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View Full Version : Build a wall to hit in my backyard?


limitup
05-15-2006, 06:06 PM
We are moving in about a year and I'm going to do everything I can to get enough land to squeeze in a real court. That would just be so awesome ...

In the meantime I was thinking of building a wall in my current backyard - has anyone done this? Due to my schedule I just can't get to the courts nearly as much as I want, but I work from home and there are plenty of times when I have 30 minutes of free time. I could see myself using it almost every day.

I am thinking I could hire someone to come out and lay a 30' x 50' concrete slab, then just build a wall out of bricks and lay some thin plywood over it. Paint it green with a white line going across and presto. Maybe design it somehow so that the wall leans away from the "court" a tiny bit to get a better bounce off the wall?

Doesn't seem like it could cost THAT much could it? The ground is relatively flat ... anyone have any idea how much it would cost for a slab? I don't even really care how long it lasts - I'll only be here another year. I don't have time to do it myself but I figure it couldn't cost more than 5-8k for a really nice one?

katastrof
05-15-2006, 07:37 PM
Having own tennnis wall? Sounds good to me. Let us know how it works out.

Bungalo Bill
05-15-2006, 07:39 PM
We are moving in about a year and I'm going to do everything I can to get enough land to squeeze in a real court. That would just be so awesome ...

In the meantime I was thinking of building a wall in my current backyard - has anyone done this? Due to my schedule I just can't get to the courts nearly as much as I want, but I work from home and there are plenty of times when I have 30 minutes of free time. I could see myself using it almost every day.

I am thinking I could hire someone to come out and lay a 30' x 50' concrete slab, then just build a wall out of bricks and lay some thin plywood over it. Paint it green with a white line going across and presto. Maybe design it somehow so that the wall leans away from the "court" a tiny bit to get a better bounce off the wall?

Doesn't seem like it could cost THAT much could it? The ground is relatively flat ... anyone have any idea how much it would cost for a slab? I don't even really care how long it lasts - I'll only be here another year. I don't have time to do it myself but I figure it couldn't cost more than 5-8k for a really nice one?

Where are you moving too? We have a big enough back yard for a paddle tennis court and then some.

Rickson
05-15-2006, 09:30 PM
We are moving in about a year and I'm going to do everything I can to get enough land to squeeze in a real court. That would just be so awesome ...

In the meantime I was thinking of building a wall in my current backyard - has anyone done this? Due to my schedule I just can't get to the courts nearly as much as I want, but I work from home and there are plenty of times when I have 30 minutes of free time. I could see myself using it almost every day.

I am thinking I could hire someone to come out and lay a 30' x 50' concrete slab, then just build a wall out of bricks and lay some thin plywood over it. Paint it green with a white line going across and presto. Maybe design it somehow so that the wall leans away from the "court" a tiny bit to get a better bounce off the wall?

Doesn't seem like it could cost THAT much could it? The ground is relatively flat ... anyone have any idea how much it would cost for a slab? I don't even really care how long it lasts - I'll only be here another year. I don't have time to do it myself but I figure it couldn't cost more than 5-8k for a really nice one?
Build a wall? You can buy a tennis backboard for much cheaper than building a wall and even cheaper than that would be going to your local park and hitting against a handball wall.

limitup
05-15-2006, 09:51 PM
I hadn't given much thought to the type of wall, but my first thought was concrete blocks and you can actually build a wall out of concrete blocks (CMUs) for equal to or less than the cost of a good backboard.

A high-quality 8'x20' backboard will run you at least $1500+ and I already have a bid to build an 8'x20' wall out of 4" concrete blocks for $1400, which includes a layer of plywood over it and each block filled with sand.

I was also thinking that a concrete wall would be a lot more solid too, and yield a faster bounce/return.

The courts I play at have "standard" backboards and the bounce off of them is not great. It's almost impossible to stand 30-40 feet away, hit at normal pace, and get the ball back to hit again on one bounce. Maybe they are crappy backboards and that's not normal, I don't know. But most backboards are only 2-3" thick and nowhere near as heavy or solid as a sand filled concrete block wall would be. Right??

The bulk of the cost is obviously the concrete slab I need to go with it.

Due to my schedule I just can't make it to the courts as much as I would like. I work from home though and there are plenty of times when I have 30 minutes of free time. I could hit a lot of balls in 30 minutes if I had a wall at home, whereas I can't drive to the court, hit balls and get back home in 30 minutes. If I had a wall in my backyard I think I'd use it every day ...

shindemac
05-15-2006, 10:15 PM
Get a basketball hoop.

katastrof
05-15-2006, 10:35 PM
Get a basketball hoop.
?:confused: ?
How about a baseball cage? Or even better, a Sumo circle?

RiosTheGenius
05-15-2006, 10:52 PM
my friend has an in-ground pool in his backyard.... after the summer he empties it out and hits the ball against the deep end wall of the pool.... it's awesome as the ball sounds great in there.

you might want to consider the sumo circle idea too... i can see that being fun

as for your idea... I don't know about the thin wood you were talking about.... just concrete should be fine.

sandiegotennisboy
05-15-2006, 11:54 PM
build it already. the money doesnt seem to be an issue anyway.

papa
05-16-2006, 04:59 AM
Build a wall? You can buy a tennis backboard for much cheaper than building a wall and even cheaper than that would be going to your local park and hitting against a handball wall.

Yeah, I agree here. Although you can build a wall or buy one there are several other factors involved. Walls have to be higher and wider than most think - there are designs available along with pre-made jobs but they aren't cheap. Space is a also big factor.

Bungalo Bill
05-16-2006, 06:33 AM
I hadn't given much thought to the type of wall, but my first thought was concrete blocks and you can actually build a wall out of concrete blocks (CMUs) for equal to or less than the cost of a good backboard.

I dont know, sounds like junk. Why spend the money on the same kind of wall you can find in public facilities.

A high-quality 8'x20' backboard will run you at least $1500+ and I already have a bid to build an 8'x20' wall out of 4" concrete blocks for $1400, which includes a layer of plywood over it and each block filled with sand.

Have you looked into the TRU-Bounce walls? The concave walls that actually give a more realistic bounce back towards you????

limitup
05-16-2006, 07:01 AM
Why spend the money on the same kind of wall you can find in public facilities.

Public facilities are not really an option as far as the wall is concerned. I would be building the wall so I could hit against it every day in my backyard for 30 minutes or so. Almost every day I have at least 30 minutes of free time during the day (I work from home). Unfortunately that is not enough time to get in the car, drive to a wall, find parking, hit some balls, and then drive home. So basically it would be the difference between going to the courts 2-3 times per week or doing that plus hitting in my backyard 5+ times a week.

Have you looked into the TRU-Bounce walls?

Something like this?

http://www.oncourtoffcourt.com/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=40&idproduct=41

I've never heard of Tru-Bounce and I don't see anything when I google it??

marcl65
05-16-2006, 07:04 AM
I dont know, sounds like junk. Why spend the money on the same kind of wall you can find in public facilities.
Outdoor handball courts or "ball walls" seem to have gone out of style in my area. They were everywhere (grades K-12) when I was growing up but none of the new schools seem to have them. I was surprised at how long it took me to even find a suitable building to hit against.

Bungalo Bill
05-16-2006, 07:15 AM
Outdoor handball courts or "ball walls" seem to have gone out of style in my area. They were everywhere (grades K-12) when I was growing up but none of the new schools seem to have them. I was surprised at how long it took me to even find a suitable building to hit against.

True as far as elementary schools. But there are still plenty of high schools in your neck of the woods with backboards or walls. I know where I used to live in the Irvine area a lot of high schools had walls to hit against.

treo
05-16-2006, 07:46 AM
When looking to buy a house, look for one with a carport with a back wall on it. I use mine as a backboard. The roof prevents practicing overheads though.

marcl65
05-16-2006, 11:24 AM
True as far as elementary schools. But there are still plenty of high schools in your neck of the woods with backboards or walls. I know where I used to live in the Irvine area a lot of high schools had walls to hit against.
Oddly enough, not in my town (Temecula, Calif.) - I've asked a bunch of people and even drove around to the different schools to look for myself. Of the three high schools, all of which have a tennis team, none have a ball wall/racquet ball court. I'm sure there might be one in the next town over but who wants to drive 15-20 miles just to hit against a wall?

A friend of mine who owns his own construction company and does a lot of work for the school district told me that they (the walls) are expensive to the point where schools don't want to pay for them.

Bungalo Bill
05-16-2006, 02:18 PM
Oddly enough, not in my town (Temecula, Calif.) - I've asked a bunch of people and even drove around to the different schools to look for myself. Of the three high schools, all of which have a tennis team, none have a ball wall/racquet ball court. I'm sure there might be one in the next town over but who wants to drive 15-20 miles just to hit against a wall?

A friend of mine who owns his own construction company and does a lot of work for the school district told me that they (the walls) are expensive to the point where schools don't want to pay for them.

But you are in frickin Temecula! What do you expect. ;)

marcl65
05-16-2006, 02:25 PM
But you are in frickin Temecula! What do you expect. ;)
LOL! Yeah, okie penokie-ville in the heart of California. :mrgreen:

limitup
05-16-2006, 08:26 PM
they (the walls) are expensive to the point where schools don't want to pay for them.

Yeah a good one (such as Bokka, SportWall, etc.) will easily run $1500-2500+ depending on the size you want. Brick is also pretty expensive, and if you just use wood they won't last very long at all.

Bungalo Bill
05-16-2006, 09:17 PM
Yeah a good one (such as Bokka, SportWall, etc.) will easily run $1500-2500+ depending on the size you want. Brick is also pretty expensive, and if you just use wood they won't last very long at all.

They are expensive. But you need to weigh out the cost to the benefits.

First, you are using a wall to practice. This means you are trying to get better. The bounce from flat walls is minimal in providing you a true bounce. The ball goes down and lands shorter and shorter. It is not a natural or normal bounce you would get when you hit with a partner. The ball bounce from the wall does not come at you as much.

If you aren't going to get a Tru bounce wall at least consider angling the wall so the ball bounces up off the wall more instead of downward. You can do some research on what degree the slant is for the tru-bounce walls and go from there.

limitup
05-16-2006, 09:55 PM
Is Tru-Bounce a brand name? I can't find any info on it?? Or are you using the term to refer to backboards that are curved on the edges?

I spoke to someone at SportsWall today. They said they have been in business for 15 years and have expiremented to the ends of the earth. They say that in their opinion a simple angle of 5 degrees yields the best/most realistic bounce off the wall.

Bungalo Bill
05-17-2006, 07:31 AM
They say that in their opinion a simple angle of 5 degrees yields the best/most realistic bounce off the wall.

There you go! Five degrees. Nearly all backboards are made incorrectly regarding angle. They are too flat. A simple five degrees will yield much improved results and a lifelong enjoyment of hitting against a wall.

I would continue researching this but position your question innocently and correctly to the manufacturers of backboards. Something like "I am thinking of purchasing your wall and I am comparing the angle you recommend for your backboards and why if different then Brand X." Something like that, you're a smart guy, you will figure out what to say.

But that angle is EXTREMELY important no matter what kind of wall you choose to buy or build.

I don't think "tru-bounce" is a brand name. For some reason or another, I remember seeing it or I simply made it up! LOL

Look at the options. Here is some other research that might provide a different opinion or support what you find.

http://www.rallymasterbackboards.com/competitor.htm

bkc
05-18-2006, 08:28 AM
I built one a couple years ago. Using it even more now!

datsveryinterestin
05-18-2006, 01:32 PM
Build It.... And They Will Come!!!!!!

you can have your very own court of dreams. A bunch of old pros will show up, and maybe your father who passed away will show up with his wooden racquet to play doubles with you against Emerson and Tilden. Sniff, makes me tear up just thinking about it.

limitup
05-18-2006, 04:46 PM
Uh, OK thanks.

MaxT
06-29-2006, 10:25 AM
The commercial ones are not tall. The wall in my park is two stories high. I use it to practice lob and heavy looper.

limitup
06-29-2006, 10:28 AM
Well my Bakko backboard was finally delivered today so I just need to set it up now. I'll post a pic when I'm done. This is going to rock.

Bolt
06-29-2006, 10:37 AM
Well my Bakko backboard was finally delivered today so I just need to set it up now. I'll post a pic when I'm done. This is going to rock.

Sweet! I can't wait to see what it looks like.

papa
06-29-2006, 04:01 PM
For those still considering building their own wall, I did see a hitting wall that wasn't bad - actually, I hit against it and was somewhat surprised.

Basically, it was rather simple and consisted of three 6" x 6" post which extended a little over 8' above the ground -- so assuming they were anchored in concrete I would imagine they were 10' long. They were spaced 8' apart - so the total distance was 16'. Then 2' x 4" were beveled into the post running parrallel to the ground - every two feet -- five in total, all of them 16' long so they basically connected all three posts.

1" plywood (might have been a little thinner but looked pretty thick) - 4 sheets, were then attached to the framework.

It would have been to heavy to assemble the thing and then raise it into place so I would think they built it piece by piece. Actually, its rather simple and strong.

Now, in this particular arrancement, they also have a net arrangement in back that hangs from posts (maybe spaced 8 feet apart and 12-14 feet high) like you would find with chain link fencing - about that diameter. The net simply looked like it had rings that fit over the metal posts which somehow were fastened to the net and simple ropes that allowed the net to be taken either up or down.

I've made the thing sound more complicated than it actually is but it seemed to work well.

Kinda clever and although the one I saw was at a school, I'm sure it didn't cost that much for materials.

limitup
06-29-2006, 04:30 PM
The Bakko board is SOLID. This ain't your standard plywood wall I'll tell you that. And the ball bounces really well off of it. Honestly better than any wall I've ever hit against. Many if not most courts with walls use Bakko boards, but usually the cheaper ones. This one is incredible. It cost a small fortune but they last forever and I'll definitely get my moneys worth.

I got the single curved board so balls hit low bounce back higher, and high ones bounce back lower than they otherwise would. It's 5 4' panels, so a total of 20' wide and 10' high. Each panel weighs around 150 lbs. The instructions say 3-4 hours to set it up with 2 people. All my buddies were at work today so I did it solo - what a workout. It probably took me a good 5-6 hours. And I have a match in an hour. I'm in trouble!

I still need to do a few more things in the morning then I'll snap a few pics.

sdslyout
06-30-2006, 01:53 PM
I built a wall in my driveway . Use 2, 1/2 inch thick pieces of plywood. any grade will work. Each piece of plywood is 4x8 feet and with 2 pieces you end up with 8x8 wall. 8 feet wide and 8 feet tall. Now on my wall i used 1 piece of 3/4 inch plywood 4x8 and that is in the middle behind the 2 1/2 inch pieces. the 3 pieces are screwed together. make the holes for the screws receased so the surface will be flat. I also used 2x4's along each edge , top and sides to keep the whole thing ridgid . i must have used a whole box of drywall screws, so 1 pound of screws and the whole thing is heavy, solid and ridgid . Now to secure it to something ? Me , i placed the wall against a wooden fence that is between me and next door and just screwed the wall to the fence. I also installed 4 handles 2 a-side for something to be able to grab on too . If your not a good shot balls will go flying all over the place, but using my wall has made me a much better shot.

papa
06-30-2006, 04:17 PM
Me , i placed the wall against a wooden fence that is between me and next door and just screwed the wall to the fence.

Sounds good - hope your next door neighbor doesn't mind mowing tennis balls which is kinda special in itself. The other thing is with the handles you have yourself a ready made raft which in parts of this country might come in handy.

limitup
07-07-2006, 08:51 PM
Here's a pic of my new setup - a 30x50 slab with a killer 20' Bakko backboard. We still need to lay down some type of finish on the slab because they polished the concrete a lot and it's a little slippery, but my friend and I are having a blast practicing on it...

http://www.extremecorals.com/images/wall.gif

Thom Zajac
07-18-2006, 08:43 AM
I have a big yard- not quite big enough for a court. What I'd like to know is; has anyone ever built a singles 'half-court' with a backboard placed just on the other side of the net, complete with all the necessary court lines? I'm thinking of making the backboard 32' wide and 11' feet tall (8 sheets of 4x8 marine grade plywood with the bottom three feet off the ground). The 5% upward angle sounds good. Any other suggestions?

limitup
07-18-2006, 08:53 AM
Sure, you'd just need to make your slab a little bigger. I would say about 35x55 which is just a little bigger than mine. For a few extra bucks I'd probably make it at least 60-65 deep to give you plenty of room behind the baseline.

mules_tennis_rip
07-18-2006, 10:53 AM
Here's a pic of my new setup - a 30x50 slab with a killer 20' Bakko backboard. We still need to lay down some type of finish on the slab because they polished the concrete a lot and it's a little slippery, but my friend and I are having a blast practicing on it...

http://www.extremecorals.com/images/wall.gif

great topic., looks like a nice set up...i am actually mulling over this very question...actually my dream is my own court (we have plenty of room) our house resides on 10 acres...$ is the issue of course...maybe one day

my driveway is very large and I'd like to construct a portable wall somehow

sdslyout
07-19-2006, 08:32 AM
My wall , (backboard ) was way cheap in materials and real easy to build, is very solid and has paid for it self many times over . i painted it like a tennis court, a very wierd , perspective . the tape line for the net is the correct height, but all the way across. the really only bad thing is that the tennis balls get greasy from the oil on the ground. ,,,, yeah , my ghetto tennis wall , i love it .

i have a picture , but i don't know how to insert it, help !

looseswing
07-19-2006, 08:49 AM
Why do you have oil on the ground?

Oh and to post a pic just click on "go advanced" in the "post quick reply box" and look at the buttons; there should be one to upload your picture.

Redflea
07-19-2006, 03:32 PM
Oddly enough, not in my town (Temecula, Calif.) - I've asked a bunch of people and even drove around to the different schools to look for myself. Of the three high schools, all of which have a tennis team, none have a ball wall/racquet ball court. I'm sure there might be one in the next town over but who wants to drive 15-20 miles just to hit against a wall?

A friend of mine who owns his own construction company and does a lot of work for the school district told me that they (the walls) are expensive to the point where schools don't want to pay for them.

Check out the elementary schools (and maybe middle schools)...elementary schools almost always have handball courts (for the big red playground balls) that work very well as a hitting wall for tennis...

Bungalo Bill
07-19-2006, 04:10 PM
Sorry I meant for my question to be to Limitup...

Limitup, I would like to know if this is the Bakko wall I suggested that is angled. If so, what are your likes and dislikes. Is it providing you with a realistic bounce?

sdslyout
07-19-2006, 04:43 PM
The balls get oil on them because the wall is setup in the driveway.


c:/pictures/tenniswall1

Guilo
07-04-2014, 06:54 PM
any ideas/tips how to make that one?

I have a spot on a public court (and permission) to make 2nd wall. I wanted to make angled one.

http://www.google.com/patents/US4373720

Curiosity
07-04-2014, 07:59 PM
We are moving in about a year and I'm going to do everything I can to get enough land to squeeze in a real court. That would just be so awesome .........

In the meantime I was thinking of building a wall in my current backyard - ............

The wall and slab could knock much more than 3,000 off the value of the house that you're going to sell in....a year.

Pro_Tour_630
07-06-2014, 04:52 AM
get a bungee net 10X20 $1000

SystemicAnomaly
07-06-2014, 07:12 AM
A wall with 15 degrees (or more?) of slant would be better than a vertical wall. This will provide a more natural return of the ball -- the ball would come off the wall at an upward angle more often. With a vertical wall, the ball always drops after hitting the wall. Another possibility is to go with a parabolic tennis wall.

http://tenniswall.fm.interia.pl/source.html
http://tenniswall.fm.interia.pl/fprofil.jpg

NLBwell
07-06-2014, 07:37 PM
I just cleaned a bunch of stuff out of my basement and hit against the basement wall. It wasn't a full court but helped my volleys, half-volleys, and serve return.

GuyClinch
07-07-2014, 12:24 AM
I am not sure why this thread is back.. But IMHO buy a Dunlop speedball (a foam ball that is the correct weight but bounces well) and use that wherever if it means that or lowering the value of your house..