How to Properly Maintain a Diving Board
Diving boards do not last forever. In general, a good board will last about 8 to 10 years before it needs any type of major restoration. But if you don't give the board the respect it deserves — treating it right and protecting it from the elements — your board will age quickly.
In order for a diving board to last its maximum lifespan, you need to take care of it. Diving boards are expensive pieces of equipment, generally around $3000. In order to get the most out of your investment, it is important to keep your springboard clean and in good condition. Below are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your diving apparatus.
Nuts & Bolts
Behind any great board is a good set of nuts and bolts. These small pieces of equipment — including nuts, bolts, O-rings, and hinges — keep the board attached to its stand. For Duraflex boards (the standard competitive diving board), only two bolts attach the board to its stand. If they become loose or rusted, the quality of your spring and the safety of your diving board, will suffer.
During the winter months, if a diving board is not in use, take it off its hinges and store it in a dry and safe environment. Cold weather, sleet, and snow will degrade your investment. Placing it in a dry environment will eliminate this problem.
In order to keep these working properly, check them frequently. Make sure they are tight. A good indication that there is a problem is a noisy board. Boards that sound loud when bounced on are ones that need attention. Keep a wrench handy and tighten any loose bolts as soon as you notice a problem.
Also check the bolts frequently for rust. If you notice rust building up, replace them immediately. This is an inexpensive solution that will save you lots of headaches down the road.
Under a Duraflex diving board are eight thin strips of rubber, known as rubber channels. This rubber helps the fulcrum glide smoothly up and down the board, and prevents the aluminum of the diving board to rub against the metal of the fulcrum. If these two elements rub against each other, it can cause your diving board to crack. It is important to check the underside of the board periodically to make sure the rubber isn't bunching or deteriorating.
If your diver complains that the fulcrum is getting stuck, or if the board sounds funny when bouncing on it, inspect this area. The rubber channels are fairly inexpensive to replace (around $80 to $100), and easy to restore. All it requires is a standard caulking gun to reapply the rubber channels to the board.
Squeaky Fulcrum or Hinges
If you hear your board squeaking when a diver bounces or tries to move the fulcrum, it is a good time to pull out the oil can. Squirt some lubricant on squeaky hinges and rough cylinders of the fulcrum to increase your board's lifespan. This is an easy fix that will likely need to happen frequently. Keep a can of oil handy and use it generously. Oil will save you a lot of time and headaches as well as help you get the most out of your investment.
Lastly, keep your board clean. This simple task will keep your board looking and working properly. Here are some easy reminders:
- Daily: Hose your board off daily with fresh water.
- Monthly: Scrub your board with any type of soft bristle scrub brush and warm soapy water. You can also use detergent or chlorine if you feel it is necessary.
These cleanings really don't take long, and the small effort will extend the lifespan of your board tremendously.
If the board is really dirty with stains or algae, use a little muriatic acid. But be careful with this! Take precautions and follow the advice on the product's label. Too much acid can be dangerous; it can also eat through your board and ruin it. Make sure to wear gloves and use a small, diluted amount of acid to keep your board looking and working its best.
A diving board is an expensive and obviously necessary piece of equipment for divers. You want to do everything to maximize your investment. The best way for you to ensure this happens is vigilance: Inspect the board frequently and make sure it is in proper working order.
Listen to make sure the board is smooth when bounced on. Loud noises, squeaks, or any other pounding sounds indicate a problem. Look for cracks (especially hairline cracks) as this can pose a significant safety concern. Pay attention to the working order of your board, and look to resolve any problems you encounter. Proper diving board maintenance is a simple and inexpensive way to get the most out of your investment.