How to Install Tennis Court Windscreens
Windscreens for tennis courts serve many purposes besides just being a barrier to help reduce and/or deflect the wind. Some other benefits of tennis court windscreens is that they provide privacy and screen out distractions as well as provide a visual contrast of the tennis ball on the windscreen background which allows the player(s) to see the ball better. Windscreens also help reduce reflection of the sun’s glare off of the fencing or other items surrounding the court.
The installation of tennis court windscreens is a relatively easy process. It is best to have at least two people to install the windscreens. The only variation in the process is the supplies used to attach the windscreens to the fence. Among the different supplies that can be used are “S” hooks, tie wraps, hog ties or lacing cord. They all work and everybody seems to have a preference but there is no right or wrong.
The different supplies that can be used to hang windscreens are as follows:
1. Tie Wraps: The benefits of using polypropylene tie wraps are that they are inexpensive and will break away during a storm with high winds. During a storm with high winds, it is best for the ties to break and allow the wind to pass through versus the windscreens catching the wind which could lead to fence damage or even toppling of the entire fence. Another benefit is that when you remove your windscreens for storage, the tie wraps are easy to remove and dispose of. A downside of tie wraps is that they may break off and be seen lying around the perimeter of the tennis court.
2. “S” hooks: The benefits of “S” hooks are that they are strong and durable. The downsides are that they are slightly difficult to install, can cause wear damage to the fence, do not allow much movement of the windscreens in the wind and are difficult to remove. “S” hooks generally are only used in areas in which the windscreens stay up year around. Manufactures of windscreens no longer recommend the use of “S” hooks for attaching windscreens.
3. Hog ties: See above, “S” hooks. Generally the same product and the same benefits/downsides.
4. Lacing cord/rope: Polypropylene lacing cord or rope is another alternative to hanging windscreens. Generally, 3/16” cord is the correct size to use. The benefits of lacing cord is that it is easy to use, easy to remove if you are taking the windscreens down for storage, provides a neat appearance and secures the windscreen to the fence well. The downside is that it does not allow much movement of the windscreens so in areas of high wind the windscreens could bend/damage the fence under these conditions. One trick when using lacing rope is to burn the ends of the rope with a match/lighter. As the rope melts from the heat, compact the end. This will provide a nice, hardened, solid end so that it will be easy to lace the cord through the grommets. Otherwise it gets annoying trying to insert the cord into the grommets when the ends are strayed and loose.
So there are many options to choose from. What is our preference? Tie wraps. Easy to use and they break off in high winds. I would rather reattach the windscreen to the fence versus fixing or replacing a damaged fence.
The installation process is as follows:
1. Lay the windscreen out on the inside of the tennis court by the section of fence you are attaching it to. The windscreens are always hung on the inside of the fence. The hems of the windscreen should face outside the tennis court so that they are not seen from the inside of the tennis court. Ideally the windscreens should be hung from the inside of the tension bar on one end (the tension bar is the bar just inside the fence post that the fence and fence hardware attach to) to inside the tension bar of the opposite end. Save yourself time and eye in the fit of the windscreen on the section of fence. You do not want to hang the entire windscreen to find that it was measured incorrectly and is 6” too long!
2. Determine how you want to hang the windscreen from top to bottom. The windscreen should be hung so that it is centered from top to bottom. Most fences are 10’ high. If you have a 6’ windscreen, you should attach the windscreen 2’ from the top of the fence. If you have a 9’ windscreen, you should attach the windscreen 6” from the top.
3. Once you have determined the correct height at which you want to attach the windscreens, begin fastening the windscreen at one top corner. Continue fastening the windscreen across the top, making sure you are keeping it straight. A trick is to count the number of pickets from the top of the fence to the picket you are attaching to. Then as you move across, you know you will be straight by attaching it to the same picket. Attach the windscreen using every grommet from one end to the other.
4. Once the top has been attached, fasten the bottom. You can start at one corner and work your way across but we prefer to start at the middle and work our way to the ends. The reason is that as you are attaching the bottom, you need to pull the windscreen firmly so there are no creases or wrinkles. If you start in the middle, you can work the creases out to the corners. If you start at the end, you may create one big crease or wrinkle that is tough to work out by the time you get to the other end. Once the bottom has been fastened, attach the sides.
Congratulations! You have successfully attached one section of windscreens. If you used tie wraps to attach the windscreens, we suggest cutting off the excess ends.
If you plan to remove the windscreens during the winter months and place them in storage, draw a diagram of the tennis court layout and label the windscreens. Doing so will save you time and frustration when the windscreens need to be reinstalled.
Please read our other articles relating to windscreens. We will discuss the benefits of windscreens, the different types of windscreens and how to correctly measure for windscreens.
Good Luck! We hope you find this information useful. If you are looking to purchase windscreens or windscreen supplies, please visit our website. Or if you need tennis supplies, accessories or equipment, such as tennis nets, net posts, ball hoopers, scorekeepers, tidi courts and much more, we have it all at www.tennissuppliesandequipment.com.