What Is A 4G Surface?


The past five decades have seen significant developments in synthetic sports surfaces, with the very first artificial pitch, AstroTurf, kick-starting an industry that is now rife with fresh new designs and innovative manufacturing techniques. Recently, there’s been a lot of conversation around 4G, 5G and even 6G surfaces, raising questions of the actual state of sport surfacing technology: what makes these surfaces different? What effect do they have on the playing experience? Where can I find them?

The best way to answer these questions is to start from the beginning – or at least as far back as 3G surfaces, since 1G and 2G are terms that were applied retrospectively, referring to the very first artificial sports surfaces.

3G Sports Surfaces

3G means 3rd Generation, an innovative sports surface that utilises synthetic materials to replicate the look, feel and playing experience of natural grass. 3G turf is supported by an infill of sand and rubber, providing maximum comfort and excellent ball performance (this performance is heightened when used with a shock pad, which also contributes to durability). 3G surfaces should be offered in a range of pile heights which can be matched to your requirements, ensuring you’ve got the right surface for your sport.

4G Sports Surfaces

So if that’s a 3G sports surface, what about 4G? Well, the truth of the matter is that 4G surfaces don’t actually exist.

Some artificial sports surface manufacturers, stockists and installers refer to their products as 4G as they believe them to be a step up in artificial surfacing technology. However, no surface has yet received approval from sports governing bodies including FIFA and IATS. In short, 4G is a marketing tool that brands use to assert themselves as industry leaders. However, while the world of sports surfaces sees technological advancements on a regular basis, we’re yet to see official accreditation.

Playrite 3G Surfaces

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding progression of artificial surfaces, but here at Playrite we can confidently say that our 3rd Generation products are the ultimate in sports surfacing. Read more about our artificial 3G surfaces, and remember to get in touch with one of our experts who can answer your questions.


What Is A 3G Surface?

What is a 3g surface?

What Is A 3G Surface?

It has to be one of the most asked questions in the world of synthetic surfaces, alongside “what is Astroturf?” and “will my artificial pitch need maintenance?” A 3G surface, or third generation is a long piled tufted carpet that has rubber and sand infill. Predominately used for football, although some 3G surfaces with a 40mm pile heights are suitable for hockey and multi sport.


  • Maximum comfort under foot,
  • Exceptional ball bounce as well as
  • Good ball roll and ball control.

What are they used for?

Mainly an outdoor sports surface, 3G products look like grass and offer similar playing characteristics. The rubber infill allows studded boots to be used for extra grip, in addition to providing extra shock absorption. Installed over a shock absorbing underlay can provide extra comfort and increased playing performance, in addition to adding to the longevity of the surface.

How are they made?

All tufted surfaces are manufactured in a similar way, by needling the fibre into a preformed primary backing cloth, creating a loop which is then cut into a U shape. The material is then coated with latex to keep the fibres in place. Made from either polypropylene or polyethylene fibre, a tufted surface can be manufactured with a pile height of up to 70mm.

A tufted surface is durable and hardwearing and a surface installed at a football pitch could be used all day, every day, which is why they are now becoming increasingly popular.

About Playrite 3G Surfaces

Playrite manufacture a range of 3G surfaces called Conqueror which are available with varying pile heights and accredited to the FIFA 1 Star equivalent IATS standard as well as EN15330 part 1.

If you would a free sample of one of our 3G surfaces get in touch below:



The Rise of Field Hockey

With only one day to go until GB women’s hockey team begins their quest for Olympic qualification, it seems the perfect time to share or latest infographic. The Rise of Field Hockey takes a closer look at the sport, explaining its history as well as current statistics. We also explain why field hockey has fast become one of the UK’s most popular sports, and celebrate the successes of our home teams.

If you’re a fan of hockey, this is the perfect infographic for you. Take a look!

The Rise of Field Hockey

If you like our infographic about field hockey, be sure to share it with your friends and family. You can also find out more about artificial surfaces for hockey by clicking here, or getting in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook.

Real Grass Versus Artificial Sports Surfaces – Which Is Best?

When it comes to the real grass/artificial debate, there’s a lot to be said. The discussion spans from expense to injury risk, from the environment to ball performance, with many questions raised about the true effects of artificial in comparison to real grass.

As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of artificial sports surfaces, it’s about time that we stepped in and answered these questions. As such, we’ve created an infographic that takes a thorough look at both types of sports surface, discussing everything from cost through to playing experience. Take a look and find out which is best for you and your sports club!

Real grass vs artificial infographic

Davis Cup 2015


Great Britain face the USA in the elite World Group first round this weekend.

The last meeting of the nations was back in 2014 in San Diego, when Murray led Team GB to victory. This time around he plays on his own turf in Glasgow, making the event especially momentous. “It’s the biggest home tie that I’ve played,” said Murray. “Because tickets sold out quickly, it shows there’s a passion here for sport.”

The Davis Cup is played over three days (this year, the 6th – 8th March), consisting of two single matches on Friday, doubles on Saturday, and reverse singles on the final day. It’s Britain’s first home tie for 13 years, and the first against the US since Birmingham 1999, and with a capacity crowd of 7,700 in the Emirates Arena, each day is set to buzz with excitement and big expectations.

In celebration of the Davis Cup 2015, we’re paying extra special attention to our excellent range of tennis surfaces. In particular, our innovative design Clayrite, a sand filled surface that simulates the natural clay playing experience. With a medium/slow surface speed, ball bounce is almost exactly like that of a traditional clay surface, but with the added bonus of much less maintenance and extended playing time.

To find out more about artificial sports surfaces, talk to us on Twitter @PlayriteSurface. And be sure to tune in to coverage over the weekend to keep up to date.

The perfect time to think about artificial surfaces


It’s time to start thinking about artificial sports surfaces!

One of the USPs of artificial surfaces is that they can be used all year round, with the properties to see the winter months through without the adverse results that limits natural turf. With superior drainage and durability, less playing time is lost compared to a ‘real’ pitch, even if the area has been battered by rain, snow and frost just days previous!

With that in mind, now is the perfect time to think about swapping to an artificial sports surface. The increasingly warm, dry weather means ideal conditions for a survey, excavation and installation. While the lead time is dependant on the size and details of the project, the majority of installations are complete in a matter of weeks, meaning your artificial sports surface will be ready to use right in time for the warm season. And when winter rolls around once more (hopefully not too soon!), your sports pitch will be ready to face the extremities of the British weather.

You can find out more about artificial sports surfaces by getting in touch with the Playrite team, or take a look around our site.

Six Nations 2015

It’s that time of year again when rugby rules the roost throughout the UK and beyond, and here at Playrite, we’re really getting in to the Six Nations. The series got off to a flying start with England taking a 21 – 16 win against Wales at the Millennium Stadium, closely followed by France scooping 15 – 8 against Scotland in their inaugural match, and Ireland storming Italy with a 26 – 3 win. It’s looking to be a close one, and though we’re less than a week in, the series isn’t short of controversy following George North’s concussion in the Cardiff opener.

We’ve found this fantastic infographic courtesy of Betting Expert, which details the key statistics of the tournament over the past 15 years – it also proves helpful for those umming and ahhing over who to back this time around!

Source: http://www.bettingexpert.com/assets/images/content/blog/en/2015-Jan-_-Rugby-Six-Nation-EN.jpg

Remember, if you’re on the lookout for the very best artificial surface for rugby, our Conqueror 65 is one of the best on the market. Versatile, durable and consistent, this surface interacts with the ball as natural turf does, providing an authentic playing surface.

World Indoor Bowls Championship 2015


Playrite have been manufacturing artificial bowls surfaces for over two decades, and we’re incredibly proud that almost three quarters of the world’s synthetic bowling greens were manufactured by us. That’s why we’re very excited about the World Indoor Bowls Championship 2015, which kicked off last Friday. If you’re a fan, you’ll be well aware of the famous blue Pro Weave carpet (courtesy of Playrite, of course!) along with the rules and regulations of the age-old game. If not, have no fear, just keep on reading… Continue reading “World Indoor Bowls Championship 2015” »

2014: A Look Back


First things first, we want to say a huge ‘Happy New Year’ to all our wonderful colleagues, partners and customers. We hope you had a fun-filled and restful Christmas holiday – the perfect end to such a great year.

For us, 2014 was particularly wonderful, and saw Playrite gain a huge amount of business and many successes. To celebrate, we’ve put together a 2014 summary, taking a look at a few of our favourite events, activities and achievements. Enjoy!

Playrite year summary2015 is set to be another great year for Playrite, and we can’t wait to find out exactly what is has to offer.


How To Care For Artificial Grass & Sports Surfaces In Winter

Unlike natural grass, caring for artificial turf during winter is extremely manageable. One of the USPs of artificial sports surfaces is their durability and all-weather qualities, however when winter rolls around, there are several precautions you must take to ensure the surface in top form.

Tread carefully

While the fibres of an artificial surface can withstand more than natural grass, it’s important that you refrain from heavy footfall during extreme frost. Excessive pressure on frozen fibres can cause them to snap, meaning that once the cold season has melted away, you’ll be left with a rather weary football pitch.

Remove with care

When snow fall builds up on your artificial surface, you should either act fast, or not at all. Removing the snow before it’s hardened will avoid broken fibres, however you should not use a metal shovel, which will tear the surface. Once the snow and frost has hardened, removing it will ultimately damage the surface. Thus, you should leave it to melt and drain away naturally.

A sprinkle of salt

If you’re keen to salt or grit your sports surface, do so with care. Salt and grit can contaminate the surface and deem it unusable once winter passes. These methods should be used to prevent freezing rather than as a defrosting agent, and you must be aware that results are completely dependent upon the type of surface, the amount of snowfall or frost and the temperature.

Water worries

Excessive amounts of rain can cause complications with artificial turf pitches. While the surfaces have inbuilt drainage systems that work wonderfully in average rainfall, regular torrential downpours can cause issues. In these extreme cases, where debris is forced deeper within the carpet by extensive stagnant water, deep cleaning is the only solution. This process will refresh and protect the synthetic fibres, correcting any compromised draining properties.

How To Handle Frost On Artificial Grass:

Why are artificial pitches affected by frost?

Basically, low winter temperatures allow for the freezing of any moisture present in the infill of the carpet. A vast majority of outdoor carpet will contain a sand component and aggregate at the base of the carpet is likely to retain moisture for some time, especially during the winter months. Low temperatures will allow this moisture and consequently the sand to freeze.

What problems can this create in terms of play?

This can severely inhibit the playing and draining characteristics of the carpet and pose a health and safety risk to the users of the facility. The severity of the risk is something that will need to be determined locally and take into account the nature of the users and the types of sports – it’s worth remembering that where the infill fills the carpet completely then the risk to the users will be greater.

Can the frozen surface simply be left to thaw?

This is the less risky option, leaving the frozen surface along with the natural surface to thaw. Occasions of freezing weather have tended not to last long, and the synthetic nature of the fibre can hold residual heat and thaw relatively quickly.

Does covering the surface work?

This is only really effective on small areas such as tennis courts. Covers can be fitted across the carpet and this may be enough to prevent the surface from freezing in the first place.

What can be done if the surface is covered in snow?

If snow fall is experienced on the surface it can be removed by hand or by machine. Extreme care needs to be taken and this should be done in degrees and in the direction of the seams to help avoid damage. Space is needed at the edge of the surface to store the removed snow, and don’t forget to replace any infill that may have been removed when temperatures return to normal. The removal of the snow may reveal a frozen pitch beneath that may need to be thawed.

Can frost be prevented in the first place?

Agents can be sprayed onto the pitch prior to the freezing conditions arriving, usually taking the form of a de-icing liquid mixed with water and sprayed onto the pitch. Depending on the product used, this will have an element of de-icing exiting frozen infill as well as preventing freezing in the carpet pile for a pre determined time. Drawbacks of this are the cost and the fact that the product will only work for so long and only down to a certain temperature. These conditions may be acceptable to the operator of the surface if they have a specific important event at the facility.


Here at Playrite, we take pride in our high quality manufacturing and want our customers to enjoy their artificial sports surface for as long as possible. That’s why we promote regular maintenance of turf, and are always more than happy to advise customers following their purchase.

Do you have any other questions about your artificial sports surface this winter? Please don’t hesitate to contact us – you can visit our Facebook page or tweet us @PlayriteSurface.