of maintenance it requires clearly outshines any other benefit it might have because it’s quite a headache to deal with if you aren’t really great at keeping up with you devices or looking after them.

On top of that, you also need to ensure you perform routine repairs, otherwise, it will eventually malfunction since it has sensitive ball-shooting mechanical parts that need to be lubricated and maintained regularly. 

And that usually costs time and effort which can be hectic and efficient especially when you could compare it with a human being.

  1. Ruins Confidence

In both casual and competitive settings, you are facing an adverse or a rival that wants to put you in a rough spot by incorporating tactics while reading your body language. These tactics are incredibly harder to read and can only be countered if you play the game with a human being because with time you will eventually develop instincts.

When playing against a machine, you cannot form an emotional bond which prevents building your confidence, further hindering the mental reinforcement you would be needing when playing against a player in a competitive setting.

Are Pickleball machines worth it? The Conclusion

If you are a player who already has attained skills and built plenty of confidence, a pickleball machine is extremely feasible for you since it lets you polish your skills as well as reinforce your weaknesses like working on your spins, practicing new ways to perform serves and even sharpen your instincts so you could counter volleys much better.

However, keeping the retrospective elements aside, for an emerging player, a pickleball machine shouldn’t be their go-to choice for practice when other players are around or easily available for practice because pickleball is all about practicing and social interaction which lets you build bonds and connect better.

It should be seen as more than a sport, especially if your end goal is to have fun and pass your time with your buddies, a pickleball machine is a costly medication that could be solved with an easy fix.

About the author


Hello, I'm Alex, and welcome to PicklerSpot – your ultimate resource for all things pickleball! I've curated this blog to share my 5 years of expertise and tips to enhance your pickleball skills.

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