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Old 09-30-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
kcmiser's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 198

Got a Lobster Elite Freedom. Had it a little over a year (including two summers). Both my wife and I use it, so probably four times a week seven months of the year, and an average of once a week for the rest. So based on these approximations, we've used it 200 times or so (very rough guess).

Two "feet" have fallen off, both control knobs fell off, the battery is dying, and now the handle used to push it around has had a piece fall off, so transporting is a bit of a chore.

Based on all this, I'd probably buy from another company if I had it to do over. That being said, we've gotten a lot of use out of it, and most of the breakdowns are minor. New "feet" and knobs are a few dollars (props to Lobster for not soaking us on these). The battery was probably overcharged, and that's my fault. The bottom line is it's still shooting balls, and I love being able to leave work in the evening and bash tennis balls afterwards without having to schedule something or actually play a match. I'm enjoying it much, much more than I anticipated, and the repairs (besides the battery) are pretty minor.

I wasn't sure about purchasing the machine, but if there were a tennis facility that had one, and only charge a few dollars to use it, I'd be thrilled. So if I've used it 200 times, and paid $800 for it (maybe it was $700. I don't remember), that's $4.00 per use if it dies tomorrow (and all but the battery is covered for two years). Good value in my book.

Oh, and if I had it to do over, I'd get something that could hit topspin. This thing shoots balls flat, so they skip through the court. Still fun to hit, but not the same as real tennis (unless the guy hits weird flat strokes), so you can't really work on anything, because the ball you're getting is so completely different than what you're likely to get in a real match. I really wish I'd have paid extra to get something that could produce a ball I'm actually likely to see when I play against a human.
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