How To Prepare Courts For a Looming Hurricane or Tropical Storm

A detailed guide to preparing sport courts for a storm

Written by Rich Buerkle, COO, 10-S Tennis Supply

Storm-Prep-ImagesAs the 2017 Hurricane season moves in to full swing, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the best ways to storm-proof your sport courts.  For all properties, your sport courts or sporting facilities are an asset you want to protect.  The better you pre-plan when a bad storm is looming, the more likely you are to decrease the damage sustained and therefore minimize any expense incurred to get your facility back up to par.  Many of the tips shown here are very cost effective to enforce – it’s just a matter of taking the time to protect your investment before it’s too late.

As we’ve seen in year’s past, both tropical storms and hurricanes can pose a real threat in the southeastern coastal states especially, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.  Those threats include damage to all types of sport courts (tennis, bocce, shuffleboard, Pickleball, basketball, volleyball, etc.), their surrounding fencing, amenities and lighting.  It is recommended that you take the following steps to prepare for an impending storm.

Tips for Windscreens

  • Many of the most important storm preparedness tips surround the area of securing windscreens around your facility.  During heavy winds, windscreens can act almost as a sailboat sail, catching strong wind gusts and potentially damaging your fencing.  It is not uncommon for a windscreen to pull over a fence completely when bad winds are blowing through your area.  This is why this portion of storm preparation is often one of the most important for safeguarding your facility.
  • If your facility has windscreen be sure to order plenty of extra windscreen ty-raps, fastening rope and snaps before the storm season approaches.
  • As the storm makes it way towards your facility, remove, label and store your windscreen.
  • If it is not practical to remove your windscreen or you don’t have adequate storage, the following process will reduce stress on your fencing:
    • For 6-foot windscreens:
      • Cut the ty-raps along the bottom and sides of the windscreen.
      • Roll your windscreen to the top of the fence.
      • Fasten and secure with rope.
  • For 9-foot windscreens:
    • Cut the ty-raps along the top and bottom of the windscreen.
    • Roll your windscreen to the middle of the fence.
    • Fasten and secure with rope.

Tips for All Types of Sport Courts – these include Hard Courts (asphalt and/or concrete), Clay Courts & Synthetic Turf Courts

  • Remove all tennis and/or Pickleball nets.
  • Remove cabana awnings.
  • Remove all unsecured court benches, tables and chairs from cabanas or viewing areas and secure in a safe area.
  • Remove all court equipment from fences (liner brooms, squeegees, etc.).

Tips for Standard, Sprinkler Irrigated Courts

  • Roll the courts the day before the storm is expected to compact the Har-Tru as much as possible.  This will reduce the amount of material that is lost during the storm.
  • If high winds are expected, water the court before the storm to reduce the amount of material lost due to the wind.
  • If the irrigation system is on a timer, be sure to manually shut off the system so that it does not turn on during the storm.
  • Remember to turn the timer back on after the storm has passed.

Tips for FDC HydroCourt Subsurface Irrigated Clay Courts

  • Shut off water to the control boxes +/- 12 hours before the storm and open the drain pipe on the control boxes.  This will allow the system to fully drain and prepare the FDC HydroCourt to receive the torrential rains experienced with most hurricanes.
  • Remember to turn the water back on and close the drain pipe after the storm has passed – specifically after there is no longer any standing water on the court.

Please remember, 10-S Tennis Supply offers a full line of windscreen accessories to help get you through the hurricane season.  Visit us online at www.10-S.com for all of your sport court needs.  Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. is also available to help you get your sport facilities in top notch shape – regardless of the weather.  Visit us online to see more ways we can assist with making your facility even more desirable to new residents – www.Fast-Dry.com.

Article By Rich Buerkle

 

10-S Tennis Supply & Fast-Dry Courts
1400 NW 13th Avenue
Pompano Beach, FL 33069
800-247-3907
www.10-S.com

10-S Tennis Supply Public Service Announcement

Is Your Ball Mower Acting Up?

If your ball mower is not working properly, we at 10-S Tennis Supply can help!  No one wants using a piece of court equipment to be more frustrating than useful (as seen in the video above) – so it might be time to replace the whole unit, or at least some of the parts!

Don’t let this happen to you – shoot us a text, send us an email, or give us a call and we’d be happy to help!

Phone – 800-247-3907 ⋅ Email – sales@10-s.com ⋅ Text Line – 954-800-6790 ⋅ Web – www.10-s.com

What’s New in the 10-S Warehouse?

The boys at 10-S Tennis Supply are hard at work making sure over 1,000 items are in stock and ready to ship out daily!

How to Install New Lines on a Clay Tennis Court

Installing new line tapes on a clay tennis court on your own can be a daunting task!

Will the lines be straight?  How will I know where to mark the court?  Will all the nails be even?

These are all good questions and concerns for anyone attempting to lay new lines.  However, 10-S Tennis Supply and Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. have you covered!  With a little preparation and know-how, you can make sure the job gets done right – with correctly and securely fastened line tapes!

  • Please be sure to take all the time necessary to properly measure and mark the court for the line tapes.
  • After you have measured out a line, use a nail to mark the spot.
  • Snap chalk lines on the surface to ensure your line tapes will be laid in a straight line from point to point.
  • Roll out the line tapes, securing the corners with nails as you go.
  • Fill in the remaining pre-punched holes with nails (use every hole available).  With the exception of the corners (or places where lines overlap), only hammer in the nails until ¼” remains above the surface.  This way, the nails will all be set into the ground with the same pressure when you roll the lines.
  • Take a roller and roll down the lines.  All of the nails will now be fully – and evenly – set into the ground.
  • Trim the excess ends of the line tapes so that every line and corner is crisp and straight.

For a full tutorial on how to install new line tapes,  check out this video showing you the proper methods and techniques!

If you are in the South Florida area and would like an estimate for professional installation of lines, or about building/resurfacing any court, please contact Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. toll-free at 800-432-2994!  If you would like to purchase line tapes, nails, or any other equipment from anywhere nationwide, call 10-S Tennis Supply toll-free at 800-247-3907 to get an estimate or to place an order!

10-S Tennis Supply Product of the Week: 10-S NeverRust Net Posts

From time to time, we here at 10-S Tennis Supply would like to present (or remind our customers about) a product or maintenance tool that we feel is really top-notch!  This week’s edition focuses on a new product in our line – the 10-S NeverRust Aluminum Net Posts!

What makes these posts so special?

We are so glad you asked!  The 10-S NeverRust Posts were specifically designed so that you get a durable, aluminum post that is light enough to make installing or replacing these posts easier than ever!  In fact, they are the lightest on the market – while still being quality posts.  The reinforced inside ensures durability, while the aluminum material means you won’t have to worry about rust – even in salty coastal or high-humidity climates.   2  7/8″OD external wind post featuring galvanized lacing rods, available in black or green.

 

 

You can find these net posts and more on our website, 10-S.com, or call and speak to a customer service representative at 800-247-3907.

The Different Stages of 10andUnder Tennis

 10andUnder Tennis – the sport that gives young children the opportunity to learn and develop their tennis skills as they grow.  With 3 stages – Red, Orange, and Green – kids are given the tools to succeed with equipment and court sizes tailored to different age groups.  Smaller courts, properly-sized racquets, and tennis balls designed to be played at slower speeds help children to learn fundamentals and grow into the game as they get older.

For a full range of 10andUnder Tennis supplies, please visit the 10-s.com website.

STAGE RED

Stage Red is for children 8 years old or younger, and is played on a reduced court size of 36′ x 18′.  Oftentimes, these smaller courts are cordoned off using rubber lines (or lines and corners) in order to clearly mark the boundaries.  Examples of these items can be found here on the 10-s.com website.  This is the only stage in which there are two kinds of balls – red felt and red foam balls.  The foam balls are a little larger, which can be especially helpful for the youngest players.  These balls are the slowest moving and lowest bouncing balls available, perfect for beginners just starting out.  The net height is 2′ 9″ at the center, and the recommended racquet size is up to 23″.  It is easier for the kids to start building fundamentals with equipment and courts that are sized just for them.

STAGE ORANGE

For the kids 9-10 years old, Stage Orange is better suited.  While still smaller than a tennis court, the 60′ x 21′ court provides a sufficient area to continue building skills and fundamentals.  Again, it is a good idea to clearly mark the boundaries of this smaller court.  The orange stage balls have about 50% of the pressure of a standard tennis ball – giving it about half the speed and bounce.  The net height for this level is that of a standard tennis net (3′ at center, 3′ 6″ at posts), and the recommended racquet size is 23″ – 25″.

STAGE GREEN

Stage Green is the final level before the kids start playing on a standard tennis court, with all the standard tennis balls and equipment.  This stage is for those 11 years old and up, until they feel well-prepared for the adult sport.  The players on this level take advantage of the full tennis court and net height, but the green stage balls have about 75% of the pressure of a standard tennis ball – giving it a slightly slower speed and bounce.  The recommended racquet size for this level is 25″ – 27″.

To better understand the different stages of play, the following chart demonstrates which stage of play is associated with each age group.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Ordering Custom Windscreen

Whenever we field a call inquiring about custom windscreen for a facility, there are four main questions that need to be answered before we can give the customer a proper quote.  If you are wondering what options to consider before you call, here is a hint:  privacy needs, type of screen,  vent options, color, and logos.  We want you to be ecstatic with the windscreens that you choose, and that starts with making the right decisions when placing your order!

WHAT ARE MY PRIVACY NEEDS?

The level of privacy you need is a perfect place to start – as this can affect what types of screens are available to you!  If you are not concerned with your screens providing complete (or close to complete) privacy, then you might be well served with an open-mesh windscreen.  This type of screen, while still providing some privacy, allows more air-flow through the screens, and is a popular choice for most clubs or communities.

Should you decide that you need a higher opacity rate on your screens, you might choose a closed mesh or vinyl windscreen.  A couple of our brands, such as the 10-S Proscreen or Tenn-Air, offer closed-mesh options.  You are still getting the mesh look of the screen, but more tightly woven so as to provide 95% – 100% opacity for your facility.  Vinyl Privacy Screen, on the other hand, is completely opaque and offers no outlet for the wind (unless you opt for vents).

WHICH TYPE OF SCREEN?

There are different types or “brands” of windscreens to choose from – and they may all be found on our website, 10-s.com, for anyone wishing to see the differences before they buy.  There are photos and descriptions available for each – concerning the material with which the screens are made, color options, logo options, as well as pricing differences.  It is sometimes helpful to research these options so you have a better idea of what is available.  If you feel overwhelmed with all the many choices, you can request to be mailed some samples.  You can generally get a sample of all of the different screens you are considering, and in the correct color choice, as well.  This way you can feel the material and will be completely sure of what you are ordering!

DO I NEED VENT OPTIONS?

Vents are a popular option on windscreens.  For those wanting either some breaks for the wind, or a place in the fence where you can see though to a court, there are two vent options available.  The “standard” half-moon flap vents are cut at no extra charge, have openings every 10′ in the screen, and provide an outlet for wind through the screens.  If the flap is closed, they are not as noticeable in the screen as a window vent would be.

If you do not like the look of the flap vents, you want a more substantial outlet for the wind, or you would like a way to peer into your tennis courts, the bound / hemmed windows might be just the right option for you!  These windows are generally placed every 10′, or staggered every 5′ across the screens, and are fully hemmed all the way around – leaving no chance of tearing at the edges.  However, as nice as the windows are, it pays to keep in mind for budgeting purposes that there is a charge for every bound window you include.

WHAT COLOR SHOULD I CHOOSE?

Black and Dark Green – these are the most standard windscreen colors available, and most every type of screen will offer these colors.  If this is the look you are going for, you have a much larger selections of screens to choose from!  This also comes with the added bonus that if you are looking as some of the more economical screens, you won’t have to compromise on your color choice.  Many clubs and facilities choose these classic colors, and may accessorize with logos on the screens.

However, if you are trying to match school or club colors and would like something out-of-the-norm, there are some nice options available to you, as well!  Some of the highest-quality windscreens come in as many as 20 color choices, and there is no extra charge for choosing those brighter hues.  If you choose to stand out from the crowd, there is sure to be a color option to suit your needs!

DO I WANT LOGOS?

A very popular add-on, logos on windscreens can showcase your club logo, school mascot, or the name of your business.  The possibilities are endless with different sizes and colors.  While they can get pricey the larger they are, we suggest you get a quote for any logo needs you may have.  This way, you know just how to budget and how many logo’d pieces to request.  If you are concerned about how the finished product might look, you needn’t worry.  You will see a rendering of how your logo will look on your particular size of screen to approve before it goes into production, so that you always have the final say.  Something to keep in mind, however, is that orders with logos WILL take longer than a windscreen order without logos.  It is important to take this into account if you have time constraints.

 

For further information on windscreen, windscreen options, to request samples of screens, or if you have inquiries about any other supplies or court needs, please call 10-S Tennis Supply at 800-247-3907 or visit our website at 10-s.com.  

Common Clay Court Maintenance Mistakes

Har-Tru courts – Great on the joints, superb playing surface – but require a lot of maintenance! Oftentimes, maintenance tasks on both sprinkler-irrigated, as well as subsurface-irrigated, courts are being performed incorrectly, with the wrong equipment, or at the wrong time.  This can result in the growth of algae on the court, create hard-pan surfaces, and affect the playability, as well as the attractiveness, of the courts.  We at 10-S Tennis Supply and Fast-Dry Courts are here to help!  We asked Court Maintenance Professionals from within our own company to weigh in on the most common court maintenance mistakes seen day in and day out while working on clay courts, and these answers may assist you in the struggle to maintain your courts properly!

The Problem: SPEED WHILE RAKING THE COURT

Clay courts, especially HydroCourts (subsurface-irrigated), require raking as part of a daily, weekly, and monthly court maintenance routine.  However, you do have to be careful which tools you are using, and at which speed.  Too fast with the wrong tool, and you will cause your lines to pull up over time.  Lines that are not properly nailed down can be a tripping hazard, to say the least.

The speedy solution?

Slow Down!  Just kidding – there’s more to it than that.  Some tools are angled differently than others.  This means that you have to be aware of how the tools that you are using are hitting the lines as you pass over them.  Too fast and you might cause the lines to pull up from the ground.  The angle at which you hit the lines can also make a difference.  Try driving or pulling straight over the lines rather than turning as you are going overhead – this will help them to stay safely nailed in place.  You could also consider alternating the tools which you are using, so that you aren’t hitting the lines at the same angle every day.

The Problem: WRONG TOOL AT THE WRONG TIME

One problem that HydroCourt owners are no doubt aware of is that you cannot use a soft bristle drag broom to groom your courts while they are still wet.  Hard-pan areas can be created, and algae patches can grow over time.  These court afflictions, while treatable, are best to be avoided altogether with proper maintenance, if possible.

The grooming solution?

If you must groom your courts while the clay is still wet, use a rake – such as the Court Rake or the Gator Rake, as these tools will not cause the wet clay to “gum up” on the grooming tool like the soft bristle brooms.

The Problem: OVER-WATERING OR UNDER-WATERING

One court maintenance MUST is remembering to adjust the water supply to your courts as the seasons change.  Watering your court too much during times when there is less sunlight can cause your court to not dry properly, or take longer to do so.  Watering too little leaves your court overly dry.  On sprinkler-irrigated Har-Tru courts this is especially important, as the clay will not pack as well on the court if improperly watered.  This takes away from your playing time, and will cause you to switch up your maintenance routines due to soggy or over-dry clay.

The sunshine solution:

During the winter months, water less because of less sunlight.  During the summer months, water more.  You must check and adjust your water supply throughout the year as necessary to ensure your court stays in tip-top shape!  Sometimes this is an easy task to overlook – especially in areas like South Florida with minimal season change.  If this is the case, we recommend following the time change with Daylight Savings Time – a good reminder twice a year to adjust your water supply.

The Problem: LOW AREAS ON COURT

Your court has low areas all over, and in great need of clay to fill in?  High-traffic areas, such as the areas behind the service lines, will be among the first to be worn down below the lines if new clay is not added.

The gritty solution?

Add more clay, of course!  More specifically, try to add new clay as needed, and do not let your court get to a severe level that requires resurfacing by the professionals.  When the clay is below the lines, it is time to add more!  If you add clay to the high traffic areas and around the court as necessary each month, you can keep your courts in great shape and hold off on a resurfacing project until the proper time.

The Problem: SURROUNDING VEGETATION

Most courts have beautiful plants, trees, and landscaping surrounding their fences, creating a leisure oasis. This can turn into a big problem, however, if the trees and plants surrounding the courts are causing craters in your clay surface due to the water funneling down from the leaves.

The leafy solution:

Trim those trees back to a manageable level beyond the fences!  Keeping the vegetation surrounding your court well-trimmed and maintained will help with the aesthetics, and will serve to nip any further crater-like problems right in the bud!

For more information on court maintenance, or any other court questions, please visit the resources at Fast-Dry.com, or 10-S.com!  If you need further assistance, the friendly and capable staff at 10-S Tennis Supply would be more than willing to help!  Call toll-free at 800-247-3907.  If you are located in the South Florida area and believe your court is in need of resurfacing, or would like to discuss further options, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. would love to hear from you!  You can call toll-free at 800-432-2994.

 

Pickleball – Funny Name, FUN Sport!

According to www.usapa.org, the official website of the USA Pickleball Association, Pickleball is named after Pickles, the family Cocker Spaniel of one of the co-inventors of the sport. Pickles would chase stray balls and then hide in the bushes while they were playing. So the game was officially invented in 1965 by two friends living near Seattle, Washington – Bill Bell and Joel Pritchard.

Pickleball is a game played on a badminton-sized court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. The court is about 1/3rd the size of a standard tennis court. The equipment used to play includes a perforated plastic ball (similar to a whiffle ball) and wood or composite paddles. People play on courts all over the USA, both indoors and outdoors.

It is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. It can oftentimes replace tennis for older players, because the sport requires less running, allowing for less impact on joints.

Many athletic clubs and facilities are joining the waves of existing Pickleball fans and installing or upgrading existing courts to host the sport. Oftentimes, it’s as easy has having a professional company, such as Fast-Dry Courts, visit your site to help you determine the best location. You can use an existing tennis court and paint the new Pickleball lines, or build Pickleball courts that are used for that sport alone. If the game catches on at your facility, stand-alone courts may be your best investment to ensure players have enough courts to fulfill their playing schedules.

To learn more about the sport, visit the USA Pickleball Association’s website at www.usapa.org.

To learn more about adding or refurbishing a Pickleball court at your facility, contact Fast-Dry Courts at www.fast-dry.com or 800-432-2994.

Top Question Answered: Which 10-S Linesman Line Sweeper Do I Go With?

Here at 10-S Tennis Supply, a very popular question we respond to is “Which is better to sweep the lines of my clay court – the Fine Bristle or Stiff Bristle Linesman?”  While both of these “Line Sweepers” will get the job done, we will typically recommend one over the other.

A little bit about line sweepers: 
After any type of play or maintenance to a clay tennis court, you will inevitably find that there is a fair amount of clay scattered across the top of your white lines.  Years ago tennis maintenance tool designers developed the line sweeper to focus that sweeping / cleaning motion solely on the lines to sweep the lines clean.  The active part of these sweepers are on the bottom end of a long handle and consist of four hard roller wheels spaced perfectly on each side of the white tennis line.  Then in the middle, a circular brush rolls across the top of the line, simultaneously kicking off the clay, and brushing the line clean, much like a broom.  As you push forward, the wheels turn and the brush turns, giving the line sweeper the momentum to clean the lines with ease – giving the court a freshly groomed look.

After the initial design of the line sweeper – it evolved to give people two options of brushes to choose from: Fine Bristle or Stiff Bristle.  Let’s examine each of those a little closer.

10-S LINESMAN FINE BRISTLE LINE SWEEPER

10-S Linesman – Fine Bristle

The 10-S Linesman line sweeper with Fine Bristles has a positive locking action and a textured brush for an easy-to-use, yet firm brushing action. It is constructed of aluminum for years of rust free use.  Assembled with fine / soft brush.  Click here to see the Fine Bristle Linesman in action.

 

 

 

 

10-S LINESMAN STIFF BRISTLE LINE SWEEPER

10-S Linesman – Stiff Bristle

The 10-S Linesman line sweeper is the most popular line sweeper on the market. The 10-S Linesman has a positive locking brush action and a textured coarse/stiff brush for an easy-to-use, yet firm brushing action. It is constructed of aluminum for years of rust-free use. Replacement brushes and parts available.  Click here to see the Stiff Bristle Linesman in action.

 

 

 

Now the big question – WHICH DO I GO WITH?

While both of these line sweepers will “do the trick”, it has been our experience over the years that more people prefer the Fine Bristle Linesman.  While one may be inclined to think the Stiff Bristle brush would do a better job cleaning the lines, it can actually “catch” and skid across the lines and miss a fair amount of the clay you are trying to remove.  Which is why we recommend the Fine Bristle Linesman.  We have a fair number of customers that are “believers” in the Stiff Bristle Linesman – and choose that model each time, but when at a crossroads, we will most often recommend the Fine Bristle based on years of feedback and real world testing.

So there you have it – one of our most popular questions answered.