Monday 29 August 2011

All Surface Swingball review

Swingball is one of those games that I've known about for absolutely decades but never actually played. As we haven't got a garden, I wasn't actually sure we could use one - wouldn't it need to be stuck into grass or set in concrete to stand up ? - but when the opportunity came up to review Swingball, I thought I'd give it a go, even if it needed to be left at the grandparents' (who have got a lovely garden, as you can see in the photos!).

Well, I needn't have worried because we received All Surface Swingball which is an absolutely ingenious game that fits away into a nice, neat, compact storage box which is ideal for throwing in the back of the car for days out at the beach or picnics. The box becomes the base - just be prepared to weight it down with something heavy to keep it stable (we used water but sand, a brick or anything flat but heavyish would work) - so you can play it anywhere. We tried it on grass, on a patio, on concrete and even on carpet (but you need a very big room to play it in safely !) and it works perfectly on all of them. 10-year-old Sophie set it all up all by herself within 5 minutes and without consulting the instructions once.

It's a game that instantly appealed to absolutely everyone, starting off with Sophie and Grandad - this photo had us in hysterics ! ...

I even caught Grandad playing all by himself when he thought nobody was looking ! ...

6-year-old Juliette could play along too, as long as we hit the ball nice and gently, and within a day, I could really see her hand/eye coordination had improved and she was hitting it much more accurately and with much more confidence.

The teens and grown-ups got involved too and had great fun playing, and it withstood some pretty hard hitting. The rackets are really solid (much sturdier than the similar-looking but flimsy softball tennis rackets I remember from my childhood) and the ball and tether didn't go flying off once, which was what I was slightly worried about. I noticed that you can buy replacement balls and tethers anyway, if you did happen to break or lose the one in the box.

I was expecting it to be a fun but not particularly energetic game but I was surprised to see that it is actually very sporty. Your arm muscles get a great workout but you also find yourself jumping and diving (and ducking, if your opponent hits it hard !) when you really start getting into it ! It's brilliant for younger players who, when playing with normal rackets and balls, quickly get bored because they spend the whole time bending down to pick up missed balls or running across the garden/court to retrieve them. The Swingball swings round two or three times with the momentum of one hit, so they get extra chances to hit the ball back if they miss the first time.

Now that we know that we can use it on our patio, we've packed it up and brought it home with us but Madhouse Grandad has already said that they'll be buying one for themselves too as it's so much fun !

We left the Swingball set up, as it was in constant use, and despite this being the summer, it got rained on several times and still survived in perfect condition, but it probably would rust if left out for too long. It's fine for all-year-round use though, which is great news too.

Even the most unenergetic, sports-hating teens and adults couldn't resist walking past without having a quick play so it's the perfect ally for getting your kids (and the parents !) off the couch and outside, burning off some energy.

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £22.99

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  1. swing ball - we played it all summer- took it with us to spain... the only ball that didn't go over the fence!!

  2. Fab review this has really helped me make my mind up about buying, i love the fact all ages can get involved.

  3. I had a Swingball when I was younger - brings back fond memories of whacking it really hard and wholloping my uncle in the back of the head with the ball !!!

    Great review - might purchase one ready for camping holidays next year.



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