By Jen Azevedo – Director of Tennis and Pickleball
Every outdoor sport runs the risk of dealing with bad weather.
Ask any tennis player and they’ll tell you- weather can impact our tennis more than anything. Living in beautiful Southern California, we are fortunate enough to not often be held hostage by inclement weather. But every so often, it happens. Rain is the biggest forecast headache. Can you play in the rain? For a short while. Here’s a breakdown.
Rain makes the court slippery. More than anything else, your ability to quickly change directions can be inhibited, raising your potential for injury on court. The lines get slippery, which is also dangerous. As much as we want to play all day, every day, our safety has to come first.
Beyond the obvious not getting hurt, rain and wet courts change other components of our tennis. Tennis balls can take on a small amount of water, but once damp, they don’t bounce the same way and become heavier to hit. Your strings can be impacted by water too, especially if you play with a natural string. Most gut strings advise you to steer clear of any dampness, or run the risk of ruining your string job.
So what about after the rain?
Our fantastic Paseo Club maintenance crew begins working on courts as soon possible to get them back to playable conditions. The Viper works like a huge, heavy roller, spreading the water out completely across the court, to allow for maximum evaporation as the weather changes. But, once the court is totally saturated after a rain, the sun’s rays are the most important piece of the puzzle. Even as the asphalt outside dries, the court takes a little longer.
Use the rain to your advantage whenever you can.
Morning shows wet courts? Your chance to try a new exercise class and get some cross training. There is nothing cooler than running in the rain – call me, and I’ll come with you! When you get rained out mid-match, use the time off to visualize the finish of the match. We’ve all seen huge changes in professional matches after a rain delay. You can shrug off some poor play, and start fresh. Or keep steam-rolling along if you’ve been doing well. Lastly, remember that even the rainy day will pass.