It would appear at a cursory glance that synthetic grass is a very expensive replacement for natural grass, but the high cost is only up front. When measured over the life of the grass you will find that synthetic grass is actually a cheaper alternative to the real stuff and the savings may not simply be the cost of maintaining the grass.
So, that higher upfront cost of a synthetic grass surface is pretty quickly recouped by the lower maintenance requirements. Time, energy and the possibility of greater usage gives you a surface that will pay for itself over its lifetime.
Fake Grass Is Growing
Nowadays, commercial artificial grass is far from an uncommon sight in back gardens and sports pitches the world over. The synthetic material seems to well and truly have gained space over its natural counterpart, with traits such as its durability and ease of maintenance endearing it to the general public.
Time was, however, when the situation was markedly difference. Outside of a sporting context, commercial artificial grass was regarded as tacky and an inferior substitute for the real thing, and even when used to cover playing surfaces for sports it was far from consensual.
In the midst of all the disapproval, however, turf always had a few admirers, and it is them who are largely responsible for its eventual expansion and success. This article harks back to a time before commercial artificial grass existed, to give an overview of its origin, evolution and eventual rise to popularity worldwide.
The origins of commercial artificial grass date back to 1960s America. The material was first researched and devised by a team of scientists from the North Carolina State University College of Textiles, under the supervision of the dean himself, David Chaney. Together, these men came up with a material which looked and felt somewhat similar to grass, but without any of the shortcomings this material possesses; in short, what is nowadays known as turf.
Having created and perfected this material for optimal performance, Chaney and his team began searching for parties potentially interested in a test run. It did not take them long at all to find a considerably prominent ‘guinea-pig’, in the form of baseball team the Houston Astros, based out of the city of the same name in Texas. In 1966, the Astros’ home field, the Astrodome, became the first sports pitch in the world to be covered in commercial artificial grass. It was the beginning of a story which would only go uphill from there.
Once commercial artificial grass had proven its mettle as the playing surface for the Astros, and become known as ‘Astroturf’ as a result, other sports team owners across North American began taking an interest in the material. The late 1960s and early 1970s would see synthetic turf carpets spread across both major and minor league baseball fields, and eventually make their way into American football stadiums as well. Franklin Field, home to the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Pennsylvania varsity football team, was the first venue to feature commercial artificial grass, but other pitches would soon follow suit, further cementing awareness for the material in public consciousness.
As popular as it was becoming with sports fans, however, commercial artificial grass still had one hurdle left to jump: the residential and landscaping market. Among home-owners, turf continued to be considered a cheap-looking, shoddy material, not at all an alternative to a real grass lawn. This generalised opinion stemmed from the first few artificial turf carpets looking somewhat less than realistic, as well as from the material’s connotation with lower-income homes. As such, commercial artificial grass faced a challenge when trying to prove its worth in the home market.
This challenge would eventually be overcome, but not for another two decades. It was not until the 1990s, more than twenty-five years after it had first been invented, that commercial artificial grass finally gained traction as a valid alternative within the home and garden market. This was largely due to the vastly improved appearance and realism level of modern turf carpets in relation to their predecessors, which helped do away with many of the concerns and prejudices keeping commercial artificial grass from establishing itself a landscaping alternative.
For the following two decades, commercial artificial grass saw its popularity continue to rise, until it could stand side by side with natural grass. Nowadays, many people even consider the material superior to its natural counterpart, at least for certain purposes, and it is expectable that this trend will continue in years to come. It is interesting, however, to think of a time when commercial artificial grass was not as popular as it is today, and to learn exactly how it came to achieve its present standing in society.
Synthetic Turf For Soccer
Soccer is the most popular international sport. Like other professional sports, soccer athletes are from different countries all over the world. However, soccer is the most recognized international sport. It is without a doubt that soccer has the highest fan base out of any sport in the world. That is why it is important that soccer players are offered the best synthetic turf to satisfy its players. Players like us know how important it is to play on a consistent surface and the feel underneath our feet to be able to cut quickly and move swiftly. We also know how crucial practice is for our games. Whether you are playing for fun or are in a league, you want to be able to play on a consistent basis. Sometimes natural grass is not the best solution especially after it rains because it is very difficult to move around because of the mud and puddles. Synthetic turf provides that alternative solution to your soccer wants and needs. It can provide you the dry surface even after it rains.
When we talk about soccer at a professional level, its a more reason to believe that synthetic grass should be the ideal solution. The reason is because it takes a whole lot more money to maintain a professional natural grass field compared to artificial grass. Those maintenance services include mowing, watering, weeding, fertilizing, and painting. Have you ever wondered how natural grass fields are brought back to new? That is because it has to be repainted after every time the field is used, especially after heavy usage. All of these services can add up to a hefty and expensive bill. You can resolve that inconvenience by switching to synthetic turf. You will never have to repaint the field again, because with synthetic grass, the paint is permanent and does not rub off. The only thing you have to do in order to preserve, and maintain synthetic grass fields is to pick up loose debris and have it groomed every now and then. You will be spending a lot more time playing than maintaining, all year long.
Soccer players need the fields to offer traction and stability, and artificial turf provides those characteristics. While traction and stability are important, it is also important for us to know that soccer is a contact sport just like basketball and football. With physical contact, come inevitable injuries. We all know the risk when playing any type of competitive sport. While natural grass offers that natural feel when making contact with the ground, synthetic grass can also imitate its natural characteristics to reduce injuries as well. Synthetic turf has pebble like granules called infill that act as an underneath layer to absorb the shock from beneath your foot, and provide cushion to the artificial turf for a natural feel. Additionally, it is also environmentally friendly, and has no harmful chemicals. With that said, synthetic turf can ultimately become the standard in sport fields for soccer players alike.