Clay tennis courts are on the rise in Northern California. The unique surface allows players to slide into their returns, preventing hard stops that may agitate joints, making for a healthier playing life. Clay courts are also ready to play on sooner than regular hard courts after rain fall because the surface absorbs the water. Many professional tennis players train on clay courts to help them develop a complete all-court game.
HAR-TRU SURFACE CHOICES
HAR-TRU GREEN CLAY
Har-Tru is made from billion-year-old Pre-Cambrian metabasalt found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It is a natural green stone that is extremely hard and angular, two very important qualities when it comes to tennis court construction. The angularity helps the stone particles lock together to form a stable playing surface. The hardness provides exceptional durability. The natural green color is classically clay and instantly recognizable. The stone is crushed, screened, and mixed in the precise proportions necessary to produce a stable playing surface. It is then installed over a porous base of crushed stone aggregate to produce the final product.
AMERICAN RED CLAY
Har-Tru’s American Red Clay is composed of red stone and brick dust combined in a time-tested formula to produce exceptional playability and a beautiful deep burgundy red. While American Red Clay provides the rich color many people long for, it does so in a formula that behaves more like Har-Tru. This means simpler maintenance and very consistent playability. American Red is formulated specifically for installation with HydroCourt sub-surface irrigation. American Red typically has a greater amount of loose top dressing than a green Har-Tru court and consequently plays a bit slower.
ALL-WEATHER CLAY / CLAYTECH
ClayTech is an artificial clay court that more closely replicates real clay than anything else on the market. It also requires the least maintenance of any clay court on the market. ClayTech is composed of a quarter-inch polypropylene membrane that gets glued down to an existing hard surface and in-filled with Har-Tru or European brick dust, giving it the look and feel of a real clay or Har-Tru court. Specialized line filler is used to create permanent playing lines that require only occasional freshening. Material can be added to taste on an as-needed basis. Its unique construct makes it a court that you can walk away from for six months but have up and running again in less than one hour. Its low maintenance and minimal water requirements also make ClayTech ideal for an indoor clay court.
EUROPEAN RED CLAY
This rich red product leaves its mark in a way no other surface can. Not just on the clothes and the ball but in the heart of a tennis player. European Red is ideal for top-dressing existing real clay courts and covering red ClayTech courts. It has also been used as a cap on top of existing Har-Tru courts to seal off the green and leave the fiery red/orange finish on display. The product is produced from crushed bricks and is imported in 55 lb. bags.
Above Ground Irrigation
A Har-Tru court requires water to remain compacted and stable. Water can be added to a court with an above ground or sub-surface irrigation system.
Har-Tru tennis courts require water for proper maintenance. The watering cycle should begin as soon as feasible after play ends for the day. Watering as early as possible allows maximum time for the surface water to disperse before the courts are opened in the morning.
Har-Tru courts need as much water as it takes to “flood” the courts daily. Flooding is defined as having water stand on the entire court area. Water from the areas that receive the most water from the sprinkler heads must flood into areas that receive less water until the whole area is covered or flooded. Water needs to drain through the Har-Tru surface and penetrate the base material. The moisture is stored in the base until the surface begins to dry out. Once the surface begins to dry out, evaporation will pull the moisture from the base up into the Har-Tru surface to keep it moist.
Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. is an expert in sprinkler systems for above ground irrigated Har-Tru courts. Har-Tru tennis courts need a properly designed sprinkler system in order to maintain adequate court moisture levels. An efficient sprinkler system includes:
- Proper design
- Adequate water pressure
- Adequate water supply
- Proper size and type of pipe, sprinkler heads and nozzles
- Proper solenoid valves and controller
Hydrocourt Subsurface Irrigation
HydroCourt is a self-regulating irrigation system that waters the court from below. Each court is constructed with six, fully lined, individually controlled cells. Each cell is monitored by a water control box allowing adjustments to be fine tuned to player preferences. Increasing the water in the control boxes increases the water level in the court. Once the appropriate water level is achieved a float valve and an overflow pipe inside the control box keep the water level constant. It’s that simple!
HydroCourt is time tested in great numbers all across the globe. Well over 1,000 courts have been installed since 1985 in the US alone. And the HydroCourt system has been proven in every climate imaginable including countries like Canada, England, France, Japan, Qatar, Spain, Tortola, Turkey and more.
Why do people choose HydroCourt?
- Perfect Playing Conditions 24/7. HydroCourts stay uniformly wet, smooth and firm for a consistent bounce and exceptional footing.
- More available court time. HydroCourt technology eliminates midday shut downs and improves drainage. HydroCourts are playable during light rain and dry rapidly after a heavy one.
- Maintenance is cut in half. Rolling is needed infrequently, brushing is required once a day and watering is completed automatically and uses 40% less.
- Comfort. With water rising from below, some people feel like HydroCourts are air conditioned; they can be as much as 20 degrees cooler than a hard court.