A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to help with the install of a custom Flashed flooring system at Climber's Rock in Burlington, Ontario. As a Flashed Athlete, it was cool to get a first hand look at how one of the products is put together and the pieces that go into making the whole system. Every job is different, as every gym has a different layout and needs. The process starts out by going back and forth to determine what needs need to be met as well as what kind of layout would best suit the gym. Measurements are taken, drawings are done up, colours are chosen, etc. Once this is established, the production team goes to work sewing the covers.
About a week before install, Climber's Rock received two shipments - one was an entire truck full of 8'x8' pieces of foam and the other was a skid loaded with covers. Kyle McConell was sent out from headquarters to do the install and myself and James Richardson, the gym's owner, were on hand to help out. The process was intricate, precise and burly, yet surprisingly went along quite fast and smooth. Goes to show that they know their stuff and have their methods down.
There were 11 covers that had to be stuffed with foam, each one having the foam be cut precisely to fit in the cover. With Kyle and I following accurate diagrams, we would carve the proper shapes to fit two covers at a time. Then the foam was stuffed into the covers and placed in their proper location. This process was repeated until all the covers were full and in place. From there, each section was connected together to create one massive, seamless flooring system.
The install was scheduled to take 4-5 days. However, through hard work and efficiency, we got it done in 2! All that was left was the testing. This involved picking two different locations and dropping a controlled weight (to simulate the human head) and a heavier weight (to simulate a 150lb climber) from the top of the wall. Wires attached to the falling object are connected to a computer to record all the data including speed and impact force. After performing several drops in each area, an average of the drops was calculated to show that with more weight, the flooring absorbed more impact and distributed it across a broader area of the floor. Basically, this meant that the flooring system would absorb a falling climber's impact to minimize how much force was sent through their body.
It is, however, still recommended that as a climber, you should perform the "drop and roll" when falling from greater heights to further minimize any shock and impact with joints. This means that once your feet connect with the pad, you continue your descent onto your butt and then roll out of it onto your back.
Once the tests were done, Kyle was off to install another Flashed flooring system at the new Allez Up.