Tennis backboards are the perfect solution when a practice partner is not available as they are created, through technological innovations, to be reliable and challenging. You will also be able to practice at your own convenience and pace.
Do It Tennis carries three brands of backboards: Bakko, REAListic and Rally Master.
Tennis Backboard Construction
Not all tennis backboards are created equal. Over the last few decades, manufacturers have refined and perfected the backboard using different materials in the construction process, such as fiberglass, UV treated plastics, heavy duty polyurethane, wood, brick and even foam. Wood and brick backboards tend to wear more quickly than other materials and are not recommended.
Bakko Backboards are made of a dense fiberglass material that is coated with UV treated paint. The advantage of this process is that the panels are filled with sound deadening material for a quieter practice session.
Rally Master Backboards are made from a solid UV stabilized plastic and formed in solid panel-sized molds. The Rally Master advantage is that they are covered under warrantee for all types of practice.
REAListic Backboards are constructed with a high-quality weatherproof overlay, meticulously primed and painted. All systems include a basic sound reduction panel with 15% noise absorption.
Tennis Backboard Types
Flat, the traditionally shaped tennis backboards; meant to protect your wall or garage door from damage caused by the constant beating of lobbed tennis balls. Great for kids and adults alike, these backboards provide a flat surface for easy warm-up and practice drills. Flat backboards are typically utilized by country clubs, resorts and home courts. They are easy to install and versatile in that they can be used for other sports in addition to tennis such as soccer, basketball and lacrosse.
However, new innovations in tennis backboard design have determined that sloping and curved backboards are more beneficial in practice as they more realistically simulate a return from a live playing partner.
Sloped tennis backboards will provide you with a lofted ball return. They simulate a lobbed ball allowing you more time to prepare for the shot, while backing you further away from the backboard than a traditional flat surface would.
Curved backboards are available in single or dual curved styles. Single curved backboards return the ball higher, providing more of an opportunity for a longer volley.
Dual curved backboards tend to simulate real play more closely. When hitting the ball low against the backboard, it will return the ball high and vice-versa, when hitting the ball high, it will return it low. The added curve also returns the ball to the right if you hit it to the left and left, if you hit it to the right. The curves of these boards are subtle and the directional return is effective, it is not as drastic as one might think.
Tennis backboards are sold as four foot panels and install against fence lines. The number of interlocking panels needed is determined by necessity. Manufacturers recommend 16 feet of wall for singles practice and a minimum of 20 feet for doubles. As your skill level goes up, so does the number of recommended panels. Proper installation and regular maintenance is vital for warranty validation and a long product life.