Gone Outdoors

How to Make a Foam Crash Pad

by Dan Chruscinski

Bouldering enthusiasts seeking to climb their next obstacle without fear of injury should they fall will need to employ the use of a crash pad. These pads are placed on the ground to cushion a fall. While you can purchase crash pads, a less expensive method is to create your own. These pads can be customized to fit your needs both in terms of function and aesthetics. Using two different consistencies of foam, along with durable fabric, you can assemble your crash pad and use it on your next climb.

Purchase foam from an upholstery store or a craft store. Split your purchase between two different foam types. The first is stiff foam, which will be used for the first layer of the pad, and the second is firm foam for the second layer.

Choose foam pieces that cover a surface area of at least three feet by four feet. The total thickness of the pad will be at least four inches, with the firm foam making up three inches and the stiff foam making up one inch.

Stack the stiff foam on top of the firm foam. If one piece is larger than the other, use a box cutter to even out the two pieces.

Attach the pieces together using a long piece of duct tape on each end of the stacked pads. You will want to ensure that the tape is keeping the two pieces securely attached.

Cut a piece of fabric so that it measures seven feet in length and four feet in width. If you are using a large pad, measure once around the attached pad and cut according to this size.

Wrap the fabric around the pad. If your pad is three feet by four feet by four inches, that the fabric should reach both ends of the pad while wrapping once around the foam.

Peel the backing off the Velcro and place it on both ends of the fabric so that it attaches after being wrapped around the foam. This will secure the fabric in place while also allowing you to remove and replace it in the event it becomes dirty to torn.

Items you will need
  • 4 foot by 3 foot stiff foam
  • 4 foot by 3 foot feet firm foam
  • Box cutter
  • Duct tape
  • 2.5 yards fabric
  • Velcro
  • Scissors

Tip

  • Increase or decrease the size and thickness to suit your own needs. Too thick a pad will be difficult to roll up and transport around.

References

About the Author

Dan Chruscinski has written pieces for both business and entertainment venues. His work has appeared in "Screen Magazine" as well as websites such as Starpulse.com. Chruscinski graduated in 2006 with a degree in English literature from Illinois State University.