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Bouldering mats discussion
9:54:45 AM

10:00:09 AM
>inflating a bouldering mat
... puts a new spin on Deep Water Bouldering ?
~> can shoot the rapids afterwards?
... Seriously though, it would want to be made of tough stuff to not get holed easily on all the vegetation* and pointy rocks ...
(*heh, heh, heh).

10:23:18 AM
Hey Ti

My two bob: - As for the inflation - it really depends on whether the hassle of the inflation process outweighs the hassle of lugging a hefty bouldering mat. How long does it take to inflate? Do you need any more equipment? What is the cost differential? What maintenance is required? How easy is it to repair?

Mats weigh a lot, and they're hard to fit into small cars; they're not even that comfortable to sleep on in a tent. So there is a market for your product.

Aside from the (potential) hassle of inflation, the next thing to work on is convincing people that it is robust enough to do the job. Reality and perception are different things, and it may prove a struggle convincing people that they can bail or fall from a highball onto a glorified thermarest, even if it is actually better than any bouldering mat they can buy.
10:30:20 AM
I wouldn't object to inflating it myself or with a small footpump (that could be provided).

The main concern I would have is that air would provide a less stable landing zone to that which foam provides (unless the mat was pumped up ridiculously high). Ankles are more likely to roll on impact with a 'bouncy' air mat.

Also, longevity would be questionable.
11:08:51 AM
Try taking a bouldering mat from one side of Sydney to the other using public transport. Ha pretty funny. I only did it a couple of times when living in Sydney briefly. Wasn't much fun at actually. So if it worked an inflatable bouldering mat would be a great idea for those on public transport, bikes, motorbikes or not much room in the car. Perhaps you could have some kind of release valve that lets some air out on landing to soften the fall if the mat has lots of air in it. I guess you have thought of this.
Good luck.
11:26:39 AM
A decent pad (example, a Franklin model), I wouldn't expect to replace until after 2-3 years of solid abuse, although some other less resilient pads may fall to bits earlier.

Pads cost a lot and to the average Joe, so folk (certainlyt myself) are more likely to try and patch up a damaged trashed pad before buying a new one.

It sounds like the weak point in your design will always be the air container so it would make sense to simply be able to buy a new 'bladder' if the existing one gets damaged beyond repair.

Something else to think about will be the ease of repairing the pad, say when you're away on a road trip - Will it be as easy as eg. mending a bike puncture?

4:02:08 PM
On 9/06/2006 ti wrote:

>I image taking it OS (on planes) would be difficult or expensive as well??

I bought mine in the US, and travelled with it by plane. Surprisingly, the US domestic carriers had no problem with me checking it, even though it was oversize ( were OK though due to it being lightweight). The only problem was with Qantas flying home; they wanted to charge me heaps extra, but after sweet talking conceded.
BUT - obviously I wouldn't have had any problems at all with an inflatable mat :) Great idea.

4:09:26 PM

4:16:04 PM
Goodbye to ropes and quickdraws at poxy bolted sport crags. Hello soloing!
4:18:52 PM
Travelling overseas with a Bouldering mat isn't that bad. Like Iser, I bought my larger mat back in 98 and had no trouble flying back to Australia with it.

I flew domestic US and then Qantas and didn't encounter any issues - and that was with a couple of skateboard decks stored in the lining as I didn't have any more room in my pack.

Last year I travelled back overseas to Malta, this time with a smaller mat (Franklin Satellite). Mainly took the smaller mat as I was also doing additional non climbing travelling, so was after some convenience.

As for an inflatable mat - main concern would be speed of inflation. As many times you don't just spend all day at the one location. So the ease of a taco style bouldering mat , where you can quickly throw everything into the daypack, fold clip and go and easy unpack at the next spot just as quickly is indispensable!!
5:28:43 PM
I guess the mobility isn't the biggest issue, rather that the design would fill a niche rather than be a one mat do all kind of thing.

How easy would it be also to move under the boulderer? As on really steep problems and not enough mats, it's common to have a spotter drag the mat under then as well...

6:29:22 PM
with the beating that gets served up to a mat i cant see that it would really work.... good luck though, if you need someone to test the beta product I am very good at falling off everything
one thing ive always wanted to try- ya ever seen those massive air bags for jumping onto? theyre basically a 3 or 4 metre tall massive rectangular hot air balloon that sits on the landing zone, i saw one on who dares wins years ago and dude were jumping onto them from pretty high (like 30 or 40 metres from memory) and since then im lie 'i HAVE to try soloing some desperate steep 3 pitch testpiece with one of them under me!!'
anyone know what these things are called? and who can CRUX contact about getting one for me? :D
7:23:04 PM
How about instead of one large air bladder, the inflatable pad contains a number of smaller bladders. Thus removing the possibility of bouncing or rolling off the thing, or the possibility of displacing all the air? I know it would be a bit on an embugerance to build, but you may need less solid strapping than holding a single bladder in place. And you could replace a single bladder of many more easily and cheaply than one large bladder.

Or look at some sort of baffle system inside.

Good luck, and hope to see your idea work out!


12:13:19 AM
On 9/06/2006 ti wrote:
>Dacrux, that's the april fools joke..
no way! :)
10:48:42 AM
how about a bouldering mat which compresses with a vacumn pump/vacumn cleaner. A bit like packing up
clothes in a space bag. You could use a foam or material where the natural state is open and
uncompressed and then use the a pump to compress it. I would imagine that you could get a more stable
mat in this way. one advantage is that if you get a puncture then the mat is still completely usable. Myabe
you could even make it in two parts so the comprssion bag is removable/replacable or even an optional
Even a 50% reduction in size would be a big advantage in many situations.
dont know if it will work but i thought it might be worth considering

Dali or others I am interested in your opinion of the Franklin Sattelite. I will be bouldering in the UK in a
few months and was concerned about taking my tota mat (i have the smaller one). It will be a bit of a
hassle on the plane and in cars. I imagine its just a smaller target and results in a harder fall. A certain
shop in melbourne has the small franklin mat which i think is the satelite mat for $150.
11:27:38 AM
The Franklin mat is a comprimise due to it's smaller size. Great for sit starts but ends up being a harder target to hit when up higher!

It is also harder than my Cordless Deluxe, though this may also be as the foam in that pad needs replacing... Dimensions of the Satellite open are 104cm x 84cm x 8cm 3kg.

For travelling, it's hard to beat due to it's compact size. If you can pick up a Satellite mat (it's the bright yellow mat if it's the Satellite) for $150 - that's a really good buy. I payed $195 at mates rates for mine!

I probably wouldn't go smaller than the Franklin, but if you did and were in England. It may be worthwhile to look into the Moon small crashpad.

The landing area measures 90 x 70 x 6 cm and the total weight is 1.5kg - but at 45.00 is a bargain (though out of stock at the moment). Ben replies promptly (I was looking into it and getting it posted directly to Malta to be there when we arrived - but freight doubled the price!) so it may be available when you go...
11:40:19 AM
On 13/06/2006 dalai wrote:

>For travelling, it's hard to beat due to it's compact size. If you can
>pick up a Satellite mat (it's the bright yellow mat if it's the Satellite)
>for $150 - that's a really good buy. I payed $195 at mates rates for mine!
yes, i think thats the one

i liked the look of the satellite because I could take it O/S and at other times when a larger mat just takes
up to much space

thanks heaps for the info

There are 17 messages in this topic.


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