Long jump equipment can be summarised into 3 categories within Track & Field, the Run-up/Runway, Sandpit and the Take-off Board. Although the run-up and sandpit have certain specifications, it is the take-off board that is perhaps the most technical piece of long jump equipment in terms of IAAF/UKA rules. It comprises of 5 key components:
1. The Trough
The trough is the component that is fixed within the run-up with the top edge of the trough level with the run-up. It is made from galvanised steel for a long lifespan and is designed to accept the take-off board (component 2) and the blanking board (component 4) below.
2. The Take-off Board
The component described as the take-off board is actually made up of 2 sections. The obvious section is the wooden take off board which is painted white and made to the sizes set by the IAAF and UKA. This alone is commonly described as the take-off board but in reality, it’s just part of it. The second section of the take-off board is a galvanised steel tray that sits within the trough (component 1) and acts of a solid board to which the wooden section of the take-off board is fixed to. In addition, the galvanised steel tray also has a section to accept the no jump indicator which is described as component 3 below. Both the wooden section and the no jump indicator sit parallel to each other on the galvanised steel tray with the take-off board closer to the athlete at the start of the run-up. The take-off board is also height adjustable within the trough to ensure it is set correctly for competition.
3. The No Jump Indicator
As described above, the no jump indicator made from un-painted wood and sits on the galvanised tray of the take-off board, directly beyond the actual wooden take-off board section. The concept of the no jump indicator is that should an athlete connect with it, then the jump is classed as a foul. To easily identify if an athlete has made contact with the no jump indicator, a layer of plastercine is laid on its edge and also 10mm into its flat surface. Because of the use of plastercine, the edge of the no jump indicator is shaped in 1 of 2 ways. The 1st and most popular is a 45 degree angled chamfered edge. A layer of 1mm thick plastercine is applied to this. The 2nd shape is a square cut out which is filled with plastercine and then rolled at a 45 degree angle. Both create the same result but individual customers have their own preference.
4. Blanking Boards
It is quite common for a run-up to be used for both long jump and triple jump which both use take-off boards but in different positions. To allow this to happen, the troughs (component 1) that are not in use are fitted with a blanking board. This is similar to the galvanised tray that is part of the take-off board but is slightly higher to fit flush with the run-up. In most cases, a layer of rubber crumb exactly the same as that used on the run-up is applied so that the blanking board is un-noticeable to the athlete and just becomes part of the run-up.
5. Lifting Hooks
Both the take-off board and the blanking board sits tightly within the trough and cannot be interchanged by hand. Therefore a pair of lifting hooks is required to change the boards over.