The type of net you choose depends on the frequency of use, the length of your playing season, and the type of court surface. Courts with heavy usage and/or long-playing seasons need a net that will last and look good over extended periods of time.
What are Tennis Nets Made of?
The best tennis nets are made of braided net cord material and typically have double the mesh at the top 6 rows, side pockets for fiberglass dowels (that help hold the net taut), and vinyl-coated steel cables.
Choosing a Tennis Court Net – Braiding
Braided nets are better than twisted ones because they’re stronger and absorb more energy. When a ball hits the net it drops closer to the net instead of rebounding off it. Polyethylene and polyester make good net materials because they are resistant to fading from UV radiation and weather well. The type of court surface as well as personal preference dictates which headband is appropriate. Headbands are usually vinyl or polyester duck, often with double layers and 4 rows of lock stitching to hold the layers together. Nets with polyester duck headbands are better for hard courts than for soft courts, where surface material can easily stick to and stain the fabric. Vinyl headbands are more common on soft courts because they’re easier to clean and more dirt resistant. However, balls can tend to skid wildly off vinyl headbands, which is less likely with a duck headband because the duck material absorbs the ball’s energy and doesn’t speed up the ball.
Choosing a Tennis Court Net – Quality
Reading through tennis net suppliers’ literature can be very confusing. It seems that very few net specs really match up, and so it is impossible to compare apples to apples. People usually try to compare the diameter or thickness of the yarn used (2.8mm, 3mm, 3.5mm, or 4mm). But even this comparison is difficult at best and misleading at worst since there is no accepted industry standard for measuring yarn diameter, and trying to actually measure each brand yields many different diameters. Therefore, you simply cannot come up with an apples-to-apples comparison. But there are other elements that are inherent in a quality net. For example, an important consideration when talking about the diameter of net yarn is whether it is a solid core yarn or a non-core yarn. Solid core yarns are stronger and stretch less than non-core yarns, making them look and wear better over time.
Choosing a Tennis Court Net – Durability
Durability translates into better-looking nets and superior tennis courts. Vinyl headbands and wider, non-glare sidebands are sewn folded under to provide an asymmetric look and prevent fraying. Net bodies have smaller mesh sizes and tight heat-set knots to prevent slippage. Many models have wider bottom bands sewn folded under. Exclusive flexi-loop on cable simplifies installation and prolongs cable life.
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