Duraflex Diving Board
The springboard is obviously the heart of a diving facility. While best suited when mounted on a Durafirm Diving Stand, it can be installed on a variety of structures and still prove effective.
A springboard comes in three basic varieties – the Maxiflex Model “B” Cheeseboard, the Maxiflex Springboard, and the Duraflex Springboard. You may see other types, such as short aluminum or fiberglass diving boards at a hotel of private pool, but from a competitive standpoint, there is no other alternative.
The Maxiflex Model “B” Cheeseboard is the only board used in regional and national level diving competitions, and is the best springboard available in the world. The Maxiflex Springboard is appropriate for a competitive environment, has the same 16-foot length as a “cheeseboard,” but is usually installed in older pools that have limited water depth or used in a dryland setting. The Duraflex Springboard is a recreational springboard only 14 feet long, that is appropriate for beginner instruction and … recreation!
A diving stand is any structure on which a diving board can be mounted. If you are involved in competitive diving, the best bang for your buck are Durafirm diving stands. Ninety five times out of one hundred when you walk into a facility that hosts competitions, teaches lessons or hosts a club team and coach, you will find Durafirm diving stands.
In a few pools, especially outdoor facilities you may find the Paragon brand or an older metal or “pipe stand,” but if you want to provide your divers with the best diving stand and board made for the sport, you should install Durafirm.
There are many reasons for this such as the quality and construction, but one major point is that the diving board is secured to the rear ladder by two hinges instead of being fastened directly to the stand. This allows the diving board to give much more spring than if secured directly to the stand.
It is an obvious point when you consider the fact that Duralfex diving boards and stands are made for primarily for competitive divers.
Diving Board Hinge
Ahh, the hinges. This is one of the aspects of the diving stand that makes Durafirm unique. The hinge attaches the diving board to the rear portion of the diving stand and allows the springboard to effectively move independently of the diving stand - rising up after being pushed down instead of bending, or flexing from the attachment point. The result is that the diving board then has the ability to provide more spring.
Just as in a hinge on a door, the diving board hinge allows the springboard to rotate around a fixed axis. Sounds complicated huh? It really is a simple concept that was applied to the diving board and stand by Ray Rude, founder of Duraflex International. I guess it wouldn't surprise you that he was an engineer!
These hinges are also unique in that they allow the diving board to be lifted completely off the fulcrum for maintenance or if the need arises to move the board during a competition that makes use of the deep water area of the pool, such as a swim meet or water polo match.
Diving Board Fulcrum
The fulcrum is a moveable wheel that when adjusted, can dramatically change the amount of flex and spring from a springboard. The fulcrum consists of a footwheel that can be moved by the user forward toward the tip end of the board (less spring), or back toward the ladder for more spring.
This footwheel is surrounded by what is known as the roller block assembly, which allows the wheel to spin and move backward and forward underneath the diving board.
As with the hinge, the fulcrum contains moveable parts that require maintenance in order to work properly, yet it is one of the most neglected aspects of a diving stand, especially at outdoor facilities.
Full and Short Stands
Durafirm diving stands essentially come in two forms - full stands and short stands. Full stands are exactly what they sound like - stands that "stand" alone and can be installed in any type of pool regardless of the shape of the pool deck and pool's gutters. Both 1-meter and 3-meter stands come in a variety of heights to accommodate the deck-to-water level, and all include guardrails - a must for safety!
Short stands are diving stands that only contain the portions of the stand that support the fulcrum and hinges, and may or may not include guardrails. They are installed onto a permanent structures such as a concrete pedestal. The advantage of a short stands deals with both safety and efficiency. Since many short stands are installed on a larger concrete structure and only sit six inches high, the chances of an accident happening can be reduced. Of course that assumes that all the divers are well behaved, which is not always the case!
From an efficiency standpoint, short stands contain approximately 50% of the materials of a 1-meter stand and 70% of a 3-meter stand. This results in less vibration from the stand and a better "ride" for the diver.