Newest Review: ... for cord to go up or down the post. The ball is a tennis ball and the bats are quite large plastic affairs. As a child, we had a similar s... more
Swinging fun for hours
Member Name: pmcds
Advantages: Fun, energetic, quality
Disadvantages: Nothing really
I'm not sure exactly how long Swingball has been around, but I certainly played it when I was a kid. Over the years, it has changed a bit, and the products you buy nowadays rely more on a ballast base rather than sticking a spike into the ground. This has its advantages as well as disadvantages.
Swingball is a game where you have a tall pole which usually comes up to head height, with a ball on a string or cord attached to a spiral at the top of the pole. The idea of the game is then to hit the ball so that the cord extends fully and travels either up or down the spiral, depending on which way you're hitting it. The game is ideal for two players, and the idea is to try and beat your opponent by getting the cord to the end of the spiral.
It's certainly a game of skill, and the physics behind a game such as this means that it's never quite as simple as each of you hitting the ball. The angles the ball comes at you from and the way this affects the cord often means stuttering shots and quite a few laughs. The old version seemed easier to right and I also find that it is sturdier as it has a spike that goes into the ground, meaning that if it's in properly it won't go anywhere.
The newer versions involve a plastic base which you need to fill with water, otherwise it won't stay still and the slightest swing of the ball may result in it tottering over and falling down straight away. The older spike style has the win in terms of sturdy play and not having to rely on there being a substantial amount of water available, but the newer style doesn't have to rely on there being grass or sand to stick the spike into, which is a bit of a bonus.
Both versions are extremely playable, although the spirals are slightly different as well. I find that the newer version has a more tangled cord where it attaches to the top of the pole, with the connector not really being the best design quality. It would be much better if you didn't have to keep stopping to untangle it, thus interrupting the flow of play. The older version didn't have this issue, with the clip where it attaches being small enough to keep rotating where it's needed and very rarely experiencing it getting stuck.
Both versions are extremely playable and a lot of fun. You can build up speed quite easily, but the tennis ball attached to the end is still a tennis ball and when you get caught by it it can smart somewhat. Nothing to be too worried about but just to be aware of, especially if playing with kids who may not realise that stepping in closer for a shot near the pole may mean you have to step back out quickly in case the ball hits you by the next shot. The dumpy thick plastic rackets the game comes with also mean that the ball won't swing round as quickly as if you had hit it with a regular tennis racket.
It's a whole load of fun that most of the family can play and is not restrictive at all. You can practice on your own as well as playing in pairs, and you can generally get a Swingball set for around the £20 mark. It's a quality product that can give you hours of fun. Recommended.
Summary: Quality swingball sets
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