It is the Flashed philosophy that a bouldering system be uniform and consistent.
There should be no changes in height of the landing surface, it should be the same for the entire area. This allows the climber to know exactly what they will be landing on no matter where they are or in what orientation they are falling in.
Planning out your bouldering padding during the early stages can lead to significant cost savings and ultimately a better user experience. To understand your specific needs, whether you’re building new or doing a renovation of an existing area, we offer many services including on-site visits, full gym analysis, laser mapping and CAD modelling. We will provide our recommended fall-zone specifications, work with your ADA and/or egress requirements, and develop a padding system that delivers the best composition and thickness for your budget, use and style.
Imagine speeding a car towards a red stoplight and pumping on the brakes harder and harder until you stopped. How would that feel? Harshly bouncing back and forth, whiplash, general discomfort! What would your passengers think? Foam can loosely be compared to a coil spring, the more you compress it the more it pushes back. So if you fall onto a bouldering floor made of only one foam slab then it may be soft for the first few inches but as you compress it more the foam becomes more stiff and hard before pushing that recoiled energy back into your knees and body as the foam cells force their way back up. Not the ideal system.
Press on the car brakes evenly, your car slows consistently, and you arrive at a stop with no bounce-back. By using two layers of varying stiffness (firm at the top and softer at the bottom) we can smartly control the fall giving a better catch to the climber with little bounce at the bottom, saving those knees. Additionally, having the stiff foam at the top means more support when walking across the padding to and from problems, and greater durability; another element of performance when the gym has heavy traffic. Fall on a Flashed padding system – we believe you’ll feel the difference in the performance and comfort of this intelligent impact attenuation system in a way that stands out from our competitors. We designed everything we do in bouldering padding thinking about the tens of thousands of climbers that will come through your doors and climb on your walls.
The industry guideline for bouldering padding thickness is 1in per maximum vertical fall height. If you have a 16ft fall height from the top of the boulder walls then our recommendation is for 16in thick padding. The question of going thicker/thinner comes down to a few considerations, namely performance and durability. When it comes to performance, slowing down over a longer distance results in a lower impact on the climber and a properly designed system will utilize 50-70% of the pad thickness to stop your fall in this gradual way. If you choose a thinner pad system then the foam must be stiffer to ensure adequate support and avoid bottoming out the foam, resulting in a harder ‘catch.’
Durability is the second consideration. If you go under the 1in per 1ft rule of thumb, then the foam will take more of a beating simply because there’s less of it. As such, it wears out sooner. To counter this you can increase the foam density and resiliency to achieve the longer lifespans of a thicker pad. This concept can also be applied to specific padding areas where high traffic is expected like padded walkways, vertical wall, overlapping fall zones, etc. At Flashed, we can fine-tune areas to handle a wide range of scenarios through intelligent use of multiple layers, trained install technicians, and onsite flexibility and adaptability.
The Little Details
- In the design phase, we provide AutoCAD drawings of the layout and design of the facility.
- Under our padding system, we place a vapour barrier to protect against concrete sweating (especially relevant with new slab pours).
- If there is no natural barrier, like a climbing wall, a perimeter will be built using superior fastening materials and custom-made Flashed brackets using 1/4in angle iron.
- After the installation and at your request we can perform an Accelerometer Drop Test to determine the impact attenuation performance.
- Our Cover and Foam include warranties for workmanship and manufacturing defects. Keeping your facility in top shape is a top priority so turn-arounds with our in-house production minimize any downtime.
Our bouldering padding systems are more than just a cover and foam layers, we have numerous unnoticeable aspects that set us apart.