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Results from climbing wall research


About a month ago, I asked you all for help in finding businesses that made
or sold climbing wall landing surfaces. Wow, I received a lot of responses
and great resources. Based on your responses and a little bit of my own
research, here is a list of companies that deal with recreational surfaces
for your reference. Sorry if I missed anyone. And, I am not making any
judgement calls as to which is "better", crumb rubber or foam mats or
gravel, etc.

Recreational Surfaces - Contacts

- ASTM Committee F-8 on Sports Equipment and Facilities
Contact: George Luciw, 610-832-9710 
Description:  This committee includes subcommittees F08.21 Climbing and
Mountaineering, F08.63 Playground Surfacing,  F08.64 Natural Playing
Surfaces, and F08.65 Synthetic Playing Surfaces.

- Dodge-Regupol, Inc. 
Location: 715 Fountain Avenue, PO Box 989, Lancaster, PA, 17608
Contact: John Aten, 800-322-1923 or 717-295-3400, http://www.regupol.com 
Description: Makes mats from recycled tire crumb rubber. Check the website
to determine wear characteristics.

- EnTire Recycling, Inc.
Location: Nebraska City, Nebraska
Contact: P.O. Box 247, 215 N. First St., Nebraska City, NE, 402-873-3139
Description: Company makes playground cover out of used tires; wire-free.

- Recycled Rubber Resources, LLC.
Location: Macon, Missouri
Contact:  612 Blees Industrial Dr, Macon, MO, 660-385-7156,
info@recycledrubberresource.com, http://www.recycledrubberresource.com 
Description: Produces safety playground and recreational tiles using
recycled materials.

- Recycled Rubber Resources
Location: Huron, Ohio
Contact: BoingRubber@recycledrubber.com, http://www.recycledrubber.com
Description: Produces and distributes BOING! playground safety surface.
BOING! is made from recycled tire particles.

- Resilite Sports Products
Location:  Sunbury PA
Contact:  800-the-mats, http://www.resilite.com 
Description: Produces athletic, gymnastic, and wrestling mats as well as
custom wall and floor mats.  Resilite however applies a vinyl coating to
foam to create a mat. The type and thickness of the foam determines the
type of mat being created.  Their mats reportedly last for 10 years or
longer based on usage.  

Location:  New Jersey Company
Contact: 800-993-9411, http://www.perma-turf.com 
Description:  Makes several products from recycled tires.  One of their
products, Perma-Turf, is marketed as a playground safety surface that is
resilient and absorbs impact.  

US Environmental Protection Agency
Contact: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/recycle/jtr/thirds/jtrnet/list.htm
Description:  Here's a web site archive for a recycling list serve. Under
commodities, plastic and rubber, there is "tire processing and recycled

USA Gymnastic Supply
Location: Connecticut
Contact: Steve, primeclimb@snet.net, 316-792-2209
Description:  "I have been in business since 1993 and have used pea stone
gravel, rubber, and foam and last month we got rid of all of them. They
proved to be messy, dusty and a lot of work. We have since changed to a
Carpeted Crosslynx 2" foam bonded carpet used primarly by gymnastic
businesses. Its professional looking and we here in CT are very glad we
changed over."

General Comments Received From Web Inquiries:
- How about scrap foam pieces?
- How about Teva scraps (their ware house is in CA somewhere, but then you
may have to pay more for shipping to MT)?
- The best thing to do is to try and find a local company that deals in
foam products.  (gymnastic mats, kids toys, sandals or shoes, etc. . . )  
- The next best thing is to try and determine if there is a tire shredder
in the vicinity. However, they get very dirty and are pretty difficult to
- Sportrock has run the gambit on landing surfaces, from pea gravel to the
rubber leftovers from Teva sandals, to shredded rubber, and finally to
gymnastics padding. This was a process, and carried with it a lot of labor
and money. But if you have ever bouldered over pea gravel, then you know
what breathing dust all day is like. The rubber is sufficient as far as
cushioning, but does yield injuries due to the uneven surface it creates.
Rubber is also extremely dirty, and there are always hard clumps, (ankle
busters) in the batch. The gymnastics padding is both aesthetically
pleasing and easy to maintain, all while providing an even, well cushioned
landing surface. The biggest benefits have been cleanliness, safety, and
customer satisfaction (Collin McCaffery, Sportrock Manager,

Lara Dando

Lara Dando
Technical Specialist
Montana Pollution Prevention Program
MSU Extension Service 
Taylor Hall, P.O. Box 173580
Bozeman, MT  59717-3580
(406) 994-3451
e-mail:  uedld@montana.edu