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The Best Way to Choose a Great Diving Board for an Inground Swimming Pool

Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Everyone’s had the experience of jumping into a swimming pool and being surrounded by all that cool water. It is so soothing to jump into a pool of water on a hot summer day, especially from a diving board that is much higher up. Diving boards help catapult you into the air a little bit until gravity pulls you back down. While you’re in the air, you can do a specific type of jump, such as cannonballs or jackknifes. It is so much fun.

As an adult, you might want a diving board for your own swimming pool. However, today’s diving boards are slightly different than they were before. But since you’re a homeowner, you must contend with the insurance and safety issues surrounding your pool too. These are not positive things to think about, but they’re important if you want to keep yourself and everyone safe when they use your diving board and pool.

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The Two Types of Diving Boards

A pool deck is fun to jump from, but a diving board is even better. If you have some room around your pool to add a diving board, then you should consider doing so. It’ll give you a nice bounce before you make the big leap into your pool. A diving board can be a small stone platform or a huge Olympic diving tower that is 10 meters long.

Residential diving boards don’t need to be Olympic diving towers, though. There are so many different mounts, styles, and materials available for residential diving boards. You’re bound to find something which can safely accommodate your pool space.

Here are the two main types of diving boards.

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Springboards

Springboards are what most of us remember from our childhoods. It is a diving board which uses springs to generate the bounce when you jump. The springs are either shown at the base of the board or hidden underneath where you can’t see them.

If you want to jump extra high into the air before you dive into the pool, then a springboard is the best option. After all, the higher you dive into the air, the deeper you’ll go into the water. Just make sure your pool has enough water depth so that you don’t injure yourself on the bottom of it. If you install a springboard at the shallow end of a pool and use it, you can expect a very serious injury to occur. For this reason, the common residential pool won’t use springboards. They’re more often used with commercial pools.

Platforms

Platforms are different than springboards because they don’t use springs. Most residential pool owners have platforms for this reason. As long as a diving board doesn’t have springs, it is basically a fixed platform that does not bounce or move. Some are made from stone, rock, or wood.

How to Prevent Injury

Before you purchase a diving board, you must calculate the diving envelope first. This is in reference to the available distance for diving into the water, as well as the depth of the water.

In addition to the depth, you must pay attention to where the pool floor rises too. Most shorter pools have a very shallow end and a very deep end. There is basically a wall in the pool which divides these two ends. When you walk from the shallow end toward the deep end in the water, you will sink several feet. That is what you must be aware of when positioning your diving board.

If you have a longer swimming pool, the shallow end to deep end transition happens more gradually. Divers can stay much safer with a longer pool like this one. Therefore, consider the diving envelope before you select your diving board. Then you can have peace of mind knowing that everyone will stay safe when they use your swimming pool.

For residential inground pools, a shorter diving board is safer than a longer diving board. The longer ones are reserved for commercial inground pools, which are bigger than most people’s backyards anyway. If you get the wrong diving board and your pool water is not deep enough, then the diver would experience an injury to their head, neck, knees, shoulders, arms, or hands. They may even die or end up paralyzed too.

Types of Pools

To figure out the diving envelope of your swimming pool, you must take many different pool measurements. The builder of your pool can probably give you several of those figures already. If not, contact a pool professional for help.

Depth can be difficult to measure when a pool is filled with water. If you have a professional performing the diving board installation, then let them measure the depth of the pool. Either that or hire a contractor to take the measurement.

If you insist on measuring the pool by yourself, follow the instructions carefully. You’ll need to calculate the four widths, four depths, and how far it is between various points. Once you perform all these measurements, you can find out your diving pool type.

When you see things like Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV, or Type V, it is in reference to your pool diving envelope’s size. It indicates the height in which your diving board must be from the waterline. In addition, you’ll see if there are accessories or other features which get in the way of the diving area. Some examples of these features include waterfalls and ladders. Your diving envelope must have no objects or obstacles around. Otherwise, divers are bound to injure themselves.

After you know your pool type, it won’t be difficult for you to locate your proper diving board size.

Educate yourself on the proper techniques for safe use of the pool and diving board. That way, you and the rest of your family members and friends can enjoy your diving board without a big chance of injury.

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Find a Diving Board with Fun Features

Selecting a good diving board doesn’t need to be taken completely seriously. You can have fun with the features of a diving board too.

1) Material
Say goodbye to the dull solid color planks. There are much more stylish boards made from original materials and that have attractive colors. Some of the materials might include wood or natural stone. The slip-resistant surfaces of the diving boards may have a wide variety of different color options.

2) Resistant to Corrosion
There are innovations in diving board technology which make diving boards resistant to saltwater corrosion. The days of having rusty springs are over.

3) Extra Features
Do you want a diving board that comes with extra features, such as a waterfall? If so, then look out for these diving boards.

4) Lighting
What if you want to dive at nighttime? You may need a diving board which comes with LED light strips. Some board models even have colorful strips to really make it stand out. Even if your pool already has separate LED lights, it is still attractive and safer to have diving board lights too.

Not all diving boards have lights built into them. If you can’t find a diving board to your liking, then you can manually attach a strip of LED lights (water-resistant) to your diving board. Get creative and have fun with it.

The Downsides to Consider

Purchasing a diving board can have its downsides too. You must pay attention to certain details about your diving board, or else it could cost you money in fines or possibly an injury due to an accident. Things like insurance policy terms and local building codes are just a few examples.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Don’t assume that your homeowner’s insurance policy covers liability for pool-related injuries, such as diving board accidents. A lot of these policies don’t cover such injuries, which means you’ll need to pay for the medical expenses yourself. Some insurance companies may even increase your monthly premium or drop your coverage completely if they find out you’ve installed a diving board on your pool.

Therefore, check with your insurer prior to purchasing a diving board. Make sure they’re going to continue covering you. If they don’t offer pool coverage, look for an umbrella policy which provides pool liability coverage.

Please note that we are not insurance professionals. You must consult with your insurance provider prior to purchasing any new additions to your home, such as a diving board and swimming pool. Due diligence is vital.

Safety Suggestions

On most pool products, you’ll see safety ratings associated with ANSI/APSP acronyms. ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute, and APSP stands for the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. These organizations create pool product ratings and safety measures which have become standardized in the industry.

APSP and the International Code Council have collaborated to develop pool & spa safety standards on a worldwide level. Their standards include more than just handrails and weight limit specifications. They include all kinds of pool safety features, including energy use and drainage. There are safety recommendations for community pools, splash pads, hot tubs, and residential inground pools. The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code offers safety standards for practically anything that makes you wet inside of it.

They cover safety concerns for diving envelopes and residential diving boards too. Here are some recommendations when using diving boards in your residential backyard:

  • On the diving board, stick a permanent label on it which provides the name and address of the manufacturer, the date the board was manufactured, the weight limit, and the minimum diving envelope.
  • Purchase a diving board which has slip resistance features, such as a non-slip covering. Make sure the covering remains in good condition. Make any needed repairs to it or replace it entirely.
  • Clear out all pool features and accessories from the diving envelope.
  • The diving platform flush should get placed with the pool wall to prevent accidental head injuries.
  • Obey the recommendations of the ISPSC and manufacturer when it comes to diving board elevation in conjunction with the waterline. If the platform or diving board is mounted too high up above the waterline, then divers are susceptible to hitting the floor of the pool and injuring themselves.

Technical Requirements

Professional diving board installations are recommended by most diving board manufacturers. This ensures the board is secured the right way. Any little installation error might result in a diver having an accident, such as a slip and fall type accident. Sometimes the diving board won’t have a long lifespan either.

A jig must be installed if you’re installing a new diving board or pool. This is a metal base which goes beneath the concrete. When the diving board is installed, it gets bolted to the base. Again, a professional should conduct the installation because it is a huge construction job which has many safety issues that must be addressed.

If a current diving board is getting replaced, then the existing jig’s bolt pattern must be known because you’ll need to match it with the base of your new diving board.

If no jig gets installed and there is no board that has the right bolt pattern, then choose an epoxy repair kit that is made for the bolt installations of diving boards. Any existing jig bolts should be cut off. Drill fresh holes into your pool deck that match the pattern needed for your next diving board.

Next, the epoxy gets poured into the holes that you drilled. The new bolts go into those holes. Now place the diving board base onto the bolts.

Local Building Codes

You must follow your local building codes when performing a diving board replacement or installation project. Everyone’s local codes are different, so you must contact your local code enforcement office to find out more information.

Most local diving board codes are similar to the safety regulations and recommendations set forth by the ISPSC. These are recommendations like not having any pool accessories or features within the diving envelope.

Some of these codes are directed at builders and contractors, so you don’t need to concern yourself with them personally. Just make sure you hire a professional contractor or builder who is licensed in your jurisdiction. That way, they are knowledgeable about these codes.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a lot of planning that goes into selecting a diving board for an inground swimming pool. You must conduct the proper pool measurements, contact your insurance company, and possibly even hire a professional.

All this work and effort is worth it. The result will be a diving board or platform which you, your family and friends can all enjoy together.