Cambrian: Sports

Coast Union nets a new surface on tennis court

Small holes in the Coast Union tennis courts (half the size of a dime) are created when gravel is carried in on the bottom of street shoes.
Small holes in the Coast Union tennis courts (half the size of a dime) are created when gravel is carried in on the bottom of street shoes. Special to The Cambrian

Several members of the Cambria Tennis Club have had a opportunity to play on the recently resurfaced Court 1 — the club’s $5,000 investment — and the players’ response has been mostly positive, according to interviews conducted Sunday, July 13.

Roger Chitwood, a club member who lives in Tulsa, Okla., and vacations in Cambria twice a year, said the resurfacing project is “absolutely” a benefit to players.

“Once they start to deteriorate, it does affect play negatively,” he said, after finishing up a game on the upgraded court.

“If they do the same resurfacing on the other courts it will be wonderful,” said Robert Brosseau, vice president of the Cambria Tennis Club, who plays on the Coast Union courts two or three times weekly.

Slight hump remains

However, Brosseau noticed that the “rise,” or “slight hump” was not removed from the newly resurfaced court; it has been there for years, he noted.

“It’s about two-thirds of the way back on the front side of the court,” he explained.

Apparently, the resurfacing company wasn’t assigned to remove the hump.

“If it hits at the right angle, it will fly up unexpectedly, and it catches players by surprise,” Brosseau explained, adding that the resurfacing project has definitely added value to Court 1.

The resurfacing job allows players to get “more traction,” and the ball “skips nice,” according to Jack Hennessy, a frequent player on the Coast Union courts whose assessment is that the resurfacing job actually “lowered the hump” on Court 1.

Hennessy added that it is “hard to hit” exactly where that small hump is located — and that he has never hit it.

Gravel damage

Michael Davis and Hennessy pointed out some flaws — tiny holes about half the size of a dime — in the older courts that are caused by people walking with street shoes on the courts.

“Kids and tennis players get gravel stuck in their shoes,” Hennessy explained; then they walk on the court leaving the gravel. Someone else comes along and gouges out little pits by stepping on the tiny pieces of gravel, he continued.

Davis also noted that recent gopher activity immediately outside the courts pushed dirt and gravel close enough so some of those small pieces wind up being ground into the courts, as well.

“But not on the new surface yet,” Davis smiled.

He advocates putting a shoe-scraping device outside the gate leading into the courts so people can brush the gravel and dirt off their shoes before entering.