The Lobster tennis ball machine is one of the most popular models of tennis ball machines out there.
The Lobster brand has several different models that offer a range of features for a wide range of costs that are all based on the same design.
So, depending on your budget and your level of play, Lobster tennis ball machines have a model that’s just right for you.
Below we’ll take a look at the Lobster Brand models and what makes them similar and what makes them different.
Lobster Elite Freedom Tennis Ball Machine
The very base model of Lobster ball machines are the Lobster Elite Freedom.
This economy model weighs approximately 42 pounds and has a reversible hopper that fits snuggly over the ball machine. Between this and the collapsible handle, the Lobster Elite Freedom is very compact and portable.
It has a ball capacity of 150 balls which is way more than you ever would need and it has a variable delivery frequency that can spit out balls from every 10 seconds on the low end to every 2 seconds on the high end. The ball speed is adjustable and can fly anywhere from 10-70 miles per hour, so it can get pretty competitive.
The unit comes both as a battery powered ball machine and a plug in model and the battery will last anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on what features you’re using.
The Lobster Elite Freedom has horizontal oscillation ability so it can vary the location of the tennis ball delivery; however, there is no vertical capability so you more or less have the same depth on the shots.
There is an option to practice overhand slams which is always a fun drill. The Lobster Elite freedom has both topspin and backspin options.
At just under 850 dollars the unit is the cheapest Lobster tennis ball machine on the market.
Lobster Elite Model 2 Tennis Ball Machine
The next model up, priced around $1400, is the Lobster Elite Model 2 Tennis Ball Machine.
It has many of the same features as the Elite Freedom such as the reversible hopper and associated compactibility, 150 tennis ball capacity as well as the same delivery options (delivery frequency, ball speed, horizontal oscillation).
It also comes in a battery powered model that will last anywhere from 2-8 hours depending on which battery options and delivery features you’re using.
The major difference between the Lobster Elite Model 2 tennis ball machine and the Lobster Elite Freedom is that the Model 2 also offers a vertical oscillation function.
This means that on top of the side to side action you also get a backcourt to net option, further enhancing the realistic play you get from a tennis ball machine.
The Lobster Elite Model 2 is very versatile and can be used for tennis players of any age or skill level; from beginner right up to advanced and highly competitive players.
Due to this fact, I would say that the Lobster Model 2 tennis ball machine is the best value when it comes to price and features.
Lobster Elite Model 3 Tennis Ball Machine
If you are serious about tennis and need a good tennis ball machine to take your game to the next level then you’ll want to consider the Lobster Elite Model 3.
This unit shares a lot of the same design and features as the Model 2 and Elite Freedom such as the reversible hopper, portability, 150 ball capacity, standard delivery options (by that I mean the delivery frequency, the ball speed options, and the horizontal oscillation option).
It also has a vertical oscillation function much like the Elite Model 2. But the thing that separates the Lobster Elite Model 3 from the previous models is that it has an extra horizontal oscillation feature that adds an entirely new element to practicing with a tennis ball machine.
The extra horizontal oscillation feature is a setting that will switch up the width so that you can get both narrow and wider forehand and backhand shots.
In combination with the vertical oscillation feature, the Lobster Elite Model 3 can put the tennis ball anywhere on the court making it the most realistic opponent a tennis ball machine can offer.
While it’s a little more expensive at close to 1600 dollars, it will provide an unending challenge that will take your game to the next level consistently, day after day.
Lobster Elite Grand Slam IV Tennis Ball Machine
The Lobster Elite Grand Slam IV takes tennis ball machines to a new and ridiculously realistic level.
The number of features and usability of the Grand Slam IV makes it an incredible investment (as does the price).
As with the other tennis ball machines in the Lobster Elite family, the Grand Slam IV comes with all of the standard tennis ball machine features: reversible hopper, portability, 150 ball capacity, standard delivery options (delivery frequency, the ball speed options, and the horizontal oscillation option).
And like the Elite Model 3, the Grand Slam IV has both vertical and enhanced oscillation features for advanced play.
What makes the Grand Slam IV superior to all of the previous models, is that it has an onboard computer that allows for pre-programmed drills (so you can realistic and helpful practice on the weak part of your game) and it has the ability to provide completely random shots that mimic an actual players response.
This level of realism not only trains your motor skills so that you improve on your swing and your shots, but it also improves the mental aspect of your game so that you get used to thinking ahead to where the next shot will be.
The onboard display makes programming the Lobster Elite Grand Slam IV incredibly easy, but if you want to have the ability to pause, change up the program, or introduce randomization the Grand Slam IV has a wireless remote control that makes this easy (wireless remote costs extra).
The $1900 price tag on the Grand Slam IV makes it for serious players or coaches. Together with the wireless remote, the Lobster Elite Grand Slam IV is the ultimate coaching tennis ball machine.
Lobster Elite Grand Slam V Tennis Ball Machine
Just when you thought a tennis ball machine couldn’t get any better, Lobster offers the Elite Grand Slam V.
The Grand Slam V model is the premier tennis ball machine. It has all of the same features mentioned above on the Grand Slam IV (standard delivery option, same portability and weight, multi oscillation, programmable shots) but what separates the Grand Slam V model is that the engineers at Lobster upgraded the computer and now it offers an even wider array of programmability and realistic tennis play that it warrants the higher price.
In addition to the Grand Slam IV drills, the Grand Slam V offers approach drills, attack and defend drills and an enhance forehand drill that will make you tournament ready.
This tennis ball machine will throw balls the entire spectrum of the court with the ability to mix up the speed, trajectory and spin.
The completely random programming technology provides the most realistic match play a portable tennis ball machine has to offer. The MSRP on the Lobster Elite Grand Slam V is $2,799.
Where to Buy Lobster Tennis Ball Machine
If you’re looking to buy a Lobster tennis ball machine, there are a number of options available to you. There are a variety of online tennis retailers that all sell tennis ball machines; they usually sell them in a real brick-and-mortar store as well.
Oftentimes, you’ll find a really low advertised price and it’s worth checking a few of them out. Sometimes the online ad is for a stripped down model and it’s just to get you to their site.
When researching online, I found that Amazon had some consistently low prices on Lobster tennis ball machines. They offer free shipping and have some really good customer service, in case anything were to go wrong.
Used Lobster Tennis Ball Machine for Sale
As I mentioned in my Lobster Elite 3 tennis ball machine review post, my brother-in-law is the tennis coach for our local high school and the latest member of his team is a brand new Lobster ball machine.
Prior to this new acquisition, the team had been practicing with an older version. I asked him what he would be doing with the old one and he said that the school usually puts old things up for local auction and if I wanted I could bid on it. So that got me thinking about how people can buy a used lobster tennis ball machine.
The first place to buy a used tennis ball machine would be to check out auction sites like eBay.
Everyone’s familiar with eBay and how it works so I won’t waste your time with an explanation but it is probably the first and best place that people look. There’s usually a good selection and they cost half of what a new ball machine would cost. Heck, I’m thinking of buying the old one to put up there.
The next place to look is to ask around at your local fitness club or high school. Like in the instance above, these places will get new equipment from time to time and it can be a great find if you happen to run into one this way.
Even if they currently don’t have one for sale, you can leave your info with them so when they do end up replacing it you can get first dibs. You never know, maybe they were thinking of replacing some and your inquiry might push them into action.
Another good place to check out is craigslist.org. If you’re unfamiliar with craigslist, it’s basically a classified section on the internet. The beauty of using craigslist to find a used lobster tennis ball machine is that you can put a want ad in for free so anyone who is browsing might just have what you need.
One last thing you can try is to check with different internet retailers that sell new tennis ball machines. These retailers usually run a real world store on top of having their business on the internet so they very well might have some used lobster ball machines in the back; especially since most places will take trade-ins to entice other people to buy new ones.
Checking out a handful of these online stores will give you a good idea if you’re heading in the right direction and it’s an easy thing to do. Just about any website should have a contact page, telephone number or e-mail that you can contact them at.
The one thing to be concerned with when purchasing a used tennis ball machine is that you never quite know what you’re getting. With the one that my brother-in-law is getting rid of there’s nothing really wrong with it (accept for some cosmetic scuffs and scratches) but I’ve had the luxury of playing on it.
If I were buying something off the internet you pretty much have to take the person at their word. With website like eBay you at least have some of their built in protection like feedback and Paypal that will allow you to dispute charges and evaluate dealers before purchasing.
When contacting an online retailer about buying a used lobster tennis ball machine you may want to ask the following questions:
- How old is the tennis ball machine?
- If it is battery powered and if so how old is the battery?
- Was the tennis ball machine used by many people (such as a sports team or at a club) or did it have one user?
- If it is a plug in tennis ball machine, what condition is the cord in? Is it frayed at all?
- What’s their return policy
If you’re happy with their response you should feel good about buying a used tennis ball machine online. Just keep in mind that if a deal sounds too good to be true it usually is.