Choose the Right Starting Blocks for Your Pool

Every aquatic facility has different requirements that affect the starting block model you select. The experience level of swimmers and specifics about your pool's design will all affect your decision.

Q: We'd like to diversify our program with competitive swimming. What starting block features should we consider?

A: For swimmers who are just learning to do racing dives, it is best to choose a block that is closer to the water. Starting block models can often be customized in height depending on a facility's needs. A simple backstroke handle should suffice. Starting blocks come in a variety of styles. One that is smaller will be more economical and will serve the novice swimmer and be sufficient for community swim meets as well. A step with a shorter distance from the pool deck is best for younger competitive swimmers.

Q: We're interested in an elite starting platform that will stay solid in the deck and provide fast starts. What should we consider?

A: Starting blocks come in a range of styles with single post and dual post frames that are secured in deck anchors, to those with frames that are bolted to the pool deck. Look for a starting block with a high quality anchoring system. Anchors that employ a mechanism that can exert strong, even pressure against the starting block frame and can be tightened when necessary are ideal. For starting blocks with cutting-edge technology, choose a track start model.

Q: What else should we consider?

A: Your starting blocks should be placed in the deep end. For pool depths of four to six feet, a starting block model that is not more than 18 inches over the water is recommended. For water depths 6 feet or more, block height over water can be up to 29.5 inches. Starting blocks are not recommended for pool depths less than four feet. A starting block's setback, which is measured from the water's edge to the center of the starting block post, is another critical measurement. The front edge of the block should line up with the pool's edge. Pool design features like gutters, parapets and coping all must be taken into consideration when figuring the setback requirement. Other starting block options include lane numbers, custom logos and colors.



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