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With a tennis ball machine, you have an on-demand training partner on call. A ball machine is there when you need to train, and in tennis, the more you can train, the better.

You also get to control every aspect of your training session. If you have specific drills you want to practice, your hitting partner may not feel the same. 

Advancing at your own pace and focusing on the correct form are more advantages of owning a tennis ball machine. 

Purchasing a tennis ball machine is a decision for each individual player. Whether you are ready to make the purchase, or just gathering information, it’s important to take your time and consider your options carefully.

In this article, we compare two tennis balls machines — Spinshot vs. Lobster brands — to help aid you in your selection.

Spinshot vs. Lobster: A closer look

Spinshot

One of the more popular Spinshot tennis ball machine options is the Player model, which is the product we will highlight for the sake of comparison in this article.

You can view the Spinshot-Player Tennis Ball Machine at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for your training needs.

Another product you may want to consider is the Spinshot Lite ball machine.

The Spinshot manufacturer highlights some of the following as important information about their product.

Revolutionary design means you can customize your drills to program height, direction and speed for each of 6 sequential shots and then save these into your personalized drills. 

12 pre-programmable drills give you a full variety of shots. You can adjust each of the drills to suit your own playing level or create your own drills.

You can make 2-line drills at any width and any height. 

You can make vertical oscillation combined with horizontal oscillation, or whatever oscillation mode you want to play with. 

An oscillator is a mechanism that enables the machine to throw balls in different locations on the court. The most common type of oscillator is a random oscillator. 

This feature causes the machine to sweep the court from side to side repeatedly. 

Balls are thrown in different and somewhat unexpected locations to simulate play with an opponent.

These can be made on your phone and saved into the machine. The next time when using the machine, just press the drill-x button, the start your game. 

A free phone remote App is provided for easy programming and control.

 An optional remote watch can also be used to control the machine.

Features include:

  • Easy transfer and Store: The square shape and extendable hopper make the machine easy to transfer and store. When the ball hopper is folded down, the machine measures only 18”x12”x20” and weighs only 18 kg. It can easily be stored in the trunk of a car.
  • Metal design: The metal design makes the machine shine on the court.
  • Controlled via the front panel: Press the D button to trigger your favorite drills. All drills can be pre-programmed for quick use.
  • Free Phone Remote App: The Spinshot player model is the first ball machine to provide a free phone remote App. supporting an Andriod phone or an iPhone with default pre-set drills.
  • User-Friendly: The Spinshot is designed to be operated by even the youngest of players.  

Optional features for Spinshot include:

  • One Button Watch Remote: The One Button Watch Remote makes it easy to control the machine. A short click on the button selects the drill number equivalent to the number of clicks. A long press stops or starts the machine.
  • Flexible power connection options: Default ‘A’ battery sits inside the ‘power cage’ at all times and can be recharged with the provided charger plugged into the front panel. 
  • External Battery Connection: This allows batteries to be swapped without opening the ‘power cage’. You can use multiple batteries for more hours of uninterrupted training. 
  • AC mains Power Module: This allows you to draw power directly from a standard mains AC socket. This way you won’t be limited by how much battery you have left, instead you can find a power source and train all day.
  • Hybrid AC module: Allowing you to draw power from a main AC socket when available but switch instantly to a battery kit if you need to. 

A brief review of the Spinshot player tennis ball machine features and benefits: 

  • Fully programmable drills
  • 120 Ball capacity 
  • Easy transport 
  • Free phone remote control
  • Flexible Power Options
  • Smart Watch remote option
  • Patented De-Jam design: this is a patented design of the Spinshot machine. 
  • Stable Wi-Fi connection
  • Hand Orientation: For both righties and lefties.
  • Color: Green

While the Spinshot ball machine family of products offers a number of great features and options for a range of skill levels and training needs, a few reported issues may include:

  • Ball speed too low: This can be caused by the fact that the battery can’t hold a charge. User can measure the voltage of battery in using to verify. This could also be caused by the controller card.
  • Machine only throws ball sot the left/right side of the court: This is a typical symptom when the customer did not place the machine properly after the machine finished its initialization.

Lobster Tennis Ball Machine

The most comparable Lobster Tennis Ball Machine to the Spinshot Player is the Lobster Elite Grand Five LE. This is the model we will highlight for the sake of this article.

You can view the Lobster Sports – Elite Grand Five LE – Battery-Powered Tennis Ball Machine – 12 Pre-Loaded Drills & Player Styles – Fully Random Oscillation – 2-Line Feature – 150-Ball Capacity at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for your training needs.

Lobster features and benefits include, according to the manufacturer:

  • The Lobster Grand allows you to customize your court drills. In addition to customizing drills, you can program shot locations, speed, spin, and feed rate.
  • Other drills available include approach, attack/defend, forehands plus, grinder, power baseliner and all-courter.
  • The Grand’s technology allows shot variations with six pre-programmed, six shot drills. 
  • With the Lobster Grand you can simulate real match play. 
  • There is an optional remote that lets you control sweep, random oscillation, 2-line drills, speed, spin, and feed.

The Lobster Grand Five LE boasts many unique pre-programmed drills:

  • Moonballer: You need a good midcourt swinging volley to move forward and finish the point on the moonballer. This drill can help you with this skill! With this feature, you can also move back and let the high bouncing ball drop to a more comfortable height. 
  • Slicer: Some of the most effective club level players can slice or chop their ground strokes, keeping the ball low and hard to return. The Lobster slicer drill will get you ready for these opponents. 
  • Lefty: Most players are right handed. Playing a lefty is sometimes unexpected. The feeds from the Lobster Grand in this sequence are designed to simulate what a lefty opponent may look like. 
  • Beginner: The 6-ball beginner drill is meant for helping beginners improve quickly and build confidence. Balls are fed into the middle 50% of the court, at slow to medium speed and are meant to land in the area between the service line and 9 feet in front of the baseline. Beginners should try to hit all 6 balls to land past the service line on the opposite side of the net. 
  • Intermediate: Intermediate players want to be challenged to reach more advanced levels. This 6 ball drill will help intermediates improve their court coverage and execute a variety of shots. The goal for the hitter is to land 6 balls behind the service line with 4 of the 6 balls to land in the deep half of the back court area. A more challenging variation is for the hitter to call out call out which side of the court they are aiming for (cross court or down the line) before striking each ball.
  • Advanced: Advanced players need to be challenged to learn how to handle pace to reach more advanced levels. This drill is designed to help advanced players develop their pace tolerance, while learning to quickly identify balls that can be attacked. The drill will pressure the hitter to look for the first opportunity ball to attack the best ball fed. 

Which is right for you?

The most comparable Lobster Tennis Ball Machine to the Spinshot Player is the Lobster Elite Grand Five LE. Therefore, as mentioned earlier, this is the Lobster model we reviewed in this article.

Some of the most apparent differences between these two products include:

  • The Lobster has stricter rules for programming the locations and speeds. 
  • Spinshot doesn’t have the same imitations due to the new technologies applied on the machine. 
  • The customer buying the Lobster Elite Grand Five LE will need to pay an additional fee for the phone remote feature.

Overall, both of these brands offer high quality products that can work well for a range of tennis skill levels and training needs. Take some time to consider your options and find a product that offers the greatest number of features you are looking for.

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @nd3000