Growing in popularity, especially for outdoor enthusiasts living in winter climates, indoor rock climbing or bouldering facilities are a great place to hone your current skills, or get involved in a new activity.
As with many indoor recreational facilities, safety is always on top of mind when designing and performing regular maintenance in your indoor climbing location. One area of great care and concentration should be that of the crash pads and mats placed below rock climbing walls.
With the average height of an indoor rock climbing wall being anywhere from 20’-45’, in the event of a fall by either yourself or one of your patrons, you want to be sure the right crash pad is there to break the fall.
A few factors that should be taken into account:
This is obviously a factor that, in part, is influenced by the height and base width of your rock climbing wall. Typical sizes range between 3-6 feet in width, by 4-12 feet in length, but as always, be sure to break out the measuring tape to obtain the optimal size for your gym. At Sport Systems, we stock three sizes which accommodate most facilities in North America: 4’x8’, 5’x10’ and 6’x12’.
Foam Stiffness & Composition
An important factor in considering a crash pad for any facility is the stiffness of the foam and what it is made up of. Generally speaking, a stiff foam will undoubtedly last longer, and be utilized more often for bigger falls, protecting the user against “bottoming out” during a fall. On the other hand, a stiff foam can sometimes prove be a harsh landing spot for shorter falls. Your best bet is finding a good foam with a mix of stiffness and cushion to accommodate a variety of different falls that are bound to take place in your facility.
We construct our crash pads with 44 I.L.D. polyurethane foam, and most sizes are assembled with honeycomb foam, with exception to our 8’x10’ size, in which solid block foam is used.
All of our crash pads feature a removable 18oz top and bottom vinyl covers, with 4” of breathable mesh around the entire center perimeter and are double stitched and equipped with standard reinforced carrying handles. Have an existing crash pad, that perhaps has taken a beating on the outside, but still houses great foam inside? We also provide our customers with replacement vinyl covers for crash pads and mats for a variety of sizes.
Whether you are a seasoned facility operator, new to the sport or thinking of opening your own rock climbing or bouldering facility, keep Sport Systems’ custom padding in mind when thinking safety.