Pool Equipment Troubleshooting
The Best Diving Boards in 2021
Your family dive matches have nevermore been so memorable with a new diving board for your swimming pool.
By Allen Hayward
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 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 board for your own swimming pool. However, today’s 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.
The Two Types of Diving Boards
A pool deck is fun to jump from, but a board is even better. If you have some room around your pool to add a board, then you should consider doing so. It’ll give you a nice bounce before you make the big leap into your pool. A board can be a small stone platform or a huge Olympic diving tower that is 10 meters long.
Residential boards don’t need to be Olympic diving towers, though. There are so many different mounts, styles, and materials available for residential boards. You’re bound to find something which can safely accommodate your pool space.
Here are the two main types of diving boards.
Springboards are what most of us remember from our childhoods. It is a 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 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 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 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 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 board is safer than a longer board. The longer ones are reserved for commercial inground pools, which are bigger than most people’s backyards anyway. If you get the wrong 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.
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 board too.
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 boards may have a wide variety of different color options.
Resistant to Corrosion
There are innovations in board technology which make boards resistant to saltwater corrosion. The days of having rusty springs are over.
What if you want to dive at nighttime? You may need a 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 board lights too.
Not all boards have lights built into them. If you can’t find a 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.
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 boards too. Here are some recommendations when using 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 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.
Professional board installations are recommended by most 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 board won’t have a long lifespan either.
A jig must be installed if you’re installing a new board or pool. This is a metal base which goes beneath the concrete. When the 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 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.
As you can see, there is a lot of planning that goes into selecting a 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 board or platform which you, your family and friends can all enjoy together