A springboard is an expensive piece of equipment, but often times it is treated with the same respect as a five-year-old’s bike. It finds itself out in the cold during the winter, battling the elements, and is expected to work like a charm every season.
It just doesn’t happen that way though, and if you spend up to $3500 on a top-of-the-line cheeseboard, don’t expect your valuable springboard to give a good return on investment unless you treat it properly!
If your diving board is used at an outdoor facility that closes for the winter, here are a few tips that will help a springboard keep its bounce for years to come.
1. Store the Board
Don't leave your expensive diving board on the diving stand, or lying on the pool deck all winter! Remove all springboards from their stands and store them for the winter, preferably in a safe place where it will not be affected by the weather, be the recipient of dropped tools, or run over by the occasional car or maintenance vehicle.
Remember to remove the diving board bolts (the bolts that attach the board to the hinges), clean each one with any type of degreaser, and then store them in a place where they can be found easily for the next season. It’s very difficult to reattach a springboard without the bolts!
2. Check for Cracks
Diving boards, especially older ones, may develop cracks that will potentially make the springboard a hazard. Check the top, bottom and sides for any type of crack or abrasion.
If you notice a crack, unfortunately, this means one thing – it’s time for a new springboard. Something that won't put a smile on the face of your accountant. Remember though, it is better to retire this springboard than face a lawsuit when it injures a user next season.
3. The Non-Skid Surface
Look for smooth spots on the top surface of the springboard where the non-skid surface may have been worn down. On a normal basis, the surface should be rough to the touch to prevent a diver from slipping.
If the surface appears smooth, especially near the tip end of the springboard, a refinish may be in order. If the springboard appears to be structurally sound, refinishing the surface can add years to the life of a diving board, and put a smile on the face of your accountant!
4. Rubber Channels
Check the eight rubber channels on the bottom of the springboard. Each of these rubber channels should be in good shape to prevent the springboard from directly contacting the fulcrum, thus preventing cracks.
If a channel is missing, cracked, or has slipped off the rib on the underside of the board, it can easily be replaced - another small expense that can add to the longevity of your diving board.
5. Cleaning the Board
This is probably the easiest, but most overlooked aspect of diving board maintenance. At the very least, hose the board down with a pressure nozzle before putting it to bed for the winter. If you get ambitious, toss some detergent on the board and scrub it with any type of soft bristle brush. If you want to really go nuts, add a water and chlorine mixture to get rid of any algae build-up.The care and maintenance of a springboard is a relatively easy endeavor, and one that should be performed each year before closing shop for the winter. You put oil in your car every 3,000 miles to keep it running correctly, right? So why not take care of your diving board!