Anatomy of a Duraflex Diving Board

What Makes the Duraflex Springboard So Effective

Duraflex diving boards, with special emphasis on the Maxiflex “Model B”, and Durafirm Diving Stands are the standard for use in the world of competitive diving. Duraflex diving boards are almost exclusively used in competitive diving. With a few exceptions, such as a Duraflex diving board mounted on a different type of diving stand, Durafirm diving stands are also the defacto standard for competition. Without exception, Duraflex diving boards and Durafirm diving stands are used in every major FINA, USA Diving, AAU and NCAA diving contest.

What Makes Duraflex Springboards Different?

Teenage girl jumping into swimming pool from diving board
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What makes these products so superior, that they are the only products used in competitive diving? Quality of the product and the lack of competition are both contributing factors. The best answer to that question though, is found in the diving board and diving stand itself. To better understand the Duraflex springboard and Durafirm diving stand, one can look at five specific elements that make this equipment so effective:

  • The Diving Board Construction
  • The Diving Board Double Taper
  • The Diving Stand Fulcrum
  • The Diving Stand Hinges
  • The Diving Board Perforations or Cheeseholes

Diving Board Construction

Aluminum Billets
Aluminum Billets. Photo: Steve Voellmecke

A Duraflex diving board is made from a single aluminum extrusion. Ok, what the heck is an extrusion? Simplified, an extrusion is a single piece of aluminum that has been heated and pressed through a die. A diving board starts out as a large cylinder of metal known as a billet, shown in the image to the left. It is then heated and squeezed into the die with thousands of tons of pressure by a machine as large as the pool in which a board will be installed. This process is a bit like squeezing toothpaste from a tube! The advantage of this type of fabrication is that it allows the diving board to flex and bend consistently.

Double Taper

Maxiflex Model B Springboards
Maxiflex Model B Springboards. Photo: Steve Voellmecke

The Maxiflex “Model B” has a double taper, a feature that allows the entire board to arc while flexing, giving it more spring than other Duraflex models and considerably more spring than any other type of diving board. What this means is that the board has a thickness of 2 inches in the middle, and then tapers off to 7/8 inch at the tip end and 1 3/8 inch at the end attached to the stand. This double taper gives added spring, making it possible for divers to perform difficult dives.

Diving Board Hinges

Diving Stand Hinges
Diving Stand Hinges. Photo: Steve Voellmecke

Duraflex diving boards are attached to the diving stand using two hinges. While this may not seem to be an unusual feature, it has an enormous effect upon how the diving board functions. Other diving boards are bolted directly to the diving stand, in essence limiting the amount of flexibility of the board and spring a diver can achieve. The hinges on a Durafirm diving stand allow the diving board to both flex, and move up and down depending on the weight of the diver.

The Fulcrum

Diving Stand Fulcrum
Diving Stand Fulcrum. Photo: Steve Voellmecke

A Durafirm diving stand contains a moveable fulcrum, allowing the diver to adjust the amount of spring. The fulcrum is an adjustable wheel that sits beneath the board, and can be moved 12-inches forward or backward from the mid-point - 24-inches in total. This adjustment changes the point at which the springboard will flex. Other than the hinges, the fulcrum is the only point of contact for the diving board and the stand.

The fulcrum is important because it allows the diver to adjust the amount of spring, depending on the divers’ weight and skill level. More spring does not necessarily mean more height. A diver must adjust the fulcrum so that he or she can push down on the board as it is going down, a technique known as riding the board.

Model “B” Cheeseholes

These “cheeseholes,” as they are commonly named, are actually 189 perforations in the metal at the tip-end of the diving board that decrease the weight at the tip of the diving board, and reduce air resistance, allowing for more spring. While the air resistance is negligible, the reduced weight at the end the board allows for more spring than other Duraflex diving board models. The cheeseholes are only found on Model “B” springboards. The cheeseholes also eliminate standing water, reducing the chance of a diver slipping.