Clay Courts With Tape????


Hall of Fame
as a kid I grew up in Chile so my surface of preferance is clay. since I moved to the states (19) I had to adjust to the dynamics of playing on hard courts which by now I'm comfortable with but in the beginning had the tendency to slide a bit which got me sprained a couple of times.
Recently I was invited to north Jersey because there's a club with red clay courts and to my desappointment after a 2hr drive I found this beautiful courts but instead of regular lines they had white tape nailed into the ground which is more dangerous than the stickiest hard court as a trip while sliding could end my tennis days. has anyone else seen anything like this? it is crazy, their insurance must get claims left and right. and it was such a shame because it must be the niciest tennis complex I've been to. I hope they do some about those lines.

Jon Hampton

Well, I have no idea about other places, but any place that has clay courts where I live uses the same lines nailed to the court. I've always said it was a hazard because they are beyond slick, and if I ball does hit it, it'll either bounce 8 feet high (no exaggeration) or stop dead.

Out of curiousity though, what exactly do the courts back in Chile use for lines?


Hall of Fame
Hi there Jon,
well just to answer your question; down there as in europe it is not actually clay but crushed bricks and tiles. and the lines used to be re-marked every so often by you and your opponent with a white powder but I heard that now they are being painted permanently so you just have to brush it during change overs so you can see the lines which becomes a real pain in the back side. all the maintenance of having clay courts sort of explain why you always have to pay court time down there. you reserve a court and when you show up it is nice and brushed and they spray some water also right before you start playing, it's hell for people who're not used to it but I love that stuff (just about the only thing I miss from Chile)


I've played a lot of clay (with nailed tape lines) and never slipped, tripped or any other loss of footing due to the tape. Yes, the ball does act very funny when it hits it though. I can't imagine having to redust the lines all the time.