Catering for Britain’s harsh climate, the system could help padel – a prominent sport across Hispanic American countries and Spain – increase its popularity in the UK.
Invented in Mexico in 1969, the sport of padel is typically played in doubles on an enclosed court, with a playing area roughly a third of the size of a tennis court. Padel shares and combines many characteristics with tennis and other racquet sports. For example, the ball used in padel is very similar to that in tennis – but the court’s walls can be played off in a similar way to squash.
The sport has become very popular in tourism regions, such as Costa del Sol in Spain and the Algarve in Portugal. As a result, a large number of British visitors have been exposed to the sport – leading to its increased popularity on home soil too. The UK Padel Federation was launched in 2011.
As padel is mainly played outdoors, however, the UK climate – with its regular high winds and driving rain – poses a number of challenges for padel court design. To counter these challenges, fencing specialist JB Corrie has come up with a new product for the UK market.
Corrie Padel has been designed and manufactured entirely in the UK. To ensure longevity and to weather-proof the courts, all materials used are hot-dip galvanised to BSEN ISO 1461:2009 standards. They are also powder-coated to BSEN 13438, in order to offer customers a choice of colours.
Other robust elements of the Corrie Padel design include the use of 12 mm toughened (BSEN 12150-1) and heat soaked (BSEN 14719-1) glass, complete with polished edges and countersunk fixings.
LED lighting can be added to allow year-round use, with JB Corrie offering static integrated posts and also automated retractable lighting.
The courts can also be personalised – for example by having club logos or designs printed on to the glass. This will offer a more robust option to the conventional vinyl stickers, which have a habit of wearing over time.
Corrie Padel offers a number of other optional extras too – such as gates to suit a standard slide latch or coded locks. These can be manufactured as swing, sliding or club spark.
“Corrie Padel is the result of us looking at what was being offered to the UK market – and realising most of it wasn’t up to standard,” said Damian Chambers, trade sales and marketing manager.
“We did a lot of post calculations and wind loading analysis during the design process. And for the customers that are worried about any glass breaking, we offer an alternative wall – a 12 mm anti-scratch polycarbonate that comes with a 10-year guarantee for breaking or fogging.
“We are currently the only UK padel manufacturer and have been manufacturing tennis courts to the LTA clubs and private market for many years. We’ve also manufactured fencing for well over 100 years.
“A number of the team here have had an insight into the development of the product, to make sure it is fit for purpose and will last for many years of use.”