Lobster Elite Grand 5 LE

Lobster Elite Grand V & Grand Five LE Review (2023)

The Elite Grand Five & Grand Five LE are Lobster’s direct response to the Spinshot Plus 2 programmability options – and definitely a good one.

These models are the best Lobster offers and come with almost unlimited options regarding custom drills – catering to the most advanced players that want to simulate real match shots and conditions.

But how do they fare against their competitors?

Let’s get to the complete review of these models.

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Specs:

Custom Drills; 12 Pre-loaded drills; Oscillation: random horizontal, random vertical, entirely random, horizontal & vertical; 2-line function: narrow, medium, wide

Spin: top, back; Ball Speed: 35-80 mph; Feed rate: 2-9 seconds; Elevation: 0-60 degrees, electronic; Ball capacity: 150

Power: battery; Court Time: 4-8 hours; Remote: optional; Weight: 44 lbs

Pros

  • 12 pre-loaded drills
  • 12 custom drills in Grand Five LE, 6 in the standard model
  • Short recharging period and long on-court time
  • Great ball capacity of 150 balls
  • A transparent hopper allows you to see how many balls you have left

Cons

  • Remote control or phone control is available for an additional fee only
  • Only 7 spin options

Check Spinshot discount here

What sets it apart from its competitors / Main features

The Lobster Elite Grand Five, in its standard and Limited Edition, is a high-end tennis ball machine meant to compete with the best models in the market.

It truly has everything you look for in a tennis ball machine – from the most routine shots to pre-loaded drills to simulate real match situations.

Its greatest asset is its programmability options – it allows you to fully customize the routines you want to play, making it a breeze to improve your skills on specific balls and sequences. 

Other than that, its recharging time of 3 to 9 hours for a full charge is relatively low compared with other models in the market and considering it can last somewhere between 4 and 8 hours of uninterrupted usage on-court.

As one would expect, all this “power” won’t come cheap.

But you’ll get a premium tennis ball machine from a premium brand – and, given its specs, we consider its price tag to be on point.

Lobster Elite Grand V tennis ball machine features

Available drills

As mentioned, the pre-loaded drills and programmability options are the Holy Grail of the Lobster Elite Grand Five (and of all tennis ball machines) – and this machine does a damn good job achieving it. This is an improvement from its predecessor, Lobster Elite Grand 4, that does not possess programmability options.

It comes with 12 pre-loaded drills (complete list here) and full programmability options.

The main difference between Lobster Elite Grand Five and the Lobster Elite Grand Five LE is in the programmability options they offer:

  • Lobster Elite Grand Five – 6 custom drill slots (6 shots each) and 6 shot locations on the court to choose from;
  • Lobster Elite Grand Five LE – 12 custom drill slots (6 shots each) and 18 shot locations on the court to choose from;
 

Combining these options with adjustable speed, spin, and feed rate allows you to program virtually unlimited training sessions, making it a powerful tool for either private players or training coaches, allowing them to adjust the session to the player’s specific needs.

Regarding oscillation, the Elite Grand Five possesses what you would expect from such a high-end model: random vertical and horizontal oscillation and full random oscillation. 

The LE (Limited Edition) model adds 7 more options on top of that:

  • 3 random horizontal oscillation options – left, middle and right;
  • 3 random vertical oscillation options -short, mid, deep;
  • Full random 2-line oscillation

Suppose you plan to fully use its programmability options (and you should – otherwise, another cheaper model might suit your needs best). In that case, we recommend you choose its LE (Limited Edition) over the standard one. It costs just a little more, and you’ll get way more from its programmability options.

Spin, Speed and Feed Rate

Regarding spin, you can choose from 3 different topspin intensities, plus 3 backspin intensities and a flat shot.

For a machine of this caliber, these 7 options fall a bit short – there are other options in the market with much more spin options.

However, when it comes to speed and feed rate, it is a whole different story.

Ball speed ranges from 35 to 80 mph (56 to 128 kph) and can be adjusted in 5 mph (8 kph) intervals. The maximum ball speed is optimal for the most advanced players, and we found that the speed interval adjustments are perfect for both intensity and difficulty variations.

The Elite Grand Five can shoot balls every 2 seconds, up to 9 seconds between each ball. This is in line with advanced tennis ball machines and on-pair with advanced players’ needs. 

Elevation also plays a big part in this machine – it is electrically managed (in lower-end devices, this setting is manually defined), and it can be defined one degree at a time – allowing you to play virtually every type of shot.

Ball Capacity

Lobster’s tennis ball machines all have the same capacity – 150 balls – the highest ball capacity in the market.

The fewer times you have to pick up the balls from the court in a session, the better.

Remote Control (how to control the machine)

The machine can be controlled by the control panel on the machine itself.

Some other options are available for an additional fee, such as a remote control or smartphone apps (Android and IOS). 

While it is not a must-have, it adds to the comfort of having a remote option to control your drills. It boils down to personal preference whether it is justified to pay extra for this option or not.

Battery and Charging

Battery and charging are positive points of this model. 

Lobster advertises that it can last between 4 to 8 hours of uninterrupted use, depending on the settings you are playing with (higher spin and speed and faster feed rate consume more battery). 

We are very pleased with this timeframe – it is more than enough for a personal use machine and can last for several training sessions if you are a coach or tennis club owner.

If you need more time, an AC adapter can be purchased at an additional fee, as it is standard in the tennis ball machine market.

3 to 9 hours are needed for a complete battery charge – a very interesting timeframe. Usually, tennis ball machines that last that long on-court require much more time to charge.

Construction and Weight

Lobster Elite Grand Five and Grand Five LE are made of durable plastic. Their construction is sturdy and made to last.

One improvement from other Lobster models is its ball hopper – it is transparent, meaning you can see from a distance how many balls you have left in the feeder. An exciting feature that is not available on most tennis ball machines. Also, it can be removed or inverted for easy transportation and storage.

While this is not the lightest model in the market, at 44 lbs (20 kg), its wheels make it very easy to transport, both in-court and off-court.

Pricing

As one would expect from one of the most complete tennis ball machines in the market, acquiring one won’t be cheap. The Lobster Elite Grand Five and Grand Five LE sell for over $2000, so it is not for everyone’s wallet. 

However, if you are serious about tennis, this is one of the best tennis ball machines money can buy. It will last a lifetime, and its full programmability options will accompany you on your journey from amateur to professional. 

So, if you have the capital to invest, go for it.

If not, we present below some cheaper alternatives for your consideration.

Alternative Models to consider

Spinshot Plus 2 – It has similar programmability options as the Elite Grand V LE and can be controlled from a smartphone app at no additional cost. Our experts classify it as the best portable tennis ball machine on the market. However, its maximum ball speed is lower than the Elite Grand Five, at 68 mph (109 kph), and can only last 2 to 3 hours on the court. On the plus side, it is considerably cheaper than the Elite Grand V, making it an exciting alternative.

Tennis Tutor Plus – While this model does not have full programmability, it comes with preset drills and full and partial shot randomizers. Also, its maximum ball speed is 85 mph (129 kph), and its minimum feed rate is 1.5 seconds – the best model we have tested in these categories.

Our Verdict

The Lobster Sports Elite Grand 5 is one of the best and most complete tennis ball machines on the market. Its full programmability options are only rivaled by the Spinshot Plus 2 -understandable since it was made in direct response to it. 

You can rest assured that you will get a high-end, complete tennis ball machine. However, it does come with a hefty price tag – above $2000. For this reason, we recommend this machine for advanced players only since they are the ones that can use it to the fullest.

If you have the money, we advise you to go for it. 

And if you choose to do so, we advise you to purchase its LE (Limited Edition) model, as it gives you more options regarding programmability and randomization for just a few bucks more.

Check Spinshot discount here

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