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Lobster Sports Elite Liberty Tennis Ball Machine
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- Designed for maximum durability, its 35-pound ergonomic design and oversized-wheels allow for easy transport, even with a full hopper of 150 balls
- The Elite Liberty was developed to meet the needs of beginners to intermediate players who seek advanced control of both ball speeds and ball spin
- Oscillation: Random Horizontal Speed: 20-80 mph Ball capacity: 150 Court time: 2 hours Elevation: manual 0-50 degrees Spin: Topspin & Backspin
- Includes Basic Battery Charger ; Feed rate: 2-12 seconds
- Optional Accessories: 2-function Remote Control, 1-Amp Fast Charger, 3-Amp Premium Fast Charger, Storage Cover, External AC Power Supply
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The Elite Liberty will product ball speeds from 20 mph up to 80 mph challenging players of all skill levels. The Elite Liberty also offers unequalled spin control for a machine at this price point. The ball spin can be adjusted for both topspin and backspin and at different levels. The large ball capacity and battery size allow extended play on the court. The Liberty's oversized wheels and extended handle provides unequalled portability for players who are on the move. Enjoy playing against such advanced features such as full corner-to-corner random oscillation and up to 50-degree lobs to practice your overheads. If you want additional oscillation features, find out how the Elite One and Elite Two models may better fit your playing needs.
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We've used it 4 times so far. My daughter is a highly ranked junior and needs more court time between her lessons and drills. Believe me, this machine is far cheaper than more lessons or drills for the juniors. It allows them to work on the strokes and techniques they've learned that week with consistent and reliable feeds. She loves the lobster. After she's done I hit with it for 90 minutes and we've never seen the battery light go red yet. We also like to use the side to side and hit together at the same time, which is fun for us.
Pros: very portable, repeatable feeds (each ball lands within 3 feet of the previous one with same pace and spin unless you're on the side to side sweep), long battery life, true top spin and back spin, easy setup with directions written by someone that uses English as their native language, and pretty quiet.
Cons: we had one ball out of 96 roll into a wet spot on the court. A barely damp ball in the hopper will jam up the entire machine (this is well-documented so no fault to lobster). It took a while to un-jam it. Instruction on how to do this without tearing flesh from your arms as you reach inside to clear the jam would be a nice touch. Also, the remote would be nice. I didn't get it, should have. I looked on amazon for a remote, just the one that's like a key fob, not the one that looks like a Texas Instruments calculator, they're $150. That's ridiculous. I've already bought and paid for the remote technology, it's in the machine. The remote costs lobster about $5. I haven't looked anywhere but amazon for this, so maybe it's cheaper somewhere else. But $150 for this is absurd and it would save me the 4 or 5 balls that get shot out when I'm going to the other side of the court after I've started the machine up. Lastly, I wish that when you're using the side to side action that it would return to middle position when you hit the off button. You have to play with this a bit, but not too big of a deal.
All in all a good machine that I am glad I bought.
Strengths of the Elite Liberty,
- Well made. Feels sturdy. Easily wheels over to the clay court I use next door.
- Easy to assemble and easy to fold the handle to transport in a car. Can fit in trunk of my Audi S6 without a problem.
- No issues with battery dying out. Went through 3 hopper full of balls without a problem.
- Controls easy to read, understand and manipulate
- Although their website says the range of speed of ball delivery is 2-10 seconds, in actuality the slowest speed it will deliver a ball is every 5 seconds. Nothing I cant handle for the first 20-30 shots, but for shots #30-100+ that is way too fast, especially if it is on oscillate and you have been running from one side of the court to the other. I would prefer to have the range of speed of ball delivery as indicated on their website so I have the option to recompose myself and focus on the next shot. This speed leaves you with three options, 1) either swing at every other ball which is a huge waste, 2) run over to turn off the machine to give yourself a break, or 3) buy the over-priced remote control.
- The oscillation rotates the machine to about the same position just about every 5 seconds as well (1 cycle). So if oscillation is turned on, and ball delivery is set at the slowest setting to throw a ball every 5 seconds, its throwing the balls largely to the same area, even if its oscillating! For instance, with oscillation on at the slowest delivery speed, about 80% of the shots could be delivered as forehand shots and 20% backhand (or visa versa). To have balls dispersed about equally to forehand and backhand, you would need to speed up ball delivery to about one every 2.5 seconds and one can quickly get winded running all over the court like a madman!
- This is not a problem with the machine, but I mistakenly thought this would oscillate between base line shots and lobs. Nope. You have to choose one or the other. If you chose baseline, the whole hopper will be thrown as baseline. No lobs and no need to ever rush the net. Gets a little boring with a loaded hopper.
If you can handle a rapid delivery of balls over a sustained period, its a nice machine!