Lobster Sports Spin-Control Ergonomic Tennis Ball Machine

Last updated: June 1, 2023

Lobster Sports Spin-Control Ergonomic Tennis Ball Machine

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We looked at the top Tennis Ball Machines and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Tennis Ball Machine you should buy.

Overall Take

Although this tennis ball machine is easy to use, it has plenty of attractive features. For example, it allows for a speed adjustment from 20 to 70 miles per hour, an elevation adjustment from 0 to 50 degrees and the ability to select topspins and backspins. Users will also appreciate that the unit can run for up to 4 hours before needing a charge.

In our analysis of 26 expert reviews, the Lobster Sports Spin-Control Ergonomic Tennis Ball Machine placed 1st when we looked at the top 6 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

For the passionate tennis player, student, or family seeking a lightweight tennis ball machine with impressive features, the Lobster Sports elite liberty is an affordable solution. Holding 150 tennis balls, the elite liberty is an easy-to-use ball launcher with a sleek design and great features – all at an amazing price. Developed to meet the needs of beginners who seek advanced control of both ball speed and ball spin, the elite liberty offers unequaled spin control for a machine at this price point. Along with ball speeds of 10 to 70 miles per hour, manual elevation from 0 to 50 degrees, and both topspin and backspin, the ball machine offers exceptional features such as full corner-to-corner random oscillation, and 50-degree lobs for practicing overheads. The ball feed rate can be set from 2 to 12 seconds, and the machine runs two to four hours on a full battery charge. With a 35-pound ergonomic design, this lightweight tennis ball machine is easy to move on and off the court plus with the inverting hopper and folding handle, it is easy to transport in your car. The 8-inch all-terrain wheels allow for easy movement over gravel, grass, curbs, and all court surfaces. Upright the machine measures 29 x 43 x 15. 5 inches. When folded down it is 29 x 21 x 15. 5 inches. This battery-operated ball machine has been engineered for maximum durability and will last for decades if taken care of properly. Included with the machine is the standard dual-voltage charger (100-240v) with build-in trickle technology to ensure your battery will never overcharge. Average charge time ranges from 12 – 24 hours depending on battery level. Lobster Sports has been making tennis ball machines since 1971 and stands by their machines, which are covered by a 2-Year . Optional accessories for the elite liberty include a 2-function remote control, a premium charger, storage cover, and an external AC power supply – all available from Lobster Sports. To make this model lightweight, the battery is smaller than on other Lobster Sports machines and will provide fewer hours of court time. If you need longer battery life, please consider our elite one model or above. The Lobster Sports elite liberty machine can be a tennis player’s life-long training partner — which makes it an exceptional value with it’s low price and high-end features. A 5% restocking fee will be charged for any returned products.

Expert Reviews

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If you want to improve your tennis game, good sparring partners are worth their weight in gold. But while real opponents are the best way to hone your skills, they can’t always be there when you’re ready to practice — and that’s why a tennis ball machine is the next best thing.

In its most basic form, a tennis ball machine is just a bin with a propulsion mechanism that can toss balls over the net. And if you’re a first-time player, straight shots might be all you can handle. But since the whole point is to step up your game, you’ll soon need a machine that can give you a little variation. Everybody plays a bit differently, so finding the right mechanical tennis partner means looking for features that will keep you challenged in a reliable — and hopefully, affordable — package.

The features you’ll hear the most about in a tennis ball machine involve the launch mechanism. You’ll want to know not only how the balls are launched but how fast and how often. The most basic machines have a standard rate at which the balls are fired, and faster isn’t necessarily better. You’ll want to be able to tweak the amount of time you have to recover between each successful return, and a good tennis ball launcher will have an adjustable feed rate that you can increase as your skills improve. The best ones will even have a random setting to keep you on your toes.

The next thing to consider is, where are those balls being sent? A machine that only launches to one spot will only help you improve one type of swing — and it won’t be much use for long. Most machines have a firing tube that can  oscillate, so it moves. Some of those tubes can oscillate from side to side, and you’ll ideally want as much distance as possible so that you get balls that cover the entirety of the court. A launcher that can also oscillate up and down, even to a slight degree, is even better.

Higher end machines will let you control both the feed rate and oscillation. Some may even have a remote that lets you program certain types of shots in succession so that you can work on certain returns. Just make sure the mechanism isn’t so complicated that you spend more time hitting buttons than playing.

Machines will typically launch their balls through one of two ways: A spinning wheel or air pressure. The first type feeds the “ammo” into a pair of counter-rotating wheels, and this process generally results in a more precise shot. It’s also easier for the machine to put spin on the ball. Pneumatic (or air pressure) launchers use jets of compressed air to launch the balls, which generally requires a bit more power. For that reason, they tend to be cheaper and will usually need to remain plugged in. On the other hand, they’re likely to be less expensive.

Once you’ve considered the ballistic features, don’t overlook one common statistic that will make a big difference in your practice sessions: The ball capacity. This number varies widely between models. The average number of balls is around 100-125 balls, which is enough that you won’t be stopping to reload your machine every five minutes. You can find more expensive machines that might hold up to 300 or more, though.

While more capacity is always better, it will come at a tradeoff. Depending on what kind of court you’ll be playing on — and how far away it is from home — portability will make a big difference. You don’t necessarily want a huge mechanism that wears you out even before you’ve turned it on. Make sure to also check whether your court has a power outlet handy. If not, you’re limited to battery-powered machines.

Finally, as with any outdoor device, take a look at the materials. You don’t want one rainy day to end your practice sessions forever.

Buying Advice

  • So you’ve got your machine set up and you’re ready to face off against it for your first few lessons. If you want to get the best use out of it, you should still seek out a tennis coach or at least an experienced player. If one isn’t available, just start by focusing on doing exactly what comes natural: Trying to hit the balls as they’re sent your way.
  • Once you’ve got some rhythm and accuracy, try to focus on where you’re returning those shots. One good way to do this is to set up the machine in the doubles lane and trying to keep your returns in the same lane. You might even try hitting the machine itself, if it’s durable enough.
  • Once that’s starting to feel natural, try varying your target. By this time, you should also be altering the machine settings so that you’re fielding balls in more than one area of the court.