Lobster Sports Elite Liberty Tennis Ball Machine is the bestseller between under $1000 machines. What makes this model from the reputable name of the tennis industry so popular? Why do tennis beginners like the Elite Liberty so much? Here is our answer.
LOBSTER SPORTS ELITE LIBERTY TENNIS BALL MACHINE
Longer recharging time
No over-charge protection
Easy to transport, easy to store
No programmed drills available
Battery life 2 to 4 hours
Remote control just for additional fee
Speed and Feed interval set in exact metrics (mph and seconds)
Large ball capacity (150 balls)
Ability to set 4 different parameters of shots (topspin and backspin included)
Wide speed range
Ideal for beginners who need to practice and polish their shot technique
Ball Feed Speed: 10 to 80 mph (16 to 130 kmph)
Ball Feed Interval: 2 seconds to 12 seconds
Ball Capacity: 150 balls
Programmable Drills: none
Phone Compatibility: none
Battery life: 2 – 4 hours
Battery charging: 12 to 15 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
Lobster Sports Elite Liberty tennis ball machine offers a lot of important features to satisfy everybody. You can set up the requested speed, a spin of balls and feed interval electronically on a control panel.
The speed range is bigger than I would expect from a machine for beginners with this price tag. The 80 mph makes this machine one of the fastest on the market. Feed interval range is also wider than on most of the machines.
You can choose if you want flat shots or 4 different levels of topspin or 4 different levels of backspin. It is a range where everybody can choose what he prefers. (Note: backspin is called underspin, on the control panel).
Control panel is easy to use and I really appreciate one small detail I miss on other models. The speed range on the machine is shown in actual mph values, the feed interval is shown in seconds. That is a really good thing, as you know what to set exactly and do not need to count in some unclear steps or degrees.
You can set the elevation (or height of shots) manually with the knob on lower right side of the machine.
There is a random horizontal oscillation mode embedded in the machine. You can choose if you want to use this feature or prefer the same direction shots during your practice.
Someone can complain that that is not enough, but you can not forget that this machine cost less than $1000.
There are no preprogrammed drills available. The Lobster Sports Elite Liberty do not have programmed memory for sequence playing or changing the shots during a play. Only one thing resembles the programmed drill. Random horizontal oscillation is something that can simulate the real play. However, the random oscillation is not absolutely random, it is a steady moving from the right side to the left side and back.
Looking for a more advanced model with preprogrammed drills and remote control? Check our Spinshot Player tennis ball machine review.
The basic setup of Lobster Sports Elite Liberty does not include the remote control.
In my opinion, the remote control is a must if you are alone on the court. To switch on the ball machine then run to the other side of the court and start to hit the balls looks easy. But usually, you will miss first a few balls. The remote control makes the training process much easier for you.
In case you are on the court with your coach, friend or anyone else the remote control is not so important. The coach can start the machine, pause it when he wants to give you some advice or you need a break.
“Elite remote” the remote control for this ball machine can be bought for an additional $169. You should think before the purchase on how you will use the ball machine and if the remote control would be necessary or not.
Check other reviews of Lobster Sports Elite Liberty tennis ball machine on Amazon here.
Battery life & recharging
You can play with Lobster Sports Elite Liberty from 2 to 4 hours continuously if you start with fully charged battery. The exact time depends on the way you will use it because higher speed dries battery sooner.
Battery life is a big advantage of this ball machine. Even more expensive machines usually provide you with 120 to 180 minutes of play. Not many tennis ball machines can withstand 240 minutes of practice sessions. Although I doubt that there are a lot of beginners who can play for 4 hours, you can use this machine for a few following practice sessions with different players without the need to recharge a battery.
Recharging of a battery is another story. 12 to 15 hours of recharging is the usual standard on the ball machines market but missing overcharging control in a standard charger is a big downsize. Usually, you start recharging after you finish the practice session and plug off the charger the next day when you go to practice again. With Lobster Sports Elite Liberty you have to turn on the alarm to not forget switch off charging after 15 hours. Moreover, it is strongly recommended not to charge more than 24 hours continually.
Of course, Lobster gives you an opportunity to buy a faster charger or premium charger for $99 or $149 with an over-charge protection feature. That moves the overall price slightly over $1000 but it is worth considering.
The dimensions of the Lobster Sports Elite Liberty tennis ball machine are in line with the market standard. 21 in x 14 in x 21 in is the usual size of any tennis ball machine. The cage is from durable plastic that makes this machine much lighter than those using metal boxes. The plastic is really durable and you do not have to worry to handle with a machine. I doubt you will break it.
Big wheels are another advantage of this tennis ball machine. You will hardly find easier to maneuver ball machine like this. I would give an A grade for portability. Even smaller stairs are not a problem for Elite Liberty. Really good job done from Lobster.
Another big plus comes for transportability and storability. You can invert the holder and fold the handle and make the Lobster Sports Elite Liberty even smaller and ready to transport on a back seat of your car or to store it in your garage. It is a small detail, but a very convenient one.
Lobster Sports Elite Liberty Pricing & Our Verdict
Lobster Sports Elite Liberty tennis ball machine price starts below $1000. It is one of the cheapest tennis ball machines on the market, yet with many features which you will not find in more advanced models.
I would recommend this ball machine to any beginners or intermediate players who need to practice their technique of shots again and again. The long battery life can be very suitable for small tennis clubs or coaches who would like to give their players another possibility to improve their shots technique and timing of reaction.
Lobster Sports Elite Liberty provides one of the best quality to price ratio on the market. It is not a surprise that our readers like this machine a lot.