There are several options for removing water from the surface of a tennis court. One of the most frequently used tennis court drying tools is the squeegee roller. This T-shaped dryer is comprised of the handle, the roller frame and the roller. The handle and frame are made from hollow aluminum tubing. The roller portion is made from a sponge material, either Blue PVA foam or black nitrile rubber. The replacement roller can be purchased in either blue or black type. It may not be necessary to replace the complete unit every year if the handle and frame is in good condition.
The blue PVA rollers act like a sponge, to absorb water from the surface of the court. They must be wet to work. If they are not fully saturated before use, the blue PVA rollers will not have the ability to absorb water from the court. Because the blue PVA rollers expand when wet and contract when dry, they wear out faster than the black nitrile rubber rollers. If left in the sun all summer, they dry unevenly. The side of the roller exposed to sunlight shrinks faster than the side in the shade. Then, when you try to use them the next rainy season, they may roll unevenly leaving wet spots on the court because they are out of shape. The key is keeping them from getting baked in the sun and getting them really wet before use. Water removal rollers are like windscreens and netting. They have a lifespan, as they are all replaceable pieces of equipment. If you store rollers in The Roller HideAway, it can extend the life for another year or two.
Matt Morillo, the director at Spanish Bay has a feed trough ¾ full of water with a tablespoon of bleach to prevent algae growth. The night before it is supposed to rain, he will leave all the rollers in the trough. In the morning when he opens the club, he pulls them out and hangs them on the fence. This way, they are pre-saturated, ready to use when the members arrive.
The Black Miracle Dri Rollers work more like a blade style squeegee, pushing the water instead of absorbing it. There is no need to wet them first, because they can be used when they are dry. They do not absorb the water as well as the Blue PVA foam rollers. They are not as susceptible to shrinking and cracking as the Blue Miracle Dri Rollers.
A traditional squeegee with a replaceable rubber blade is the preferred way to quickly move standing water. Some tennis courts have “bird baths”, low spots which create puddles. The Shine Dry Court Squeegee is a blade style squeegee that comes in a box with one spare rubber blade. Assembly is required with a wrench and screwdriver and takes 30-40 minutes. There is an assembly diagram on the back of the box. Local customers may request assembly and delivery for an additional fee.
Sometimes our customers share photos and videos of products and techniques. Here is Jared Carstenn of the Kailua Racquet Club demonstrating the Shine Dry Court, which he calls “The Scraper”
We love hearing feedback about our products. If you have a photo, video or story to share, please let us know!
Use a 100′ tape measure and a smaller normal metal tape measure. You can put a hook on the end of your tape measure. This makes it easy to measure the long pieces, up to 60′ with one person.
Use a smaller tape measure, 16′ or 25′ for example, with a metal blade. These make it easy to measure the gate and transom, which is overhead.
First take time to make your diagram. Draw a map of the tennis courts on a clipboard to record the locations of the pieces of windscreens to order. This map will be used again during installation.
Start measurements at a corner of the the tennis court at the terminal post.
Determine Height. 10′ fences typically have 9′ screens. Custom length windscreens are generally sold in 6’ or 9’ heights or custom made to any height.
Begin height measurement “one fence diamond” from the top of the fence to allow for some exposed fence above the screen to attach. Allow at least one “fence diamond” exposed below the screen to attach screen and for air to flow. A 9′ screen on a 10′ fence will usually have one fence diamond above the screen and two or two and a half below the screen.
Measure lengths of screen “inside tension bar to inside tension bar”. This means that the windscreen will be installed between the tension bars, so the measurements start and stop just within inside, allowing up to one fence diamond exposed to attach.
Red line shows where windscreen will be installed, approximately 2″ inside tension bar.
If you measure from outside of the tension bars, you subtract 4″-6″ from each piece.
Panels of windscreen should be 60′ in length or less. It makes it easier to handle, and one piece gets damaged you only have to replace the damaged section. Most tennis courts are 60′ in width at the ends, by 120’ in length on the sides, so the sides can be made from two 60′ panels.
Measure gates and transoms. Like the other panels, the gates and transoms get measured inside tension bar to inside tension bar. The transom is the small piece above the gate. Tips
Pull all slack out of the tape measure.
It’s better you if measure the piece an inch too short than too long, to account for stretching or fabrication errors.
Where two screens meet side-by-side, there should be a pole. Starting and stopping measurements on a pole looks cleaner that having them meet at a random point on the fence. Remember to leave a 3″ gap between the pieces “one fence diamond” exposed, for the hardware to attach the screen.
MEASURE EVERY PIECE, Don’t assume that because the other side looks the same, it is the same as this side. Write down your measurements to the nearest inch. Don’t round off measurements.
Put a hook on the end of the tape measure, so you can hook it to the fence and don’t need a friend to hold the other end.
The foam grip is pre-installed on the handle bar. The J-Hooks, located at the top of the handle, allow the basket to be positioned in the upper position. When the basket is in the upper position, the ball mower can be used like a teaching cart, for feeding balls or practicing serves. This makes it easy to reach the balls, instead of bending over to reach into the basket each time to pick up a ball.
DH Distribution maintains a full inventory of all Playmate Ball Mowers, parts and accessories. See all thing related to Playmate Ball Mowers, here!
After rainy weather we notice an increased volume of calls about tennis balls jamming in ball machines. Wet tennis balls are usually the culprit, as wet balls cause ball jams. We would like to help first-time ball machine owners prevent ball jams. By taking a few of the following steps, ball jams can be kept to a minimum or completely eliminated. Of course the easiest way to avoid ball jams is to avoid using the ball machine when the court is wet. Water from the wet court is absorbed by the tennis balls. When the tennis balls are returned to the hopper of the ball machine they take all of that water with them into the moving parts of the machine.
The feed tray is the black disk with four holes. You can see it in the bottom of the hopper. (see photos below) The pitching wheels are two urethane wheels which spin very fast in opposite direction to throw the ball. The pitching wheels are designed to grip the tennis ball, compress it, and throw it. Although the urethane wheel is tacky, it cannot grip wet balls, and so the ball slips, gets stuck, and jiggles between the feed tray and the pitching wheels.
Normally the tennis balls fall through the feed tray, into the pitching wheels and are thrown out of the machine. Sometimes a ball can get compressed and wedged beneath the feed tray. This can be caused by a “dead ball”, a tennis ball that has lost its compression and it flat or squishy. When this occurs, the ball can be removed easily by removing the feed tray. To remove the feed tray, first take all the balls out of the hopper. Once the feed tray is exposed, use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the two screws in the center of the feed tray, careful to retain the lock washers. The feed tray will come off and the balls can be removed. There may be multiple balls in the space beneath the feed tray and resting above the pitching wheels. With your hand, reach inside the ball machine (with the machine turned off and unplugged) and roll the upper pitching wheel towards you to move jammed balls back up and out of the hopper. After all balls are removed, replace the feed tray by returning the two screws back into place.
The feed wire is a metal wire that prevents multiple balls from passing through the feed tray. If the feed wire becomes bent, then balls stack-up in the feed mechanism, and ball jams can occur.
Here is a photo of a bent feed wire. You can see that the feed wire is not above the center of the feed tray hole. It is bent away from the hole. This allows multiple balls to pass through the feed tray. You can see that one of these balls got stuck beneath the feed tray. This will have to be removed by taking out the two Phillips screws and temporarily removing the tray.
This is a photo of a bent feed wire
Here is a photo of a normal feed wire.
If the feed wire becomes bent we can replace it or in some cases it can be bent back into place.
Ball jams are avoidable. Remember to use dry balls that have some pressure left in them. Its OK to use older tennis balls, as long as they are not completely “dead”. Consider using few balls of better quality. Some users don’t fill the hopper to capacity. They may use less than 70 balls in the machine. This makes it easier to maintain a consistent batch of balls for use in the ball machine. If you live in a humid area, it is possible condensation can form on the balls in the hopper while the machine is stored overnight. If the ball machine is not used for long periods of time during the winter, remove the balls and store them separately. Many of our ball machine customers keep their machine in a shed. Rubbermaid makes small sheds which can be built directly on the tennis court. Vinyl covers are available from DH Distribution. For more information about sales or service of Playmate Tennis Ball Machines feel free to contact us.
One of our favorite pieces of equipment commonly seen on tennis courts is the teaching cart. The main purpose of the teaching cart is for storage and transport of large quantities of tennis balls. Often used by tennis teaching pros for feeding balls to their students, the teaching cart is a useful tool in many tennis teachers’ arsenal, and may be where teaching carts get their name.
Manufactured by several companies, there are a variety of styles of teaching cart. Some models have accessories and replacement parts available. Tennis pros can help their players stroke development by feeding a consistent shot to the player’s strike zone. Instead of the player practicing on a live ball, balls fed at the net from a teaching cart can be repeatable and predictable. Not everyone agrees that feeding balls from the net is such a good idea.
In Stan Oley’s article, “What are You Really Doing to Your Player if You are Feeding from the Net?”, Stan stresses the importance of teaching pros feeding balls from a ball machine. Stan says that the problem with feeding from the net is that it, “produces a one-dimensional player”. He states this because, “most tennis lessons involve an instructor standing at the net feeding a simple ground stroke to the player at the baseline, or the instructor standing at the baseline feeding a simple volley to the player at the net”. Stan makes a great analogy to golf in his article. He says that playing an entire match with a one dimensional forehand, “would be like playing 18 holes of golf with just your driver”! Stan’s article presents a good argument in favor of wheeling out the ball machine instead of the teaching cart, but we will let you read it and decide for yourself.
There are many pros who will agree that when it comes to storing and separating large numbers of balls, there is no equal to the teaching cart. Tennis pros frequently use different types of tennis balls and it is important that they do not get mixed. In one club there may be 10 or more pro’s who each use their teaching cart to manage and contain their own balls. Keeping Quick-Start (low compression) balls separate from regular balls is important. Cart Dividers are available, which insert into the cart to create two separate storage areas for tennis balls.
Hoag 350 cart divider
The HOAG 350 is a popular model of teaching cart. We sell this model more often then any others. It is very popular here in northern California. We try to have them available to our customers year-round. We keep them in-stock, along with accessories, such as; the ball divider, replacement wheels, replacement lid, and vinyl cover. It has a lower shelf that hold your racquet, training aids, sunblock, water bottle etc. The HOAG 350 requires some basic assembly. We offer assembly and delivery service. We will also ship the HOAG 350 via UPS in an un-assebled state.
The Gamma Folding Travel Cart & Bag holds 150 balls. The ball bag lifts out of cart and cart folds up. Carrying case included. Holds up to 150 balls.
These are good models for the pro who teaches at more than one location.
The SportsCart has a few key features. It is made of durable molded plastic and has a lockable lid. This allows for the tennis balls to be completely enclosed from the elements. This cart also comes with an optional umbrella holder. Hopper holds 500 balls. It has two large wheels and two multi-directional casters. There is also an option to have 4 casters. Although we have never seen this option, it looks like the large wheels would simply be replaced by two more casters. This model has a lower shelf. It is more expensive than the HOAG but has a higher capacity. It is favorable in some cliamtes whre rust is a problem because it is constructed of plastic. Available in black or green.
For more information about teaching carts (or any other court equipment, net, windscreen or ball machine) don’t hesitate to call Dave or Evan in the office (650) 563-9600 or email email@example.com
Mezes Park located on 1.67 Acres in Redwood City, on the corner of Warren and Standish Streets is a great place for tennis players, basketball players, adults and kids.
There are restrooms and picnic areas. The park features a play area, a basketball court and two courts with newly installed DH tennis nets. We call it “Tank Park” because there is a 16 ton M5 tank displayed near the playground and tennis courts. The M5 tank is “now quite rare, with only a dozen still existing,” according to the American Armoured Foundation. Armed with a 37mm cannon as well as two machine guns. It was powered by twin 16 cylinder engines and could hit 36 miles an hour with some drivers reporting that it could go over 45 mph. The M5 was outgunned in Europe but was used extensively against the Japanese. The earlier M3 was used during the battle of Bataan shortly after Pearl Harbor.
The DH Tennis.Net line of nets feature three different nets; The Regional, The Challenger, and The Ace. The tennis nets we installed at Mezes Park are Challenger models ($179). The Challenger tennis net is rugged yet professional. It is a tournament grade net featuring a heavy duty 3.0 millimeter polyethylene net body with UV resistant stitching, double mesh on the top six rows, a rugged poly-canvas headband, and is backed by our industry-leading 4 year warranty. DH Tennis Nets are tapered for safety. Fiberglass dowels included. Center straps are sold separately($9). Service calls to install a net include removal and disposal of the old net. ($145)
Next time you visit Mezes Park, check out the historical WWII era tank. For more information about tennis net installation service click here
Welcome to the DH Distribution blog. This is our first post! We look bringing you worthwhile content, like tennis news, product reviews, fitness and health topics, local events, and stories from our friends and colleagues. Be sure to bookmark www.dhtennis.net/blog, and check back often so you don’t miss any news.