If one looks back just 10 or 15 years ago in the swimming pool industry, they'll find that roughly 90% of all inground swimming pools had a diving board. But today, the trend has done an almost complete 180 degree turn. In this little article, I'll analyze 5 reasons why diving boards have now essentially gone the way of the dinosaur and practically become extinct.
Safety: For obvious reasons, diving boards have lead to many accidents in the past. In general, people do not own a swimming pool to add more stress to their life. In fact, most are just looking for a tranquil place to relax and have fun. Although diving boards can certainly be entertaining, they also elevate stress levels for parents and supervisors, especially when there are many children involved.
Play Area: Fact is, diving pools have very small ‘play areas'. And what is considered ‘play area' in a swimming pool? Play area is anywhere a person can stand with their head above water. Studies have shown that most people will spend about 80% of their time in the play area of an inground pool. This being said, a diving pool, which consists of 1/3 shallow end, 1/3 hard slope, and 1/3 diving well, offers very little play area. For example, a 40' diving pool has roughly a 12'-13' shallow end. Considering this area will be used 80% of the time by the swimmers, that's not a great use of space. Also, with games like volleyball being so popular in swimming pools, such activities are impossible with so much water depth in the deep-end of the pool.
Insurance: In most cases, home-owners insurance goes up with the addition of a diving board. The percentages vary depending on the policy, but that's just the way it is. In terms of an inground pool though without a dive, chances are your homeowners insurance will not be affected.
Stiff Diving Boards: The diving boards of today just ‘ain't what they used to be'. This is due to their rigidity and stiffness. 15 years ago, diving boards had major spring, but today, mainly because manufacturers are scared of lawsuits; it's tough to find a diving board that has very much spring at all. And because these boards are so rigid, they lose their novelty rather quickly, causing pool owners to regret having installed them in the first place.
Too Much Pool: In order to do a diving pool the right way, it really needs to be at least 38'-39' long. This is because the slope in the middle of the pool needs to be far enough away from the board itself so as to prevent the possibility of someone diving into this part of the pool and experiencing injury. The fact that the pool needs to be so long doesn't lend itself to the general desires of many swimming pool owners in the 21st century. To give you an example of this, of the 600+ pools our company has installed, roughly 75% have been 35' long or less. This is especially applicable to subdivisions where backyards often times simply don't accommodate such large sizes.
Despite all of these disadvantages to owning a ‘diving' pool, I occasionally do have customers that really want a diving board because their children have their hopes set on one. And although I can understand such a dilemma, my response to this is always the same question:
If a swimming pool does not have a diving board, will the children boycott it?
Well obviously, the answer is a resounding ‘NO'. Although children may be adamant about wanting certain things with their swimming pool, when it comes down to it what they really want is water--pure and simple. If kids have water, they're going to have fun. And the fact that non-diving pools tend to have so much more play area than traditional diving pools, children are quite often surprised at just how content they are without a diving board on their swimming pool.
Questions about diving boards? As always, please feel free to leave your thoughts below.