Hitting a tennis ball against a wall may sound like a lonely hobby, but Adrian Hutchins is confident of changing that perception with the REBO Wall.
Unlike traditional brick-built rebound walls, the REBO Wall is pre-fabricated for indoor or outdoor use, easy to install, can be moved to a new site or expanded, and can be installed almost anywhere. And, as its creator Hutchins explains, it is far from a solitary pastime.
“The essence of a REBO Wall is to encourage loads of people to play against it,” he said. “The great thing about it is it can be used with coaches, friends or on your own. “When you rally with a partner on a tennis court, or even a coach, you usually get three or four hits at a time. With the wall you get so many more and it is all about repeat, repeat, repeat, honing your skills.”
As illustrated on the REBO Wall website, tennis walls have received plenty of testimonials from top players. Roger Federer says he ‘hit against a wall for hours and hours’ while Jimmy Connors said ‘my favourite opponent is the wall – he never misses’.
“The idea came from a need,” continues Hutchins. “I wanted a wall at my club but not a wall you had to build out of brick. I thought why isn’t there a pre-fabricated wall available to buy? I also saw a story with Roger Federer in his hometown saying something like ‘where have all the walls gone?’”
So Hutchins came up with the REBO Wall, which is delivered and installed in half a day, can be constructed to different sizes and can also have the angles altered so the ball bounces back faster or slower and more realistically.
What excites Hutchins the most about the wall is that unlike a brick wall or tennis court it can be installed almost anywhere.
On the website it lists school playgrounds, community centres, university campuses and car parks amongst the places a REBO Wall can be used, and Hutchins hopes to see them in even more areas.
“We are going into Hackney and putting the wall at a community centre playground where kids only play football,” he said. “We put it in and kids can now have coaching sessions and can hit against the wall on their own and with each other. The playground is surrounded by high-rise apartments and I can imagine kids who don’t play football thinking they want to run around and use the playground, and eventually they are going to see this wall sport and think this is for me and I want to do this.
“We want to put it in areas for kids from more challenging backgrounds. I want to expand it out to parks, skate parks, under motorways, somewhere people can just go and use it rather than going to a tennis club.”
Since introducing the wall to a handful of clubs, Hutchins has received positive feedback from coaches and seen the number of shots in rallies rocket up.
“It’s a great new facility for tennis clubs, it brings something new and can invigorate a club’s facilities,” he said. “We did a test recently, rallying with people on court, then going to the wall and then back, and the difference was amazing. It’s about being able to hit the centre of the racket more just through practice and repeat, repeat, repeat.
“The feedback so far has been fantastic, a couple of coaches have integrated it immediately into their training and getting groups on to the wall.”
For more information on the REBO Wall visit the website www.rebowall.net.