Nowadays, more and more people are trying to find fun and healthy ways to stay fit. Rock climbing has emerged as a popular hobby. With the rise in the number of people pursuing this hobby, the number of injuries and mishaps is also on the rise.
Fortunately, there are many ways to enjoy the activity while staying safe. One of the best solutions for avoiding such injuries during bouldering activities is installing a bouldering crash pad to your premises. The protective cushions made of foam layers that make a crash pad offer a forgiving surface that softens any falls and lowers the chance of any sprains, bruises and broken bones.
Thus, a crash pad or bouldering mat is a foam pad that offers protection while bouldering. It helps climbers avoid injuries during expeditions. A standard crash pad has many different attributes such as the type of materials used, folding systems, sizes, foam types and any special features.
They are used in all kinds of terrains; some pads suit flat surfaces while others are made for rocky, uneven landings. The build of each pad is designed with some factors in mind that make each pad unique.
These impact the cushion effect of the foam, the closed size of the pad and the carrying system. Based on the folding system, a pad can be worse or better for a specific landing.
It is a single continuous piece of foldable soft foam. Though they are typically softer pads, they keep up the same level of cushioning all through the whole pad, even at the point of folding. This Taco style fold works best for rocky, uneven landings and less for flat landings. Though Tacos have much room for gear, they are tough to store since they don’t lie flat. All Taco owners must keep them open to preserve the foam.
They serve as stand-alone pads thanks to their big size but are hinged in 2 areas, permitting variability in landing zones. The Tri-fold system permits big pads to be folded small when closed, which makes them easy to be carried or stored.
In this, a piece of material made of Nylon holds together 2 big pieces of foam. Such pads can be carried easily as a briefcase or backpack, especially if they feature a side handle. Hinge pads are the flattest among crash mats, making them suitable for flat landings. They also fold very tight and serve as spacious carriers for other gear. Hence, hinged pads work much worse on rocky landings or uneven terrain. But they are quite common in multi-pad areas with a flat surface.
These are less common and are pads with a baffled design where partial hinges, folded to half of the thickness of the pad, tend to separate foam stuffed baffles. They are made of recycled and shredded foam moulds that serve well for rocky terrains and are much superior to other styles. It folds like a Taco but also hinges well. Such crash mats are multi-dimensional and versatile: they lie flat, fold over rocks, pack a reasonable quantity of gear and also serve as a comfortable sleeping pad.
They cover huge surface areas and are ideal for flatter landings. But the disadvantages are that they are more expensive, heavier and occupy more space.
Standard crash pad
These are typically lighter and can cover different terrain, such as debris ridden or rocky areas. Easy to carry, they are the ideal option for travelling. It is possible to easily stack medium pads using either manufactured strap systems or ropes.
They are referred to as ‘mini pads’, ideal for spotting and multi-pad landings. These pads offer a spot to wipe one’s feet and a comfortable seat at a boulder. Slider pads serve less to cushion falls and more as complementary items. Slider pads typically have little foam, rendering them ideal to cover seams in multi-pad landings.
In sum, bouldering and climbing can be exciting and challenging ways to keep active. But safety must be the number one priority. To get the maximum out of your climbs, it is possible to find a bouldering crash pad tailored to your specific needs.