How To Choose The Best Diving Board For An Inground Pool
A few years ago you'd be hard-pressed to find an outdoor inground pool without a diving board. Nowadays, they've seem to have entered the outer realm of Windows 95, floppy disks, VCRs, and cassette tapes. So what happened?
For starters, we need to look at the safety issue. More people have become safety conscious and a diving board doesn't seem to fit that paradigm any longer. Pools are meant to be relaxing and adding a diving board seems to raise the stress level of parents, supervisors, and guardians. The marketplace and consumer tastes have changed.
But I still like the feel of a good pool diving board. This accessory should be considered a long term and high quality investment to suite your particular needs and wants. It should give you many years of trouble-free service and add enjoyment to your swimming pool. Some boards are sold separately from the diving board stand so be careful when you order. You may need the whole thing but just get the board. If you're unsure about installing your new board, get a qualified pool tech. Better safe than sorry.
What Are The Different Types Of Diving Boards?
For most home pools, a normal diving will work perfectly. An Olympic diving tower probably would be overkill for a Saturday swim party for your kids. You can still find residential diving boards in a variety of styles and materials that will fit both your pool and personal preference. They can be divided into two categories:
Platform diving boards are the most common in backyard pools these day. It doesn't contain any springs and the base is fixed. All diving boards that don't have a fixed base would be considered a platform board.
This kind of board can encompass many different variations. The two pool terms to look for when you're shopping for a diving board are manufactured platforms and field fabricated platforms. Even a jutting rock can be considered a type of platform board.
Years ago, this type of diving board was all the rage. Let's see how high we can jump!! But due to safety concerns, they've gone the way rotary dial phones and fax machines. Springboards contain specialized springs with the extra power to catch some air.
But that extra high-dive means your pool must accommodate the landing, which means it must be deep enough. Diving from a springboard increases the risk of serious injuries when diving into shallow depths. Due to higher insurance rates and safety concerns, this style of diving board is less common today than in times past.
Your Pool Safety
The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) is part of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These two organizations develop standards for pool safety and product ratings. Any diving board that you might be considering buying should have these labels and recommendations. The International Code Council (ICC) created a code which is called the 2015 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code can be found here.
Before You Buy A Diving Board
When looking for a new or replacement diving board, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions. First is how much will it be used? What you don't want to do is buy an expensive board and no one uses it. Also, make sure you get a board that is designed for your needs. Home and commercial diving boards vary in size and price. Light to moderate use is best for home pools.
Size does matter. Quality diving boards can be between 6' and 12' so you'll want to make sure you get the right one for your size deck. Acrylic out-body, non-skid tread, and holes for easy installation are a must for safety purposes. Look for strong deck mounts and a good warranty. Most boards have a 3 - 5 year warranty on workmanship. Any good board should stand up to hot Summers and harsh Winter.
Factors To Consider
There are many critical factors we need to consider before we shell out our hard earned money for a diving board. Here are five factors we must always keep in mind.
Adding a pool diving board might be fun, but thinking about homeowner's insurance is not, especially if the premiums increase. Due to possibility of increased injury, the price of your policy might not only go up, but may change all together. Talk with your insurance agent before installing a diving board.
2. HOA Codes
Home owner's association rules vary from neighbor to neighborhood. Be sure to talk to your pool contractor about installing a diving board in your pool. They can help you determine the best type of board for your pool and lifestyle, and whether you can have a diving board at all. If you're a member of an HOA, there's probably something in your agreement about swimming pools and diving boards. The last thing you want is to go through the expense and hassle to install a diving board, then be required to remove it.
3. Talk To Your Pool Contractor
When you're considering adding or replacing a diving board, you will want to find a good pool contract and counsel with them. They'll be able to walk you through the process and offer advice and specifics regarding the type of diving board you should install. He'll also offer safety information and make sure everything is up to code, all safety features are employed, and maybe which diving boards looks best. Diving board codes typically have the same kinds of regulations you’ll find among safety recommendations in the ISPSC.
4. Technical Considerations
Many of my customers have questions after I've completed their pool inspections. Some of those questions are about converting to a salt pool. This can sometimes include installing a new pump motor, filter, and sometimes a pool heater. I always encourage them to have a licensed pool contractor do the work. Many pool parts manufacturers will require a pool contractor to install their products in case any warranty work needs to be performed.
Check with your diving board manufacturer for their recommendation concerning installation. They'll want to make sure your new diving board is properly installed and secured. Any warranties might be void if you install the diving board yourself, or have someone else do it that might not be qualified in their eyes.
Make A Splash With A New Diving Board
There are many different types and styles of pool diving boards on the market. Choosing the right diving board for you and your family will take effort and research. It's more than just the look and feel. We need to take all things into consideration including insurance, price of the diving board, safety concerns, and cost of installation.
And once you've decided on your new diving board and have it installed, the last thing to decide is who is going to do the first cannon ball!!