I am thinking of building a diving board for my pool, and I'm not sure how to calculate the thickness requirement for a 250lb person to use it (I chose this because that seems to be what a typical manufactured board is rated for). I've found one "how to" description, but it follows a very different design than the custom board I was inspired by.

I'm thinking of using 10' 2x6 clear douglas fir as the main structure of the board, buiscuit joined to a solid piece (with a couple of 1x2 of same material to make the board 18" wide). With the boards planed down to 2.25" thick, I'm concerned about strength and resiliance.

The base mount for the board will be my old commercial boards mount, which is still in great shape. There is about 6' of overhang from the mount, which is what the original board had, as it was also 10' long, but it was essentially 2 2x6 boards, wrapped in a fiberglass shell, which gave it a lot of resilience, that my solid board may not have. To assist the board, I'm thinking of adding a laminated sheet of 3/4" plywood to the bottom. Probably pulling it in about an inch or two from the side, so, let's say 14" wide, and flush with the back edge and ending 2" from the front end (overhanging the pool).

I don't know how to calculate whether this would be sufficient for typical residential use, or what the weight or force ratings would be.

Can anyone help with this? Am I crazy to attempt it in the first place? I've started assembling the 2x portion of the board, and it's pretty gorgeous, but not knowing if it's appropriately sized material/design makes me nervous about going forward with the project.

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    I don't think you're going to get the results you're looking for with a purely wooden DIY diving board. The eHow article uses a variable thickness beam laminated with a rubber membrane. The Wooden Diving Boards website looks like they've got a lot of subtlety in their designs that allow for flexion and strength. Plus, they're using Ipe, which is far stronger than Douglas Fir.
    – Doresoom
    Jun 8 '15 at 16:06
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    I'd also be nervous about making my own diving board. It will get wet, and over time may degrade in a hard-to-detect manner. Ask yourself what would happen if, while someone was in the middle of a jump, the board broke. Jun 16 '15 at 2:04

Normally a wooden springboard is a laminate of some kind to provide the necessary springyness. It would probably be far easier to buy a board than to make one. If you do want to make one I suggest a design like this (from Popular Mechanics, 1923):


In this design the top plank has a 3-foot overhang, and the middle plank has a 4-foot overhang.

Note that you should use a springy wood such as ash, hemlock, Georgia pine, or hickory. Do not use a random softwood (like a fir) because it is more likely to break.

Note on Diving Boards:

I am assuming you want to build a spring board. A diving board is a rigid board that does not move and is just a platform to jump off. It is actually really hard to make a rigid board that will not warp over time. Oak is a good wood for diving boards because it is strong, tough and rigid.


I used the platform that the stock fiberglass board sat upon, but I bought two planks of pressure treated board from 84 lumber. I had to secure them together, but that was done with a 2x4 from underneath, near the end of the boards. This kept the side by side boards from moving individually. The rear of the platform offered to large bolt holes so I used a bar of aluminum to sandwich the boards to the platform, and then bolted them all together. I believe my boards length was 8 feet. Anyways, it lasted for 2 summers, without any treatment, just some skateboard deck tape to keep from slipping on the wet wood. I also shoved a spare 2x4 under the boards midway point to lift the angle upwards. It worked great, and it was much fun, until I managed to break it after hundreds of launches of my 170 lb body, putting everything I had into my launches off the end of the boards. Cost was under $30, so I am prepared to just do the same thing agian.


old thread but LVL works great and lasts for a number of years when we built an addition we had a 2'x12'x1.75" LVL left over and with about a 6 foot overhang it provided about five years of spring before snapping. and you could really bounce on in for a while to get the height you needed.

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    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Thanks for the answer, but many people (including myself) might not know what "LVL" is. Would you edit your question to make it clearer? Thanks. Sep 2 '18 at 20:11

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