SMARTE® Safety Surfacing

SMARTE® Playground Surfacing

One of the biggest trends in playspace design is safety. The fact that children will sometimes fall, scrape a knee, and get a bump or bruise on the playground is inevitable — but the severity of the injury sustained does not have to be. SMARTE safety surfacing is the revolutionary, play-inclusive surface by Playworld that provides greater impact protection in a convenient, sustainable way.


Playground Injury Statistics & Health Consequences

Did you know that nearly half a million children up to age 14 visit a local emergency department every year because of traumatic brain injuries? Over 16,000 of these injuries occurred on the playground, and falls are the leading cause of TBI, including concussion. Did you know:

  • Falling off playground equipment can cause more bodily damage than a 40 MPH car accident.
  • The complications of severe concussions are long lasting and sometimes severe. Even recovering from a mild or moderate concussion can be extremely challenging, and can last months.
  • The effects of severe concussion include convulsions and seizures, problems recognizing people and places, confusion, severe depression later in life, and permanent brain injury. In some cases, adults who sustained multiple concussions experience the effects of severe TBI decades after the injury.
  • Softer surfaces that absorb shock, such as SMARTE, are proven to reduce the risk of sustaining a severe TBI.


Contact Your Local Representative


Head Impact Criterion

Head impact criterion (HIC) values calculate impact. HIC is a standard used to measure the safety of vehicles, sports gear and other protective equipment. HIC values indicate the shock absorbing properties of playground surfacing — the lower the number, the safer the surfacing. Current industry HIC standard for playground surfacing is 1000.

Evidence proves that skull fractures and severe concussions occur after sustaining an impact with as low of a HIC score of 500. Although sustaining an HIC of less than 500 can still cause head injuries, the effects are less likely to be severe or last as long. In addition, most playground surface manufacturers don’t publish safety testing criteria or results, so it can be difficult to know how well your surface really protects your patrons. For example, a typical playground-height fall of 8’ to 9’ can produce:

  • A HIC of 750 on an absorbent rubber tile playground surface.
  • A HIC of 813 on a turf surfaces.
  • A HIC of 867 on poured-in-place surfaces.
  • A HIC of 255-340 on SMARTE (depending on top layer).


Play SMARTE® With Playworld

SMARTE® logo

Unlike other kinds of playground surfacing, our patented SMARTE® protects at fall heights up to 10’ (3,05m) under a HIC* value of 500, the threshold at which skull fractures may occur. SMARTE is the most advanced playground safety surface available today. From safety and sustainability to convenience and accessibility, your patrons will play SMARTEr with Playworld.

We manufacture SMARTE using recycled rubber — every square foot of SMARTE removes 1 tire from a landfill. It is also completely reusable and recyclable. SMARTE is durable and suitable for use in all climate conditions, and it returns to its original shape again and again after impact. Its revolutionary design features ”pillows” filled with recycled rubber mulch covered by layer of loose rubber mulch and all secured by a top layer of either turf or poured in place rubber wear leayer. Your playground will benefit from an eco-conscious, beautiful surface that is accessible to individuals of all ages and abilities.

The bottom line? Adding a safe playground surface to your Playworld playground equipment not only enhances the appearance of your play space, but it also protects your community from spills and slips.



  • Cost effective — Unlike other choices that require installing all brand new surfacing when an area shows wear, you only have to replace a portion of the top layer of SMARTE, leaving the foundation layer intact.
  • Practical — If you need to move your playground to a new location, you won’t have to purchase new surfacing* when you choose SMARTE. Simply move SMARTE to your new location. Reusable — When your playground is no longer needed, reuse or recycle your SMARTE system. Rubber mulch is suitable for a wide variety of applications.
  • Scalable — If you eventually plan to install a new playground, SMARTE grows alongside you. Because SMARTE is safe for structures up to 10’, you won’t have to worry about replacing your playground surface. Why purchase a surface that is safe to 6’ when you could choose SMARTE, the surface that grows along with your playground and children?
  • Safe — Playworld thoroughly researched and tested the SMARTE hybrid surfacing system for safety, accessibility and sustainability. There is no safer choice than SMARTE playground surfacing.


Learn More


Contact Playworld for More Information About SMARTE®

We believe the world needs play. When you’re ready to learn more about the safest playground surface in the industry, contact your local Playworld representative for more information.

*Turf layer can be reused; pour-in-place wear layer will need to be replaced.