The right wood for every playground

"Make yourself an ark out of cypress wood, equip it with chambers and seal it inside and outside with pitch"

This is how a well-known story begins.

Also very early, around 1st millennium BC. In the 2nd book of the 10 books by Vitruvius (Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, engineer and architectural theorist), the importance of a differentiated wood selection is pointed out and all types of timber and their different properties are described: See translation:

"... The larch tree - Larix, .... Not subject to rot and worms alone because of the violent bitterness of its juice; but it also doesn't catch fire ... ... The oak, on the other hand. ... In underground works it is of immortal duration, and that's because it is not porous, and because of its dense nature, it cannot let in any moisture …. "

So a well-founded wood selection or wood treatment for the respective area of ​​application has always been at the beginning of a project. Various types of wood are also used for OBRA playgrounds, depending on the application: e.g. pine, larch, robinia, oak, fir and ash.

What is the right wood for my playground?

First of all, the respective installation situation must be observed. These are also used in the standards in Use classes divided. A distinction must be made here, among other things, whether ...

  • the individual component or the entire construction is under the roof and is therefore only exposed to temporary moisture,
  • or an increased enrichment with water is to be expected,
  • the wooden structure can dry quickly all around,
  • the wooden structure is elevated,
  • or the wood is in contact with the ground and therefore exposed to constant moisture.

Requirements for the material

In the case of playground equipment, there are also special loads on some components, such as abrasion from sand, gravel, shoes, play equipment or combinations thereof. In the case of components where children have direct contact with their hands on the wood when climbing, the wood properties with regard to splintering and cracking must also be observed. Additional requirements for the material can also have to do with the desired appearance, for example that colored glazes can penetrate the wood well.

The local wood species at OBRA:

  • natural drying
  • Warehouse laths, fir tree
  • Impralit-KDS test certificate


The resin of the pine and its distillate was needed in early history to seal barrels and boats (see initial quote), which is why pine has always been specifically cultivated and used. However, only the heartwood has a high natural durability. In order to be able to use the sapwood, a technical wood protection process is used.
At OBRA Design, thicker dimensions of the jaw are stored for up to 12 months. The reason for this is the gentle and energy-saving air drying. For this purpose, the wood is stacked under the roof, depending on the wind direction, so that the air can circulate unhindered.
After the core-separated wood has been planed into round wood or other profiles, and the CNC beam has been carried out, the pine is impregnated in a 5-stage vacuum-pressure process, in which the tested and certified active ingredients, which are harmless for play equipment, penetrate the wood particularly well can penetrate. OBRA quality

At the end... Because even 12m long components can be impregnated and the splint can also be made permanently usable, pine, chrome-free, pressure-impregnated, is an ideal material for playground equipment of all sizes. The associated good use of resources and short transport routes are also to be rated positively. For example, Kiefer, kdi is used in the DURAMO product line, which is characterized by a 15-year guarantee.

Play equipment Duramo

  • 37000

  • 37050 Pit sandpit

  • 37100

  • 37101

  • 37300 Stage Duramo climbing device

  • 37410

  • 37400

  • 37420

  • 37430

  • 37500

  • 37550


The larch is native to the Alps, among other places. It has a high proportion of heartwood, can also be used without impregnation and thus represents a more ecological alternative . However, the natural durability class 3-4, which is assigned to European larch according to EN 350-2, contact with the ground should be avoided as much as possible.

At the end... Our larch is therefore ideal when it comes to using the wood in its natural state. Just as with pine, regional procurement and short transport routes are also beneficial for larch. OBRA Design also pays attention to constructive wood protection (elevation, no waterlogging) and organizational / structural wood protection (interchangeability of parts) for larch appliances.


  • Robinia inflorescences
  • Robine
  • Balancing climbing system made of robinia wood

Robinia, actually from America, but has been planted in many regions of Europe for 400 years, is peeled and sanded by hand without sapwood, since only the heartwood is very durable here. More precisely, the adult, extremely hard and tenacious heartwood of the Robinia is the only wood that grows in Europe which, according to EN 350-2, falls into resistance class I "very durable". This means that posts (posts) can also be installed in contact with the ground without an elevation. It should be noted here that a certain degree of cracking will occur, as the woods are usually naturally grown and are built along with the core. If wood has to be exchanged for this reason, there is additional work due to the lack of elevation and adjustment of the components on site.

At the end... If an adventurous or enchanted look is desired, then the robinia with its crooked trunks and branches as well as the changeable, mostly non-circular cross-sections, is the right choice. Especially when the natural habit of the robinia supports the play value of the equipment. Check out what Robin Wood has to offer:

Robini play equipment made of natural wood - natural play equipment

If, on the other hand, you want to use the advantages of the modular system or appreciate the short transport routes for larch and pine, but still want to have a corresponding design language, our themed devices are available in the categories "Magic forest" or "Jungle"  as an alternative to robinia.

Ash, oak, chestnut

Hardwoods such as ash or oak are used wherever a lot of abrasion is to be expected: for example on the rungs of ladders and steps. And chestnut? Yes, chestnut can be found together with oak in durability class II and is therefore one of the most durable indigenous woods. Look what you can do with the chestnut: Maze

76800ff maze

Additional materials: steel, HPL, PE

For some components of playgrounds, an alternative to wood makes sense due to the most varied of requirements: With a slide (stainless steel, GRP or recyclable PE) or a swing joint, this is clear - but an HPL plate with anti-slip can also be used on a platform surface Surface make sense, especially when fall protection sand and water are "in play". Steel, on the other hand, is suitable for heavily loaded horizontal components with a long service life, especially if any cracks that may appear are not closed. See steel swing beams for group swings: OBRA-MAXI Nest Swing, steel / wood

45170 OBRA-MAXI nest swing, steel / wood

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Cool water at the playground

Cool water at the playground

From small water play combinations to water adventure worlds

Water has always acted like a magnet on children, from the smallest to schoolchildren. It is able to take on the most varied of properties, is infinitely malleable and controllable, and can be both gentle and powerful. We know from observations in our amusement park “OBRA Kinderland”, among others, that water play facilities can captivate and keep children busy for a long time.
Many playground operators are aware of this, as we can see from the many inquiries in this area. In practice, however, it is often the case that water playgrounds are not used because the construction and operating costs are assessed as too high. There are also fears of high running costs for the water. And this is not entirely without good reason, since water playgrounds require drinking water quality and, if they are drawn from the local water supply, costs can be quite noticeable at places with high water consumption.

Economical water play combinations

Therefore, OBRA Design has developed small water play combinations that offer a lot of fun with a manageable budget and also with the water dispensers variants that regulate the water consumption well. As small water play combinations made of wooden elements, we offer the popular classic 78250 mini water play as well as the new water play “Water Flea” 78242. A fully assembled water play combination, the “Frog King” 78490 water play with the funny water dispenser in the frog design, is also available in the particularly high-quality stainless steel version.

  • 78250 mini water feature


  • 78242 "Water flea" water feature


  • 78490 "Frog King" water feature


All these small water play combinations have in common that the water is supplied via water-saving devices, either via a robust push button that releases a small amount of water when pressed, or via a tap that can be closed again by a supervisor when there is enough water to play in the channel system is. There are also different versions of the handle pumps in the OBRA Design range, which emit different amounts of water per piston stroke. In addition to these small water play combinations, our program offers enormous possibilities to build water worlds with all imaginable play functions, be it from the proven wooden channel system, from stainless steel channels or as designed streams with built-in water play elements for blocking, rerouting, driving, etc. on our website among Sand and water play equipment and in ours Catalogue, which you can order free of charge, you will find many examples.

Water play area in Pullman City, Eging am See (DE)

Water play area in Pullman City, Eging am See (DE)

It should also be mentioned that in times of climate change, water play systems have an additional function in addition to the great fun they offer children: Evaporation of the water results in additional cooling of the environment and thus a more pleasant microclimate. Since, as already mentioned, children like to linger longer in the water play area, it also makes sense to shade these areas. If there are no natural sources of shade in the form of trees, OBRA Design is happy to help with a large selection of shade sails and shade pergolas.

Awning / shade pergola

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Generation Corona - reviving social contacts through active play

Generation Corona - reviving social contacts through active play

The COVID-19 pandemic, popularly known as Corona, has been keeping us in suspense for over a year. Several lockdowns with school closings and the associated contact restrictions have particularly affected children and young people. In addition to the social component, the decline in physical activity is evident in this age group.
In addition to the way to and from school, physical education fell victim to the corona-related school closings. The tendency towards more complex distance learning within one's own four walls left less time for movement, and playground closings in numerous cities and communities, especially during the first lockdown.

Now that the signs are pointing to relaxation and the pandemic seems to be slowly coming to an end, at least in Europe, the topic of meeting friends at the playground and spending time together and having fun is once again becoming a topic. Mindful of our mission "playfully move our society", we at OBRA Design have been offering a wide range of play equipment for all age groups for almost 50 years. Just in time for the restart, our new main catalog will appear with numerous exciting new items, which you can find under this Link (to order catalog) can order. In addition to individual new releases with different game functions such as the role-playing device "Fire truck" or "Climbing forest with tree house" the main innovation in 2021 is our completely revised tower system program "OBRA-MAXIMO" on the market. In addition to some bestsellers in "OBRA-MAXIMO KLASSIK", "OBRA-MAXIMO NEXT" a thorough revision of the program launched with more play value, smart color accents and qualitative improvements. Those who want it to be of particularly high quality and durable are well served with the "PREMIUM" rail.


Tower systems in two designs:
NEXT & NEXT Premium

  • 51240NX Hexagonal Tower Fusion

  • 51240PM hexagonal tower Fusion, premium version

Meeting point at the playground

Young people have a particularly difficult time in pandemic times. Your need for joint ventures with your peers is limited by business and local closings. Public space is becoming all the more important as a meeting point, but where there is often a lack of high-quality offers for young people where they can be active. Although this deficit has long been known, the circumstances of the pandemic shed new light on it and show that investments in this area can no longer be postponed. Even if the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to an end and we all hope that there will be no more lockdowns in the future, Corona has shown us in general the importance of exercise in fresh air as a balance. Here, too, OBRA Design offers numerous play and movement objects that beautify the lives of our youth, such as our proven OBRA TriMo line.
  • 68800 Ff OBRA Tri Mo bathing lake Regau 1
  • 68800 Ff 8 OBRA Tri Mo special version, natural color, mountain station Schattberg Saalbach 004
  • OBRA Tri Mo bathing lake Regau 4


So let's hope that we can finally leave the COVID-19 pandemic behind us and that together we can create high-quality open spaces for our society where everyone can "move around in a playful way"!

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Fitness trends for public spaces

Calistehnics, street workout

Fitness trends for public spaces

The cult of one's own body and keeping it in shape through fitness has become an omnipresent topic since the introduction of social media into our lives. This is underpinned by the number of fitness studios operated in Austria, which according to the Austrian Chamber of Commerce amounts to 1.239. In 2018, the total turnover of domestic fitness companies was around 554 million euros.

Since the corona pandemic at the latest, the importance of publicly accessible fitness offers has become visible and raised to a new level. Many working people were forced to stay at home overnight and used the time for physical exercise - outdoors, of course, since all gyms were closed. For many of the common endurance sports, there is no need for training equipment in public spaces. However, if you think of weight training or fitness offers for seniors, offers in the communal area are essential for the population willing to train.

Trend sport calisthenics

Strength training with your own body weight as a trend sport “calisthenics” or “street workout” has meanwhile also spilled over to Europe. What originally began in small groups on the east coast of America has quickly spread to large cities worldwide and is also forming a steadily growing community in Austria. Street workout is particularly popular with teenagers and young adults who value fitness and body styling.
  • Fitness facility Sonder Kreilplatz Vienna 09
  • Street workout Robinia Alma Seidler Weg Vienna 2
  • Street workout 2

Planning examples street workout systems

Calisthenics systems from specialist companies are characterized by their compact yet multifunctional design. Especially products that are made entirely of steel are characterized by low maintenance costs. Systems with a wooden frame and stainless steel elements for training, on the other hand, integrate better into a natural environment. Our creative team will be happy to develop a suitable system for your project. Our specialist advisor will also be happy to come to you to develop a concept.

Planning Enquiries

Fitness trails, keep-fit ​​trails, workout trails

Fitness and workout trails are an inexpensive option for municipalities or tourism associations to offer the population and visitors a range of sports. The station-like training devices are popular as a supplement to existing running routes. The stations can, however, be located just as compactly on one area. The training devices of such fitness and workout paths are aimed at different areas such as strength training, balance, coordination or even stretching. Extensive offers can be created through individual compilation and ranking. Discover the different products on our website and inquire about them with a few clicks of the mouse without obligation.
Investments in fitness offers for public spaces pay off socially. Regular training has been shown to drastically reduce the risk of getting seriously ill. Thus, the cost burdens on the health system are sustainably reduced. In a society in which people are getting older and older, appropriate offers help to keep seniors fit and agile, which makes everyday life easier.

Fitness trail equipment

If your community or institution would also like to move society together with us, we look forward to hearing from you.

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Creative play facilities - your ideas are in good hands with us

Creative play areas

Your ideas are in good hands with us

As a pioneer in playground construction in Austria, OBRA was presented with ideas for special play equipment and playgrounds decades ago. Our philosophy was then and is even more so today to support the creativity of our customers and to let it take shape in devices. At the same time, we developed a variety of creative play facilities ourselves, which you can see in our Catalogue and on ours Website can take a picture. So you can rightly say that OBRA has established itself as a market leader in customized play equipment. In the following, we would like to introduce you to some playgrounds and individual devices that show this focus at OBRA.

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Creative Indoor Playgrounds

Creative Indoor Playgrounds

Your ideas are in good hands with us

As a pioneer in playground construction in Austria, OBRA was presented with ideas for special play equipment and playgrounds decades ago. Our philosophy was then and is even more so today to support the creativity of our customers and to let it take shape in playgrounds. At the same time, we developed a program 10 years ago with which Indoor-Let play areas creatively equip, which you can use in ourn Brochures can take a picture. We present some of our tailor-made indoor play systems to you in this newsletter.

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The right playground equipment for every requirement

The selection of play equipment and possible combinations for the design of the playground is almost endless. Anyone who is not confronted with this topic every day will find it difficult to combine the right devices for their requirements.

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INDOOR PLAY AREAS - Plastic was yesterday

As autumn moves into the country, outdoor playgrounds can soon no longer be used continuously for a few months. Thus, the little guests have to find an appropriate range of exercise indoors in order to be able to live out their urge to exercise.

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Inclusion in playgrounds

Playground operators are increasingly encountering the keyword “inclusion”. Inclusion in playgrounds means the possibility of use or participation in the game by everyone, regardless of age, gender, origin or individual abilities

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