From DyanmoPlaygrounds.com | by: Rob Lockhart, CCPI, CPSI
recent addition to many playgrounds are the ever-more-popular Climbing Nets. These nets offer a variety of challenges and opportunities for children of all ages, and can come in a wide variety of shapes and styles.
As providers of commercial playground equipment offer more of these climbing products, it can create questions for adults purchasing these items about how to understand the fall heights calculated by safety standards.
It can seem counter-intuitive that a pyramid-shaped Climbing Net with a center post height of nearly 32 feet (9.7 m) can still have a fall height of less than 8 feet (2.2 m); but, understanding how the nets are constructed helps to make sense of the logic.
Internal net geometry on a well-designed net will provide a continual criss-cross web below the user, preventing any long falls should the user happen to lose all of their gripping points. In effect the play piece is its own safety net.
Fall heights are calculated either at the highest point of the perimeter of the game, or at the highest point inside the net where a user of the targeted age range could conceiveably fall to the surface without being caught on a cross-rope. Although the higher value of the two is used for each net, the result is still a fall height far lower than the highest point on most net climbers.
Visiting a park with one of these net climbers will quickly show how much the children love them. Knowing that net designs are deceptively safer than their appearance can make purchasers and parents alike love them too.