The synthetic turf systems now available to pitch operators are becoming increasingly high-tech. Thousands of hours are being spent on research and development, in order to provide systems which not only perform well across a range of sports, but also are safe, durable and environmentally friendly.
One of the latest, high-tech products to come to the market is the ShockWave EcoBase, produced by SAPCA member Notts Sport. The company spent two years developing a system which would help create a firm and safe base particularly for rugby and football.
A key goal was to overcome a common perception that 3G pitches with shockpads are “soft” and cause accelerated lower limb muscle fatigue, increasing the risk of associated injury.
The unique way that ShockWave is engineered means it offers unrivalled head injury and concussion protection – a key concern for rugby and American football – while providing an all-round player experience designed to support fast, exciting, free-flowing play.
It achieves this by a revolutionary new combined base and shockpad solution, created following a comprehensive two-year research and development period.
The tiles use dovetail joints to provide secure fixing, which is quick and easy to install without the need for adhesives or tape. The product also uses a textured surface to provide friction – and avoid unwanted pitch movement. Made from expanded polypropylene (EPP), the ShockWave tile is also 100 per cent recyclable.
“The unique solution brings state of the art technology to synthetic turf pitches and in doing so offers a host of financial and environmental benefits to sports facility providers,” said Shaun Patrick, Notts Sport chair.
“The vision has been to provide the world’s leading system for 3G pitches and to provide customers with facilities that provide world class performance – especially for rugby and football.
“It is set to make a huge difference to the construction of artificial sports pitches, as it shortens construction periods and allows reduced resurfacing costs – only the surface will need replacing.
“We don’t believe there is another synthetic turf system that comes close to providing the performance and safety we can offer through the ShockWave EcoBase system.”
Since launching ShockWave EcoBase – which is branded FieldCore in North America – Notts Sport has completed eight World Rugby, FIFA & GAA (Gaelic Football)-compliant pitches in the UK.