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Pickleball Pick-up Tube Ball Retrievers: Everything you Wanted to Know

We all love playing pickleball, but nobody hits the court out of a  love for bending over and picking up balls off the ground.

But, alas, ball collection is a necessary part of playing and drilling on the pickleball court.

If you want to get better at the game, you need to hit a lot of pickleballs. Those balls end up on the ground, where you’re going to have to pick them up again if you want to hit them again.

Repeat this hundreds of times over weeks and months, and that’s a lot of bending over! Many beginner players don’t realize just how much bending for ball pickup is involved in the sport, and that it was going to be so tough on their backs.

Fortunately, there are clever hacks to make the ball collection process quicker, easier, and far less physically straining.

There’s no need to wear yourself out picking up balls one by one. You want to do the bending during the game and practice, not during ball pickup. Saving yourself for actually hitting your pickleballs is the smart move.

Everyone has a system for picking up balls. Make sure yours involves keeping your back limber (and your mind sane).

In this post, we cover one of those methods, which is the ball collection tube.

Top Pick

A cleverly designed 46′ tall opaque tube that makes picking up indoor and outdoor pickleballs fast and easy. Holds approx. 17 balls. 


Who is the pickleball collection tube for?

  • Those concerned about wear and tear on their back, hips, knees, and joints.
  • Those who use many balls during drilling or coaching sessions. Students in lessons love picking up with them after.
  • Those who use ball caddies/carts/machines. Many pickleball machines hold up to 40-105+ balls in the hopper!

While these tubes make short work of post-drill ball cleanup, they’re not necessary for people playing games with one or two balls.

But if you’re drilling with many balls, these tubes can be a total time (and back) saver.

Why a tube collector over other ball collectors?

For example, the Deluxe Pickleball Caddy or Kollectaball.

Those are premium options and absolutely have their place in the ball-collection game.

But the tube collector is a cheaper, more versatile option that is less cumbersome and more affordable. The tube collector is also much better at picking up balls in corners like fence lines or walls than the other collectors.

The tube collectors are also more reliable due to their simplicity. Many ball hoppers have wires that can break off and other parts that can malfunction. No assembly is required with the tub collectors, which can be a help for the mechanically challenged.

While cheap, efficient, and reliable, it’s worth noting that the tube collector does not hold as many pickleball as the other ball collector options and does not pick them up as quickly.

A club I’ve frequented has two Tourna tube collectors as well as a Kollectaball, and club employees prefer the tubes because of their ability to easily pick up balls in corners where the roller collector cannot.

What’s the size & Capacity?

The Tourna brand tube collector holds 17 balls. Well, 16 snuggly. The 17th ball tends to protrude a bit.

The Franklin brand tube ball retriever (which I do not recommend buying, more on that later) holds 12 balls.

The tubes are a good height/length. They’re lightweight and can fit in most compact cars with ease and are easy to use for people of most heights.

Can a tube collector pick up indoor and outdoor balls?

Yes, no problem. Indoor and outdoor balls from all certified brands are easily sucked into the tube.

Simply press the tube over the ball and it gets sucked into the tube.

How do I get the balls out?

The opposite side of the tube from the pickup side has 2 hooks holding a rubber band. You’ll just slide the rubber band down, flip the tube over, and you can empty the balls out.

This makes it pretty easy to dump the balls out to use straight away or add to a basket or machine.

Pickleball pickup tube verdict: should you get one?

Having some form of pickleball collection system is essential if you use a lot of pickleball. You want to minimize unnecessary bending as much as possible if you’re serious about spending time on the court, either teaching, practicing, or playing games.

If you use a lot of pickleball, a pickleball tube collector offers an easy and affordable way to take an enormous amount of stress off of your back over time, and it speeds up the game because of how quick and easy picking balls up becomes.

I certainly recommend buying one of these. I know a lot of players who can’t imagine not using one once they implemented them into their game. Something like this is essentially a must-have if you’re drilling or teaching out of ball carts/machines.

I personally love the tube collector design and have used a Tourna brand collector for some time.

I’m young and don’t have any back issues, but I want to employ us much prevention as possible, as I plan to play pickleball for decades. I also love how much more drilling I can get in during sessions from not having to pick up balls individually.

Yes, there are devices on the market that can pick up and store larger quantities of balls. And you might prefer those. But they can be harder to use, more of a hassle to maintain, and are more expensive. They also don’t pickup balls at the fence line like that tube collectors do.

All in all, this product is light, easy to carry, and efficient. It makes picking up balls a breeze and easy on the body.

I’ve seen people be hesitant to invest in an item like this, but I’ve yet to see someone be disappointed in making the plunge to pick one up. In fact, more often than not, they end up buying a second one.

Recommended brand: Tourna

Top Pick

Tourna Pickleball Tube Collector

A cleverly designed 46′ tall opaque tube that makes picking up indoor and outdoor pickleballs fast and easy. Holds approx. 17 balls. 


At the moment there are only two brands worth mentioning that sell these tubes: Tourna and Franklin.

I do not recommend buying the Franklin brand. Nothing against the company, I just think their pickup tube is inferior to the Tourna offering.

Franklin’s tube is not as robust as the Tourna. I’ve seen one shatter when it was tipped over in a gymnasium. It also uses a rubber band system to function that’s not as easy to use or practical (the rubber bands break a lot). The only thing it has going for the Franklin over the Tourna is that it has a carrying strap, which some people prefer.

The Tourna tube is my recommended choice due to its ease to handling, stronger material, hanging hook, and superior mechanism for picking up balls. I know a number of players who have been using this one for around a year without issue. I’ve had mine for 8 months and it’s going strong.

It’s not the cheapest tool out there, but it’s worth the investment. Some people make their own versions with PVC pipes, which can be more inexpensive. But the time investment involved in making them doesn’t even things out in my mind. Though, if you’re interested in the DIY route, check out YouTube for tutorials.


You should consider picking up a ball collector if you use a lot of balls in your game. It’ll save you time and save your body from wear and tear.

Tube collectors are a great option for this. They’re lightweight, easy to use, durable, and less expensive than roller baskets.

Note that ball storage is not something tube picker-uppers excel at. They’re for picking up balls only. It’s recommended to get a pickleball basket if you work with a lot of balls regularly.

If you do want to have your tube collector hold balls for you, it’s recommended to add one less ball than capacity and use a piece of cardboard or something similar as a stopper to keep the balls in. You can then use the tube as a carrying device.

One last thing. If you get a pickup tube, don’t leave it exposed to sun day in and day out. They’re made of durable construction and can be left outside, but direct sunlight will cause excessive wear and tear.

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