Tag Archives: tennis court surfaces

SportMaster | Official Playing Surface of the Connecticut Open

SportMaster is excited to be the official playing surface of the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies.  This is a WTA Premier event, taking place at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven, CT from August 19-27, 2016.

This prestigious tournament takes place a week before the US Open and highlights some of the best and top-ranked women players in the world.  Here are just a few of the high-caliber women players that have committed to the CT Open this year:

  • Roberta Vinci (Current WTA World Ranking – 8)
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova (Current WTA World Ranking – 10)
  • Madison Keys (Current WTA World Ranking – 11)
  • Dominika Cibulkova (Current WTA World Ranking – 12)
  • Petra Kvitova (Current WTA World Ranking – 13)

Are YOU pumped for #ctopen16!? We are! ????????????

A photo posted by Connecticut Open (@connecticutopen) on

Men’s Legends Event | PowerShares Legends Event

The Connecticut Open will also host the Men’s PowerShares Legends Event and will feature four of the best tennis players of all time: John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, James Blake, and Mark Philippoussis.

SportMaster Tennis Court Surfaces

There will be 18 tennis courts used for the event, which have been recently surfaced with tournament-quality, SportMaster tennis court surfaces.  The specialized sport coatings were fortified with a specific mix of specialty aggregates, to provide spin-responsive play and the preferred speed of play for this tournament.  These surfaces are durable and provide safe footing for optimum performance.

Tournament Quality Playing Surfaces | Installers Worldwide

SportMaster Sport Surfaces are installed nationwide and around the world by experienced tennis court contractors and surfacing professionals.  If you are interested in having a private court built or resurfaced, feel free to reach out to us and we can provide qualified local installers to provide you with free estimates.

SportMaster products are distributed and supported throughout the United States by the SealMaster franchise systems.  There are currently over 90 locations nationwide.  For more information, please visit http://www.sportmaster.net.

How Often Should Tennis Courts Be Resurfaced?

Tennis courts should be resurfaced every 4 to 8 years.  This is a standard range with quite a few variables, as you could imagine. Lets go over some reasons why the same resurfacing process would last 4 years on one court and 8, or double the amount of time, on another.

Tennis Court Construction Methods | Surface Longevity

Tennis courts, and other sport surfaces, should be properly built. There are important differences between a parking lot or driveway, and a tennis court surface.  The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) maintains construction guidelines for tennis courts and even has a certified tennis court builder program.  If tennis courts are not built correctly, they could require more frequent repairs and resurfacing.  Here are just some of the common construction problems influencing the decision of how often tennis courts should be resurfaced:

  • Improper slope = ponding water and premature breakdown of acrylic surfacing system.
  • Insufficient compaction  = susceptible to deforming, moisture damage, cracking, etc.
  • Incorrect or missing drainage system = backup of water and a long list of problems like surface bubbles/blisters, premature surface wear, and more.

Environmental Conditions and Surrounding Issues | Resurfacing Cycle

Acrylic tennis court surfaces require very little maintenance, but here are few important tips in extending the life of color coatings:

  • Surface debris removal – Don’t let leaves, pine needles, or any other organic debris build up on the court surface.  It will hold moisture and rot on the surface.  This is cause faster wear of the tennis court surfaces.
  • Trim edges – Be sure to keep grass, vegetation, and dirt trimmed down around the court edges.  This will help to prevent back-up of water that drains off of the court.  Puddled water will break down the acrylic surface coatings prematurely, and result the need for more frequent resurfacing.
  • Periodic washing –  Light to moderate pressure washing of the surface with mild detergents will help to extend the surface life and keep the court surface looking good.

Acrylic Resurfacer | Money Well Spent When Resurfacing

Many court owners want to skip the Acrylic Resurfacer step and just apply the color coatings.  Acrylic Resurfacer re-textures an old smooth court and helps to ensure the proper application rate of color coatings.  Since tennis court coatings are applied with a soft rubber squeegee, the colored surface coatings tend to “wipe off” when the surface is old, smooth and polished.  This results in thinner surface layers that won’t last as long, and definitely impacts how often the tennis court should be resurfaced.

Active Players and Busy Tennis Courts

Obviously, if there is good tennis programming and lots of players, it can impact the wear of the tennis court surfaces.  Active players and high traffic counts will speed up wear of the surfaces.  If this is known before resurfacing, talk to  a SportMaster representative and they can offer recommendations or prepare a custom scope tailored to your facility.  Extra coats may be recommended to extend the life of your tennis court surfaces.

Is It Time To Resurface Your Tennis Court?

Click on the “Contact Us” button and we can put you in touch with a factory-authorized tennis court contractor.  They can provide free estimates and make sure your tennis court is resurfaced properly. SportMaster Sport Surfaces are stocked and supported world-wide, and are ideal for all climates from extreme heat to frigid cold.

 

Can Pickleball Be Played On A Tennis Court?

Pickleball has become one of the fastest growing sports in the nation.  The demand for places to play Pickleball leads to the question, “Can Pickleball be played on a tennis court?”  

Yes, Pickleball can be played on a tennis court surface, and we will discuss some great options to keep Tennis and Pickleball players happy.

Blended Pickleball Lines On A Tennis Court

A common trend, that is working well, is to maximize the current “real estate” of existing tennis courts.  That is usually a “win-win” and has been done for years with tennis and basketball court combinations.  By USTA and ITF rules, tennis court lines must be white.  Pickleball court lines can be added in a different color, so that tennis or pickleball can be played on the same court (at different times, of course) and the eye can focus on the applicable set of playing lines.  As with the USTA’s kids tennis program known as 10 & under tennis or Quickstart, it is usually recommended to paint the Pickleball lines in the same color family as the court surface color. To better explain, if the court color is blue, apply the Pickleball lines in a shade of blue that is lighter or darker than the surface color. This makes the lines less distractive to tennis players.

How Much Does It Cost To Add Pickleball Lines To A Tennis Court?

This is a relatively inexpensive process and is usually performed by a qualified tennis court contractor.  It can range anywhere from $250  to $600 per court, depending on a variety of factors:

  • Existing surface condition (how much cleaning and prep is needed in order to get the new line paint to adhere properly)
  • Total number of Pickleball courts to be painted (better price per court, for multiple applications to minimize mobilization)
  • Lower cost to apply the Pickleball lines as the tennis courts are being resurfaced.

To get a free estimate from a qualified Pickleball court contractor on your facility, contact us and we can put you in touch with an experienced installer.

Pickleball Court Construction | Permanent Pickleball Courts

There is also a boom of permanent Pickleball courts being installed in park districts and residential settings.  Since Pickleball courts are smaller (44′ x 20′) than tennis courts (60′ x 120′), more and more avid players are building backyard Pickleball courts.  It is great fun for families, kids, and older players alike.  In fact, many older players that are unable to physically handle tennis are turning to Pickleball for fun and fitness.

Pickleball court construction utilizes the same construction methods as tennis and basketball courts.  Generally they are comprised of an asphalt or concrete substrate, and then surfaced with a non-slip, textured SportMaster brand of acrylic surface.  Here are some additional resources for Pickleball court construction, surfacing, and striping layout:

  • Pickleball Court Surfacing Specifications – Asphalt
  • Pickleball Court Surfacing Specifications – Concrete
  • Pickleball Court Striping Layout & Dimensions – Diagram

 

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How Do You Get Rid Of Puddles On A Tennis Court?

So, how do you get rid of puddles on a tennis court?  Puddles on a tennis court are a nuisance for many reasons.  Either you wait for the water to evaporate before you play, or get a court dryer to move the puddles off the surface.  Puddled areas, or low spots, can also be a trip hazard if they have sunk enough to effect the players footing.

But what about adverse effects on the acrylic surfacing?  Acrylic tennis court surfaces are very durable, and designed to have good wet adhesion and resistance to the elements.  However, if water sits on the surface for prolonged periods of time, it will shorten the coating life and begin to break it down.  Plus, when water puddles in those areas, dirt and debris tends to accumulate in the water.  This creates a sandpaper-like friction on the surface from play and scuffing of tennis shoes.  The bottom line is, none of this is good for the tennis court surface.

Removing Low Spots and Puddles with Acrylic Patch Binder

The American Sports Builders Association maintains guidelines for puddles, or “birdbaths” on a tennis court surface.  A hour after a rain, or flooding the court, any area where standing water is measured at 1/16″ (2mm) is in need of patching.  This is usually measure by placing a U.S. nickel in the center of the puddle, and if the water covers the head of the nickel, it is deep enough to require leveling.

Acrylic Patch Binder is a 100% acrylic binder that is job-mixed with portland cement and specifically graded silica sand.  This creates a slurry that can be poured into the puddle area and screeded in with a steel or aluminum straightedge.  If done properly, this will bring the low, puddled area back to level and allow the water to flow off the court (with help from the court’s 1% slope).

Is Tennis Court Patching a DIY Project?

Leveling birdbaths and patching tennis courts can be very tricky without proper experience.  If not properly done, you can easily create a dam on your tennis court surface.  We would highly recommend seeking a qualified tennis court contractor to do this the correct way.  Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to provide you with experienced and affordable sport surfacing professionals.
Here is a short video demonstrating mixing and application of SportMaster Acrylic Patch Binder on tennis court puddles:

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What causes bubbles or blisters on a tennis court surface?

Bubbles and blisters on a tennis court surface, or other coated sport surface, are fairly common.  This is usually a result of improper tennis court construction or malfunction of the drainage system.  When sub-surface water becomes excessive and is not properly drained away from the court, it can breathe through the slab in a vapor form and create hydrostatic pressure under the coatings.  This pressure builds more in weaker surface areas and creates a blister or bubble.

How Do I Get Rid of Bubbles and Blisters on a Tennis Court Surface?

In order to take care of the bubbles and blisters, long term, you will need to do some investigating.  Start by making sure any and all drains around the tennis court are free of debris or anything that would prevent proper flow of drainage water.  You may want to enlist the help of an architect or excavation professional in order to evaluate the current drainage system and see if it was installed properly, or at all.  If the court substrate is concrete, you must ensure the following:

  • Was a vapor barrier installed beneath the court when poured?
  • Are there perimeter drains that can take the water away from the court when it runs off after a rain?
  • Was the concrete allowed to cure for 28 days, prior to coating?
  • Was the concrete surface acid etched to neutralize the alkalinity and balance the PH?
  • Were any curing compounds used on the concrete?
Tennis Court Blisters
Tennis Court Blisters

The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) maintains construction guidelines for asphalt and concrete tennis court and sport surfaces.  Ensure that the construction of the court meets their guidelines and find out from the tennis court builder if they followed the ASBA recommendations.  This may help you figure out why the blisters are occurring.  If you are still not sure what to do, feel free to fill out the contact form on this page and we can put you in touch with a SportMaster recommended, tennis court builder.  They can perform a free site visit with you and provide feedback and estimates for repair, resurfacing, or re-construction.

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Kids Tennis | Adding Blended Lines for 10 and Under Tennis

The QuickStart (10 and under) tennis format, also known as Kids Tennis, is a program that the USTA is promoting to ensure the growth of tennis.  Statistics show when kids learn a sport early in their lives, they are more likely to continue playing throughout their adult life.  Kids tennis takes it one step further and reshapes the tennis court surface dimensions, racquet sizes, and tennis balls to better fit the size and abilities of kids.  This makes is much easier for kids to begin learning their tennis techniques, and have fun doing it!

QuickStart/Kids Tennis has changed the following standards, to meet the needs of kids:

  • Smaller Tennis Courts – Less area for kids to cover
  • Specialized tennis balls with less compression for slower and lower bounce
  • Smaller kid-friendly racquets for easier handling
  • Modified scoring rules for age groups

Many clubs, parks, and schools have begun adding kids courts to their facilities.  Some have installed permanent quickstart courts, but many have been adding blended lines so that players of all ages can use all of the courts.  This makes the best use of space, and provides flexibility at a minimal cost.  Blended lines for kids tennis, are normally painted with a shade of line paint that is lighter or darker, but of the same family as the tennis court surface.  For example, if the inside court color is blue, the quickstart lines must be a darker or lighter shade of blue.  The standard court lines are always white.

There are two different sizes, when it comes to quickstart courts.  The 60 foot court length is for 9 and 10 year olds, and the 36 foot courts are for ages 8 and under.  If you have a court that is designated for kids, you may also check with a surfacing manufacturer or contractor about resurfacing your court with a slower playing acrylic surface.  This will slow the ball bounce down and give the kids more time to get to the ball and volley.

If you are interested in finding a qualified tennis court builder near you, fill out the contact form on this page and we will provide qualified contacts.  We can recommend authorized installers near you that are trained in application and knowledgeable in standard tennis and quickstart tennis court layout.

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Drying Vs Curing | Tennis Court Surfaces & Paint

One of the most understood topics and frequently asked questions are,  “what is the difference between drying and curing”  when it comes to tennis court paint and coatings.

Acrylic sport coatings are water-based, and latex is the binder or “glue” that adheres to the pavement or existing acrylic surface.  The binder also locks in all of the components of the coating system, like pigments, sand, and other proprietary ingredients. Water is the vehicle that thins the coating solids so that application by squeegee can be achieved.  Once the coating is applied, the water evaporates leaving the solids of the coating in a consistent film.  This evaporation is “drying“.

At this point, the film solids are dry.  They can even be walked on without a problem. However, all of the components of the coating are not entirely connected and bonded in a strong film.  In order for the coating components to properly coalesce, or “melt”  together,  it is important that the film remain mostly dry and in temperatures above 50° Fahrenheit.  This is especially important within the first 24 hours.  This is “curing“.

If the coating is not allowed to achieve this initial cure, the components like sand and pigment can wash or roll out the film can fall apart to varying degrees.  The level of damage or failure depends on how marginal the cure.

Tennis Court Curing Failure
Tennis Court Curing Failure

Many coating and paint specifications include the statement “product shall be applied when temperatures are 50° and rising”.  This means start coating in the morning when the temperatures are at least 50° and getting warmer, not late afternoon or evening when temps are dropping.

Remember, the coating must dry before it can begin to cure.  Starting application late in the day puts the film at risk of dew and cooler nighttime temperatures. A good rule of thumb is to avoid acrylic paint and coating application on days when the nighttime lows are forecasted to drop below 50°.  If the daytime highs are not very warm and it is cloudy, or the courts are heavily shaded, you also need to take that into consideration.  The shade will increase the drying time and affect the temperature of the court surface.  These factors affect drying and curing.

If you are forced to push the application on marginal days, you may want to use an infrared thermometer to check the surface temperature.  Pavement absorbs and holds cold for longer than most people think. In Spring and Fall, the sun is further away and not as intense. The pavement surface isn’t able to warm up as quickly as it does in the summer.

If you are a contractor and your customer is pushing you to apply when the temperature and weather is not within acceptable range, make sure to provide them with a copy of the coating manufacturer’s specifications and ask to reschedule application when conditions allow.

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