The past five decades have seen significant developments in synthetic sports surfaces, with the very first artificial pitch, AstroTurf, kick-starting an industry that is now rife with fresh new designs and innovative manufacturing techniques. Recently, there’s been a lot of conversation around 4G, 5G and even 6G surfaces, raising questions of the actual state of sport surfacing technology: what makes these surfaces different? What effect do they have on the playing experience? Where can I find them?
The best way to answer these questions is to start from the beginning – or at least as far back as 3G surfaces, since 1G and 2G are terms that were applied retrospectively, referring to the very first artificial sports surfaces.
3G Sports Surfaces
3G means 3rd Generation, an innovative sports surface that utilises synthetic materials to replicate the look, feel and playing experience of natural grass. 3G turf is supported by an infill of sand and rubber, providing maximum comfort and excellent ball performance (this performance is heightened when used with a shock pad, which also contributes to durability). 3G surfaces should be offered in a range of pile heights which can be matched to your requirements, ensuring you’ve got the right surface for your sport.
4G Sports Surfaces
So if that’s a 3G sports surface, what about 4G? Well, the truth of the matter is that 4G surfaces don’t actually exist.
Some artificial sports surface manufacturers, stockists and installers refer to their products as 4G as they believe them to be a step up in artificial surfacing technology. However, no surface has yet received approval from sports governing bodies including FIFA and IATS. In short, 4G is a marketing tool that brands use to assert themselves as industry leaders. However, while the world of sports surfaces sees technological advancements on a regular basis, we’re yet to see official accreditation.
Playrite 3G Surfaces
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding progression of artificial surfaces, but here at Playrite we can confidently say that our 3rd Generation products are the ultimate in sports surfacing. Read more about our artificial 3G surfaces, and remember to get in touch with one of our experts who can answer your questions.