Synthetic turf has become a highly engineered system. Its advantage is that it is possible to guarantee and predict the performance and quality of a pitch over a long period of time. Shock pads play a key role in this as they provide a safe and comfortable surface for that duration and beyond. Players and stadium owners are the major beneficiaries, as the synthetic turf permits the safe year-round use of fields for multiple sports and events.
With the bar being raised continuously, deciding on which artificial grass surface should be installed has become a true challenge. ‘There are many different synthetic turf systems and it takes time for buyers to evaluate and understand which one they should choose,’ says Leon Behr, regional sales manager for Schmitz Foam Products. ‘Things have now become more complicated as, in addition to the selection of the right turf and infill combination, shock pads have been added to the mix.’
Shock pads are an essential component as they absorb the impact when players fall on the pitch. They also manage the energy a player requires when running over the pitch. ‘They provide a solid foundation and a solid feel underfoot, making it very comfortable for athletes to play on a surface with a high-quality shock pad,‘ Behr explains. Good quality shock pads strike the delicate balance between providing a solid feel underfoot and the shock absorbing characteristics. It’s a science that Schmitz Foam Products has mastered over many years. Their shock pad ProPlay is used in sports pitches in over 70 countries. Sports governing bodies and the various developers of synthetic turf systems extensively test these systems to establish how and if they meet the criteria.