Why shock pads are the safest bet for your field

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Why shock pads are the safest bet for your field

Informed buyers are getting out of the Stone Age and into the Technology Age. Laying carpet over stone outside was OK ten years ago, but today, systems have evolved to provide better drainage, greater safety, greater longevity, and more environmental solutions to a project. There are many reasons why placing a “pad” under the turf is now the growing trend in the industry for the best quality synthetic turf sports fields:

Concussions are Front Page News The growing media attention about concussions in sports means that every measure must be taken to ensure the optimum safety of a surface. Using shock pads helps protect the players from injuries that result from hard impacts with the surface, and the owner from liability. Preventing concussions from occurring is far better than treating them after the fact. Same Safety as Pristine Natural Turf An optimal natural turf feld will produce a G-Max of 90-110. A proper synthetic turf field, with at least a 2 1/4” turf built over a stone base, will produce an opening g-max of around 120, and typically climb to 165 (typical) over the life of the turf. Sometimes even higher. The higher the g-max, the lower the safety. But a synthetic turf feld over a quality shock pad will produce 90-100 G’s just like natural grass. The reduction in the likelihood of severe head injury between a 100 G feld and a 165 G feld is 50%. Using a shock pad under the turf means you don’t have to sacrifce safety for performance. FIFA Performance Measures Concussions are not the only safety concern with synthetic turf felds. Cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles are also susceptible to injury if the performance of a synthetic surface is not properly calibrated. Much of the FIFA testing for felds is related to surface performance, and is designed to measure the properties of a synthetic turf surface as compared to the typical values achieved on stadia quality natural turf feld. In fact, a recent research study showed no diference in injury rates on a FIFA 2-Star quality synthetic feld vs. a perfect natural turf feld. So achieving the proper force reduction and vertical deformation levels (two proven measures for bone and spine impacts, foot stability and soft tissue injury) is essential for a well performing feld. Using a shock pad as a component to the turf system has been proven to achieve, and maintain, those levels, whereas turf over a stone base may start that way, but degrades outside the desired levels after only a few years.Better Footing, Better Game Sand content in the infll is essential for footing and ballast for turf stability , but it reduces the impact absorption qualities and force reduction of the surface. A shock pad allows sand to be used in the infll without sacrifcing safety. The pad lets the turf backing fex, helping prevent over compaction of the sand layer that occurs when the turf system is installed over a hard surface. So you get a far a better playing surface plus even greater safety.Injury / SymptomHeadache, DizzinessLoss of ConsciousnessSkull FractureNeurological DamageHemorrhageBrainstem DamageBrain Tissue
Why shock pads are the safest bet for your feld cont.Lack of Maintenance Resources If properly maintained, a synthetic feld can perform and last mostly as desired. The problem is, felds are not properly maintained due to budget cuts, and lack of training. Infll migration and compaction are inevitable, and are primary causes of feld hardening. A shock layer helps prevent compaction, maintains signifcantly better safety levels and ofers a critical “safety layer” when infll is displaced.It Saves Money Using a shock pad under synthetic turf allows you to use a shorter turf system, since the safety of the feld is not solely dependent on the turf infll alone. The benefts to a shorter turf include: Less expensive product, better stability and footing, less disposal costs, and faster installation. Some systems even replace the drainage (and its cost) under the turf. So the money saved on the turf helps pay for some of the pad cost at the outset, and then more each time the turf is replaced. So you may pay a little more today, but you will spend far less over time. Plus a proper pad system is re-used so the cost is amortized over several turf cycles. (Analysis available)More Durable Fibers Fiber technology has vastly improved over the last 10 years so many companies are touting longer fber life. The advent of the monoflament also means that the fber does not have a built in “degradation period” as with slit flms. So using a shorter turf in combination with a shock pad does not result in shorter turf life. In fact, many believe turf lasts longer over a pad, just as indoor carpet does. And a study published by FieldTurf showed traction and footing on a 2” turf mimicked the highest quality natural turf. (Study available)Less Expensive Field Replacement Costs Using a shorter turf means less disposal costs. Plus having a “pad” system over the base protects it, and eliminates the expense of repairing it during replacement, a cost sometimes as high as $50,000. All of these reasons are backed by independent research, available on reques

Danny Coert