Build padel courts in Japan isn´t that simple. Of typhoons, earthquakes frequent can damage structures. What are their secrets ?
Living in Japan is a bit like living on a boat. It moves all the time, and capricious changes in the weather can seriously damage your buildings. Every year hundreds of earthquakes are recorded, yet buildings and sports facilities remain on their feet.
So that's the question we asked ourselves; what is the secret of Japan to keep padel tracks always operational after so many earthquakes, and especially how to prepare for the passage of typhoons? Koji Nakatsuka, the president of the Japanese Padel Association answers us.
- Is there a difference between building a European padel track and a Japanese track?
The dimensions of the track are obviously the same. In Japan, we are working on a solid slab, which allows ground movements without creating cracks. The anchors in the ground are made with slightly thicker plates outdoors, we use pillar bases 3 millimeters thick against 2 millimeters in Europe.
Another difference is the net above the field limits. We have little space so the balls have to stay on the track. We manufacture our own nets with a finer diameter, a lighter weight and above all a material that does not retain water or humidity, which avoids an overweight on the structure.
Finally, for outdoor clubs, a horizontal reinforcement is proposed between pillar and pillar for strong winds.
- To avoid track movements during a typhoon or earthquake, you certainly have to work on the foundations? Could we know how?
I don't think that the foundations that we make under a Japanese padel track are much different than for a track elsewhere in the world. We all know that this is a very important building block that should not be overlooked.
There may be a difference on the anchors. In Europe screw anchors are used a lot. Here we use knocked anchors that open into the ground when we knock on them. This system allows movement of the track and prevents breakage.
- When a typhoon is called or an earthquake, what safety measures do clubs take? Then, how are activities resumed? immediately or are the installations tested?
We don't take special measures, it's so common (laughs). We have confidence in our equipment, the grids, pillars, windows and even the net are of high quality and made with care. If disaster were to happen, what can we do? Nature has its whims. On the other hand, when we have the information of an earthquake or a typhoon, we inform the clubs so that they can shelter all the material which could fly, injure someone or carry out material damage such as chairs, tables, benches, tables etc ...
Julien Bondia is a padel teacher in Tenerife. He is the founder of AvantagePadel.net, a software very appreciated by clubs and padel players. Columnist and advisor, he helps you play better through his many padel tutorials.