Category Archives: Tennis Court Surfaces

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.

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

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”

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



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.


What Causes Rust Spots On A Tennis Court Surface?

In various regions, rust spots are a common sight on tennis court surfaces.  They are actually visible on driveways, parking lots, and other asphalt surfaces, but they are more pronounced on a colored tennis court surface.

The rust spots are the result of metallic minerals, called pyrites, that contaminate the stone used to create asphalt.  Asphalt pavement and acrylic tennis surfaces allow vapor to transmit, or breathe through them.  When the mineral pyrites become wet, they rust and bring the stains upward into the acrylic surfaces.  These rust stains are unsightly and mostly an aesthetic issue that don’t affect the ball bounce or play of the game.  However, sometimes the aggregate reacts, swells, and pops out.  This leaves a rust stain and sometime a small mound with a tiny hole in the surface.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a good or compatible primer or stain blocker that can prevent this from happening.  The best defense is a good offense, which means:

  • Use only non-recycled asphalt when paving tennis and basketball courts
  • Do research: Stay away from limestone or aggregate sources with known contamination issues
  • Talk to an experienced architect and/or tennis court contractor ahead of time in order to avoid the wrong asphalt type and source.
What causes rust spots on a tennis court
What causes rust spots on a tennis court?

If it is too late and you already have rust spots on your tennis court, here are a few tips:

  • Your tennis court contractor can use a hand drill and drill out the reactive spots.  Acrylic Crack Patch can be used to repair the surface holes and the court can be touched up or completely resurfaced.  Sometimes there are hundreds of rust spots and drilling is not always a viable option.
  • This may sound silly at first, but you can pick a color scheme that closely matches and doesn’t contrast the rust color (i.e., Brown, Maroon, Red)

For more information on this, fill out the contact form on this page and we will be happy to answer your questions or put you in touch with a local tennis court contractor.



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.