Posted on 19th June 2015
Suspension bridges and corkscrew rollercoasters are clearly wild improvements on their wooden predecessors.
Metal swing frames may look similar but this is not an aesthetic choice between equals.
Play Value - What do you want from a swing frame?
A swing frame should be more than a stiff provider of suspension points: it is the gateway to the outdoors. Children enjoy climbing on metal swing frames, turning over the sidestays (no splinters), hanging from the crossbar (thin tube) & generally monkeying about (on a frame that flexes and sways).
Performance - As well as being a more versatile play space a steel swing frame is actually better at its job.
A Swing Frame is a machine: an apparatus designed to convert small changes in the center of gravity into velocity.
At the apex of your swing: hanging momentarily, velocity zero, you are relying on that machine to perform - it has to work in harmony with your body to ramp up a G force sufficient to pull your plummeting mass out of its dive and bring you to another (greater) beautiful moment of weightlessness.
A wooden machine will do it, but not silky smooth nor silent, instead of gentle flex there will be clunk, because its individuality is a design variable.
Aesthetics - How you view the machine in your garden.
You will most enjoy looking at your velocity machine when operational and your children will play on a steel swing frame more often and longer.
Next time you see a wooden swing frame you will sadly recognise muddled thinking for it was chosen for how it looks un-used.
A swing frame should be about the air not the ground, gracefulness not solidity, flight rather than height, and above all - the ride.
Any swing frame will suspend a mass above the ground, it takes a steel swing frame to introduce your child to the air.
Each time you see a Brave swing frame you will appreciate it as a versatile play space, well-suited to its role, and soon (perhaps without even meaning to) you will realise that it looks damn good doing it too.
Ariel And Caliban 1873
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