Lobster Sports Elite Freedom is the cheapest model from Lobster Sports Inc. With a price well below $1000, Elite Freedom is one of the cheapest tennis ball machines available. We looked at the features embedded in this ball machine to find out if the popularity of the Lobster Elite Freedom model comes just from the price tag.
LOBSTER SPORTS ELITE FREEDOM TENNIS BALL MACHINE
No overcharge protection in basic charger
No remote control availability
Easy to transport, easy to store
No programmed drills available
Battery life 2 to 4 hours
No spin available, just flat shots
Short recharging period
Large ball capacity (150 balls)
Random horizontal oscillation
Wide speed range
Ideal for beginners who need to practice flat shots returns
Ball Feed Speed: 35 to 65 mph (56 to 104 kmph)
Ball Feed Interval: 2 seconds to 10 seconds
Ball Capacity: 150 balls
Programmable Drills: none
Phone Compatibility: none
Battery life: 2 – 4 hours
Battery charging: 12 to 16 hours for a fully charged battery
Weight: 35 lbs (16 kg)
Dimensions: Height: 21 in (53 cm) Length: 21 in (53 cm) Width: 14 in (35 cm)
Case Construction: Durable plastic body
You can not have high expectation from low-price models. Models under $1000 do not have many functions you would like to have. However, it is balanced by a really low price. So be prepared for a lot of manual adjustment to placement and elevation.
Lobster Elite Freedom has manual elevation in range of 0 to 50 degrees. You need to use elevation knob on the front of the case to choose the height of shots.
Feed interval and speed can be adjusted electrically on the control panel of the machine. Feed interval range is 2 to 10 seconds. That is a universal market standard. The speed range is below the usual range of compared models. However, for beginners and intermediate players, speed range 35 to 65 mph would be fine.
Lobster Elite Freedom model has no spin embedded, so you will be able to practice just flat shots.
The ball capacity of Lobster tennis ball machines is one of the largest on the market and Elite Freedom is not an exemption. 150 balls is a solid capacity even for advanced players.
Lobster Elite Freedom does not have any drills pre-programmed. The only feature resembling the match conditions is random horizontal oscillation. It will shoot the balls randomly from corner to corner. I would repeat again, that this is a nice-to-have feature for any beginner. It is always good to make a change during practice and switch from practicing the same shot again and again to random corner-to-corner play. It refreshes any practice and pulls out the player from a possible boring routine.
Looking for a more advanced model with preprogrammed drills and remote control? Check our Spinshot Player tennis ball machine review.
It is hard to find a ball machine with remote control in this price category. Elite Freedom does not offer remote control and it is also not possible to buy one for an additional fee. If you practice alone a lot, you will probably consider the Lobster Elite Liberty tennis ball machine. It is still under $1000 category and has a little bit more features (e.g. topspin and backspin) embedded.
I consider the remote control as a really useful help when you want to practice the shots alone on the court. You have a few seconds lag to first launch of the ball after turning the machine on. However, it will probably cause you will return first few balls in a hurry.
Battery life & recharging
Lobster Elite Freedom tennis ball machine offers 2 to 4 hours of court time on full battery. That is a reasonable amount of time for two to three practice in a row. It makes the Elite Freedom suitable for small tennis clubs who want tennis ball machines, but do not want to invest heavily.
The recharging time is the usual weak spot of Lobster Sports ball machines. However, Elite Freedom surprisingly has just 12 to 16 recharging time. On another hand, you need to be careful with basic charger, as charging for more than 24 hours can damage the battery in a model. Therefore, you need to take care and plug off the charger after the charging. The overcharge protection is available for an additional fee in the fast or premium charger. These two chargers will also shorten the recharging time to 4 to 6 or even 2 to 3 hours.
Check other reviews of Lobster Sports Elite Freedom tennis ball machine on Amazon here.
Lobster Sports makes its ball machines out of durable plastic. It makes them really light. Lobster Elite Freedom weighs just 35 lbs, which makes it one of the most portable models available. The oversized wheels and small dimensions let also juniors to move it freely over the court. Barring the shape of the ball machine, it would be easy to lift Elite Freedom to the backseat of your car for transport.
Lobster Sports Elite Freedom Pricing & Our Verdict
The main advantage of the Lobster Sports Elite Freedom tennis ball machine is the price. For less than $1000 you will get a basic model for repeating practice of flat shots. It will satisfy any beginner or intermediate player who needs to drill the shots again and again. To balance missing remote control, you will get a sweetener in a random horizontal oscillation feature. It helps to simulate basic match conditions and can be really helpful in the practice of any beginner.