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Introducing Ultra Base Court - All-In-One Court Surface

Read Video Transcript and Main Points Addressed Below

So, three years in the making, a lot more money than I intended to spend, we are very, very proud to announce that we are going into production now for Ultra Base Court and Ultra Base Floor. Really something that I have dreamed of doing. When I first wrote the patents on a lot of our systems, it was always my dream that we would create a panel that you could play directly on, walk on, ultimately will look like wood grain or brick, essentially being a floor system or our court system. So I want to talk to you and share with this to you. And let’s start with Ultra Base Court.

So what was our motivation? Look, we have … as most all of you know, we don’t install. I’m too old for that. So what we are is a company that basically manufactures products, and we try to give as much sales and technical support as we can. I actually like to refer to my staff, my salespeople, we’re more of educators than salespeople. The sales are obviously important. That’s how we all make our living. But we want to educate you guys on what we do.

So our panels, even going back to 2006, our panels were used underneath of sport tiles as a way of building an athletic court on a non-concrete area. I saw the handwriting on the wall. I knew when you start buying water for two dollars a bottle, water’s going to be a premium. So it has become an issue around the country.

How Ultra Base Court Gets Around and Addresses Zoning Regulations

More and more zoning commissions and neighborhoods are saying, “You can’t build anymore impermeable space on your lot. You’ve used it all up. So if you want a court, and you’re thinking about pouring concrete, it’s not going to happen.” In fact, I’ve got a terrible story of a homeowner recently that did just that. She said, “Well, I’m going do it anyway.” And she’s having to bust out 10,000 square feet of newly poured concrete. We don’t want to do that. So our motivation was we’re selling a panel already to the industry for a base replacement system for concrete. And that was really … started out with [inaudible 00:02:59]. And then it moved into ultra base.

Well, the thing that I do pretty well is the design and innovation side. I got great guys with me who were always questioning and brainstorming what to do. And so we have taken the panel concept of a base system and pushed it to another level where you can play directly on it. That’s not to say that you can’t build a typical court tile on top of our new panels. In fact, we’re doing it every day now and very successfully. So we’re offering this option for concrete for these areas that maybe you have an impermeable ground scenario like I described or it’s a temporary installation or it’s really one that I think a lot of folks out there can relate to. Hey, your kid wants a basketball court, and he or she are leaving for college in two years. And Mom says, “Hey, when they’re out of the house, I want this back to a backyard, or I want a vegetable garden.” So you take it out, no harm no foul. And you’re done.

Complete All-In-One Court Solution Panel

So that all being said, let me show you my baby, Ultra Base Court. What we did here is we re-engineered the whole entire panel to be a play surface. We went through a lot of textures to try to find the one that would give a great coefficient of friction, but also, when you fall on it, didn’t rip you to shreds. But most importantly was the blend selection. This took almost two years of just blend experiments. If you were to go through that door right there, you’re going to see a warehouse full of blends of materials. In one of our future newsletters, we’re going to take you back there and show you how we do all this.

New Material Blend – Built-In Anti-Slip Surface

But this blend is a blend that we developed that we wanted it to have what I’m going to call grippy. We want to have a very good coefficient of friction on this panel. And we work very closely with a lot of the premier sports testing labs in the country and have had these blends tested over and over again. How did we stack up to a maple floor? How did we stack up to other sport tiles in the market? Are we better wet? Are we better dry? We hear a lot of complaints about some of the tiles, that they’re slippery when they’re wet. We didn’t want that. We just want this to play extremely good wet and dry. So the blend is a very important part of this.

We’ve come to rely on our locking features. And it’s become an old friend. We use it over and over again in our designs. We do have a new panel now that we’ll talk about later called Ultra Base Max that does have a different locking feature. And we’ll explain why. But this guy here, when you lock these panels together, you are creating perfect planarity from panel to panel. And that means you can Rollerblade on these guys. We actually have slow motion video of a shuffleboard puck sliding across the surface with absolutely no jump, no deviation from panel to panel. And that’s all going to be … that’s very important, not only for the ADA side of things but the performance side of things. Look, I’ve always been accused of over-building things. And I love structure. But we’ve also gotta have the play-ability.

We’ve also got a design in this that allows the water to collect very rapidly into our drain holes, and then breaking the surface tension of the water to get the water off the panel quickly. And so that has been something that we’re really proud of that’s working extremely well.

And on the back side of the panel, anybody who’s used to Ultra Base … our hex angle cell was a signature to us … but we’ve taken this cell, made it smaller, and we’ve brought all the ribs down to the bottom. And what that did for us gave us a more consistent feel underfoot and a better sound, better ball bounce because now it’s supported all the way under. And we made the cells smaller, so we’re not getting as much space between the panel unsupported. So this thing really plays very consistent across the whole entire surface.

We have … just launched it. We have done some very cool projects. One of the first ones we did was for a professional … I’m sorry … a soccer club out of South Carolina. And we have built a futsal court. One of my big motivations for this was futsal, futsal is exploding globally and in the United States. And we wanted a product that you could play on for futsal essentially covering an existing tennis court that’s in a state of disrepair, build it on existing soils like they did in South Carolina, cover an asphalt parking lot. Essentially, turn any area into a state-of-the-art court system, whether it’s going to be basketball or futsal or volleyball. In fact, we’ve actually just done our first two pickleball courts. We know that this panel, when put onto a perfect surface, gives all of the ball bounce that the pickleball associations are looking for. It was tested in tennis and was tested as a fast court by one of the labs that specializes in testing for tennis.

Accessories Included With Our Ultra Base Court

So we really believe that the Ultra Base Court panel is going to have great appeal to the court industry, those who are not only looking to put their tiles on top of us, and we welcome all of those, or you want to play directly on our panel. That being said, a couple of things that we knew that we had to do with this panel was that we wanted to make sure that everybody needs to be able to play on a court. There should be no limitations if you are challenged physically, you should be able to play. And so we’re very pleased of the fact that people have asked us for a lot of years, and we finally were able to do it with this panel, is that we’ve created an ADA compliant ramp system. This allows us to essentially attach this ramp directly to the panel. You can do one or two of these and create a small ramp. Or if you want to wrap these around the entire perimeter of a court for access. So again, great grip, great drainage … really to me, something that we’re very proud of that we did and so far has been received extremely well.

We also want to make it pretty. It’s got to look good. So we have a decorative edge system that snaps on to the edge of the panel. I’ll kind of show you how this works here. If you take this edge, and you essentially snap it into the panel, and then snap it back, there’s your edge. And now you’ve got a nice, pretty, decorative edge. To pop it off, release it, and pull it out. So that’s the same way actually the ramp goes on also. So now, we have the ability to make this court system a finished looking solution. If you don’t want to use these … you’re going to cut the panels off and go up against a fence, that’s fine. But if you’re just trying to build this in the middle of an area and you want to have a finished look all the way around that the water can still drain out from underneath … remember the water drains vertically and horizontally. It can go into the subgrade, through the fabric, or you can collect it and it can run out to the perimeter side.

Building On Impossible Soils, Like Expansive Clay – Easily Done With Ultra Base Court

I mentioned the South Carolina project, one thing that Ultra Base can do that a lot of folks can’t, we can build on soils that a lot of people said it’s impossible. The South Carolina project was built on expansive clay. Nobody does that. And what we did is we had that area … it was completely graded flat and compacted and rolled. And then we blanketed it with a 10,000 square foot single piece of a 30 millimeter impermeable woven liner. And we ran that liner into perimeter drain systems and out, put the permeable piping into it, covered that with stone. And then around the outer edge, we then put a permeable fabric. And what happened was that the rain comes down, hits the panel, runs through the panel, hits the liner, out under the liner and down into the perimeter drain systems. And we are building on expansive clay soil. And we added no stone to that base, didn’t need to. Why? Because we capped it. We isolated it. We basically moved the possibility of water getting to it to turn it into mud. A geologist told me a long time ago, “Clay and water equal mud. Get rid of the water, and clay is a great thing to build on.”

So there are all kinds of opportunities here for all of us. We’re working on new ideas to create a better, stabilized base in your backyard. And we’ll be showing you that here in upcoming months as soon as I get the molds finished, and I can share it. But this is to us a great advancement, the court panel, and one that we are happy to share with you. Call us. We’ve got nice brochures that Paul in our art team has done for us that show how it’s being used. Again, I believe that we can break down all logistical barriers on where a court can be built. And that was the motivation. Play directly on top of it. No need to have a secondary tile system if you don’t want it. Stripe it, logo it, then play. So that’s Ultra Base Court, and you’re going to see a lot more of this coming over the next months and for the next years.

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