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5 Reasons Why Diving Boards and Diving Pools Have Gone the Way of the Dinosaur

  
  
  

Diving Board DisadvantagesIf 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.

Marcus Sheridan

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Comments

Good points. I would also include the aesthetics. Diving boards are simply not an attractive feature.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 14, 2010 9:19 PM by Rip Hooker
Hi Rip, and thanks for stopping by. You bring up a good point regarding the aesthetics, as this is a legitimate concern for some people.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 14, 2010 10:15 PM by Marcus Sheridan
Marc as you know my first pool was an above ground pool with a large deck. My wife would always say I wish we could do a diving board because the kids just love jumping into the pool off the deck. It's funny the kids never once said I wish we had a diving board. And I never saw them bored in the pool.
Posted @ Saturday, April 17, 2010 9:48 AM by Jim
A pool without a diving board is incredibly lame.
Posted @ Sunday, July 04, 2010 12:25 PM by Chris
I wouldn't build a pool without a diving board. For me, that is the whole point - to have a large deep swimming hole to jump into and swim like a fish in ( to be able to swim vertically as well as horizontally and everything in between.) 
 
 
 
My problem has been finding advice on the internet about spring boards with the most spring.
Posted @ Sunday, June 19, 2011 2:27 PM by Angela
I have taught 1 second in state who would have never tried if it hadn't been in my pool. Owners need to have hard rules about their pools. I have had parents leave with their kids because my rules are strictly enforced. Dad RULES!!!
Posted @ Monday, April 02, 2012 8:19 PM by Garry
BS. Studies show that homes with a diving boards have FEWER diving accidents. The pools are made for diving AND the board let's people know which side of the pool is the deep end.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 22, 2012 8:20 PM by Frank
Where can I buy a board with some spring in it? The one on my pool is very stiff
Posted @ Sunday, July 01, 2012 3:40 PM by Bob
I grew up with a pool that had a robust, springy diving board. My current 40' pool has a nice board as well. I cannot imagine a pool without one. At least one insurance company is insisting that I remove the board, though. The policy excludes coverage for incidents arising from the use of diving boards, so they have no legitimate reason for their demand. I love my board and use it regularly.
Posted @ Thursday, July 05, 2012 9:15 AM by Dave
Amazing... We recently bought a home with no diving board on the pool. My kids don't swim nearly as much as they used to. Just yesterday, we visited my mom's house for the 4th. The kids spent hours on the diving board. It's like the board calls to them...  
 
 
 
And I agree, there is something to be said about safely diving in the correct spot and tragectory from a board rather than diving in from any side.  
 
 
 
I was on another site that stated facts: 57% of diving injuries occur without a diving board and 80% of all water injuries occur because of diving into open bodies of water - not swimming pools.
Posted @ Thursday, July 05, 2012 5:12 PM by JDiaz
"If there is no diving board will they boycott it?" 
 
Absolutely I will! I no longer waste my time with pools that have turned there noses up at the diving board(backyard or otherwise). What loses its novelty fast, is a pool thats good for nothing but wading and lap swimming. One of the great parts of a pool is the deep end for a variety of games and activities that require a balance of treading and surface diving not even related to board diving.  
 
I have also noted a trend of taking out boards and putting in water slides. That loses its novelty after 1 ride usually maybe 3 if its a fast one. Those are the true waste of space.  
 
I can understand the insurance reasons but I emphatically disagree with your take on the enjoyability of an all shallow pool.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 10, 2012 6:47 PM by Nick
Who cares about whether anybody's kids have their heart set on it? *I* want a diving board for me!  
While I appreciate the safety concerns, I personally find that I get bored very quickly in a shallow pool. There isn't much to be done in a 3 foot deep pool that can't be done in a hot tub or oversized bathtub, so why bother?  
Meanwhile, in the rare case I find myself in a pool with a diving board (spring or none), I'll be entertained for quite a while trying to see how high I can jump, how deep I can dive, and how many flips I can cram in before I hit the water.  
Maybe it's my gymnastics background. Maybe it's just that I never learned the art of "lounging" by a pool instead of actually swimming in it like most women- many a time I've been the only female over age ten actually in the pool at someone's party. But if I ever put a pool in my backyard, it will be a dive pool. I wouldn't be satisfied with anything less.
Posted @ Saturday, January 26, 2013 8:14 PM by dp
My question is my pool is old and so is the diving board so i want the diving board removedhow ever its on a concrete pad how would it look and what way can i decorate or design around it. I dont want to send alot of money.
Posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 2:07 PM by Nancy
I realize most of the spring action comes from the base nowadays, and my dive stand doesn't have much to it. So does anyone know what board has the best spring action to it?
Posted @ Tuesday, April 02, 2013 10:50 AM by Tom
I have restored our concrete in ground pool that is a diving pool -bottom divided into thirds - 40 x 25 x 11. I need a new diving board. My Dad made the original one in 1949. The pool was not used from 1970 on. I need some professional to build a laminated wood board. Any ideas?
Posted @ Thursday, June 06, 2013 4:50 PM by Pamela Griffen
I spent the majority of time, as a kid to adulthood, in the deep end. I wouldn't even consider buying a pool without a diving board maybe even a high dive. A pool without a deep end is like going to a theme park that decided to forgo the roller coasters for a merry-go-round and a small slide.
Posted @ Sunday, June 09, 2013 3:03 PM by Mark Jolle
I have a 40' pool 91/2' deep. We have had the pool for 42 years and I now need a new diving board. The original board was very springy but now that my grandchildren use the pool I want a stiff board so it will not be springy for any adults (or children)using the pool. Children like to jump off the board anyway. Can you suggest a stiff board that I can use with a cantalever stand.
Posted @ Wednesday, June 19, 2013 7:50 PM by Oldtimer
I am someone who misses diving boards very much! Even universities and public pools have gotten rid of diving boards. When I was a kid a pool without a diving board, is just as useless as a pool without water!
Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 5:26 PM by Cris Zadrozn
I am in favor of non-diving pools. We've had inground pools installed in our first home (1996) and present home (2004). The first pool had a traditional deep end, and our present pool is 6 feet at the deepest point. We have four children who use the pool daily. We installed a slide this time, and they enjoy it, though it is a space waster and so I look forward to removing it. It's been 9 years, and we have no regrets about having a non-diving pool. The kids like jumping into the 6 feet of water (the tallest being 6 feet:), but they also spend a lot of time in the shallow end, playing ball games. Also, it is much easier to vacuum a shallower pool. It's less expensive to maintain and quicker to heat, as well. I felt that we didn't get as much enjoyment out of our traditional 8-foot-deep pool, since the shallow end was so small with the steep decline into the deep end. To each his/her own.
Posted @ Monday, October 07, 2013 12:20 PM by Lib
**Our pool is actually 6 1/2 feet in the deep area, but I believe the water goes up to 6 feet. I can walk out on tippy toe to the stairs in the deep end section. I love it!
Posted @ Monday, October 07, 2013 12:23 PM by Lib
We are in the process of building a new pool and I am a lover of diving. I just discovered that what you really need to have good spring is called a 'jump board', where the BASE has springiness in addition to the board. My insurance company says there's no added premium for a pool, even with a board. Can't wait!
Posted @ Thursday, October 10, 2013 8:57 PM by Nicole
Nicole, where do you live & who is your insurance company. My insurance company is going to drop me if I don't remove my diving board from the home we jus 
t purchased. We took the board off, but now we are being asked to remove the brackets that are in the concrete. We don't want to do this as it would be costly and something we can't do ourselves. I'm frustrated by this!
Posted @ Monday, October 14, 2013 7:12 PM by Kathy
Our diving board just broke. We want to replace it but we cant find anyone who will do it. They are all saying they can't. It is an old pool and board. Where can we buy a board and how can we find someone to install it?
Posted @ Thursday, February 13, 2014 2:36 PM by norman davis
Norman,  
I needed a replacement board because mine was stolen! We had it down on the deck for refinishing. We have had it since 1949 when my dad built our pool. I shopped around for Commercial length boards - I need 16 feet - but didn't like them. A friend sent me to a cabinet maker who loves to do any work with wood. Online there is a website with instructions how to build a diving board. It is dated 1948. This guy and I discussed it. He had never done laminate work like this but he knows how it is done and the paper I gave him confirmed his own knowledge. We agreed on $3,000 and he expects to have it ready by May when we fill up the pool. Because of liability issues he said he would not assist in any way mounting the board. I live in San Diego. Don't know where you live but I hope this helps.
Posted @ Thursday, February 13, 2014 4:10 PM by Pamela Griffen
I do agree. 
There is however an esthetical aspect that determines the choice of my customers. A wooden diving board such as the Revelation One has a high art value and offeres in our modest oppinion the right balance between beauty, safety and enormous pleasure for children and grown-up´s. 
Finally The GBF makes the board spring the way it should. 
Of course we engage uor customers to read all safety instructions, which should take away the reasonable doubts one may have. 
It should be fun, not stress.
Posted @ Saturday, March 08, 2014 7:25 AM by Mikel tube
A pool without a diving board is lame lame lame. 
 
Why have we allowed insurance companies to legislate our entire lives? Only 10% of all pool diving accidents can be attributed to diving boards. The rest occur from people diving in areas they shouldn't—like the shallow end, or jumping off a ladder or table near the pool, etc. How can you hold a diving board manufacturer liable for this type of moronic behavior? The fact is, the insurance companies don't care, and they would rather decimate an entire industry than try to figure out the real cause. Banning diving boards is simply easier for them to do, and so they do it, forcing dozens of diving board manufacturers and installers out of business, and altering our recreational behavior in the process.
Posted @ Monday, March 17, 2014 12:20 PM by Craig
my diving board stand is still securely installed in my concrete deck. How can I find a service that will install a new diving board on the old bolts. It is certainly not pretty, or functional as it is. And the kids miss the board a lot. 
Posted @ Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:06 PM by CAROL W
Carol, 
Just for your information, we can adapt the wooden diving board to your stand since they are handmade. All we need is an exact blueprint of your stand and the way the board is attached to give you a fair quote on that. 
Hope this can help you further. 
Mikel 
Posted @ Friday, March 21, 2014 5:42 AM by Mikel Tube
Thanks for teling the saftey measures while using wooden diving boards
Posted @ Thursday, April 03, 2014 5:37 AM by sophiawright
Sophia, 
You are absolutely right... we will see to that and keep you all informed. Thank you for the tip. 
Mikel
Posted @ Thursday, April 10, 2014 1:38 AM by Mikel Tube
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