Athletes fall, its an inevitable part of obstacle competitions. Mats are specifically designed pieces of foam designed to cushion an athlete as they land. Mats come in all different shapes, sizes and densities. Today we will take a look at a few of the common mats found in obstacle training facilities.

Carpet Bonded Foam

Carpet bonded foam one of the most common flooring used under obstacle rigs. This flooring is found in other sports such as gymnastics and cheerleading.

Carpet bonded foam is often abbreviated as CBF and is typically ranges from 5/8 inches (1.58 cm) to 2 inches (5 cm) inches thick.

Puzzle Mats

Puzzle mats are a slightly less common flooring used in obstacle training facilities but can still be found throughout the community.

Puzzle mats typically offer a similar thickness to CBF.

Panel Mats

Panel mats range in thickness from 1 and 3/8 (2.5 cm) inches to 2 inches (5 cm). These mats typically fold in an accordion style for easy storage. They can provide light ground cover for lower risk obstacles.

Crash Pads and Throw Mats

Crash pads and throw mats are typically thicker and higher density mats. This type of matting is commonly used under ninja rigs to provide some cushioning for athletes falling from ninja obstacles.

Crash pads and Throw mats can vary in thickness from a few inches to over a foot.

It is also possible to connect multiple of these mats together using hook-and-loop surface connection flaps. Connecting mats provides additional coverage for athletes.


This concludes our introduction to mats. In a later section we will discuss some considerations for mat placements. It’s worth noting many more types of mats exist and can be found in obstacle facilities. This goal of this training is to familiarize you with some of the most common mats found. After completing this section you should be familiar with the names and some common use cases for the various common mats found in ninja facilities.