1. Determine the foam pit size
Before constructing a foam pit, it is important to determine the area needed to perform the intended tricks or maneuvers. Depth, length, and width of the pit will vary depending on use.
Depth is the most important dimension of your foam pit, as the amount of foam blocks between the landing and the hard surface below is the amount of cushion or load deflection that the pit offers. Usually, a safe depth for a gymnastics pit is 6-8 feet, with a of soft bottom landing. This depth would likely be sufficient for most skateboarding and BMX applications as well. Moto-cross deals with higher speeds, greater height, and more weight, so building a deeper pit is recommended.
When considering the length of the pit, it is important to take into account how fast athletes will be going and how far they are likely to travel. It is then suggested to extend the length by a few more feet to provide a safe cushion.
Finally, determining width and siding is important to ensure that your foam pit is as safe as possible. Consider the possible range of error from left to right when an athlete performs a trick, and choose a reasonable space for landing. Similarly to the length, speed and distance affect the possibility for error and should be taken into consideration.
2. Determine the foam pit location
Consider the actual location of the foam pit. Inside? Outside? Above Ground? Below Ground? These are all questions that must be answered when decided where you will build your foam pit. Inside pits are common for gymnastics, which eliminates the worry of rain, snow, and other elements. Outside pits are common for snowboarding, moto-cross, and other extreme sports. These pits should use covers or water resistant blocks to increase foam pit durability against the elements. If left uncovered in the rain or snow, it is possible that foam blocks will not dry out properly and will begin to grow mold. There are often complaints of sickness after using a dirty foam pit. Above ground pits are possible, but should still meet all the dimensional safety measures outlined above, especially depth.
3. Calculate amount of foam blocks
Calculate the amount of blocks needed to fill a pit. The math is a simple volume calculation:
- length * width * height ÷ .125 * .8 = # of 6″ Blocks
- length * width * height ÷ .296296 * .8 = # of 8″ Blocks
These are industry standard calculations for foam pit construction. You can calculate this figure yourself, or you can do so using our foam block calculator!
Foam Pit Block Calculator
4. Determine foam block density
With the density of the foam blocks that will fill your pit, it is important to note that the higher the density, the more load deflection there will be. Typically, the denser the foam block, the safer it is for the athlete. Lower density blocks will save money but may not be as safe.
5. Order foam blocks
Once you have determined your foam pit size and location, and your foam block density, you’re ready to order. You can do so here Order Foam Blocks
Fill your pit, have fun and always practice safely!