There are many questions that come up when designing a playground surface. What does it cost? Is it safe? Is it accessible? How does it affect the person using the playground? To select a suitable softfall surface solution you must look at what is its purpose and does it suit the needs of the child and area it is applied to.
Softfall safety surfacing provides an impact absorbing layer to help reduce the severity of injury. The most common softfall surface we find in playgrounds today is sand. Sand is versatile and a sandpit can be utilised as play material as well as protecting children from injury if they fall. Sand is usually the most economical option for a softfall material but is also good for use in high temperature areas where the sun would wear out other substances.
Bark is another softfall alternative that is very popular and is not as ‘messy or sticky’ as sand underfoot. Bark does have it’s problems as being a natural material it has a tendency to rot over time and can be washed away when it rains so needs to be replaced. An alternative to natural bark is Takura Bark it is made of nontoxic pine wood. (paddle pop sticks are made from the same material) it has minimal dust so this is great for lower allergies and is fade resistant to the sun.
Rubber softfall is becoming very popular as it comes in multiple colours and can be very eye-catching. Along with it’s non slip and hard wearing qualities it may cost a little more to install as you need to vary the thickness of the rubber depending on the fall height. For example a fall height of 1.2m requires a softfall thickness of 40mm. However as it is hard wearing and very durable it will last the life of your playground.
All softfall safety surfacing must adhere to Australian Standards 4685. 0,1,2,3,4,5,6-2014.
If you’d like to find out more about our softfall surfacing solutions for your playground contact us today.