Wood Spineboard or Plastic Spineboard for Lifeguarding

Wood Spineboard or Plastic Spineboard for Lifeguarding

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.

Lifeguard SpineboardWhy do people still want to use wood lifeguard spine boards? Most people just don’t understand all of the upsides to the newer plastic spineboards and they also have only ever used wood boards.

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.

Choosing the Right Lifeguard Spineboard Equipment

Choosing the Right Lifeguard Spineboard Equipment

Being a lifeguard means being prepared for any type of emergency. Whether you work at a pool or a beach at a lake or the ocean, it is important to have all the right equipment to deal with any emergency that may come your way. Some of the equipment that is necessary but can be easily overlooked include spineboards, backboards and head immobilizers, all of which are essential if someone is suspected to have a head, neck or spinal injury due to an accident in or around the water.


One of the most important things you will need, whether there is a suspected head, neck or spine injury or the person is simply unconscious, is a spineboard or backboard. These flat boards allow you to easily transport a patient without causing further injury. While it is best to leave a person as you found him until paramedics can arrive, it is important to be able to move someone out of danger if it becomes necessary. In addition to having the right spineboards or backboards on hand to transport patients when needed, it is also important to make sure you have the right straps to secure someone to the board. When you have a board you use, you must inspect the straps on a regular basis and replace them when they wear out to keep everyone safe.

Head Immobilizers

When someone may have a head, neck or spine injury, the best thing you can do is make sure he doesn’t move. One way you can ensure the patient doesn’t move, especially if you have to move him on a spineboard, is to use a head immobilizer. This apparatus secures around the head and neck to keep the patients neck straight to avoid any further injury. Protecting the patient should be your number one priority. When paramedics finally arrive on the scene, they will be pleased to see you have taken the proper precautions to prevent a more serious injury.

Even if someone isn’t as injured as you first suspect, it is important to have the right lifeguard equipment to ensure his safety. This includes having a spineboard or backboard on which to safely transport a patient whenever necessary. In the case of a suspected head, neck or spine injury, having the right head immobilizers is also important to ensure the patient isn’t further injured by any movements that occur before the paramedics arrive.