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Multi-use Pool Safety Edging

These foam border panels for swimming pools provide protection from slips and falls and can act as emergency flotation devices.

Photo of Maya Haruyama
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Concrete pool decks can be dangerous for a number of reasons. People can slip, fall, and hit their head on the side of the pool causing bodily harm. Swimmers also occasionally run into pool walls and can suffer concussions. These poolside panels are designed to help prevent serious injury due to slips, falls, and collisions. The combination of the foam material and surface texture provides increased grip while walking. The foam also provides padding, reducing the impact from falling or running into the pool wall/edge. The panels will be attached to the ground by rubber ‘Velcro-like’ sheets for quick removal in the case of an emergency. Once removed, the panels can be used as flotation devices to save drowning individuals.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

The main body of the panels themselves will be made of recycled EVA foam and the interlocking attachment panels will be made of recycled rubber.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Our target market is anyone with a pool. This includes cities, schools, companies, private citizens, recreation centers, etc. Our product benefits pool owners and guests by providing an extra layer of safety and security around the pool by decreasing the risk and severity of falls while also being able to act as a life preserver.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

First, our product will be introduced to vendors of private pools as an additional safety option. Customers can either buy a new pool with panels, or upgrade their existing pools. Since our device reduces the liability of owning a pool, our product especially appeals to new homeowners who can easily buy a house that includes a pool with existing panels. To reach out to private pool owners, we are considering a trade fair platform where owners can trade in their old or broken pool panels for new ones. The product will later, with already gained user experience and possible improvements, be introduced to schools and public pools to help reduce pool related injuries. In order for our product to comply with safety standards, we will do a thorough review of all the required features. We also intend to do a comparative case study for different attachment mechanisms. Through iteration we hope to find and/or improve the best way to secure the panels while allowing them to be easily removed.

How is your idea innovative?

Our idea is innovative because it solves several problems at once. EVA foam padding would reduce the damage from falls as well as provide a grippy surface to help prevent slipping. Our product also improves pool safety because it doubles as a flotation device. Users can quickly remove a panel from the side of the pool and immediately throw it to someone drowning. The proximity of the flotation device to the individual in need facilitates a fast response time which is vital in emergencies.

What inspired this idea?

All of our group members have slipped at some point in our lives at the pool. We thought that the Nike Grind materials are soft materials and we wanted to implement them into improving pool deck safety. We feel that recycled materials are the perfect solution since they are cheap and recyclable.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

We are a team of four Mechanical Engineering students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo who were introduced to the Nike Grind Challenge by one of our design classes.

In what city are you located?

San Luis Obispo

In what country are you located?


Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

Becoming a top idea will provide us with the resources to further develop our poolside safety solution. We would be able to test methods for securing the foam to the side of the pool to develop a quick way to remove the panels yet have the panels secure while in poolside use. We would also be able to test how well the panels float and what the optimal dimensions should be.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Michael Coelho Sillman

This is a really cool Idea, hope you keep in mind some rubbers get very slippery when wet.

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