It is a 1" (25mm) thick top layer on our tennis courts. It consists of compacted, water-saturated mineral called basaltic rock.
It has to be watered daily and rolled often with a motorized roller to be cool, and soft and firm at the same time.
The loose particles of clay allow the player's tennis shoe to slide to gentle stops. This is one of many advantages of the clay tennis court. These soft stops save us 80% of injuries to tendons, muscles and ligaments that we would otherwise face on hard tennis courts. Because the clay is also gentle to body joints like the knees and hips, our senior players can enjoy vigorous tennis late into their years.
Why is the clay cool?
Well, the water contained in the clay evaporates continuously and self-cools the surface! Where hard courts would "burn" your feet on a hot summer day, the clay stays comfortably cool.
Because the clay is a soft surface we have to treat it with respect. Therefore, wear only proper "clay tennis shoes" with a shallow smooth pattern like "herring bone" and round edges. Shoes If you make a dent in the clay, or see one on your court, smooth it off immediately with the sole of your smooth tennis shoe. This will keep the court level and the ball bounce true.
The clay is simply the best and safest tennis surface there is. Most private tennis and country clubs offer this surface to their members albeit at thousands of dollars a year. Toronto community clay court tennis clubs give us the opportunity to access this type of courts under a dollar per day. This is also thanks to our team of volunteers who spend hundreds of unpaid hours year round to make sure that the courts, clubhouse and programmes are ready for us to use.
Enjoy and participate. If you are interested in clay court management, give me a call. We need more people to understand the process and to get involved.
You will want a shoe with the right levels of traction to help you move gracefully on the court as well as lateral support to keep you supported when sliding into shots. What mainly sets all these shoes apart is the outsole. The outsole of a clay court shoe will typically feature a full herringbone (zig zags) tread pattern, which offers great grip on this slippery surface. This pattern won’t allow the clay to lodge to the outsole so you can get a better traction when you try to start, stop or change directions, if the clay does build up, a couple taps to the side of your shoe from your racquet should knock loose all the clay from the outsole. The herringbone design also makes sliding from side to side more predictable so you can perfectly glide into a shot and recover, but will also provide the traction needed for moving forward and backward.
Another reason you will want to pick up a pair of clay court specific shoes if you plan on playing on clay on a regular basis, is because they usually have a tighter knit upper to not only aid in stability but help keep the clay from entering your shoe. These shoes won’t come with an outsole guarantee as the clay is usually much gentler on your outsole, however, sometimes the shoe will offer added durability on high wear areas where your feet might drag.
The Club operates as a self-governed, non-profit corporation, non-discriminatory recreational organization under the jurisdiction of the City of Toronto and abides by the Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department Tennis Club Operating Regulations. The Club is run by a volunteer Board of Directors, and has a set of by-laws that govern the structure and operations of the Board.