The resurfacing of a tennis court is one of the last one-man industries still in existence. The work is hard and hot and is usually done by one person with hardly any mechanized equipmentGallery: Tennis courts get a new lease on life
Here's what is being done to Linden's 30-year-old courts in the Crow-Heath Park by professional Tim Kennedy who has 40 years of experience in resurfacing tennis courts.
First, the cracks in a court are sealed by hand, a down on hands and knees process which may take a day or more. Then the court is cleared, cleaned and leveled smooth by hand. This last part uses a diamond-bit pad at the end of a pole.
Next comes the delivery of the acrylic surfacing material in 350-pound barrels which may have come from as far away as Massachusetts. This material is of high quality and is mixed with water and the proper kind and amount of sand. It is carried by hand in buckets to be poured out onto the court. With its various color, the material will be expertly applied in coats with a rubberized wand.
This application will be carefully done, given time to dry, and then the court will be striped with white lines and all nets and accessories reinstalled. At this time, the look of the court will be highly attractive and professional. Players will believe they are performing on a court as well-cared for as one seen on television.
And at the heart of all this work will be the special talents and knowledge the court resurfacer has acquired. He'll be asked myriad questions and will hear many opinions. In the end, he is doing the task for himself and wants to be left alone to accomplish his art.
Through the years, he will have acquired a number of secret procedures and tools which he alone knows how to use. Some of these will be ordinary and old but perfect labor-saving devices. Observers who may be watching have been known to "borrow" these skills or procedures of such a court artist.
It is little wonder such a craftsman expects to work alone. It would seem he's much like the respected farmer of olden days. That is, one who knows how to grow a crop and then is proud of the look of his accomplishment and its result at the same time.