Pumptracks are becoming very popular in playspaces, encouraging kids of all ages to get active outdoors. But what exactly is a pumptrack? Parkitect Australia answers this question and demonstrates why every playspace needs one.
Parkitect Australia is the exclusive importer and distributor of the European Modular Pumptrack system. Specialising in modular pump tracks, Parkitect Australia offers predesigned and customised tracks for public and commercial site requirements and community needs. The team are passionate riders, which means they understand the importance of this structure in Australian playspaces.
A quick search engine exploration of the word ‘pumptrack’ reveals a lot of generalised information on this structure that is creating a storm in the global playspace arena. But what exactly is it?
A pumptrack is a track for wheeled sports equipment like bikes, scooters and skateboards that, when ridden, do not require pedalling or pushing, but a ‘pumping’ action to maintain momentum. A pumptrack is a link of rollers and bermed corners that brings riders around in a loop.
The very first pumptracks were carved out of dirt. This method is still the most widespread and an economic way to construct a pumptrack, as all that is needed is a shovel, space and labour. The major drawback, however, is that they require more frequent maintenance because the combination of weather and excessive use quickly erodes the design and compromises safety.
As an alternative to dirt, wood has previously been used to create a pumptrack. This is no longer commonplace due to wood surfaces becoming very slippery when exposed to rain and other weather conditions, and they deteriorate rapidly with age.
Asphalt is another common material used for building a pumptrack. A highly durable and low-maintenance option, the final product results in a permanent, dedicated pumptrack space, built into the environment. The most common barrier to this construction method is the relatively high cost of the material, the engineering requirements to create perfect geometry with every new project, plus extensive planning and approval requirements. Due to complex ‘crossover’ track designs, crashes on asphalt tracks are on the rise, creating safety concerns for councils and developers.
After 10 years of research, development and installation by Europe’s leading pumptrack builder Parkitect AG, 2019 saw the first precast concrete modular pumptracks installed in public parks across Australia.
Building a pumptrack with concrete requires planning and investment but less maintenance over time. Parkitect precast concrete pump tracks offer a fully pre-engineered, certified solution, with every design offering perfect riding geometry while creating the safest and best fun on wheels.
Precast concrete pumptracks can be easily built into the surrounding environment, around existing infrastructure or significant trees. Modular pumptracks can also be installed above-ground, offering a more immediate solution. Because Parkitect pumptracks are modular, they can be moved, reconfigured or extended if required.
Finally, a highly-resilient type of pumptrack material, composite plywood/fibreglass offers the fastest installation and excellent performance when it comes to harsh weather conditions and heavy use. Plywood/ fibreglass requires light maintenance after several years and is the most popular type of Modular Pumptrack in Australia.
WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT CAN BE RIDDEN ON A PUMPTRACK?
Kids, teenagers and adults alike love to ride their favourite set of wheels – whether that be a BMX bike, mountain bike, balance bike, scooter or skateboard.
Everyone can ride a pumptrack! Pumptracks are not intimidating; they are a low-key riding playspace that spectators and riders love! Pumptracks are trending public sports facilities because they serve “all ages, all abilities” with impressive benefits.
Riding a pumptrack is intuitive, with most users getting the hang of it after a few laps and can be used by people of all ages, whether they are two or 82. The design develops important bike-handling skills and keeps kids off busy roads.
A pumptrack is many things but, most importantly, it is fun!
Loops, rollers, berms, bikes, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, dirt, concrete, asphalt, fibreglass, old, young – a pumptrack is many things, but people love them because they are fun. So, Parkitect’s advice is to go out and ride one because the best way to truly understand something is to experience it.
To install a modular pumptrack in your outdoor space, contact Parkitect via the links below.