ProPlay® prolongs sports field and stadium pitch safety

Shockpad outlasts lifespan of two synthetic turf carpets

Early adopters of the ProPlay® shock absorbing layer are currently reaping the fruits. A growing number of installations are proving that the lifespan of ProPlay® meets expectations, thereby enabling clubs and stadium owners to offer a safe and durable surface over a longer period of time and achieve significant savings when renewing their synthetic turf surfaces.  

Engineered systems like synthetic turf fields enable field owners to control the quality and safety of their fields. However, they often fail to recognise the importance of a shockpad. ‘I have had clients and architects in the past considering various pads to reduce the Gmax results of their field,’ Craig Shonk of Midwest Synthetic Turf says. ‘The price of adding a pad was just simply out of their budget. As an alternative, they requested for a taller pile height turf, which allowed for more rubber to be added to the infill system. That helped lower the Gmax but it also makes the field so soft under foot that you increase the fatigue in your lower body. The experience is similar to running in dry sand on a beach vs running on the wet sand.’ Shonk has become a strong advocate of using shockpads. ‘A pad gives you the reduction in Gmax results but maintains a firm and fast surface under foot because of the higher sand content in the sand/rubber infill mix. Putting a pad under the turf is always the best option, if you can afford it.’

A lasting investment

An investment in a shockpad is a lasting investment. Harding University in Arkansas, United States, can attest to this claim. The Harding University field was replaced in 2012. At the time Craig Shonk was the director of operations for Prograss, the company that held the contract on the replacement of the field. ‘Once we removed the existing turf from the field, we performed an inspection and we concluded that the ProPlay® shockpad that was used when the field was installed in 2005, was still in excellent shape.’ All Shonk had to do was replace the synthetic turf carpet and its infill.

Rigid performance

‘Throughout the turf removal and rollup process we punctured or tore a handful of panels. We ordered two pallets of new pad to replace the damaged pieces,’ Shonk admits. The new panels blended in easily with those that had been used for eight years already. ‘We noticed that existing ProPlay® panels had not changed in size, shape or thickness over the length of time that the pad had been installed. The original pad pieces matched up perfectly with the new pieces that we had ordered. .’



Best of two worlds

‘ProPlay® shock- and drainage pads are produced from foam products that, for one or another reason, ended up not being used,’ Jens Ulb, Sales Director of Schmitz Foam Products explains. ‘These products already passed the quality tests at their respective producers and provide us with the perfect raw material to enable us producing a superior shock absorbing panel.’ As a result, the company’s CO2 footprint is limited. ‘Best of all is that we prevent quality products that were not used for their intended purpose, from ending up in the waste-stream.’

Craig Shonk is convinced that synthetic turf fields can’t do without a shockpad. ‘As more people learn about concussion in sports and the potential impact that synthetic turf fields have on concussions, the overall awareness to find better solutions in turf systems is leading to more clients purchasing or budgeting for pads.’ ‘Because budgets are typically a huge factor in the decision-making process, I believe that many clients will lean towards ProPlay® because of their overall value.’