Pickleball has become very popular in recent years, but still, many questions remain to be answered about this sport. Today we will try to find an answer to a very common question that people have about pickleball. Can pickleball be played on concrete?
It’s a valid question, especially if you’re looking for a new place to play the game. After all, concrete is a hard surface, and pickleball is a game that uses soft equipment.
Pickleball is a sport that is played both indoors and outdoors. For outdoor courts, asphalt and concrete are both good options. In fact, concrete is a great surface to play pickleball on. It’s level, it’s smooth, and it’s durable.
Another reason that makes concrete a practical choice for constructing a pickleball court is that it’s quite easy to clean and maintain. However, one should remember that raw concrete is not suitable for playing pickleball or any other sport. This is because it can break and cause injury.
Usually, a top coating of polyurethane or acrylic is used on concrete surfaces to make it safer and longer lasting. Moreover, post-tensioned concrete is preferred over other materials, including asphalt, because it is more economical in the long run and lasts for many years to come.
Let’s find out what are the advantages and disadvantages of playing pickleball on concrete.
The Pros of Playing Pickleball on Concrete
There are a few materials commonly used to construct pickleball courts. The most common type of material is concrete, asphalt, or a combination of the two. A few other materials can also be used, but they are not as common.
Let’s examine some advantages of choosing concrete for constructing a pickleball court.
Concrete offers a firm and level surface for playing any sport, including pickleball. This is important for this sport, particularly because it means the ball will bounce evenly. However, for this to happen, the ball must have a smooth surface to bounce evenly, and the concrete must be level and free of any cracks or unevenness.
Another advantage of concrete is that it’s a very durable material, meaning it can withstand a lot of wear and tear. This makes it ideal for pickleball, as the court will not need to be replaced often. In addition, concrete is not susceptible to damage from weather or other environmental factors.
Concrete is also quite low-maintenance. Once the court is installed, there is no need to do much to it. This is in contrast to other materials, especially asphalt, which may require regular cleaning or treatment.
Pickleball courts made of concrete flooring are easy to clean. Again, this is important for this particular sport because the court can get dirty quickly. A concrete court can be simply hosed down and will be as good as new.
Polished concrete is also a smooth surface, which can be seen as an advantage for playing pickleball. The ball will roll smoothly on such a surface, making the sport more enjoyable. However, polished concrete has its disadvantages, which we will discuss shortly.
The Cons of Playing Pickleball on Concrete
While concrete is the most common material used to construct pickleball courts, there are a few disadvantages to choosing raw concrete for this purpose.
First off, raw concrete is a very hard surface, which can lead to injuries if players fall or collide with each other. This surface can also be hard on the feet. This is important because it means you might need to wear shoes with extra cushioning while playing pickleball.
It’s no secret that concrete can get incredibly hot in the summertime. Concrete reflects more sunlight than other materials, like asphalt. This means more heat is absorbed by the concrete, making it hotter.
A few things can be done to prevent concrete from getting too hot. One is to use a lighter color of concrete. Lighter colors reflect more sunlight and don’t absorb as much heat. Moreover, a layer of insulation can be added to keep the heat from escaping, making the concrete cooler. This is primarily why a topcoat of softer padding on concrete is used for playing pickleball.
Since raw concrete is scaly, it needs to be polished to smooth it out. Not only does this make concrete less absorbent, but polished concrete can also be quite slippery when wet, making it difficult to keep your footing and increasing the risk of injury.
Because of these reasons, raw concrete is not a suitable flooring choice for pickleball courts. Contractors use a top covering made of polyurethane or acrylic over a concrete base to prevent injuries, make it safer for the balls, and allow heat to be reflected.
Why is Concrete Better than Asphalt for Playing Pickleball?
Asphalt is used as an alternative to concrete for constructing outdoor pickleball courts. It is an economical choice and is also faster to construct. However, concrete is considered better than asphalt because it is more durable and easier to maintain.
Another reason that makes concrete a better option is its ability to resist cracks. Asphalt cracks tend to grow wider with the passage of time. That is why, even if the initial cost of using asphalt for constructing a pickleball court is low, the maintenance costs can get sky-high.
Concrete is a better choice for playing pickleball, but only if it is used with a top protective layer made of polyurethane or acrylic.
Post-Tensioned Concrete for Pickleball Courts
Post-tensioned or PT concrete base is a reinforced design that solves cracking and jointing problems. Choosing PT concrete over asphalt is cost-effective in the long run for constructing pickleball courts because it has a longer lifespan and is also easier and more economical to maintain.
Regardless of the base material, outdoor pickleball courts need to be resurfaced about every five years. In the case of asphalt, the cracks in the surface would have to be repaired before resurfacing could be done.
A PT concrete pickleball court can last 25 years or more with normal resurfacing and maintenance. These facts make concrete the best choice for constructing outdoor pickleball courts.