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What is a landing mat or sting mat?

What is a landing or sting mat & how to choose one?

Lisa Hobbie // 2020

One of the most important training tools used in gymnastics is a matting system. Mats are used for safety and protection of gymnasts while they practice and perform their various skills. Learning a new stunt and mastering tumbling skills comes with some risks, which are minimized with proper mats. 

A gymnastics landing mat is often 2.5 inches or thicker and soft and is used to provide essential protection under gymnastic equipment to provide for the safest environment for your gymnasts. For example, landing mats, or sting mats, are used in the floor exercise to protect from the impact of tumbling run landings, and they are also used to provide a level of safety from impact after dismounts off of the balance beam. 

With the many types and sizes of mats available, it may be overwhelming to try to determine which style is the right fit for a particular area of your gym.

Greatmats offers a variety of landing mats that come in many different styles, including non-folding and folding options. Most  feature a layer of at least one inch cross linked polyethylene foam, providing the best in durability and shock absorption properties. Many are also combined with a layer of polyurethane foam.

How to Choose a Landing Mat

There are a number of things to consider when choosing a landing mat or mats for your facility. First, you must think about the activity type and equipment you’re providing protection for. For instance, different mats are going to be used for a jump or tumble than are used for bar or vault work. 

Second, you should think about color. Do you want a custom color that is unique to your school or team, or, do you just want a basic or standard color? 

You should also think about storage. Will you need to fold your mats up and store them away when not being used, or, can your matting system be laid out and left between practices and performances? 

There are numerous landing mat options at Greatmats from which you can choose. 

Folding Competition Landing Mats


Greatmats offers standard and custom-made folding mats to ensure that you get the exact look and size you need for your gymnastics program. Many are made right here in the USA and are constructed using the highest quality materials, including an 18 ounce 6p compliant vinyl cover and durable 1.5-inch polyethylene foam interior with an addition 1-inch thick layer of foam on top of that. They are available in numerous sizes, including 4x6, 4x8, 5x10, 6x12, and additional custom sizes as needed. They provide a medium density and shock absorption, making them an excellent landing mat for multi-purposes. They are designed to absorb the impacts of a gymnast to make for a safe and comfortable performance.

Fluffy Denim Gymnastics Mat


When you’re looking for a landing mat for practices and stunts where your gymnasts may end up on their stomach or back, a fluffy denim gymnastic mat is the perfect choice. These mats offer maximum cushion with 12 inches of extremely soft foam. The denim cover provides a soft and durable landing surface. These mats are 60 inches by 80 inches and provide a coverage area of 33 square feet. These landing mats weigh 60 pounds, so they will stay put when landing fast and hard on them. 

Safety Gymnastics Mat


For general skills development and practice, a safety gymnastic mat is a great all-around mat. They work really well with all gymnastics equipment, and they are offered in three thickness levels - 4 inches, 8 inches, and 12 inches. They are available in 4 x 6, 4 x 8, 5 x 10, and 6 x 12. The thinner mats work better for tumbling skills, where a thicker cushion is better for landing or dismounting. These safety mats are a great way to protect gymnasts from injuries and fatigue. 

In addition to the different sizes available in this landing mat option, they are also available in single and bi-fold options. These are ideal options for times when you want two layers of thick protection. It also provides a convenient option to fold the mats up for easy transport. 

Greatmats for your Landing Mat Needs

There aren’t many things that are more exciting to watch than a successful gymnastics routine is. Tumbling takes a variety of strengths, skills, and talents, and to master such a skill set is a great accomplishment. There are many dangers involved with tumbling, though, including a potentially dangerous level of impact on the body of the gymnast. If a gymnast lands wrong from a flip or somersault, the injury could be very serious. That is why having a quality landing mat in place is imperative to protect gymnasts from unnecessary injuries. 

When shopping for mats, one thing is for certain. You never want to sacrifice on quality when it comes to landing mats. When you purchase from Greatmats, you can be assured that you’re buying quality mats made out of the best materials and offered at the best prices. Contact one of Greatmats experts to advise in determining which landing or sting mat is best for you.
For more on this topic please review our Gymnastics Mats and Pads product page.