Lobster tennis ball machines are some of the most popular on the market. I also happen to think they’re the best looking, although that’s not necessarily one of the main features I would base a purchasing decision on! The product line is divided into two main streams: the older electric models, and the battery powered Elite range. They start at a little over $500 for the basic Ball Bucket electric model, to well over $2,500 for the top of the range Elite Grandslam V battery model, once you factor in all the optional extras. So they cater to all sectors of the market, from individual buyers to clubs and schools.
Electric Lobster machines
Lobster sells three electric models: the Ball Bucket Model 201, Lobster Hybrid Model 301, and Tournament Model 401. These machines tend to be smaller and cheaper than the newer battery-powered Elite range, and while they don’t have some of the advanced features of the Elites, are still more than capable. They can toss the ball at speeds between 15 and 70 mph, can produce 80 degree lobs, and are capable of heavy topspin and backspin with the optional spin adaptor. Both the Ball Bucket and Lobster Hybrid provide random horizontal oscillation, and the Tournament Model adds vertical oscillation into the mix. Add to this the fact that electric machines are probably more durable, and you have a fairly compelling reason to seriously consider them. The one major downside is that not all courts provide access to mains power, so be sure to check this before buying!
Battery-powered Lobster machines
There are several battery-powered Lobster tennis machines to choose from: Elite Freedom, Elite 1, Elite 2, Elite 3, Elite Grandslam IV, and Elite Grandslam V. They all look very similar, but vary in features and associated price, from the entry-level Freedom, to the advanced Grandslam V. These tend to be a little more expensive and heavier than the electric machines, mostly due to the weight of the battery – they top out at about 44lbs. However, their big handles and wheels make them relatively easy to move around.
All these machines feature random horizontal oscillation, while the Elite 2 and upwards add vertical oscillation into the mix. The Elite 3 and above also have “2 line” settings to alternately hit two different spots on the court. All but the Elite Freedom feature topspin and backspin settings, and the Freedom also seems to have a shorter time between needing to charge the battery.
While battery powered models have the obvious advantage that you can use them on any court, bear in mind that the machine’s performance will degrade over the course of a session, and that this will happen quicker as the battery becomes older too.
Two year warranty
Lobster is very proud of their two year warranty, and I must say, it does give greater peace of mind knowing that there’s a safety net in case something goes wrong. I should point out though that the two year warranty does not extend to batteries – these are covered only for six months. So if you’re considering purchasing a battery machine, remember to factor in the price of a replacement battery.
For more information, please check out the manufacturer’s website.
Tagged With Lobster Ball Bucket Model 201, Lobster Elite 1, Lobster Elite 2, Lobster Elite 3, Lobster Elite Freedom, Lobster Elite Grandslam IV, Lobster Elite Grandslam V, Lobster Hybrid Model 301, Lobster tennis ball machines, Lobster Tournament Model 401