Recently, SMIHQ.org published their Springs Magazine, with this issue bringing to light the several areas of leisure where springs play a leading role. More often than not within our industry, the discussion of springs turns to areas of industrial manufacturing and business, leaving little commentary about how springs impact our leisurely time. Which is why we are pleased to see the Springs Magazine took the time to explore the springs in our every-day world.
What Defines an Area of Leisure?
In the magazine’s article titled, “Celebrating Springs in Leisure Products” by Gary McCoy, McCoy mentions that areas of leisure are defined by Market Publishers in their yearly report, “Global Leisure Products” as sporting equipment and toys. Essentially any product that could be used in a person’s leisurely time fit into the areas of leisure and our clients are often surprised at how many of these categories use springs to create the leisurely fun.
On first thought, one may not be able to think of any sporting equipment that utilizes the use of springs. However, there are several sports that use equipment that would not be possible without reliable, durable and custom made springs. For example, did you know that a snowmobile uses springs in its clutch and suspension systems? The same goes for most other motorsport equipment including dirt bikes, four-wheelers, etc…
Another example of springs used in sporting equipment is in the sport of gymnastics. Many gymnasts use springboards to spring themselves onto the balance beam, pommel horse, uneven bars and even perform some amazing flips over the vault. Without springs, the sport of gymnastics would be completely different.
Another unlikely sport for spring use is basketball. In leagues like the NBA, NCAA or high school where many high level players are dunking, springs are used to protect against breakage of the rim. Springs assist in “break-a-way” rims which are spring-loaded to provide the rim with bending flexibility, providing the opportunity for a quality, hanging dunk without the rim snapping into two.
While springs are often found in more mature “toys” such as snowmobiles, they can also play a key role in the development of our children. Springs can be found on the playground, in pinball machines and even the most common of backyard accessories.
On the playground, you may watch as your child bounces happily, seated on a plastic horse attached to a spring in the ground. The spring bends, bounces and sways, providing your child with a safe, yet enthralling, ride on this favorite playground toy.
In other toys, springs are created to be bouncy fun. Pogo sticks have utilized springs for decades and without the spring, this toy would have never existed. Did you ever play pinball and use the coil of a spring to shoot the ball into play? What about jumping on the trampoline? We often watch our children bounce high into the air on this common backyard toy but have you ever thought how this would work without the ring of springs flexing to create a fun bounce?
The Life of Leisurely Springs
As you can see, springs play a large role in the ways we play and enjoy our free time. Whether we are athletes, dirt bike riders or kids playing in the backyard, springs are almost essential to having a good time. You can read the full Springs Magazine here and we’d love to hear what leisurely activity you do that utilizes custom springs.