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

By: Marcus Sheridan on August 24th, 2018

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

Pool Design Guides

If you look back just 10 or 15 years ago in the swimming pool industry, you'll find that roughly 90% of all inground swimming pools had a diving board. But today, the trend has done an almost 180-degree turn.

Here at River Pools, we see 5 reasons why diving boards have now practically become extinct.

 

Why are diving boards going away?

  1. Pool safety
  2. Less play area
  3. Higher insurance
  4. Stiff diving boards
  5. Too much pool

1. Pool safety

For obvious reasons, diving boards have led to many accidents in the past.

In general, people do not own a swimming pool to add more stress to their life. Most want a tranquil place to relax and have fun.

Although diving boards can certainly be entertaining, they also raise stress levels for parents and supervisors, especially when many children are involved.


2. Less play area

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.

Fact is, diving pools have very small play areas.

Let's say a diving pool consists of 1/3 shallow end, 1/3 hard slope, and 1/3 diving well. That 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, games like volleyball are so popular in swimming pools. Such activities are impossible with so much water depth in the deep end of the pool.


3. Higher insurance

In most cases, homeowner's insurance goes up when you add a diving board. The percentages vary depending on the policy, but that's just the way it is. It goes hand-in-hand with the safety thing.

An inground pool without a diving board will likely not affect your homeowner's insurance.


4. Stiff diving boards

The diving boards of today just ain't what they used to be. This is due to their rigidity and stiffness.

Diving boards had major spring 15 years ago. Today, it's tough to find a diving board that has very much spring at all, mainly because manufacturers are scared of lawsuits.

Because these boards are so rigid, they lose their novelty rather quickly, causing pool owners to regret having installed them in the first place.


5. Too much pool

In order to do a diving pool the right way, it really needs to be at least 38–39 ft. long.

This is because the slope in the middle of the pool needs to be far enough away from the board itself that someone won't dive into this part of the pool and be injured.

That makes for a pretty long pool. Most people actually don't want that. To give you an example of this, of the 600+ pools our company has installed, roughly 75% have been 35 ft. long or less.

This is especially applicable to subdivisions where backyards often simply don't accommodate such large sizes.


What's best for you?

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.

Although I can understand such a dilemma, my response 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. Children may be adamant about wanting certain things with their swimming pool, but 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. Non-diving pools tend to have so much more play area than traditional diving pools. Children are quite often surprised at 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.

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Editor's note: This blog article was originally published in April 2010 and has been updated and revamped for accuracy and appearance.