The Lobster Elite Grand 4 is an advanced tennis ball machine that simulates actual match conditions and situations. With an enviable battery life and advanced functionalities, like full randomizers and preset drills, it is definitely a model to take into account.
Our expert testers took it to the court to determine if its performance is as good as advertised and how it stands against its competitors.
Let’s get to the complete Lobster Elite Grand IV review, shall we?
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Ball Speed: 35 to 80 mph (56 to 129 kph); Feed Interval: 2 to 9 seconds; Ball Capacity: 150 balls
Programmable Drills: No; Pre-loaded drills: 6
Battery life: 4 – 8 hours; Battery charging: 3 to 9 hours for a full charge;
Weight: 44 lbs (20 kg); Dimensions: Height: 29 in (73 cm) Length: 21 in (53 cm) Width: 15.5 in (39 cm); Phone Compatibility: yes, for an additional fee; Case Construction: Durable plastic body
The Lobster Sports Elite Grand IV is a high-end tennis ball machine targeting intermediate to advanced players. In terms of features, this is Lobster’s most advanced model that does not allow you to program your drills.
However, it comes equipped with 6 pre-loaded drills, with 6 balls each, that can be adjusted by ball speed, feed rate, and spin applied. Our tests found these drills incredibly useful, and the variations you can use satisfy even the most advanced players.
Besides pre-programmed drills, you can also play with the different horizontal and vertical oscillations (or fully random, if you wish) – it possesses 3 vertical randomizers (narrow, middle, wide) and 3 horizontal ones (left, right, left). Combine these settings with different speed, feed rate, and elevation settings, and you can achieve complete and challenging training sessions, independently of your level.
Another positive point of the Elite Grand Four is its charging and on-court timeframes – it only needs 3 to 9 hours of charging for a complete charge of its battery, and it can last on the court for 4 to 8 hours, depending on the settings applied.
Besides that, it can hold 150 balls, as it is a standard in all Lobster tennis ball machines.
The Lobster Elite Grand IV comes with 6 pre-programmed drills, with 6 balls each, that can be adjusted by speed, feed rate, and spin.
They are meant to simulate real match situations, and our expert testers reported feeling satisfied with them. The drills are well constructed, and the different settings you can apply to them allow for interesting variations in difficulty and movement.
Besides the pre-programmed drills, it can also freely shoot balls that can be randomized horizontally, vertically or both. You can also define different elevation settings since it possesses an electrical elevation system that you can adjust one degree at a time, from 0 to 60 degrees.
Shamefully, it does not possess programmability options. If this is a must for you, we recommend you to look into our review of the Lobster Elite Grand 5, the model above the Lobster Elite Grand 4, or the Spinshot Plus 2 review, its main competitor – Spinshot Plus 2 was considered by our experts as the best tennis ball machine on the market.
Ball Speed and feed rate are on-pair of what you would expect of an advanced tennis ball machine. The Lobster Elite Grand IV can shoot balls every 2 seconds, minimum, with a maximum speed of 80 mph (120 kph). These can satisfy the most demanding and advanced players.
Regarding spin, it could be improved. You can only define 7 different spin settings – 3 topspin, 3 backspin, and a flat shot.
It would be interesting to have more options and spin velocities – especially when you compare it with its competitors.
Lobster excels in ball capacity. All intermediate and advanced tennis ball machines Lobster produces can hold up to 150 balls, which is very interesting.
While low ball capacity is not a dealbreaker, the fewer times you have to stop your hitting session to pick the balls from the court, the better.
A remote control, with 20 built-in functions, or an App for Android and IOS are available – for an additional fee.
This is a Lobster’s business decision, as it is standard with all Lobster’s tennis ball machines. Models from other brands, like the Spinshot Pro, come with free remote control options.
While a remote control is not a must, it is convenient. It is up to individual preference if the additional cost to have a remote control option is worth it.
In the absence of a remote control option, whether a physical remote or a smartphone app, every setting can be defined on the control panel, on the machine itself.
Battery and charging are positive points of this model.
Lobster states that it can last between 4 to 8 hours of uninterrupted use, which is more than enough for a private use machine and an exciting time frame for a tennis club or coach, as you can use it in several training sessions in a row.
Regarding charging time, the Lobster Elite Grand 4 needs 3 to 9 hours to recharge fully. This is a very interesting timeframe, as most models that can hold up to 8 hours on-court usually require more time to charge.
The Lobster Elite Grand 4 is made of durable plastic. Lobster is one of the most trustworthy brands in the tennis ball machines market and is known for producing durable machines that last several years.
It weighs 44 lbs (20 kg) – while it is not the lightest machine on the market, it is in line with what one would expect of a portable tennis ball machine with all this technology. Its oversized wheels facilitate transportation and storage, so even ladies and kids can easily move it around.
A positive and distinctive point of its construction is its transparent ball hopper.
It allows you to check how many balls you have left in the machine from a distance, a feature most machines do not possess.
Regarding price, this model sells for close to 2000$.
While we understand this is a hefty investment, we are talking about an advanced tennis ball machine from a premium brand. Given that a tennis ball machine is a long-term investment, we believe it is worth spending a few hundred more to have a fully equipped machine. Better than cheaping out and wishing your machine would have X and Y functionality later down the road.
Given its functionalities and comparison with similar models, its price tag is justified.
Lobster Elite Grand V and Grand V LE – This is the model above the Lobster Elite Grand 4. Compared to this model, the main improvement is its programmability functionalities. They also require you to invest a couple hundred more. It might be worthwhile if you plan to use its programmability options fully.
Spinshot Plus 2 – Our expert testers consider this the best tennis ball machine on the market. It possesses full programmability options but can only shoot balls at a maximum speed of 68 mph (109 kph) and only last 2 to 3 hours on the court. The decision depends on what criteria you value the most. If the machine is for personal use, it might be a worthy alternative to this model.
The Lobster Elite Grand 4 is a tennis ball machine meant for intermediate and advanced tennis players who want a tool to challenge and accompany them on their tennis journey. And, with all these functionalities, they have done an excellent job.
The only thing it lacks, regarding features, is the ability to program your own drills – something that the next model from this brand, Lobster Elite Grand V, possesses. The pre-programmed routines and full randomization and oscillation capabilities of this model make it a very exciting option that will satisfy your needs for the years to come.