A swimming pool is an excellent way to increase the level of fun you and your family have while outside. A pool is also an excellent way to exercise for anyone as there is little impact on the joints. This is beneficial for both professional athletes and those who are recovering from surgery. If you already have a swimming pool or you're considering the installation of one, you may want to add a diving board along with it.
However, before you select a diving board, there are a number of specifics you need to consider, both on practicality and if it will end up costing you more long term. Wherever you are and whatever kind of pool you own (or are thinking of), below are factors you need to consider when buying a diving board.
Different Types of Diving Boards
First, there are a few different variables when it comes to different types of boards. First, there is a spring-based board or a flat board. The springboard will give you more acceleration when jumping off and allows you to jump higher in the air. It may also reduce the amount of weight the board can hold though as it will bend forward when you (or anyone else) stands on the edge of the board. The other option is a flat board. This is stationary, does not have any springs involved and will not bend. As there are no springs involved, there is less maintenance required on the board from rusting or damaged springs.
The next aspect of the diving board is its material. There are a number of different materials to consider. If you go with a springboard, you will be limited to what it can be made from. This is because the material needs to bend with the weight. Not all materials are designed for this. So, you will have more material options to consider from if you go with a stationary board. If you have a classic looking pool made of organic material, there are diving boards made of wood and natural stone. Other boards are made from a composite material with a waterproofing membrane placed around it.
If you really want to take the quality of your diving board to the next level, there are some water features available. This includes pumping water through the base of the board and creating a waterfall effect from the end of the board. These kinds of boards do not have springs but add a nice visual appearance. It also helps in your design look if you want a diving board, but you don't want it to stand out.
Lighting can also be installed around the board. LED lighting is available that is waterproof. If there is a specific look or design you want to obtain when it comes to your diving board, everything and anything is possible.
Safety and Things to Keep in Mind
Safety is one of the most important determining factors when considering adding a diving board. Your pool needs to be deeper than six feet. If you have a shallow, deep end, it will be a safety risk. You should to have a pool with at least 10 feet of depth. A shallow pool increases the potential of diving in and hitting your head on the bottom which may lead to not only concussions but spinal injuries.
You also need to consider the slope of your pool. What kind of slope do you have leading from the shallow end to the deep end? If your pool is not very large, there's a good chance the slope is sudden. A sudden slope increases the chance of again diving into the water and striping the slope, which opens the potential for injury. While having a diving board is a fun addition to any pool if it opens up the chance of injury it is best to avoid it (especially if you have children).
If you are hiring a pool contractor to come out and install the pool, you need to discuss your pool dimensions and depth to see what they recommend if they recommend one at all. They will also go over the different length options. Depending on the depth and the slope of the pool they might recommend you having a shorter board, so you avoid jumping close to the slope.
Factors to Consider
There are a number of critical factors you need to consider when it comes to buying a diving board. Of all the critical factors, here are five you must always keep in mind.
1. Homeowner's Insurance
Adding to your pool is fun, thinking about homeowner's insurance is not. However, some homeowner's insurance policies will not cover a diving board. Due to the injury increase, you may need not only a different policy but a more expensive policy. So this is one thing to consider. Do you really want to spend more money every month on your homeowner's insurance? This might end up increasing your eventual costs by thousands of dollars long term.
2. Salt Water or Fresh Water
Salt water pools are becoming increasingly popular. However, if you have a salt water pool, it does increase the possibility of rusting. So, if you have salt in the pool, you'll want to consult your pool contractor as to the material they recommend. It also will probably require additional cleaning to prevent the salt from hardening and staining whatever material you go with. Since low maintenance is a major benefit of a saltwater pool, adding another chore may be a deal breaker for some.
3. Contractor Recommendations
Always consult your pool contractor to see what they have to say and what kind of recommendations they have for your pool. They will give you the specifics with regards to the size of the diving board whether you should have a board installed at all and if it should be a springboard or a stationary board. Your pool contractor will be able to give you more specifics and also help you with safety information as well. Beyond just keeping everyone safe if you are not up to code it may put you at fault if someone outside your family is injured and decides to sue you for wrongful injury.
4. Building and HOA Codes
This is something that will vary from one location to the next. Talk with your pool contractor about building codes in the area. This will help you determine not only what kind of diving board you can obtain but also whether or not you can even have the board on the pool in the first place. You'll also want to consult with your local home owner's association. If you are part of an HOA, they likely have something about pools and pool features in the paperwork. You don't want to spend the money to have a board installed only to have it removed.
5. What Fits Your Look?
If you already have a pool installed (or are planning one), go with a material that works with your given pool. This way it matches and also looks great when you have finished the project. Installing a new diving board doesn't take long and, in comparison to the rest of the pool, doesn't cost all that much (although having water features running through the board will increase the price as you'll need to have additional pumps and other attachments running through the board to do this). So consider the material your swimming pool is made of (or will be made of), what it looks like and then go from there. This will help you select the perfect board for your swimming pool.
There is no shortage to the number of diving board options you have access to. You can choose from wood to stone, composite to a resin-based material. There is look out there that will fit your individual needs. Beyond this, you can select added features to work with your pool, such as lighting or water additions. You can also select from a spring based board or a stationary board. Whatever you end up deciding though it is important to keep the most important points in mind.
You need to know what the local and HOA building requirements are. You also need to consider your homeowner's insurance and whether or not it will cover your diving board (or if you need to pay additional money to improve your insurance). However, on top of everything else, the most important aspect of selecting a new board is the safety precautions of the pool. You need to consult with your contractor to find out what they recommend. All of this is going to be dependent on where you live, the depth of your pool and the kind of slope your pool has.
By following all of these specifics, you'll be able to find the right diving board for your swimming pool. This type of addition can bring a wealth of wonderful family memories for years to come as long as you take the time to make the right selection and take the proper precautions.