Who says a diving board is limited to a public swimming pool? Some of the best childhood memories involve jumping into the water, performing the most outrageous stunts from a diving board. Times have changed (and thankfully safety around the pool is tighter now), so if your pool is large enough, why not add a diving board on your residential pool?
Let’s take a look at the different types of diving boards, the minimum requirements to install one (especially concerning pool depth and size), as well as safety recommendations so you can find the right diving board for your residential swimming pool.
Types of diving boards
Diving boards come in a great variety of shapes and styles, but unless you own an Olympic sized pool, there are two main types of diving boards specific for residential swimming pools: springboards and jump platforms.
As the word implies, this type of diving board features springs. They have the ability to provide extra power so you can jump high and dive, but as fun as they can be, they also increase the risk of safety issues around the pool.
Even though they used to be a common feature in many residential pools, springboards are now mostly relegated to dive towers in competition-style large pools with enough depth.
The only difference between a springboard and a jump platform is the fact there are no springs in a jump platform, therefore it doesn’t bounce. However, regardless of the type, in order to install a diving board, your pool must meet certain requirements.
Requirements to install a diving board
As common sense indicates, having enough depth is the greatest requirement to install a diving board. But not only enough depth directly beneath the diving board is needed, you also must take in consideration the diving envelope.
The diving envelope is the transition between the deep and the shallow end. The more gradual the transition is between the deep and shallow ends, the safest it will be for divers. The envelope area must be totally clear of obstacles.
What is the minimum depth recommended?
To qualify for a diving board, your pool must meet a certain depth. But how much is enough? The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) set the standard diving depth between 7.5 and 9 feet, depending on the shape. Having said this, a pool suitable for a diving board will have to be deeper and longer than the average inground pool.
What is the minimum pool size for a diving board?
As we mentioned earlier, only large pools are suited to feature a diving board so you can have a generous diving area, a proper diving envelope and a decent area of shallow end space, preferably large enough for playing, swimming and using your pool floats.
Generally speaking, a pool should feature an area of at least 16 x 36 feet and if you have enough space, consider an even larger pool. If you’re building a new pool, you must also consider an entry and exit area, whether it is a pool ladder or built-in steps, as well as enough shallow space so that children can play safely.
Other diving board requirements
Other than size and depth, installing a diving board requires several do’s and don’ts that you should follow closely. If you’re seriously considering a diving board, it’s always best to leave it in the hands of professionals.
- Installing or trying to attach a diving board to an above ground pool violates all pool regulations and can represent a great hazard.
- If you own a diving board and you want to move to a new home and pool, you must previously check that it will be suitable for the new pool.
- The longer the board you install, the deeper the pool will need to be in order to ensure safe diving.
- Building a pool with a diving board might increase your insurance rates, so check with your insurance company beforehand to avoid unpleasant surprises.
- Check the available models in the market, some diving boards can be removed before winterizing and stored indoors during the winter season.
Nowadays, diving boards come in all different kinds of sleek models and materials. Forget the boring, plain models from the old days, diving boards can also have a decorative touch for your pool. You can have a waterfall kit installed or add colorful, waterproof LED light strips that match your pool lights set.
Before you dive right in, keep in mind that above any other pool accessory, the quality of your water is fundamental. Sutro pool monitoring system can keep a close eye on your water’s chemistry, testing parameters such as chlorine, pH and alkalinity 3 times a day and recommending adjustments when needed.