With so many gymnastics mats available, it can become overwhelming in determining which size and style is the right fit for your gym. Gymnastics landing mats in particular take a lot of abuse, but these mats provide that critical protection under each apparatus that is vital to the safety of your gymnasts.
What is a Gymnastics Landing Mat?
The mat that is considered the landing mat under an apparatus is the bottom-most mat. It is usually either 12cm thick or 20cm thick. Here’s where you will typically see 12cm versus 20cm thick landing mats used:
- 12cm – Women’s Junior Olympic Competitions, Junior Men & Women’s Training Facilities
- 20cm – Women’s NCAA & FIG Competitions, Men’s Junior, NCAA & FIG Competitions, Elite-level Men & Women’s Training Facilities
Once you determine what thickness, you need, you’ll then notice we offer are a variety of sizes in each thickness landing mat, with some also having the option having FIRM or standard foam.
The apparatus you are using the landing mat under will determine which length and width landing mat you need, but what are the differences between the firm and the standard landing mats and which one should you have in your gymnastics facility?
The actual make-up of the FIRM and standard mat is very similar. They both have two layers of foam: a 3 1/2 inch bottom layer of polyurethane foam and a 1 1/4 inch cross-linked top layer of polyethylene foam. The only difference between the two is that the bottom layer in the FIRM mat is 70 ILD (Indentation Load Deflection) compared to 50 ILD in the standard. This literally determines the firmness of the mat.
So what does this mean for you in terms of getting the right landing mat for your gymnastics facility?
The first thing you will notice when shopping for mats is the FIRM landing mats are going to be slightly more expensive. However, the FIRM mats will have a longer life span than the standard. Since these mats or designed to have more firmness, they will not bottom out and they are able to endure more impact and are better suited towards older, high level gymnasts. The standard mat is better suited towards the younger, lower level gymnasts as this kids obviously do not create as much force on their landings. This is not to say a high level gymnast couldn’t land on a standard mat. They certainly can, but over time the mat will wear down much more rapidly and you will find yourself needing to replace them. So all you really need to do is determine how these mats will primarily be used, who will be landing on them and it will make your decision much easier.
If you are in need of any mats at your gym, your timing is great. We now have DEMO mats available in various sizes, standard and FIRM, from the 2015 competition season. These mats had minimal use and are marked down significantly.
If you have any questions on selecting a mat, please don’t hesitate to call us at: 1-877-789-2267.
Strength & Fitness Team Lead