I am in the planning stages for a pumptrack at our local trails and was wondering if the red dirt, like what is used for baseball diamonds, would work well for a track or should I stick with top soil.
Wow, cool idea. Let’s learn about this together …
From www.grasslandcorp.com: “Baseball Diamond Mix is baseball’s premium infield mix. It provides firm traction, good drainage, reddish/orange color, works up readily, free of stones, no separation of ingredients, long lasting, safe to slide on — a save, attractive, reliable, and playable infield.”
Another description from www.beamclay.com: “Beam Clay … not too hard or too soft. Made from uniform orange sand and red clay. Provides firm traction, excellent drainage, and reddish/orange color. Works up readily. … Doesn’t separate and blow away — lasts longer! Firm yet soft — a safer playing surface!”
That all sounds pretty good.
But: Every baseball diamond I’ve seen was loose-over-hardpack. Unless it was very fine-particle clay, I think you’d tear up the surface — especially in the high-G berms. Also, when clay gets wet then dries, it tends to crack.
beamclay.com says you maintain the surface by watering it, rolling it then dragging a matt across it. That might work on your pump track, but it sounds like a pain.
I used topsoil on most of my pump track, and I didn’t have to do a darn thing for over a year.
If you try the red clay, let me know how it goes. Good luck!