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REBOWall – Information

REBOWall – The Details

(The following words are taken from an interview by Fitness4London)

REBOwall is a company that encourages people to play, practice and learn tennis in a fun and innovative way!!

REBOwalls are quick to install, prefabricated 1.2m wide by 2.5m high sections that are bolted together, covered in highly durable astroturf; the rebound surface is angled, which provides a more realistic arced flight to the rebounded ball. Basically REBOwall has reinvented the ‘wall’. You can now have a de-mountable hitting/practice wall quickly and simply installed (without needing deep foundations) indoors, outdoors or practically anywhere!

Above all though, Rebowall enables untraditional environments – where the cost or the space wouldn’t allow for a full size tennis court – to offer tennis lessons and fun sessions and lets kids practice whenever they want to, without needing to find a partner. For example, London Hackney Council recently installed a 6m wide REBOwall in a community centre and contracted REBOcoaching to run weekly sessions at the centre – and the kids absolutely love it!! This can be seen from the inner-city ‘REBOlution’ launch with REBOambassador Mark Petchey, on a cold and wet November night (see link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGISZbKnZkY) – and not a single kid opted to go back indoors where it was dry and warm, to play Xbox or Playstation instead..!! Genuinely inspirational.

What’s your background, and how did REBO Wall come about?

I’m a qualified tennis coach and a committee member of a tennis club; and it was during a committee meeting, when the Treasurer asked for suggestions for what to spend surplus money in the club’s account on, that I immediately suggested a practice wall – I was then given the task of researching and costing my proposal. Immediately, I had an image in my mind of an angled-faced, prefabricated, easy to install system that the club would be able to easily purchase and easily and quickly install – but I couldn’t find what I wanted. I spotted a gap in the market and REBOwall was born!

I then spent months designing and testing many prototypes. I went to market and discovered a huge demand and interest in my REBOwall invention (Patent Pending). Not only does REBOwall appeal to non-traditional environments but established clubs also love REBOwall – for example Gosling International High Performance Centre are installing two REBOwalls – one indoor and one outdoor – and they’re running sessions for their performance players and club members on the REBOwall.

What are the advantages of using REBO Wall over hitting on a tennis court with a partner?

REBOwall is fantastically consistent: how you hit the ball at it, is how you’re going to get it come back: hit hard – it comes back hard, hit an angle – the ball comes off at an angle, hit topspin –  the balls kicks off the wall, but hit smooth consistent and controlled shots – then the REBOwall will give you smooth, consistent and controlled shots in return – simply something a hitting partner or even a pro coach can’t achieve. REBOwall won’t get tired, need a break or stop for a drink – and it will return your best, hardest forehand winner straight back at you!!

I notice that the REBO Wall is designed at a slight angle. What’s the thinking behind that?

When I was designing REBOwall, I always knew that I wanted to change the way the ball came back at me. Old-fashioned straight faced walls, always result in an unsatisfactory flat, downward trajectory to the rebounded ball – which means that to get a less hurried swing-timing (especially the take-back) you have to let the ball bounce twice before you hit it – making the contact-point always un-naturally low – or you hit the ball after one bounce, which means the timing of your swing is always quick and un-naturally fast!!

But with REBOwall’s angled-face the flight of the rebounded ball is always in an arc and far more realistic – it’s never flat and downwards – which results in the experience of playing against a REBOwall, far more realistic and more enjoyable because you can get into a really great rhythm.

What response have you had from the LTA?

The response from the LTA has been very encouraging. Interestingly, Michael Downey the LTA’s new CEO has brought in the renowned coach Bob Brett to oversee the LTA’s performance coaching and one of the new drills he’s encouraging the players to regularly do is to hit x100 shots, take a short break, then hit another x100 shots and repeat until a total of x600 shots are hit. Bob Brett’s response to the exhausted and suffering squad players is simple – Marin Cilic (who Bob coaches) voluntarily hits x800 repetitions – so get on with it!!

By coincidence,  REBOwall has a drill called ‘THE BEAST’ – it’s where players can hit any type of shots against the REBOwall until x100 shots have been hit, break for 45 seconds, then hit another x100, until a total of 1000 shots have been hit! This takes approximately 12-15 mins in total and is very good for working on playing accurately under tough physical and mental conditions of fatigue.

Tennis is not just about being able to easily win your first set – it’s about being able to grind out those tough 3rd and 4th sets – while remaining consistent, relaxed and focused!!

Have any Local Authorities expressed an interest?

Yes, we are presenting the case study for the very successful REBOwall and REBOcoaching sessions for London Hackney Council – so we look forward to rolling out the REBOwall program across the UK in 2015.

What’s your ambition for REBO Wall over the next 5 years?

The main ambition of REBOwall is to grow the sport – to influence participation and increase the numbers of children, from environments where tennis simply isn’t on their radar – to get them to regularly pick up a racket and play and practice tennis, whenever they want, no membership, no fancy clothing, just boy/girl versus REBOwall.

We want a Grand Slam champion to come from an inner-city, after learning, playing and practicing on a REBOwall. Furthermore, we have had international requests from New York City, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Moscow, Sydney and even Mumbai – so REBOwall’s 2015 global strategy for growing participation in the sport are really very exciting indeed!!