Recovering from lots of tennis and training

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by limitup, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    So I'm approaching the big 4-0 and my body just doesn't recover like it used to (yes LEGS I'm talking about you!) I play tennis 4-5 times a week, plus I workout 4-5 times a week, and it just seems like I'm always sore.

    I'm pretty fit, I eat a healthy diet and I get plenty of sleep every night.

    Short of popping ibuprofen every day, is there anything a guy like me can do to recover better/faster and just be less sore overall? Any supplements or anything like that?

    Fortunately/unfortunately I play year round here in sunny San Diego. Will I just have to eventually reduce my overall court time? Would I benefit from some type of "forced" off season where I take little periodic breaks from playing or something like that?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
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  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Ibuprofen don't help you recover. It's an anti-inflammatory drug which helps control inflammatory responses and help with healing after an initial injury.

    In your case, ibuprofen will simply shut down your body's natural alarm to an injury, giving you the false sense of being a marathon man. It could be dangerous because you can easily over-stress your muscles without knowing so.

    Live with it, at 40, you're just not going to recover like before.
     
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  3. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Dont workout so much. I would drop that down to 3 times a week max and do 30 minutes workouts. I think you are doing too much, and I am the king of that.
     
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  4. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I'm older than you, so I feel your pain. Besides the usual supplements (vitamins, minerals, omega 3's, antioxidants, etc.) and Ibuprofen before a match, I also use these:

    Zyflamend (herbal complex for joints and tendons)
    http://www.vitamin-discounts.com/products/new-chapter-zyflamend-whole-body-60sg-900606/

    Flexable (joint complex with Collagen and Glucosamine)
    http://www.vitamin-discounts.com/products/country-life-flexable-advanced-90c-300557/

    Xtend (BCAA's I take during a match)
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/sv/xtend.html

    I've listed them in order of priority. I can feel a difference when I don't take my joint supplements. I also eat protein after a match, either a meal or a protein shake. I stock both whey protein and vegetable protein. Which one I take depends on how my pH is doing. The vegetable protein raises pH. I monitor my pH regularly with pH paper to make sure I'll be at 7.0 or higher before bedtime. I find it really makes a difference.
     
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  5. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Unfortunately, not a lot we can do about age. What are you doing for your non-tennis workouts? Maybe there is way for you to lessen the "impact" of these workouts on your legs? Try swimming. It's a great aerobic and resistance workout without impact. Also, if you're not already, try and play on Har-Tru as much as possible if it's available. Lastly, ice is your friend. If you're really sore, try an ice bath or cold plunge. It's not fun, but can be effective for recovery from soreness and aches/pains.
     
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  6. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    You will have to incorporate some time off to let your body heal.

    Like you, I had a "more workout is better" mentality. A friend in college who had a swimming scholarship first introduced me to the concept of rest. It was shocking at the time that his coaches absolutely forced rest on the team members for a few weeks a year to let the body recover.
    But if you are serious about your sport (and you certainly seem to be) then planning some rest in is essential.

    [​IMG]

    Check out the USTA's free easy-to-read downloadable booklet, Recovery in Tennis: http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/dps...ence/RECOVERY PROJECT 22410 EMAIL VERSION.pdf

    If you really love information, check out the 400 page free USTA Tennis Recovery: A Comprehensive Review of the Research http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/dps/usta_master/sitecore_usta/RECOVERY PROJECT FINAL.pdf
     
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  7. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    Thanks for the replies all.

    charliefederer, you never cease to amaze me with your detailed resources and links lol
     
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  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I'm trying to take some longer vacations this year where I don't play tennis to test out this brand new concept to me called "rest". :)
     
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  9. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    One thing I'm going to try is never playing more than 2 days in a row i.e. play Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday for example (I rarely play on weekends due to family "stuff").

    I don't always get to eat within an hour of training or playing a match, and I've always known this is important, so I will also make this a priority going forward.

    I think another part of my problem is that I'm still trying to lose a little more weight, so on average I'm running on a small caloric deficit every day. I assume this isn't ideal for recovery.

    I have no problem maintaining weight, so maybe I'm better off taking 2-4 weeks off of tennis, focus on losing the 10 more pounds I want to get rid of, then resuming tennis once I'm at my target weight. Or just live with the extra 10 lbs of flab and start eating a little more now lol
     
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  10. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I take a rest period after every season of league play. It's not that I shut down and go without any exercise, but I'll do a light cross training workout in lieu of my tennis for 7-10 days.

    Here are examples of how I switch it up from high impact to low impact...

    Tennis match becomes----> 30 minute Bike ride
    Weights become------> 20 minutes of Swimming
    Running intervals becomes -----> Walk the dog once more per day

    Usually there will be one day in there when I do absolutely nothing. On that day, I still take time to thoroughly stretch. I also am cognizant of my diet during these periods as I'm not exerting myself enough to burn hundreds of extra calories per day. So, I'll skip dessert and focus on consuming smaller portions and eating slower.

    Then, 2-3 weeks before leagues start, I'll play once or twice per week and ease myself back into weights and running. By the time matches start back up, I'm running twice, playing three times, and lifting three times per week.
     
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  11. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    That's part of my "problem" - I don't play in seasons or leagues at the moment so I have no scheduled "off season". I just play really competitive matches with 2 different guys, and I generally play both guys twice a week. Then I also hit more casually 1-2 times a week with other people, my wife, etc.
     
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  12. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Well, a season for me goes about 10 weeks. If you play hard for 10 weeks, take a week off to recover and try some low impact activities. Even pros do this with their schedules on tour.

    It would probably make sense to coincide your breaks with family vacations. Then, you just spend more time with your family while giving your body a break...and no one will even know that you're doing family things as a way to improve your tennis.:wink:
     
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  13. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    Yeah, I just wonder the best way to do this. Should I just go by how I feel, or should I take a forced 1 week break automatically every 8 weeks, or some other number of weeks? I haven't been able to find much on this as it relates to competitive adult athletes. All the USTA stuff seems to be for juniors ...

    On a related note, anyone know where or how to get the above referenced "USTA Tennis Recovery: A Comprehensive Review of the Research" in printed form? I'd love to read it but I can't read 400 pages online and I'd rather not print out 400 pages if I can buy it somewhere. Thanks!
     
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  14. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I'd force the time off. Schedule something to do out of town or something and don't take your racquets.
     
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  15. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    If you insist on exercising hard on consecutive days, make sure you're not working the same parts of the body. For example, you could do a hard tennis match one day, swimming or bicycling the next. light stroking practice to improve your racket technique followed by weight training the third day, then repeat. With a day of rest on the seventh.
     
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  16. sixftlion

    sixftlion Rookie

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    I'm 47 and I play tennis about 6 days a week. Some weeks even 7 days if some practices were less intense. I workout maybe 2-4 times per week, after my tennis practice, 30-60 minutes, depending how intense the tennis was. I kind of go with a flow, strengthen what needs to be strengthened and corrected, don't beat up more on what is already tired from playing.

    I do listen to my body pretty well. When I start feeling beat up, I take a complete day off (like today :) ). I only walked 5 miles with my dog, and the rest of the day is no physical activity and lots of food.

    I think what helps my recovery is that I stretch after EACH tennis practice at least 15-20 minutes, in the grass by the courts. This is my complete routine that I always do. I never popped any ibuprofen or anything... If the body hurts, it is just telling you that something is not how it should be and you gotta correct it, not mask it. Also, a few times a week, I do self-myofascial release, 20-50 minutes, depending how much attention my muscles need. I am noticing that the older we get the more we need to pay attention to our imbalances (correct them) and stretch and roll (or massage) regularly.
     
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  17. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    this is it imo. just listen to your body. to "really" do this is an art as much as a science. you really have to learn to listen to your body. react, don't force. and be patient.
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Hear this often. What does it really mean? I don't listen to my body when it is counterproductive. If my body says sleep longer, but I have work to do, I don't listen to it. Otherwise I suppose I do. Is there some deep underlying concept which I am missing?
     
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  19. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    The thing is, that's just not true. For example, delayed onset muscle soreness is a normal response to intense exercise and it doesn't mean that something is wrong with your body. If fact, if someone is trying to encourage an adaptation process that leads to greater stamina and strength it is almost impossible to avoid muscle soreness.

    It truly is an "art" to figure out for yourself and your body what needs to be strengthened, what needs to be stretched, what needs to be rested, what might be injured or about to be injured, what is just normal muscle soreness, and on and on and on...

    When I started this thread I was hoping to hear from people about strategies they've used to speed up recovery that I hadn't heard of. Proper nutrition and the timing of meals, stretching, hydrotherapy (both hot and cold at the right times), and rest are all important or helpful. Anything else specific?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
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  20. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    yes.

    like i said, its more art than science imo. in my case, its all art.

    if you listen to your body "in good conscience", it will generally tell you all you need to know.

    ........just be prepared to change as you age. your body is saying something different when you are 20 and when you are 40 (and i imagine when you are 60 and so on)
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    My body has never said anything to me.
     
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  22. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    too bad

    ....
     
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  23. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    imo none of this matters (much). there are no "tricks".

    you need to "train" to support your lifestyle. its a long term game. be consistent with your training. its hard at first. be patient.

    eat enough to refuel. there arent any magic foods or supplements. sure, if you take epo, growth hormome, etc that will aid recovery. but all you need is enough "decent", energy restoring food.

    and rest.

    its really not a hard balance to strike. dont make it harder than it needs to be

    sorry, i dont know of any magic
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
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  24. sixftlion

    sixftlion Rookie

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    If you have to get up early to go to work and don't feel rested (body tells you to sleep longer), then you have to go to bed earlier. That's what it means. It's all about discipline to train hard, rest, eat healthy, stretch, and all that. Like r2473 says, it's both art and science. You have to figure out what works for you for optimal performance. Learn what is plain "laziness" and what is a upcoming sign of overtraining. To learn your body is a life-long process, because it is always changing. But it's doable if we pay attention.
     
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  25. sixftlion

    sixftlion Rookie

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    Amen, r2473! No tricks. Discipline. Learn what works for you and stick to it. Pay attention to your changing body and its needs so you can adapt fast.
     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The only thing my body tells me is when to go to the bathroom, and when to drink or eat. Rest of the time it doesn't talk to me.
     
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  27. sixftlion

    sixftlion Rookie

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    I was not even talking about muscle soreness. That's a normal part of an athlete's training. No need to mention it. I am talking about those aches, maybe when your joints hurt a few days in a row for "no reason"... instead of popping ibuprofen, that's the time to think - am I overtraining? (training too much, not getting enough energy, not resting enough?). Or if you one hip is tight out of sudden... time to think, what have I changed, maybe my glute is overactive/underactive, am I compensating? etc... quickly find what it is and work on it (strengthen, stretch, release).... that's what I meant when I said "listen to your body". Yes, it is art. It is science. But it's your body, for life... so it is actually really fun to try to figure it out, no? There are no shortcuts... Well, other than that we read all the great posts/links from CharlieFederer and learn superfast thanks to him :)
     
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  28. sixftlion

    sixftlion Rookie

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    Most probably it does, only you don't listen :) or maybe don't speak the same language??
     
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  29. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    it is an art, but is a "lost art".

    sureshs likes to joke around, but he does voice the opinion / mindset so many share.

    "somebody show me step for step how to do it"

    all this is "easy", but you do need patience, interest, and the proper mindset. these are things you must develop within yourself.
     
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  30. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    I think you guys are getting a little carried away. I was trying to have a discussion about ways to speed up recovery - especially of the legs. Of course there are no "secrets", but there are things one can do. And there seem to be some things that work for some and don't work for others. On top of that, the science and studies are often conflicting i.e. some studies say that massage does nothing to help recovery, others say the opposite, etc. Some people swear by ice baths. Some people swear by certain supplements such as Glutamine. Some people seem to think that forced breaks at regular intervals help them a lot. I was hoping to get some specific input from tennis players about these kinds of topics. "listen to your body" isn't the answer to the question posed in the original post.
     
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  31. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0982949960/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Another thing is I don't like my body. People say "love yourself as you are" but I just cannot do it. If I listen to my body, I will become too fat as it is always sending hunger signals even when I have eaten a lot.
     
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  33. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I think it depends on the person, but I find that I have to listen to my body more as I age. Which basically means that I don't recover as quickly from exercise or injury. The mind might be willing, but the body isn't there yet and the injuries will only get worse if I don't do more rest, more massage, better nutrition, than when I was in my late-teens to mid-twenties.

    Anabolic steroids are the only thing that I know of that will definitely increase the muscle recovery time. The only problem is that they are illegal here, possibly not good for your health if abused, and can threaten tendons and ligaments due to the faster muscle growth and less rest.

    I believe that massage, careful nutrition, and better/more sleep are what help me recover best. That, and trying to avoid injuries by warming up well before training.
     
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  34. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Interesting replies all. At my age, 65, I enjoy that good kind of soreness that tells me I'm growing, getting stronger. Also, at my age, I need to rest a bit more often than you younger people. I do think that unless one is a pro in the prime of one's life, then just "listening to one's body", eating, drinking, and sleeping good, and using common sense is pretty much all that's required to maximize one's potential. No drugs.
     
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  35. DBrickshaw

    DBrickshaw New User

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    If ur lookin for a supplement, endurox r4 is probably the best recovery drink out there. Drink immediately after playing or exercising
     
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  36. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    If you check out the USTA Tennis Recovery booklet, you can see that massage, ice baths and supplements don't have "scientific evidence" that these methods actually work to change the amount of inflammation at the tissue level or to speed up recovery. (The 400 page version goes into much more detail and is heavily referenced.)


    But many things like ice baths and message at least give temporary relief of soreness and so are valued by many.


    If I am "sore" nothing cures it like warming up with some exercise. I have an old Nordic Trak skier and the non-jarring leg movement and gentle arm exercise with torso turning seems like a great way to make any soreness or stiffness disappear.
    It is then easy to start my day, go on with a workout routine or go out and play tennis.
    I have alternative ways to exercise when out on the court or not at home.
    I always stretch after tennis and workouts, though not as much as sixftlion.



    There are specific diet regimens that can speed glycogen resynthesis after heavy play/workout. Basically this involves ingestion of high glycemic carbohydrates and proten soon after workout, and repeated refueling during the workout/play cycle.
    But these regimens really more apply to tournament players on heavy workout schedules more than something it sounds like you need to do.



    Earlier you asked for a where to obtain the 400 page USTA Tennis Recovery Project. I don't know, but if you are really interested, you can ask the USTA through this link http://www.usta.com/About-USTA/contact_us/?intloc=footer
    The 400 pages is definitely more than you will want to read all at once, but the chapters provide guidance to areas that may prove especially of interest to you, and reading a 10 page chunk of downloaded information may satisfy your specific question.

    If you are interested in a book written by several of the contributors of the USTA Tennis Recovery Project, I can heavily recommend Tennis Training by Mark Kouvacs, Ph.D., W. Britt Chandler, MS, and T. Jeff Chandler, Ed.D.
    It is 234 pages chock full of information and is heavily footnoted. It goes a long way towards separating fact from hearsay.
     
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  37. DaynaDawn

    DaynaDawn New User

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    Wow! Suzanne,I didn't realize you are quite the celebrity! I just clicked into your TennisFitnessLove website and read your biography. I am definitely impressed!! Kudos to you! I'm gonna go now and check the rest of the site out.
     
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  38. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    What kind of stuff are you doing in the gym exactly?

    p.s. just came back from a week's vacation in san diego - awesome place :)
     
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  39. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    Eat a full meal within 45 minutes after your workout. This is when your body is primed to replace and renew its energy stores. The way I think of it is: look to ancient times. A "workout" probably meant chasing a bison across the plains. What happened after the workout? Hopefully you ate the bison (or part of it at least). The body evolved in a way that it "expects" its stores to be replenished immediately after exercise.

    I pop 2-3 ibuprofin if I'm feeling sore before a match. It doesn't "mask" pain (opioids do that), it decreases inflammation. This is important if you've got stuff to do and the inflammation and resulting pain is slowing you down. However, if you're just sitting around the office on your day off and you feel kind of sore, it's best NOT to take NSAIDs because in that instance your body is using the inflammation to feed blood and lymphatic fluids to the area to remove and repair cells.

    Also, if you pull a muscle, immediately rub it vigorously. Scar tissue begins to build up within minutes and rubbing brings blood to the area which prevents this to a certain extent. You want to avoid the buildup over time of scar tissues in your body.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
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  40. dlazenby

    dlazenby New User

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    bakko backboard: Q for limitup

    I know this is off topic but I was trying to find out some real world experience with bakko backboards.
    When I searched the forums, limitup seemed to be the only one with personal experience with bakko backboards (in 2006).
    It has been a while since I have viewed the messageboards and I couldn't find a way to send a private email.
    So: "limitup", Are you still happy with your bakko backboard? I was planning to buy the 10' by 20' economy version ($3,500) from nofaultsports.com. My wife was concerned about the construction and also seemed to think that the net marking on the backboard was tape and not embedded into the backboard. The other product we were considering was the RallyMaster backboard (because it should not fade in the hot Georgia sun), but it is more expensive.
    Thanks and again I apologize for "interrupting" this thread.
     
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  41. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    I ended up selling the house and leaving it behind after less than a year. I remember being very impressed with the quality at the time though. You are correct that the net line was just tape (not sure if it still is). As long as you take your time installing it though you can't tell and it doesn't affect anything. Mine looked fine I thought and I never had any problems with it in the 100+ degree Texas heat and sun.
     
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  42. dlazenby

    dlazenby New User

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    limitup,
    Thanks for your reply. As expensive as the backboards are, I really want to make sure it is a durable product and I don't have the buyer's remorse at the 1 to 2 year mark.
    Rallymaster has a 20 year guarantee, Bakko has a 1 year guarantee.
     
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  43. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    I really wanted one that was curved, and if I remember correctly the Bakko was the only one I could find that had it. If there's another similar option you like with a much better guarantee than that seems like a no brainer to me...

    Man you brought back some funny memories. I had someone pour the pad and put up 3 poles for the board to attach to, but I installed the board completely by myself and that was no fun. The pieces are HEAVY!
     
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  44. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    55 yo and looking at orthoscopic meniscus surgery this Friday. I think I over played. I was playing 5-6 times a week and working out a couple of times too.

    I am going to work my way back slowly hopefully. I think I will try to limit myself to 3-4 times per week on court from here on out.

    I know a lot of guys in there 60s and they all have difficulty with their movement. Knees, calfs, ankles, backs, shoulders, wrist, and elbows take a lot of abuse in tennis. I plan on taking more rest days to recover. I also plan on working more stretching into my exercise routine.
     
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  45. dlazenby

    dlazenby New User

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    bakko backboard

    Limitup,
    So I decided to get the bakko backboard. My wife insisted that I try to find one in Georgia to try out. I couldn't find any in GA but I was able to call someone in FL at Oceans Raquet Club. Interestingly, that person was fairly negative about it and said that it didn't give a true response (as opposed to something solid like cinder block) and that it was somewhat dead. (They installed theirs in 2008 or 2009). Also she said that if it hit the seam it would careen off unpredictably.
    I didn't go to that place as it is very far away. I thought they were going to say it was great and I would just order it. So that was somewhat of a surprise and I am stuck. I guess I can just look harder to find someone who has one that I can try out.
    What are your thoughts about that?
    Again, thanks for your previous replies and I apologize for butting in to this thread with this off topic item.
     
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  46. limitup

    limitup Professional

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    End of the rainbow
    As far as the bounce, nothing is going to return the ball like a solid brick or concrete wall. With that being said, it returned the ball just fine for me, and I did like the curved aspect of it.

    I can tell you that I never had a problem with the seams. As long as it's installed properly it's flat at the seems. I'm guessing since theirs was installed 3-4+ years ago it has moved some.
     
    #46
  47. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,333
    How much stretching do you do, OP?
     
    #47

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