The Lobster Ball Machine is one of the best known options in the ball machine market. Lobster is an established brand that has many different options in their lineup that are priced accordingly.
The models that are offered by Lobster ball machines are the:
- Elite 1 ($1,089)
- Elite 2 ($1,349)
- Elite 3 ($1,599)
- Liberty ($899)
- Freedom ($799)
- Grand IV ($1,899)
- Grand V ($2,499)
Every machine comes with slightly different options that include remote controls, different speed settings, trajectory manipulation, and larger ball storage capacity, etc.
We feel that the Lobster ball machine performs quite well and delivers a very good experience for the average tennis player that is looking to get some practice in on developing their shots.
It works particularly well for the groundstrokes and enables the player to work on both the forehand and the backhand by selecting the option to alternate ball locations on the machine.
The machines come with a battery charger and the battery lasts anywhere from 4 hours to 8 hours before needing another charge.
Also the Lobster is quite durable, you are able to set it on a static mode which is great if you want to work specific aspects of your game, such as returning lobs.
One slight drawback is that there are sometimes when the tennis balls at the end of the feeder round fail to drop down into the feeder.
The Lobster ball machine can apply topspin or backspin to help you get better acclimated to hitting different types of spin. Also, most of the lobster models are built to hold 150 balls, which we feel like is a good amount to get a significant set of practice in before having to pick up and reload.
The warranty is also an important consideration, you want to make sure that the manufacturer will stand behind their product and the Lobster brand offers a 2 year warranty with their machines, but you should read the fine print carefully. There have been a few complaints about the customer service, so keep your warranty information handy if you need to make a call.
Ease Of Use
The weight of the machine is also important and may not be something you think of until you have to move it around, the ball machines vary in weight hovering between 30-40 pounds on average.
The reviews have been pretty good for the Lobster machines, although there have been some customers that question the battery life that the company advertises is actually far shorter in real life. Also, the customer service has been called into question by many people online that have complained about the long wait times and failures to respond.
However, although that may be true in some cases we didn’t experience any issues with that ourselves.
This varies of course depending on which type of machine you choose and at which price point. The machines come with all kinds of different options depending on which selection you choose, but for the most part all of the machines perform pretty close to advertised and all come with a two year warranty.
We feel like the Lobster ball machines are a good value for most tennis players that are looking to build on their skill set, have gained the proper stroke education and want to refine their skills without a hitting partner.
The Bottom Line
The final verdict on the Lobster brand of ball machine is that you need to evaluate your needs and what you want to get out of your practice sessions. The weight of the machine was a big factor for us, since moving the machine to a court to use becomes harder the heavier it is.
As far as the performance we were impressed and it helped us work on nearly any shot that we wanted to work on, no matter the spin, depth, height, or trajectory that we were looking for.
This is a great addition to the practice tools of the aspiring player that really wants to put their knowledge of stroke development solidly into their form on the court and have it show up when it counts during matches.
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