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If you've ever wanted to play tennis in your back garden, in a gym hall or on the beach then you might just love this pop-up tennis set as much as I and my family do. It's a great item that takes seconds to set up and not much longer to pack away when play is done, and it's well worth the £45 we paid for it. The net comes in a bag for easy transport, when the net is folded down it's 90cm long, so it's quite compact and surprisingly light, given that it also includes two junior size plastic bats and a couple of special soft tennis balls. It's a game in a bag.
Out of the drawstring carrier, and as per the video link at the end of this review which shows you better than I can explain it, the net unfolds into a flat pole and then you use a canvas pull so that it goes into the shape in the photo above. Within seconds you have a net which is nearly 3 metres long and 85cm or so high - there's a bit of leeway in these measurements depending on how tight you pull the canvas pull. It's an extremely clever and practical design, it's so easy to erect this net that a child can manage it. What's more, once made, the net is of playable quality, it has little feet on it so that it adapts to whatever surface you have it on and the build quality of everything, from the poles to the net itself is just excellent and stands up to the roughest of play. Of course you can play without a net and just a bat and ball but having a net really makes you feel like you are playing tennis properly and we find this net perfect for adults and children alike. As the net has two supports, it's self balancing and we've never had a problem with it toppling over, even with a direct hit to the net.
We've had many hours fun playing with this set and can get some quite good volleys going in the back garden, the bats are adequate for playing for fun and starting to learn the game. The hitting area on the bat is solid plastic and it has comfortable plastic grips; there's even a wrist strap at the end of them which is handy for the wii-generation - you slip the strap around your wrist for ease of use.
The set can be bought from amazon or direct from Decathlon and is part of a range of nets, you can also buy a badminton sized one and a longer taller net. We chose this one as we thought it would be a good starter set, which it has indeed proved to be. As well as using it for tennis, we've used it with badminton rackets too. The net may not conform to any tennis or badminton association standards but for what it is, a way of playing tennis of sorts any and everywhere I think it's pretty perfect. If it seems expensive it's worth thinking that it's in the same price range as many video games and likely to be much longer lived. This tennis set is a great way of getting active and enjoying sport indoors, we've used ours extensively and I think it's just a fantastic buy - highly recommended
Link to Video: