Tennis surface options: clay, grass, or hard courts?


By now, you may be wondering about the differences between grass, clay, and hard court surfaces. You may actually be thinking about the extent to which they affect the performance of a player. This article is meant to help you know the best choice.

If you have a new court, you should be on the lookout for surfaces that will enhance your performance, not the outlook of the court in total. Generally, before you purchase a court surface, you should consider the:

  • Hardness
  • Speed, and
  • Maintenance requirements

That said, some of the options you can choose from include but are not limited to:

  1. Natural grass

This is a soft surface with a fast pace and high maintenance features. At Wimbledon, you will find natural grass courts because of the standard that comes with them. Every player has testified to the fast speed the court gives to them. After all, it is a wonderful experience to play on grass. Unfortunately, the natural grass courts in Canada are limited because such courts are not only hard to build but maintain as well. You can compare grass courts to golf courses. Like golf courses, they are maintained by weed control, fertilizing, and mowing. Thus, you should search for a professional tennis court construction firms if you want to build a grass court.

  1. Clay court

Also known as Har-Tru, this court has a soft surface with a slow pace but requires high maintenance. Unlike others, the ball bounces slower. As a result, the game is more controlled because of longer rallies and an assortment of strokes. If you must play tennis on Har-Tru, you need a combined talent of endurance and strategy.

In addition, there are many health benefits associated with Har-Tru. Players can slide into returns because of the presence of shock-absorbing cushion on the surface. While the skin is severely jarred on a hard surface, this soft surface will minimize the risk of an injury.

When the rain pours, the surface absorbs the droplets into its base. Due to the gentle slope of the surface, the moisture runs off into a reservoir.

With so many advantages, owning a Har-Tru is daunting due to the maintenance culture – annually, weekly, and daily. What keeps the surface moist and functional is water, thus water has to be applied to the surface regularly.

  1. Hard Court

To obtain a low maintenance hard court, the initially ‘hard court’ can be cushioned and doused in an acrylic paint finish. This also adds some form of resilience to the surface. This rubber version of the hard surface helps to limit the risk of an injury that is synonymous with hard surfaces. In some systems, a cushioned mat is laid on the hard surface (which can be made of asphalt or concrete). In other cushion systems, there may be a combination of:

  • 3 coats of heavy grade rubber granules, with
  • More than 3 coats of fine rubber granules

Because of the cushioning, there is a limit to the pace of play. But the lower the sand in the acrylic coating, the better. However, they hardly require any form of maintenance. All that is required is a blower or pressure clean as necessary.