Guide to tennis nets: To start things simply, there are two types of nets, those for an internal winder mechanism, and those for an external winder mechanism. The winder mechanism is part of the net post. An external winder is threaded through the post whereas an internal winder is built inside the post.
Nets suitable for an external winder will be approximately 12.2m wide to allow room for the external winder, whereas internal winder nets will be approximately 12.75m wide as they can go neatly from post to post. Net posts are usually spaced 12.8m apart (from the centres).
If you are unsure which net post type you have, please take a photo of the post with the winder and send it through to us so that we can advise you.
Once you have determined whether you need an internal or external winder net, you then need to decide what length you'd like your net to drop. If you want a net which goes all the way to the ground, you need a 3' drop. If you want one which allows you to roll the balls under the net to your opposition, leaving a clearance, you need a 2'6" drop. The 2'6" drop is the more popular option in Australia as the 3' drop is less practical (although more professional) and it's also a bit more expensive.
You will also find that net qualities vary greatly. As a general rule, you get what you pay for. Ideally, a net should have a 50mm high polyester webbing net tape with 4 rows of stitching and UV resistance to give you a neat finish and long lasting durability. The net tape is the most likely part of the net to break first, so pay attention to the quality of this component. The black mesh size should be hand knotted and at least 2.5mm thick (thicker is better, ideally 3mm or greater will increase the life). The top 6 rows should be double thickness as this is where most of the balls impact the net. The cord diammetre between the posts should be approximately 3mm thick. The side bands should be black PVC with plenty of eyelets to allow you to neatly tie it to the post. The sides of the net should also have fibre glass dowels (sticks) inserted into them to keep the finish straight.
Please scroll down to the bottom of this page for example photos and descriptions of the different net types & posts for more information.