International standards for sports equipment


Popularization of a healthy lifestyle has a positive effect on the development of the sports industry, and accordingly increases the demand in the market of sports goods and equipment. It should also be noted that in parallel with these processes, there is a growing interest in active sports, some of which can be called extreme. Consequently, it becomes quite natural for companies that manufacture sports equipment to scale their business, thereby increasing their profitability. The manufacture of equipment that is designed for extreme sports, such as parachuting or rock climbing, is more responsible, since a mistake can pose a direct threat to human life. Given this potential threat, all production processes must be strictly regulated and carried out in accordance with the requirements specified in international standards. Another important factor worth mentioning is that many standards in this segment are justified by the high responsibility placed on this sports equipment, so separate documents are needed to assess the safety of individual elements, some of which we have collected for you in this article.

Paragliding equipment - Emergency parachutes - Safety requirements and test methods

EN 12491:2015/FPRA1+A1:2022

One of the necessary precautions while practicing paragliding is the availability of emergency parachutes in case of unforeseen situations. The production of parachute equipment is a laborious and responsible process that requires strict regulation and regular monitoring at all stages. Completed parachutes must be checked against international standards that can guarantee their safety, such as the international standard EN 12491:2015/FPRA1+A1:2022.

This European Standard is applicable to emergency parachutes deployed by the action of the pilot without any other assistance (mechanical or pyrotechnic), intended for use with single seater or two seater paragliders.

The task of the manufacturer is to check the safety of the parachute before its operation. Emergency parachutes are used for various aircraft. Therefore, it is worth clarifying that this International Standard regulates emergency parachutes that can be used in conjunction with single or double paragliders.

Mountaineering equipment - Personal belay lanyards - Safety requirements and test methods

EN 17520:2021

Extreme sports, such as mountaineering, require not only a high level of sports training from a person, but also reliable equipment. Companies that manufacture climbing equipment must inspect the lines that connect the climber and the harness. Since we are talking about the safety of human life, testing must take into account many factors. In order not to miss important aspects during inspection, international standards are created to control this process, such as EN 17520:2021.

This document specifies safety requirements and test methods for lanyards intended to be the primary connection between the climber and the belay stance with the ability to withstand a dynamic impact. Lanyards intended only for positioning (e.g. daisy chain) or energy absorption in via ferrata or lanyards for rope courses are not covered by this document.

A feature of this international standard is its scope, namely that component of climbing equipment that is included in this document. Given its specification, it is worth noting that it does not apply to all types of slings. If you need advice on what international standard is appropriate for your company, we are ready to help you.

Surfaces for sports areas - Test method for the determination of Head Injury Criterion (HIC) and Critical Fall Height (CFH)

EN 17435:2021

Any active sports are potentially traumatic, so safety measures must be carefully observed. In order to ensure the safety of the players, one of the factors that should be taken care of is the playing field, namely the surface of the sports ground. Since sports activities involve the possibility of falls to the ground, this impact should be mitigated as much as possible. Companies that manufacture sports flooring need to test the flooring to assess the level of safety for players. The methodology for conducting such tests is described in the text of an international standard such as EN 17435:2021.

This document specifies test methods for measuring the impact attenuation of sports surfaces. Three different methods are specified. In Procedure A, a series of tests are undertaken from differing drop heights and the HIC values are plotted, and the Critical Fall Height determined. In Procedure B, a single test is undertaken from differing drop heights and the HIC values are plotted, and the Critical Fall Height determined. In Procedure C a series of tests are made at a fixed drop height and the maximum value of HIC is calculated.
This test method is primarily intended for use on both natural and synthetic turf sport surfaces. It may be carried out in a laboratory on test specimens or in situ on installed sports surfaces. This test method may not be suitable for sports surfaces covered by EN 14904.

The above international standard will be relevant for companies that are engaged in the production of sports surfaces. It will be especially useful, based on the fact that it allows you to determine the maximum allowable fall height that will be safe for a person who has fallen on this surface. The full text of this International Standard can be found on our website.

Requirements for the safety of sports equipment

Companies that manufacture sports equipment must conduct a series of checks to make sure they are fit for purpose. Since we are talking about the safety of human life, each element of sports equipment must be tested to fulfill its functional purpose. In order to make sure of this, international standards have been developed to help you. The main task of sports equipment, which we talked about above, is to ensure the safety of athletes. Therefore, various qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the inventory should be subject to verification. Companies that are interested in increasing their market share and gaining new loyal customers must be able to guarantee them the safety and quality of the sports equipment they produce. Taking into account the large number of international standards that regulate the necessary methods for checking equipment, we admit that you may need the advice of our company's specialists, which you can always get from us.