Lobster Sports Elite One

Lobster Sports Elite One is a basic ball machine model belonging to the Elite line of products, meant for beginners and intermediate players who want to improve their overall tennis skills. 

Though a basic model, the Elite One offers plenty of exciting features which make it one of the best tennis ball machines in its price range. It’s also pretty durable, and incredibly portable, ideally suited for a tennis-playing family. 

Compared to the Freedom and Liberty models, the Elite One offers various improvements and a more significant number of features. However, it lacks certain advanced features found on the more advanced models, like the Elite Two. 

Still, if you’re looking for a tennis ball machine suited for beginners, the Elite is a great choice. Even without complicated functions, with this device, you’ll still be able to improve your overall game skills further.

Features and specifications:

Just like other Lobster tennis ball machines, the Elite One is made from durable plastic. The design features 8-inch plastic all-terrain wheels, and a foldable 3-feet long handle, allowing for easy transport on any surface. It also sports an inverting ball feeder (ball hopper), and molded handholds on the underside of the device. By inverting the hopper and folding the handle, you’re assembling the machine for transport and storage. Measuring 21”x14”x20”, the Elite One leaves a small footprint, making it easy for storage, since it doesn’t occupy much space. 

However, the 42lbs of weight may cause problems when loading the machine into the trunk of your car. Since its oval shape isn’t ideal for carrying, the device can be too heavy and bulky for one person to carry and load. Other than its increased weight, the machine is very well built and feels reliable and durable.

Lobster Sports – Elite One Open

Since the device comes with a fully charged battery, the Elite One is ready for use after assembly, which should take no more than 5 minutes. The invertible ball hopper, which doubles as a cover, can take up to 150 balls. It has a slot in the front which allows you to monitor the number of shots you have left, and plan your training accordingly.

After turning it on, the machine waits for 15 seconds before feeding the first ball. This 15-seconds delay allows you to get to the other side of the court, after which the device starts launching the balls. The shots are fired at a pre-set speed and time interval, both of which are modified by turning knobs found on the control panel. The speed ranges from 10 to 80MPH, which is satisfying for most players, and the time interval goes from 2 to 12 seconds.

For further improvement of your skills, the Elite One is capable of adding spins to the shots, making the shots more challenging. This feature has four different levels available for both top spins and backspins, which can be modified using the back panel. Setting the adjustment knob at 0 results in the machine firing straight shots. Both topspin and underspin shots are much more forceful than the shots you’ve seen on live play.

The Elite One has an electronic elevation system, ranging from 0° to 60°. This range is excellent, considering that some more expensive models only vary from 0° to 50°. It can easily lob at any height, to nearly any part of the court. And if you wish something a little more challenging, you can use it in combination with the spin feature. This way, you can easily create topspin and underspin lobs.

In terms of oscillation, the Elite One offers just one possibility – random corner-to-corner horizontal oscillation. For advanced players that wish to simulate real match exchanges, this feature has little to offer. For beginners, however, this feature provides quite enough, as it will wear them out fast. During the oscillation, the machine rotates randomly, slowly, and smoothly. 

Advanced players usually use preloaded drills for practice, since preloaded drills offer sequencing shots of random speed, direction, height, etc. Unfortunately, the Elite One has no preloaded exercises, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the price range. 

Lobster Sports equipped the Elite One with a battery which offers 4-8 hours of court time, which is an advantage for any tennis club. With such excellent battery capacity and court time, the machine can go through several training sessions without recharging. Out of the box, the Elite One comes with a basic charger, which can take up to 16 hours to fully charge the battery. 

Unfortunately, it offers no overcharge protection, so caution is advised when recharging the battery. You should consider investing in a premium charger, since it shortens the recharging time to four hours, and comes with overcharge protection. It’s a relatively small investment which makes the use of the Elite One much more comfortable. 

The Elite One is among the best tennis ball machines in the class, and at this price range. Though not suitable for advanced players, it offers the right number of features, programmability, and battery life that’ll satisfy beginners and intermediate players.

The good:

  • Up to 8 hours of battery life
  • Four different parameters of shots
  • Easy to store

Lobster Sports – Elite One closed

The Bad:

  • No programmed drills
  • No overcharge protection
  • Just one random oscillation program

Final verdict:

The Elite One is a beginner-friendly tennis ball machine which can provide enough challenge. It offers a significant number of features, adjustable through a user-friendly interface.

It’s excellent value for any beginner and intermediate players, or just about anyone who needs to practice shots regularly. Made from durable plastic, with an oversized ball hopper, and long battery life, this machine is backed up by a 2-year warranty.

However, it lacks certain features, like preloaded drills, and overcharge protection. Also, the remote control, as with any Lobster tennis ball machine, comes as an additional feature that costs extra money.

Despite a few shortcomings, the Elite One is still one of the best entry-level, battery-operated tennis ball machines on the market. It’s a good value for your money, and it will improve your skill, and advance you to the next level. 

Recommended Reading:

Lobster Sports Elite 2

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