What Style of Wrestling Mat Should I Buy?
Purchasing a wrestling mat can be an overwhelming experience. This guide will cover the key points in determining which style of wrestling mat is the best for you.
Wrestling mats usually fall into two different styles, “traditional” or “classic” and “new style” or “roll-up.”
Will your mat be used for competition, practice, or both? Is mat going to be used two times a year or daily? What are the storage options? Who will be using the mat? These are all excellent questions to start with when embarking on the initial research for your wrestling mat purchase.
Materials used for the classic style mat versus the materials in new lightweight wrestling mats are extremely different. Know that mats are different now than previously, for a good reason.
Regulations have been established to keep the safety of the athletes as the top priority. The safety requirements are developed by shock-attenuation g-max rating to be less than 100 and Head Injury Criterion (HIC) score to be less than 1,000. Check out this cool video of AK Athletic’s mat absorbs enough impact that an egg can be dropped onto it.
G-Max official testing measures how fast it takes a 20 lbs flat missile to come to a complete stop. The missile represents an athlete's torso and an accelerometer mounted inside. The numerical value represented as “g-max,” the lower the number, the better the shock attenuation.
The HIC differentiates from the g-max by using a spherical missile to represents a person’s head. You are probably familiar with HIC testing from the crash dummies used when testing the safety of cars.
The NCAA ’s regulations on wrestling mats are to have the shock-absorbing qualities referred by the American Society for Testing Material (ASTM) organization. Referees, Athletic Directors, and coaches should have knowledge and in-depth access to the most current ASTM specification standards.
F355: “Test Method for Shock-absorbing Properties of Playing Surface Systems and Materials”
E648: “ Standard Test Method for Critical Radiant Flux of Floor-Covering Systems Using a Radiant Heat Energy Source”
Both styles of mats, classic and roll up, are approved for NCAA competitions. All wrestling mats should be 1 to 4 inches thick.
Adding graphics will take your mat to the next level. Schools and clubs will often customize their mat by placing their name, mascot, or crest on a portion of the wrestling mat. Traditional mats generally have a higher risk of error by screenprinting and hand painting. AK Athletics' new style wrestling mats are digitally printed, allowing for precise details and enduring vibrant colors from the UV cured ink. Email us today for a free mock-up of your design.
Once you have determined which style is best for you, do your research on manufacturers and compare “apples-to-apples.” It is essential for home mats to have the same shock absorbency and safety regulations as a competition mat. Contact each company to see who is the quickest and easiest to communicate with and request documents and samples. It can be an eye-opening experience.
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