As the harsh winds and torrential rain unleashed on our cowering country by the host of unlikely Met Office named storms continues to batter the UK the need for a canopy above your padel court has never been greater.
Thus we thought the timing was perfect to consult with one of Scotland’s most esteemed racket sport establishments which has embraced the padel revolution with, pardon the pun, some gusto.
Established in 1936, Edinburgh Sports Club were at the forefront of the queue to cover their courts, in what ‘ESC’ club manager JJ Tait has called a “transformative” move.
Naturally Padel Tech installed a canopy for ESC over a new third court with a canopy structure also created to envelope the other existing two courts.
But before we get JJ’s ‘Five Big Wins from Installing A Canopy’ let’s hear about the general difference having your padel court covered can make to a club in our sometimes inclement Scottish climate.
Over to you JJ: “A canopy is absolutely fundamental to making a success of your padel courts. Really if you are only building two courts, build one court without a canopy and one with a canopy and the following year build the other court with a canopy, as that will prove the point and will give you the financial revenues that are a lifeline.
“That said I think it is bonkers from a financial point of view to build a padel court in Scotland and not make sure it is covered.
“Put it this way if you have a canopy it will very quickly pay for itself whereas an uncovered court is going to sit empty for quite a proportion of time due to our weather and financially that is not cost effective.
“The other aspect is that people who play padel don’t want to play it in wet conditions, because in effect you are not playing padel anymore.
“In Scotland the sun may shine one moment but it rains the next moment and the canopy means that is not a problem and your game is not being ruined or cancelled as rain has stopped play.
“Really padel has been transformative for Edinburgh Sports Club and we can now afford to do things we could not do before. With the pandemic kicking squash in the teeth, basically padel has given us that extra impetus to make sure that ‘ESC’ can go for another 86 years.”
Now without further ado, here are JJ’s five reasons to be cheerful – when you have a canopy over your courts!
5 Big Wins from Installing A Canopy:
1: Increase in Capacity: “Firstly your capacity significantly increases in terms of the amount of play time. I was speaking with someone recently who played on an uncovered court and I asked him: ‘How do you cope when it is raining?’ well his reply was: ‘We just don’t play!”
“So they have to cancel quite often at the last minute because you just can’t play padel in the rain as the ball just doesn’t bounce the way it should.
“For us at ESC we worked out fairly quickly that while people want to play outdoors in the sunshine they fundamentally would rather play padel rather than just when the sun shines.
“This was evident to us when we had one padel court uncovered and which is why we made the move to fully covered.
2: Nothing is Gone With the Wind: “A canopy is pretty much all encompassing and we have sides that come down and gable ends that come down to about three metres and they are about a metre outside the court, so in terms of any weather ingress then we don’t have an issue.
“So wind is not a problem for us.”
3: The Temperature Remains Perfect No Matter The Weather: “So the temperature is interesting. The canopy itself provides a level of insulation but it also means you don’t get too hot in the summer, as there is ventilation at the bottom of the canopy cover, so although people worry that you can bake under it when the weather is good, that is not the case.
“In the winter the air temperature may be cooler but there is an element of insulation there, so although it may be freezing on the ground it doesn’t feel freezing under the canopy itself.
“It is cold but with a couple of layers on you are good to go.”
4: Under The Canopy: “Conditions under the canopy are similar to all intents and purposes playing indoors. So there are no issues with wet balls which obviously ruin your game. That means the padel is as close to perfect as possible.
“Also the court surface doesn’t gain any moisture, so in terms of stability for people playing on court it is just perfect under the canopy.
5: Height: “You want to go as high as possible but you don’t really need to go above 10 to 10.5 metres. However anything lower than 8.5 metres is not great and you will end up hitting the canopy more regularly than you’d want.
“But 9.5 metres above and your lobbing game will be fine.”
One For The Road:
6: Wind: “It is about the engineering and what you put in the ground and making sure it is all technically correct and in Scotland this is quite strict from a structural point of view in this regard.
“From our perspective we have more than adequate engineering to guarantee the canopy is secure and although you may get weather which is termed an Act of God, these canopies can stand up to the worst we have had thrown at them in Edinburgh.”
Before we leave Scotland’s capital we are delighted to share this glowing endorsement from JJ on the service provided by Padel Tech.
The Edinburgh Sports Club manager said: “Padel Tech are very knowledgeable, very efficient and provide an excellent service, so I have no problem in recommending their services.
“Obviously Padel Tech built our courts and they are the experts in the UK. They have built the highest number of courts and they have built them at the market leading venues and they are a Scottish company which is brilliant. So it has been very worthwhile having them here for sure.”