Batting cage tips when shopping...
We started this business in 1998 and have learned a lot. If you are shopping for a batting cage here are some batting cage tips and questions to keep in mind while shopping.
Type of netting
The net is the most expensive part of the cage and quality can make all the difference. On our premium batting cages we only use knotted nylon. We only use poly net on our economy batting cages. Knotted nylon is stronger and lasts longer than poly net (HDPE). Poly net is quite a bit weaker (40% to 50%) and less expensive than knotted nylon. You would need just about a #42 poly net to be as strong as our #21 knotted nylon. By then you would have spent a lot more money. In my opinion, knotted nylon is a lot more durable than poly net. Since we started in 1998, we have never had a water problem, UV deterioration, dry rot, or any breakage of our net due to baseballs or softballs hitting the net. Also knotted nylon is easy to handle.
Complete Hitting System
One of the valuable "batting cage tips" is to find out what you need to have a complete hitting system. Is it required or an accessory? For our system, everything is included except the frame poles, which you buy locally. Some "unbundle" their pricing and sell "net only." They sell frame kits separately, don't include an L-screen, or don't include the poles for the L-screen. Some companies sell the connectors with thumb screws you tighten by hand. Hitters will eventually hit the thumb screws and break them off. We use 1/2" bolts so they don't stick out very far. With some systems you have to buy cables, turnbuckles, or dig holes and pour concrete. Many companies have you buy the frame poles locally. This can save you hundreds of dollars on shipping. For some it is very difficult to find out the shipping costs. Find out the total price.
Easy to Install
One of my humorous "batting cage tips", is the cage easy to install? My oh my! This can get real interesting. I've looked over several manufacturer's assembly instructions and some are really wild. Pages and pages, with pictures that don't match the instructions. One set of instructions said you needed two tapes measures 50' to 100' long. Below is a brief example of the complexity some of these can have:
Competitor's Partial Example of Assembly Instructions
With 50’ or 100' tape, measure from “A” to hole “B”. Mark hole “B”.
While tape is still laying out from “A to “B”, mark for holes “C” and “D” (Note “C” and “D” are 1’ to the outside of a direct line between “A” and “B”)
Next measure diagonally across from “A” to “E” and, with a separate tape, from “B” to “E”. The 2 tapes should intersect at the lengths indicated on diagram. Mark hole “E” at intersection.
Now measure from “E” to “F” and, with a separate tape, from “A” to ”F”. The 2 tapes should intersect at the lengths indicated on diagram. Mark hole “F” at intersection.
While tape is still laying out from “E” to “F”, mark for holes “G” and “H”. (Note “G” and “H” are 1’ to the outside of a direct line between “E” and “F”)
According to the picture that followed, there was no diagonal from “A” to “E” or “B” to “E”. It should have been "A" to "F" and "B" to "F". It took me awhile to figure out they had the instructions for a 35' cage, but the image for a 55' cage. Very confusing. And it went on for a long time.
Our cage is simple to assemble - less than one page of instructions.. No holes to dig or screw in ground anchors to contend with. No cables or carabiners or cement. Just plain simple and easy.
The most important item for batting cage tips: It is safe? In our system the poles are on the inside so you don't want a ricochet problem. This is the reason we use 3/4" EMT. They are strong enough to hold up the system, but are flexible and absorb the momentum of the batted ball so it just dies and falls to the ground. We want batter and pitcher to be safe. We are concerned about some of the competition's copies of our cage. Be very careful. Some of these batting cages are made with 1 3/8" poles ON THE INSIDE! Some have their poles on the outside, but close to the netting. Our design is based on "The Law of Conservation of Momentum." Read about it on our details page. Large thick poles don't give very much. If they are struck by a batted baseball, and believe me they will be, there can be tremendous ricochet and this is very dangerous.
Find out the guarantee and return policy. Some allow up to 60 days. Ours is one full year. We pride ourselves on quality customer service. We are small and cannot afford unhappy clients.
Caveat Emptor - Buyer Beware: We hope these batting cage tips help and may have prompted even more questions. Shopping for a batting cage can be time consuming and frustrating. While a Wheelhouse Batting Cage is affordable, it still is an outlay of your hard earned money. So take your time, be diligent, and ask a lot of questions. Find out the complete cost of a batting cage before you buy.