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wizard with a ball of light in his hands as if he is casting a spell . Model has long grey unkempt hair and beard

The Story so Far: What the hell’s taking so long?

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away squash players and coaches were plagued by the absence of a squash ball-machine convenient enough, reliable enough and powerful enough to be their daily go-to training tool. 

On courts throughout the Kingdom the cry was: ‘Why?’ Until, one day, a young, up-and-coming coach and an old hack decided enough was enough, the time to take this particular dragon down was now! 

And so work began. At first their journey was blessed with good fortune and our fearless innovators’ Enchanted Workshop rang with cries of encouragement: ‘How easy is this?!’ ‘Should be finished any day now!’ They even had the temerity to shoot some celebratory video (which is still posted on their website).

Then all at once, there followed a succession of bad calls, strokes given and own goals. The skies darkened. An Evil Gremlin, in the form of an annoying reliability glitch that cut to the core of the drive to build the World’s Most Convenient Ball Machine, took up residence in their seemingly perfect prototype.

Our two dynamos despaired: [Trigger Warning] Had their undertaking been touched by the WSF’s Olympic Curse? 

Just when all seemed lost a Wise Old Wizard joined the project. A few insightful design tweaks later and the Gremlin was banished! Our relieved pioneers rejoiced: A portable, reliable and powerful ball machine was done and dusted, a home run, a sure thing, a dragon slayer! 

Or so it seemed. 

Out of the blue, the King of the World and his pals locked everything down. Which was pretty tough for everyone in the Kingdom. And longer term not so great for global supply chains. Our brave trailblazers in particular, placed as they were at the bottom – and I mean right at the very, very bottom – of the semiconductor feeding chain found components for their boards impossible to come by. 

But every cloud and all that – the enforced layoff did give our intrepid pioneers time to test the living daylights out of the prototypes they’d already built. Long story short – they now have a Beta 1 prototype that can be mass manufactured and is almost certainly way, way better than it otherwise would have been. Thanks a bunch King of the World. 

All very harrowing and interesting I hear you say, but what about me? What about me and my Stingray?

Sad to say, as regards you and yours, it’s still a dark and uncommonly stormy night in Faerie Land. Between our intrepid team and your Mind-Blowing Solo Training Experience, lies the Valley of Death, cluttered with the bleached bones of the innumerable outstanding prototypes that didn’t make it.

Yes: Crossing the VoD from Beta 1 to volume production is our noble inventors’ Everest. Nanny says not to travel. And Nanny’s an expert. With a BSc in Nursery Studies to prove it. (No disrespect to Higher Ed or Nursery Studies intended.)

Daunting odds indeed. On the other hand, Nanny’s been wrong before. With the Curse seemingly broken and 5 prototyping cycles completed, 2024 does feel like it could be the year of Happily Ever After for Stingray.  Sorry, for you.

Boom – cliffhanger! 

And congrats for getting this far. Who says reading is dead?! Someone with your kind of never-say-die perseverance likely has a big future in squash!

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