Tennis Net Posts Explained
Tennis net posts buying options and installation tips
Tennis nets may need to be changed frequently but the posts should last much longer, making the choice of the right post even more important. You must also ensure that the posts are installed correctly so that they last longer.
Types of tennis net posts
Tennis net posts are made from wood, steel and aluminium. Wooden posts are really only used for nostalgic reasons and at Wimbledon. Steel posts are still used and have been popular for years. However, steel can deteriorate. Most modern net posts are made from aluminium which is naturally rust-free and lighter than steel. This makes post removal and storage easier which is helpful particularly if a court is in shared use with other activities.
Net post colour
For an overall coordinated look of your tennis court, opt for a net post colour that matches your fencing, light poles and windscreens. Dark green and silver are the most popular colours.
Tennis net post winder systems
Older net posts rely on external winder tension mechanisms. They can be a hazard to players and should not be installed anymore. Internal winder systems originally came with an external handle. These systems are still popular, but the protruding crank handle can be dangerous for players. Exposed crank handles are very tempting for children, vandals and passer-bys who may over-tighten the net cable, causing expensive damage to the posts and footings.
The latest tennis net posts are designed with an internal winder mechanism that is operated with an internal crank system hidden inside the post. Access to it is through the top of the post. The post lid flips open to give access to a wrench or tool operated winder mechanism. The clean and professional look of this system has made it the standard system throughout Europe.
Net post footings
Net posts can be installed permanently. However the more popular installation method is with the use of ground sleeves. This allows for easy net post removal over the winter and for post replacement in case of damage. It also allows for multi-use of the tennis court.
When opting for removable installation, make sure to purchase the ground sleeves and lids from your post manufacturer to ensure compatible fit. Ground sleeve lids will come in handy to cover the sleeve opening when the post is removed in winter or when the court is used for other games.
Net posts are really only as good as the installation footings. A net post footing needs to withstand frost and resist movement when the net is tensioned. Also it must not cause cracks in the court surface when installed in hard court surfaces.
Ground sleeves with flat sides provide higher lateral ground support under tension. Therefore square posts with square ground sleeves are generally more stable. However, on a hard court round posts with round ground sleeves can be preferable because they are less likely to cause the developing of radiating cracks in the court surface.
Post and net installation
The single most important point in tennis net installation is to never over-tension the net cable. This will damage the posts, footings and court surface. Neatly lace the net along the full height of the post using the lacing rods. This avoids stress points in the net which would cause net breakage over time. And of course, don’t forget to check that the net is installed to the correct height both at the post and at the center strap.
We recommend aluminium posts especially if your posts might require frequent removal on a shared or multi-use court. An internal winder mechanism with hidden crank makes tampering with the net cable impossible and will give your court a sleek, modern look.
Round posts are preferred for hard courts as round ground sockets are less likely to trigger surface cracks. Square posts are preferred for all other court type as they withstand stronger sideways force from tensioning the net.
Replacing posts and nets is a fairly inexpensive makeover that will make a difference to the look and feel of your court. Purchase safe, modern tennis net posts directly from our online shop here: shop.tenniscourtsupplies.co.uk We offer a selection of designs, shapes and colours.
Please email us with any tennis equipment questions you may have.