A customer, David, called us up not too long ago. He’s a grandfather and wanted to put up a hitting cage for his grandkids. He had a large building to put the cage up in, and we can build a custom batting cage net to any size, the only problem was, this building was a hangar that needed to safely house his airplane.
That meant we needed to help him build a cage that would reduce the potential risk to his aircraft.
The main problem we were going to be facing is push-through with the net. The push-through is the amount of give that the net has when a baseball or softball is hit into it. Every net is designed to have some give, which is why we always suggest staying at least 3 feet away from delicate objects like lights and windows. Installing your net ‘trampoline tight’ to reduce push-through is a mistake because the constant tension on the net not only shortens the lifespan of the net, it can also create a ricochet effect making the cage more dangerous for hitters, pitchers, or coaches.
This meant we needed a strong material to help knock down baseballs and softballs. Dyneema is the strongest material available, but can be cost prohibitive. Based on his budget, David decided Dupont Nylon would be perfect for his cage.
Now to determine the gauge, or thickness, of the nylon. For most home applications #36 nylon is our most popular material by far. To help counteract the ‘push-through’ we decided to upgrade the gauge of the net. To help beef up the net and knock those baseballs down we decided on on commercial grade netting, #60 dupont nylon.
The #60 nylon is almost twice as thick as the #36 and the added thickness will not only help decrease the push-through but also add years to the lifespan of the net.
Normally, with indoor batting cages, adding a weatherproofing treatment to the net isn’t necessary, but David’s hangar is in Texas, and this hangar was going to be spending plenty of time open, so he wanted to be sure and protect his investment. Dupont offers their own waterproofing treatment, a varnish dip, as opposed to our standard latex dip for standard nylon netting. The varnish dip offers great weatherproofing protection, but, because it is a form of varnish, the netting tends to have an odor that can hang out awhile, especially indoors. I let David know that, but he assured me it wouldn’t be a problem since the hangar door would be open so often. That net will get plenty of time to air out.
Next week we’ll dive into how we determined the dimensions for David’s net, the installation hardware, and helped him get turf for his cage.