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Surfacing material for pro tennis courts gets lightweight, secure transportation

By: Kate Tilley

August 5, 2013

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — Rebound Ace is famous for its rubber, but the manufacturer of tennis court surfaces has turned to plastic to make a real bounce on the global market.

Rebound Ace Sports Pty. Ltd. of Carole Park, Australia, designs innovative tennis playing surfaces. The rubber/polyurethane multilayered cushion design was under the feet of the world’s finest tennis players for many years at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

But Rebound Ace fell out of favor with a few and was replaced after the 2007 Open with Plexicushion, an acrylic-based, hard court surface.

Plexicushion is made by Plexisave, a division of California Products Corp., headquartered in Andover, Mass.

So Rebound Ace Sports Managing Director Chris Canty went back to the drawing board. He did not abandon his patented product, firmly believing in the high-shock-absorption surface, and the fact the rest of the tennis-playing fraternity loves it, he said.

The Australian Open rejection forced him to think bigger-picture: the export market.

Canty decided to take Rebound Ace to the rest of the world.

Most of his rivals use 30- and 50-gallon reconditioned steel drums to store the liquid surface material and transport it.

Canty used 5-gallon steel containers, but concedes they are heavy (about 80 pounds each) and prone to damage when shipped.

But he has now turned to plastic. Canty bought thousands of 4-gallon polypropylene containers Viscount Plastics Pty. Ltd.

“They are much more user-friendly. They are relatively lightweight, there is the health and safety aspect ... overall they beat steel drums ... game, set and match,” Canty said.

He can easily load eight pallets of the round rigid, plastic pails into shipping containers for easy export. They save space and are resealable, tamper-evident and ready to pour.

“The plastic is fantastic. It makes exporting very easy. I have got a A$700,000 (US$S625,000) order from Korea sitting here on my desk ... thanks to the plastic pails,” Canty said.

Rebound Ace was the preferred surface for U.S. tennis legend Jim Courier’s seniors circuit and graced the inside of Madison Square Gardens in New York for one of his tournaments this year.

Canty has provided tennis and basketball court surfaces for Commonwealth Games, Youth Olympics, and men’s and women’s championship tournaments around the world.

Rebound Ace has also cornered the netball court market in Australia and New Zealand.

And, in a new development, it was used to surface cyclone shelters in the storm-prone north of Queensland. It has also gone into the construction game, providing waterproof membranes.

And every drop of Canty’s liquid gold is moved in the reusable plastic pails.

The company employs 30 staffers and has distributors around the world. “It has been a very successful period and we are continuing to grow,” Canty said.