Off the Starting Blocks with Aluminium

All eyes will be on France this month, as athletes travel to the capital for the Summer Games. So, what better time to share how aluminium equipment has helped shape sporting achievements?

Why is Aluminium Good for Sports Equipment?

In competitive sports, the smallest margins can put you in medal contention. Therefore, you need quality sports equipment that is reliable, durable and functional. And, that is where the strength-to-weight ratio of aluminium delivers results.

The fact that aluminium is sufficiently malleable to form into desired shapes is a desirable quality. And, once formed, it holds a rigid structure. As many sporting events take place outside, it is also beneficial that aluminium is naturally resistant to corrosion. In addition, it can be powder-coated for additional protection from wear and scratches.

Innovative Materials Driving Success in Sports

Baseball bats, archery bows and javelins were all originally made from wood, but athletes now benefit from innovative solutions made from aluminium.

In professional baseball matches, wooden bats are still used. That’s because aluminium bats were banned as they enhanced performance so much that it was easy to hit a home run! In addition, there is a high risk of spectators being hit. However, the longevity of aluminium bats means they are the cost-effective choice for use in schools and colleges across America.

Wooden bows and arrows have been used for centuries, yet aluminium bow risers, arrow shafts, nocks and tips are increasingly popular. The stiff, lightweight metal ensures the arrows project with greater speed and accuracy.

Javelins are another item now commonly made from aluminium alloys. The balance of low density and rigid structure gives athletes the benefit of an easy-to-handle javelin. What’s more, it doesn’t flex in flight which maximises the speed and distance travelled.

Aluminium Extrusions for Sports Equipment

Bats and bows are just some of the sports equipment that can be fabricated from aluminium extrusions to give a uniform cross-section. As you start to look around the arenas, there are many other examples. To get you started, take a look at the relay batons and the starting blocks – both aluminium.

What have the masts on sailing boats and the hurdles in a steeple chase got in common? You’ve guessed it, both are made from extruded aluminium! And, corrosion resistance is especially valuable when equipment is used at sea or left out in the rain.

Aluminium extrusions are also widely used to form the framework of football goalposts, team shelters and cages for discus and shot. And, one of our projects was to fabricate aluminium extrusions to create customised netball posts.

Improving Accessibility in Sports

A wheelchair rugby or basketball match is fast and furious, with opponents crashing into each other at high speed. A robust and durable material is needed to withstand the impacts, yet you need to keep the wheelchairs light and manoeuvrable. Therefore, aluminium is the predominant material used in wheelchairs for these sports.

Equally, aluminium and carbon fibre are used in track racing wheelchairs and to provide a bespoke support frame on the back of wheelchairs for seated throwing events.

Is Aluminium Used in Sports Arenas?

We were delighted to fabricate aluminium extruded balustrades for a London stadium in preparation for the 2012 Summer Games. These were reused when the venue was transformed in 2016.

Aluminium was also used to create the equestrian venue platform and tiered seating in Greenwich. It is strong stable and can withstand constant use, as well as exposure to the British weather.

We’ve also fabricated and supplied extruded aluminium structures for offices at Anfield and Twickenham Stadiums. It’s good to know that seating, balustrades and office frameworks can all be custom-made to fit the exact specifications of the project.

Specialist in Extruded Aluminium Solutions in Aylesbury

Salesmade specialised in the design, fabrication and finish of extruded aluminium. Our knowledgeable team can advise you on our services to support your brief for customised sports equipment.

Email us at or call 01296 431292 to start the conversation.

What’s more, we’re based in Aylesbury, which is the ‘birthplace of the Paralympics’. So, if you visit us, you might also like to pop into the Paralympic Heritage Trust. Here, you can learn more about this sporting movement and see the aluminium torches from London and Tokyo!


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