Lifeguard spineboards are typically made of wood or plastic. Over the past 20 years there has been a strong shift away from wood boards. The wooden lifeguard spine boards require more maintenance due to cracking and warping. This leads to an increased risk of harboring bacteria. While they are easy to sink in the swimming pool wood spine boards are also heavier than plastic backboards. The wood boards are also typically more expensive.
You should buy a plastic spine board for several reasons. First they are seamless and sealed to prevent fluids from entering the board. This is a very important fact that wood spineboard buyers often overlook and forget that they are in the business of saving and helping others. You should never endanger your patient with a wood spineboard that may be contaminated with past body fluids or bacteria. Plastic life guard spineboards are also great since they are lightweight and 100% x-ray translucent. They are light enough for even small lifeguard to quickly move the boards and buoyant so that they do not sink to the bottom of the pool. If the safety of your patient and the durability of the plastic boards is not enough then the lower price for plastic might be enough to convince you that plastic (at least in this case) is better than paper (wood backboards).
Ok so which plastic spineboard should I buy for my lifeguards? If price is a factor then I would suggest a good entry-mid level Lifeguard Backboard. If you are dead set on a wood spineboard but agree that safety is extremely important than check out one of the best lifeguard backboards on the market the E.G. Spine Board. This board is the strongest spineboard on the market and can out perform any wooden board, plus it is easy to clean.