Are Diving Boards Illegal in California?  

No, diving boards are not illegal in California, assuming your set up otherwise meets the requirements established by the State of California.

In the article that follows, we’ll explain.

Are Diving Boards Illegal in California? (Discussion)


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Diving boards can be a great addition to a home pool as they add an element of fun to your swimming space.

If you’re worried that diving boards are illegal in California, then worry no more because they are allowed, but there are certain conditions that need to be met in order to maintain safety.

If you want to have a diving board for your pool, then there are a few considerations that you should take to make sure that you are doing all you can to keep the diving board safe.

Diving Boards are Less Popular for Home Pools

10 or 15 years ago it seemed like a residential pool wasn’t truly complete without a diving board to add to the enjoyment of the users.

But this trend has shifted and turned in the opposite direction to the point that now, there are very few California homeowners who are opting to add a diving board to a new or remodeled pool.

There are many factors that contribute to this, but it is not due to diving boards being made illegal.

It is more to do with cost and the way that pools are being used by homeowners that has caused the trend to change.

Are Diving Boards Safe?

Diving boards have a reputation as a pool element that can potentially cause serious harm to those choosing to take a dive.

The truth of the matter is that when used properly, the diving board is as safe as any other element of the pool.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, in a given year, the number of spinal cord injuries caused by diving board accidents accounts for only 3.9 percent of the yearly total.

There are other types of injuries caused by diving boards. Spinal cord injuries are the most devastation, but the numbers show that the chances of that happening are slim.

Of course, remaining safe is also a condition of proper use, so if you practice proper diving board etiquette, you will more than likely be perfectly safe.

Requirements for a Diving Board

Though the diving board is not illegal in California, there are requirements that must be met in order to have one and pass inspection.

No diving boards are permitted for use with what is known as a sports pool or a 3-5-4 style pool.

These are shallow pools where the use of a diving board would likely cause serious injury if used.

If you do want a diving board, then you need to ensure that you’re pool meets the mandated parameters including:

  • Diving well 8-10 feet deep
  • Overall pool length of at least 35 feet
  • 10 foot clearance for diving board
  • Proper amount of diving board over the pool vs, pool deck
  • Diving board anchored in concrete

These are all the needs that a safe diving board needs to meet in order to comply with the swimming pool safety guidelines.

The diving well is the portion of the pool that is deep enough to safely dive into and needs to be about one-third of the length of the pool.

The gradual slope of the pool that connects the diving well and the shallow area is another third and the shallow area the final third.

So in a 36 foot pool, each of theses areas need to be 12 feet of the pool length.

You should carefully consider if this is going to be the right choice for you and your backyard before installing anything.

Costs Associated with Diving Board Ownership

The other hindrance that a diving board brings with it is increased costs added to those already present when you have a pool.

The diving board itself will cost $600 on average and then there is the installation and the maintenance and the heating costs of the pool will also increase due to the added water volume that a diving well requires.

On top of this your homeowners insurance is also likely to increase as they consider diving boards to be a risk and if an accident were to happen, the damages could be attributed the home owner and then the insurance company will have to cover the costs.

Be prepared for the costs if you just can’t live without the diving board for your pool.

Is a Diving Board Right For You?

If you have a pool or are thinking of installing or renovating a pool and think that a diving board is something you might like, carefully consider the needs that a diving board will bring with it.

A diving board may be a good choice if you have a backyard with a lot of extra room that can be devoted to entertaining even with a pool in it.

It might also be a good choice if you enjoy the athletic benefits of a diving board. It could suit you if you are a interested in perfecting your cannonball.

A diving board may not work if you have a smaller backyard or if you are interested in playing pool volleyball or simply interested in a pool for lap swimming and the health benefits you will get from swimming.

There may not be enough room for everything you want if you have a diving board on your pool. It is really a matter of what you want versus the possibilities.

So if you are thinking about a diving board, remember, they aren’t illegal in California, but they have some parameters you need to follow for them to be safe.

If you decide you are getting a diving board, remember to be safe, and follow all the rules, then you can enjoy springboarding into the cool, watery depths with abandon.

Wrap Up

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