By RJ Mitchell
IT has been an exciting year for Padel Tech in which we have installed and erected courts in some of the finest venues in the UK.
From the iconic Gleneagles Hotel in the rolling Perthshire countryside, to the ultimate bespoke padel development of multi-million pound Padium at No.10 Bank Street in London’s high-rolling Canary Wharf, we have built All For Padel V- Panoramic courts which have provided a premium service to the great and good of the British padel community.
Yet we also count among our clients some of the most sumptuous resorts in the Caribbean like the Sandy Lane resort which is nestled in an ancient mahogany grove on Barbados world famous Platinum Coast.
Right now our crack team of padel court ‘operatives’ are installing a new premium AFP V - Panoramic court at a secret island location, the identity of which we just can’t share…yet.
What we can share is the 5 Top Tips which help make installing a premium padel court on a ‘desert island’, to coin a phrase, so rewarding and just how they help us overcome the unique challenges of working in 40 degree heat and staying on good terms with the four inch lizards!
Obviously it takes a special individual to lead our crack court installers when abroad on ‘PT’ service - step forward site manager Ryan Green.
A man known for his rich sense of humour and ‘can do’ mentality Ryan is literally working ‘under cover’ to get the job done, on our mystery island to ensure the ultimate Christmas present is ready for our client…somewhere out there in the wide blue yonder!
Without further ado here are Ryan’s 5 Top Tips to Build The Perfect Desert Island Padel Court:
Ryan said: “Firstly it is vital to ensure the welfare of the staff working en site. It is usually around 33 degrees going upwards so we have to tailor our working hours accordingly which is very important in this heat.
“That means we start at 6am and finish at 2pm at the latest as that is when the temperature seems to reach its maximum.
“On these islands the heat is just draining and totally consuming. It is a different type of heat, not so much a direct sunlight heat that you maybe get in Spain and you can deal with..
“It doesn’t matter if you stand in the shade there isn’t much respite. But I reckon that during the day inside the court, when it is all glazed, you must be hitting minimum 40 degrees and so staff welfare and ensuring the conditions are manageable is top of the list.”
2: Remember The Conductor:
Ryan said: “So it’s a steel structure we are predominantly working with and picking this up can be a problem as of course steel is a conductor and you tend to forget about that!
“That means you pick it up and you burn your hands, so it’s night and day from working in the UK and that means protective gloves are a must.
“The glass also has its issues as when we install that at the back end of the court it acts as a wind stop, so any prevailing wind we do get, and on our current site this comes from the Pacific, the glass becomes a wind break which in itself increases the temperature.
“These are all things you must be aware of which are unique to this type of location.”
Ryan said: “A lot of the time we have to create our own makeshift tools, so for example we have to adapt spanners to fit the materials we are working and building with, you do get some consumables on the island but we have to adapt and improvise.
“The bottom line is you can’t cart bags and cases of tools onto the island so you have to be very adaptable and circumspect in this respect.”
Ryan said: “The carpet acts like a conductor so it can be almost like being in an oven when you lay it. The deep blue of the carpet itself attracts the heat of the sun and I’ve had to wear special trousers as you can’t go on the carpet in your bare knees or you will literally burn the skin off your legs.
“Also it is challenging in itself to wear trousers but you have no option when you are laying the carpet, so the correct clothing also really comes into this.
“On this particular job once the flood lights are up we are considering going back to lay the carpet at night when it is cooler to just get away from these temperatures.”
Ryan said: “The other big challenge of working on these types of islands are the bugs. You have Lizards and Cockroaches and they embed themselves in the materials.
“For instance yesterday we rolled back a carpet and it was alive with ants and cockroaches and the locals had a good laugh when we ran the other way!
“You also have Geckos, which are little lizards that are still as big as four inches long, and it takes some getting used to when you have a three-inch cockroach running out from a carpet – believe me!”
One For The Road: Local Help:
Ryan said: “What we have discovered is that it’s vital to have local help on the site and we have two gentlemen who live locally and they have been superb.
“They deal with the local wildlife and their knowledge and know-how of how to deal with these insects has been invaluable.
“Really it’s vital to get on with the local people. We are very lucky in that they go out of their way to be friendly as they are delighted to have us because of all the work we are bringing.
“Essentially you are working on a building site with mono blockers, electricians and fencers and they all take an interest and we tend to share tools with them so it is a real team effort.
“So everyone pulls together as we are creating something in which the process as well as the end result benefits everyone and it is vital to remember that.
“People like to have a laugh and a joke and that is a common ground that really helps make relationships.
“For me the people really make the island.”
The Accidental Tourist:
Looking back on an exciting year of Padel Tech service Ryan had this to say: “This time last year we were working in Sweden for three weeks and that was minus 10 and was in a freezing warehouse – really, no pun intended, it was the polar opposite of where we are right now!
“I am just so grateful for getting to see these places effectively for free. It’s a win, win, as I probably would never have got to these parts of the world if it wasn’t for Padel Tech.
“Really I’m almost an accidental tourist and very happy to be that.”