For a long time, facilities like gymnastics parks, trampoline parks, indoor extreme sports parks, and others the feature a risk of falling have relied on pits of foam blocks or logs for safety. These foam pits may offer greater safety and impact absorption than a simple mat or the hard floor, but they’re far from an ideal safety solution. Consider some of these facts:
In ideal conditions, foam pits can be a great way to cushion falls and prevent injury. But conditions aren’t always ideal: Pits can be constructed too shallow, or blocks can become compressed, resulting in a loss of shock absorption. Case in point is a child who tragically lost his life after falling into a shallow foam pit at a trampoline park in 2012.
Like anything else that comes into regular contact with the human body, the foam blocks in traditional safety pits pick up dust, dirt, debris, bacteria, and other unsanitary contaminants. Unfortunately, there’s no way to clean these blocks without taking them out and cleaning them individually with soap and water or other cleansers. In the meantime, though, dust and foam can cause allergic reactions in users, or even ruin clothes.
In addition to regular contamination with dust and debris, the foam blocks used for many pits contain harmful flame retardant chemicals. This has been an ongoing concern for many in the gymnastics community, with some young gymnasts being shown to have blood concentrations of the hazardous flame retardant known as PentaBDE as much as 6.5 times that of the average person (source).
For all these reasons and more, foam pits require costly, time-consuming maintenance and replacement. Foam blocks must regularly be removed to decompress and be washed. This should be done at least monthly, or more depending on use – no small feat. What’s more, regular deterioration means that blocks must be replaced every year or so, at a cost that’s not insignificant.
Notice not only the excitement factor of the Air Bag, but also the exceptional cycle count of the Air Bag compared to the sluggish throughput of the foam pit!
Zero Shock offers an ideal solution to the problems associated with foam pits. Zero Shock’s inflatable landing bags offer superior hygiene and safety, without harsh flame retardants or time-consuming maintenance. A top layer sits on top of inflatable “fingers,” cylindrical tubes that absorb impact and transfer the force harmlessly into the base. This means that there’s no falling through blocks to hit the ground – Zero Shock can even take more than one impact at a time with no loss of effectiveness. And cleanliness is simple: Just wash down the surface.
Zero Shock™ air bag systems are used around the globe for the amusement, gymnastic, stunt, extreme sports, civil rescue and commercial industries. If you’re interested in getting rid of your foam pit and using Zero Shock, get in touch with our sales department today.