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Tennis Court Surfaces | Speed of Play

Tennis court surfaces can be customized to achieve very specific speed of play.  The ITF (International Tennis Federation) has a technical testing program to classify all kinds of tennis court surfaces into court pace ratings (CPR).  Here is the current chart of CPR and pace category:

  • Category: Slow | CPR less than or equal to 29
  • Category: Medium-slow | CPR 30-34
  • Category: Medium | 35-39
  • Category: Medium-fast | 40-44
  • Category: Fast | greater than or equal to 45

Customizing Acrylic Court Surfaces

Most tennis court surfaces can be customized to some extent.  However, acrylic court surfaces have the widest flexibility of options.  Due to the ability of acrylic coatings to suspend different blends of silica sand and specialty aggregates, they can generally achieve all ITF paces with the correct combination of texture.

Angular Silica Sand | 50 Mesh for Acrylic Patch Binder and Resurfacer
Round Silica Sand | 90 Mesh for Colored Tennis Court Surfaces

Professional Tennis Tournament Surfaces

When it comes to professional tennis tournament surfaces, the speed of play is very important.  The court surfaces are usually kept consistent to the other tournaments in the same series.  This enables the players to hone their game on courts that perform similarly, prior to the most prestigious event at the end of the swing.

Tournament Tennis Court Surfaces

College & University Tennis Court Surfaces

College & university tennis court surfaces are also commonly resurfaced to meet specific court speeds, depending on the current strengths and weaknesses of the players.  Many times, the tennis coach will prefer a slower court to help the home team if they lack power serves and pride themselves on volley or returning the serve.  On the other hand, fast court surfaces favor the player with a fast serve.

Recreational Court Surfaces | Safe Texture

Recreational court surfaces normally require a safe texture, and are usually installed at a medium speed of play.  This ensures that the court surfaces have enough grip for common dry or wet conditions.  If players happen to play on the courts during or after rain, or when dew is still present, there will be minimal chances for slipping and falling from slick surfaces.  This surface pace is well suited for all sports from tennis, basketball, and pickleball to recreational play.

Sport Surfacing Systems | Installers

To learn more about speed of play and creating the ideal surface conditions for your sport surfacing systems, contact a SportMaster representative.  They can assist with apples to apples specifications and put you in touch with an experienced contractor to install the coating system to the manufacturer specified pace.

When Is It Too Cold To Apply Tennis Court Surfaces?

When is it too cold to apply tennis court surfaces?  The quick and direct answer is:  It must be 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) and rising during application, and for at least 24 hours after.  This is very important to ensure curing of the 100% acrylic latex binder.

My tennis court coatings were dry, why is it failing?

As explained in a previous article, there is a difference between drying and curing.  The coating must dry first, which means the water in the paint evaporates.  This leaves all of the coating molecules, which are unconnected.  It looks normal to the naked eye after drying.  However, the particles are not melted together or coalesced.  If the temperatures fall below the recommended range and the coating gets wet from dew or precipitation, it can be easily damaged.

Tennis Court Coating Failure
Tennis court coating failure from improper curing, during cold temperatures.

Application During Marginal Temperatures

You have to be very careful when the temperatures are close to the edge.  As a general rule of thumb, don’t even think about applying tennis court coatings when the nighttime lows are forecast to be below 50 Fahrenheit / 10 Celsius.  Here are some other important risk factors to consider when temperatures are marginal:

  • Apply coatings very early in the day, just after dew has dried.
  • Don’t apply much later than early afternoon.
  • Sunshine is very important to drying and warmth of the pavement.  Shade can prevent drying of coatings for many hours.
  • Make sure to measure ambient air temperature, as well as pavement temperature.  The ground temperature is usually colder than air temperature during spring and fall.
    Measuring Pavement Temperature
    Infrared Thermometer for measuring surface temperature
  • High humidity slows down drying, and coatings must dry before they start to cure.
  • White lines reflect sunlight and are usually the first coating to fail if not properly cured.

Completing the surfacing process in cold weather

What happens if you start a tennis or sports court resurfacing project, and you run out of good weather part-way through?  No worries, you can wait until next spring/summer to finish the job.  It’s not worth risking failure and having a major cleanup on your plate.  No matter what stage of the coating process you are in, it can wait until the weather is right.

Tennis Court Resurfacing Application Tips & Techniques

Tennis court resurfacing & repair is best performed by experienced sport surfacing contractors.  However, sometimes tricks of the trade are lost in translation or bad habits can form.  Most of the time it is not intentional, but a result of limited training sources.  This article will point out some important  application tips and techniques that are often overlooked.  It will also highlight some common pitfalls or things to avoid doing, for a quality tennis court repair and resurfacing result.

Keep A Clean Work Area

Most experienced tennis court contractors know the value of a clean and organized work area.  From time to time, we still see work areas that are unprotected and open to spills and splatter.  Make sure to use a tarp, old carpet remnants, or layers of masking paper when setting up your staging and mixing.  Dried paint spills, bucket rings, and other such mishaps may not be hidden by the new paint job. Plus, if you are setup outside of the court playing area on a sidewalk, you don’t need the extra work of sandblasting and trying to remove dried paint and coating residue.

Mixing Area

Application Squeegee & Tool Marks

There are a variety of procedures and options, when it comes to tennis court resurfacing and repair.  Many of the industry tools are very specific and make quite a difference in quality and ease of application.  The application squeegee should be between 50 and 60 durometer, which is the measure of softness/hardness of the rubber. The lower the number, the softer the rubber squeegee blade.  If the blade is too soft, it will bend over in the middle and create problems, as well.  An application squeegee blade that is too hard, will cause more visible application rows and “scalp” the color coatings leaving more visible marks.

Inside Playing Color
Tennis Court Application Marks

Touch-up Paint & Edging | Court Surfaces

Many times, the difference between a court resurfacing that is just OK and one that is great, relies on the details.  Conscientious tennis court contractors will go the extra mile with the following items:

  • Paint old net posts that aren’t ready to replace, but look worn
  • trim around the outside edge of the court, under & behind fences
  • Pull off excess material onto masking paper, like rosin and roofing paper, instead of shoveling up on the surface or pulling into the other color area
  • Use an anti-bleed line primer, like SportMaster Stripe-Rite, for crisp lines
  • Remove center strap anchors and net posts that slide out of the sleeve before surfacing.  Then, tape over the open hole before surfacing.  This prevents filling the holes with paint and keeps squeegee rows straight during application.
  • Touch up as needed if one color went into the other area, or there were line paint mishaps
  • If possible, try to start and finish squeegee application away from main entrances into the court.  Start on an edge or area that is not in a high visible area, in case there is a line from starting and ending the application.
  • Try not to blast windscreens with a pressure washer, as they can damage older, sun-baked fabrics and leave pressure washer patterns.
  • Scrape and sand previous repairs and coats so that they don’t show show through the final coats.

Workmanship | Tennis Court Application

A few more common workmanship issues to mention is squeegee handling and proper pouring of mixed coating materials.  Avoid setting a wet squeegee blade down on dry pavement, as it can leave squeegee blade marks that mirror through the final coat.  When applying the material, set your squeegee down in the puddle of wet material and then begin squeegeeing as usual.  If you set the squeegee down by accident and leave a slash mark, use the bottom of your show to rub out the mark before it dries.

Pour Marks | Tennis Court Resurfacing

Pour Marks are nearly impossible to eliminate when tennis court resurfacing.  There are ways to minimize the marking, which include:

  • After your initial windrow pour, always pour into the existing puddle/windrow and not directly onto the dry surface.
  • Pour low & gently into the windrow and don’t toss the material.
  • Avoid extremely hot temperatures when pouring and applying, if possible.  This will also minimize squeegee application marks.
  • Mist the surface a few passes ahead of the squeegee applicator. This brings the surface temperature down and decreases heat shock and marking.

Many experienced tennis court contractors will also try space their material pours so that each pour happens on the area where a line will be.  This helps to mask the potential pour mark from the eye, beneath the tennis court striping.

How To Paint A Pickleball Court

As a manufacturer of acrylic sport surfaces, we are frequently asked how to paint a pickleball court.  There are a few different levels and options, when it comes to painting your court, and each will result in different levels of cost and quality.

Option 1 | Painting a Pickleball Court

Acrylic surfacing products are specialized coatings that can be applied on asphalt or concrete surfaces.  These coatings contain silica sand for non-slip texture.  The fine sand  in color coatings will provide surface texture, but not fill the pavement voids very well. If you just apply 2 coats of the textured color coatings, it will look decent, but you will see lots of surface voids and imperfections from the asphalt or concrete beneath.  This will be similar to the surface of an orange peel, where you see the pores.

Option 2 | Resurfacing a Pickleball Court

We are using the term of resurfacing a pickleball court, to refer to the coating process and not resurfacing with pavement.  In order to fill the pavement voids and provide the best prepared surface, generally one to two coats of Acrylic Resurfacer is ideal.  This product is applied prior to the color coatings, and is designed to fill voids and add texture to the asphalt or concrete surface.  Acrylic Resurfacer holds 14 to 15 pounds of sand, per gallon, and will fill the pavement voids to provide a tight, non-porous surface.  This product followed by 2 coats of color will yield the best results.

Pickleball & Basketball Court Combo

Combination Sports Courts | Pickleball Paint

If you are painting a court for pickleball, it is easy to add blended lines for other sports too.  A common trend is pickleball/basketball courts.  These are courts that don’t take up a large footprint, so they can be squeezed into many areas like backyards, driveways, playgrounds, and more.  You can use temporary nets for pickleball and then have the basketball goal on the courts edge.

Here is a good example of a driveway pickleball court:

Driveway Pickleball Court

Cushioned Pickleball Courts | SportMaster ProCushion

A third option can be adding rubberized layers to get a cushioned pickleball court surface.  Multiple layers of acrylic with small rubber granules are applied with a soft rubber squeegee, beneath the color coatings.  This produces a pad of rubber under the court to absorb shock and improve player comfort.  Make sure to ask the installer to provide an alternate quote for cushion, to see if it fits into your budget.

Free Estimates | Pickleball Court Contractors

In summary, painting a pickleball court can be performed with a roller, but best when applied with a sport squeegee. For best results, we also recommend hiring a qualified sport surfacing contractor. They are trained and best suited to apply sport coatings, and repair cracks, puddles, and other surface damage prior to the paint and coatings.  Contact us today for referrals to experienced installers.

#pickleball #courtsurfaces by #SouthwestSportSurfaces

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How To Get Blended Line Paint For A Multipurpose Sports Court

Multipurpose courts are becoming very popular with the growth of booming sports like pickleball.  The best use of real estate, when it comes to athletic game courts, is to add blended lines to existing tennis or other court surfaces.  This way, the tennis court lines can be white and other sport lines can be another complimentary color. So that poses the frequently asked question of, “How to get blended line paint for a multipurpose sports court.

First of all, there is no right or wrong shade of color for blended lines, however the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) deems that the tennis court lines must be white.  Also note that the USTA tried to set up some standards for 10 & under tennis court line color, and this is what was proposed:

  • All blended lines for 10 & under tennis courts (kids tennis) shall be of the same color family as the surface, just lighter or darker.
  • To achieve the “standard” paint color, use one of the following ratios:
  • 75% court surface coating to 25% white line paint for lighter shade or 25% black acrylic resurfacer for darker shade. (80% to 20% was also approved for a slight variance for shade).

In simple measurement terms, you would use 3/4 gallon of the court surface color (let’s say blue) and mix in 1/4 gallon of tennis court white line paint to achieve blended lines in a lighter blue shade.  Or, use 3/4 gallon of the court surface color and mix in 1/4 gallon of black acrylic resurfacer to produce the darker line variation if preferred.  This enables court resurfacing contractors to easily achieve blended line colors with common coatings and paints that they already have on-hand and use every day in the field.

Painting Tennis Court Lines
Painting Tennis Court Lines

Applying blended lines will not cost a fortune, by any means.  If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, we would strongly suggest having a sport surfacing contractor do this for you.  Adding blended lines can be done at any time.  The best time would be during the initial court resurfacing, to minimize the contractor mobilization costs.  However, the cost would still be minimal down the road and you will be able to enjoy multiple sports on your multipurpose sports and game court.

How To Install A Tennis Net

People often ask us how to install a tennis net.  Removing a tennis net and replacing it with a new one is an easy task, however we have created this page and video to walk you through the process.

Step 1 – Removing Old or Existing Net

  • Remove old net by cutting the twine.  Unhook center strap and release the net cable.
  • Fold up the old net and remove from the court for disposal.

Step 2 –  Prepare New Tennis Net For Install

  • Remove the new net from the box and prepare it for installation.

Step 3 – Attaching The New Tennis Net

  • Hook the loop end of the net cable to dead side cleat, opposite end of cable to the crank side.
  • Crank until the net is a little over 3′ (feet) above the playing surface in the center.

Replace A Tennis Net

Tennis Post Wind Assemblies:

There are a few different styles of wind assemblies, depending on the manufacturer and post type.  Generally, you will see and internal or external wind assembly.  The internal wind post will have the components of the winding mechanism inside the post.  The external wind assembly sits on the post and is mostly exposed to the elements.  The way that the wind assembly accepts the net cable is a bit different.  The video shows an example of both styles.  You will normally have to cut the loop off of the net cable in order to feed it into the internal wind assembly.  Just make sure not to cut the loop off of the dead end.

internal wind assembly

Step 4 – Center & Adjust The Tennis Net

  • Center the net on cable & pull the slack towards the dead side post.
  • Install the net dowels by sliding them down in to each side of the net.
  • Pull exposed cable to crank side post.

inserting dowel rod

Step 5 – Tighten The Tennis Net

  • Fully tighten the net.
  • The center of the net should be approximately 37″ – 38″ above the playing surface.

Step 6 – Lacing The Net

  • Lace the sides of the net.
  • Make a 2 inch loop, run lace through the headband on the net and back through the 2 inch loop.
  • Continue lacing the net down the post.  Knot the bottom and cut excess twine.
  • Remove the crank handle.

lacing a tennis net

Step 7 – Install Center Strap

  • Install the center strap.
  • The correct net height is 36″, at the center.

installing center strap


If you have further questions on how to install a tennis net or you need to purchase a tennis net, feel free to contact us and we can provide you with additional help.

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! ????????????

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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

SportMaster Tennis Championships of Maui

The SportMaster Tennis Championships of Maui is a USTA Pro Series Event, and the only professional tennis tournament in Hawaii. SportMaster is the title sponsor and official tennis court surface of the Challenger series tournament.

This is very popular and growing event, on the beautiful shores of Maui.  In 2016, the tournament will host both Men’s and Women’s matches, with $50,000 total prize money for each.

Players from over 20 different countries will be competing in the SportMaster TCOM, including last year’s winner, Jared Donaldson. Here are some bullet points that the tournament will host, as pointed out by the USTA Pacific Section:

  • 32 Qualifying Men’s & Women’s Singles Draw
  • 32 Main Men’s & Women’s Singles Draw
  • 16 Men’s & Women’s Doubles Draw
  • $50,000 total prize money and showcasing some of the finest men’s tennis players in the world – ranked number 50 and above
  • $50,000 total prize money and showcasing some of the finest women’s tennis players in the world – ranked number 40 and above

Royal Lahaina Resort & Tennis Ranch

The Royal Lahaina Resort will be hosting the SportMaster Tennis Championships of Maui at their Tennis Ranch.  This site boasts 11 tennis courts, just resurfaced with a green and blue SportMaster surfacing system.  The courts include a premium texture package for a medium pace, or playing speed. Tennis Court Surfaces Hawaii
The surface texture provides spin-responsive play and ideal footing for optimum play and competition.

SportMaster Sport Surfaces | Title & Surface Sponsor

SportMaster is premium brand of tennis court surfaces, with stocking and supporting locations throughout the world.  There are currently over 90 locations, including Hawaii, where SportMaster tennis court surfaces can be purchased.  The SportMaster brand is produced in the United States and has been in production since the 1970’s.

Hawaii Tennis Court Resurfacing
Royal Lahaina Challenger Tournament | Maui, HI

“We are proud to be the title sponsor and surface of this exciting tournament”,  said Jeff Gearheart, director SportMaster Sport Surfaces.  “All Court Hawaii does an exceptional job on installing the court surfaces at the Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch, and it is a top-notch destination”

Multi Sport Backyard Courts

Multi sport backyard courts are a great way to optimize space in your backyard, driveway, or playground.  With the onslaught in popularity of Pickleball, there has been a demand for smaller courts and combination courts to accommodate players.  In areas where the interest in Pickleball exceeds tennis, blended lines are added in another color so that the courts can be used for both sports.

Pickleball Courts with Blended Lines






Another option is to use your driveway for double duty, as you may already do for basketball, and add coatings and blended lines for pickleball and you’ve really got a multi use court.Driveway Pickleball Court





Playgrounds are also underutilized. Many times, there are large areas behind schools that are plain asphalt blacktop. Acrylic sport surfaces can provide a lighter, cooler surface to play basketball, volleyball, pickleball, and many other games. The lightly textured surfaces are also safer, especially when conditions are damp and potentially slippery on normal pavement.

Game Courts






SportMaster also makes a special color coating for higher wear areas, including areas with moderate traffic from vehicles, bikes, and more aggressive play. The system is called ColorPave, and there are a few different variations. The ColorPave system was recently used at the new Facebook campus in Menlo Park, CA, in their under-building parking garage.
ColorPave Red Asphalt Color

ColorPave is also ideal for high-wear, multi sport surfaces and driveway basketball and pickleball court areas.  Bike lanes, zoos, amusement parks, and other specialty asphalt colored areas can also benefit from a coating system like ColorPave.

If you are thinking about building a new multi sport court or have an existing pavement area or sports court, we can put you in touch with an experienced sport surfacing contractor.  They can perform a site visit to evaluate your project and provide a free estimate.  Not sure what you want, our installers can provide recommendations based on the available space you have and on your sport and activity preferences.

How Do You Paint A Tennis Court?

If you ask any professional house painter they will tell you, “In hard times, everyone is a painter.”  But if you have ever hired a professional house painter, you will see that they make the job look much easier and better in much less time than the average home owner.  Hiring a professional tennis court painter, or sport surfacing contractor, is the smartest move you will ever make!

Just because it looks like paint and kind of smells like paint, doesn’t mean you apply it the same way.  Tennis court coatings are heavy-bodied and fortified with specialty sand and aggregate.  So, how do you paint a tennis court?  The only good way to apply these coatings is with a specialized tennis court application squeegee.  Using a paint roller on a hot day, in the full sun, on coatings that hold up to 15 pounds of sand per gallon can make a real mess.  Plus, if you’ve never applied coatings with a squeegee, you are in for a not-so-good surprise.  Especially, if you are attempting to paint a two-color court.  Experienced tennis court resurfacing contractors may paint anywhere from 50 to 400 tennis courts in a season.  They have plenty of practice and have the skills to squeegee two different colors that are only separated by a 2″ line, without going over into the other color area.  Not to mention, multiple coats within the same day.

Over the years, many do-it-yourselfers have attempted to paint their own courts with a variety of results.  The vast majority will never do it again and even needed to hire a professional surfacing company to fix their attempt.  Here is just a short list of reasons why it is cheaper and easier to have an experienced tennis court contractor paint or resurface your tennis, basketball, or sports court:

  • Tennis court contractors buy concentrated coatings in large volumes and have better pricing on materials than DIY.
  • Sport contractors have all of the necessary tools and experience to do the job right and quickly.
  • Court contractors also have a specialized line taping machine for layout of straight and curved lines, prior to striping.
  • Most sport contractors have a variety of methods and systems for crack repair, including installation of patented membrane repair systems which require factory training.
  • Construction alternatives: If standard acrylic repair materials cannot address the repairs, tennis court construction companies can offer more permanent repair or reconstruction.

If it is time to paint or resurface your tennis, basketball, or pickleball court and you are looking for a qualified sport surfacing contractor, contact us.  We can put you in touch with experienced installers that can provide free estimates on a professional and affordable court repair, resurfacing, or construction project.