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3 Key Features you need to know before buying a Portable Game Court (with pictures)

At Practice Sports (dba Play, Inc.), we have installed sports equipment nationwide for over 15 years.

We know what quality equipment looks & feels like, having installed for numerous manufacturers, many jobs being replacements of failed equipment. One product we have sold for multiple companies is Court Tiles. After experiencing first hand the average, bad & ugly in the portable court world, we ultimately selected SnapSports to exclusively represent for their portable court kits. The reasons were obvious to us, but we realize to the untrained eye all tiles can look about the same.  So we wanted to share a few tips with consumers to give insight into what really matters when comparison shopping for sports tile surfaces.

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We currently install game courts for SnapSports in the midwest throughout Nebraska, and other select states around the country. Our court kits work for basketball, futsal, indoor soccer, inline hockey, volleyball, badminton, handball, pickleball, tennis, and many other activities.

Contact Us for a quote on your court project anytime.

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Look for these 3 features when reviewing court tiles: 

 

1) Tile Thickness. 

A variety of court tiles exist in the marketplace today. Anywhere from 1/4″ thick up to 7/8″ thick.
SnapSports Bounceback - bottom 2 at 3/4" & 7/8" - the thickest in the industry.

SnapSports Bounceback – bottom 2 at 3/4″ & 7/8″ – the thickest in the industry.

 

The most popular tile from Snap Sports is called BounceBack, measuring 3/4″ thick. But the ultimate heavy-weight is the Indoor Maple Series Bounceback at 7/8″ – the thickest most rugged tile in the industry.

 

Why is a thicker tile better? 

 Quite simply, it plays softer. The thicker the tile, the taller the pedestals – creating better flex, and a softer feel under your feet. Essentially because your feet are further from the hard sub-floor.

 

Understructure performs as a high impact shock absorber that reduces fatigue and injury to athletes. Each square foot weighs in at over one pound, stands ¾” tall and contains nearly 1200 shock absorbing support towers.

2) Interlocking mechanism. 

 

SnapSports tiles use a Square Lock technology, superior than U-lock and others on the market. This creates a bit more tolerance / gap between the tiles, allowing for better flex under impact, resulting in a less rigid overall floor. It’s also a more durable interlock resulting in far fewer breaks over the years.

U-Shaped Lock

U-Shaped Lock

C-Shaped Locks

Oval-Shaped Locks

Square Lock -- most durable

Square Lock — easiest to install & most durable

 

The Square Locking ‘ShockLock’ system lets individual modules slide, but keeps the entire sport surface fully interlocked. This built-in “give” eases player joint impact and creates a safer athletic surface.

shocklock-technology

Engineered to handle heavy loads the 16 patented PowerLocks per module become part of the Superstructure when engaged. Multi-patented Step-N-Snap design makes for no tools, no glues, and no toxic fumes.

But don’t believe us. Take it from a satisfied and highly experienced court user:

“We just finished our first major event with our new SnapSports 50-50 Volleyball surfacing, and I wanted to let you know how happy we are with the product. 

We operate some of the largest volleyball events in the world, and our largest event has 180 courts!

We could not be happier with the SnapSports 50-50 Shocktower tile. We found the installation was faster & easier due to the superior design of your locking mechanism. In fact, we did not have a single lock break, and that is unheard of with the other tiles. The integrated Shocktower eliminated the need for cushion underlayment so this also made the installation faster, and provided perfect cushion for the athletes.

Last, we could not believe how fast we were able to tear down at the end of the event. In the past, we’d be lucky to have the trucks loaded by midnight. With Snapsports we were done and having dinner by 8 pm. What a tile!”

Randy Dagostino – Big South / Tampa Volleyball Events

Randy Dagostino

Randy Dagostino

3) Pre-Installed Impact Absorption.  

Built-in impact absorbing rubber Shocktowers are a true revolution in the portable court industry. These are individual rubber cylinders, inserted on the back of each tile. They act as a cushion, creating some flex / bounce-back in the tile when impacted.

portable-courts-impact-towers

What’s the alternative for a sub-base shock absorber?

The only other option court manufacturers can offer is a rubber sub-base / underlayment throughout the entire floor. This increases the installation timeframe, and consequently labor costs.
The pricing for shock-towers compared to rubber underlayment is roughly the same per square foot, which makes it a net increase when using underlayment compared to shock towers.
Rolled Rubber is heavy, and creates an extra installation step.

Rolled Rubber creates an extra installation step.

Rubber underlay is NOT porous so can only be used indoors.

Rubber underlay is NOT porous so can only be used indoors.

ShockTowers can be used Indoors or Outdoors. Indoor Tower (left) Outdoor Tower allowing drainage (right)

ShockTowers can be used Indoors or Outdoors. Indoor Tower (left) Outdoor Tower allowing drainage (right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best part is, Shocktowers are pre-installed at the factory, expediting the overall installation process for the consumer or installer.

It’s important to note that rubber underlayment is also an effective shock absorbing solution, and may be preferred to shock towers in certain applications.

 

When is Rubber Underlayment the better choice?

In large cavernous facilities, where sound echo is an issue, rubber underlayment can help dampen noise bounce. It’s important to use a “soft tread” rubber, designed for underlayment. It’s also important to use a 2 mm rubber for basketball (to minimize softness and maintain natural ball bounce), and 3 mm for high impact sports such as volleyball.
2015-10-27 11.35.06

Bonus Reason #4. Warranty.

SnapSports has the longest industry warranty, at 16 years. From our experience, companies who are confident in their products offer longer warranties. This speaks to the quality component of SnapSports court tiles, and proves they are willing to back-up their claims of being the highest quality athletic court tile in the business.

It’s important to realize the reasons a quote for a portable court might be much lower or higher. There is often, but not always, a legitimate reason for it. The most likely reason is that simply more overall materials, or higher quality materials were used to produce a product. This stands true in the case of Snap Sports tiles, as outlined in #1 above. To achieve a thicker tile, more raw materials are used.

SnapSports sports surfacing has been independently tested by USSL, The official testing facility for the famous DIN standard; the most stringent standard for sports flooring systems. SnapSports top ASTM rating for sport performance and safe play by an approved independent laboratory. 23 patents and dozens more pending, makes for the top performance and highest player safety in the industry.

These are the main reasons we consider Snap Sports to be the best overall value in the portable court business. It’s by far the highest quality, while also being a good value. Perfect for those looking for the top grade tile, with unmatchable features.

Thanks for reading our modular court review.

Contact Us anytime to request a bid for your multi-game court job in Nebraska (Omaha, Lincoln etc.) and other select states. We’d be happy to give you our best price, and are confident you will be satisfied with our work.

Chad, Cory, Tony & Jim
Practice Sports / Play, Inc. Team
402-592-2000
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3 Comments

  1. Todd Thompson
    Posted May 31, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this great post.

  2. Katrina Larrison
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this valuable information. I am doing a small home indoor application for yoga and aerobics. I am using the revolution maple shocktower. Is there any benefit to adding a 2mm rubber underlayment as well, or is that overkill? Could that change the performance of the shock towers?

    Many thanks

    • Posted July 2, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Hi Katrina,
      You’re welcome! The rubber underlayment also helps with sound dampening. So if you are in a room that has echoes, this could help.

      It will only help improve the shock attenuation, so for an impact activity like aerobics, it could be beneficial if maximum shock absorption is your goal. However, you would not want to use rubber underlayment AND shocktowers if you were planning to bounce balls like basketball or racquet sports, b/c it would deaden the bounce.

      Do you need a quote for the tiles?

      Thanks!

      Chad Schneider | Operations Director

      Practice Sports, Inc. | 14706 Giles Rd. Omaha, NE 68138
      800.877.6787 | 402.592.2000 | Fax: 800.577.3046
      chad@practicesports.com | practicesports.com
      ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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