Rock Reef activities flyer muddle

Rock Reef activities on Bournemouth pier is aimed at thrill-seekers. They publish a flyer aimed predominantly at a young market. Their flyer mixes metric and imperial units in many places and even does this in the same sentence.

The activities offered are 28 climbing walls, an aerial obstacle course, a pier cave, a vertical slide, a leap of faith and PierZip.

Rock Reef offers various packages for groups, including corporate team building activities, private hire, curriculum packages for schools, fun day out packages for youth groups and Stag & Hen dos.

I praise Rock Reef for expressing body height in metres and body weight in kilograms and ignoring the prevailing British convention to use feet and inches for body height and to use stones and pounds for body weight. Strangely, Britons do not use stones for weighing anything else these days.

It is a shame that they mix feet and metres in the same sentence. In the section under the heading “World’s first pier to shore Zip Wire!”, they write:

“Climb the Zip Tower 60 feet above the sea, launch off into your flight and zip-surf 250 metres over the waves to the shore!”

Why do they mix feet and metres in the same sentence? How can you compare distances of 60 feet and 250 metres? It would be a lot easier to compare if they used 18 metres for the height. Then readers would just need to compare two numbers.


The HighLine combo option is described as follows:

“HighLine combo includes all the Clip ‘n Climb elements plus the HighLine aerial obstacle course, suspended 20ft in the air!


The Leap of Faith combo option is described as follows:

“The most challenging activity in RockReef. Climb the 20ft pole, walk the plank, 3.. 2.. 1.. take a leap of faith and grab the bag!


The combo options show body heights in metres but the height above the ground in feet. This is supposed to appeal to teenagers and young people. How can they be expected to compare heights given in two measurement systems? It is hard to visualise the number of people of minimum height standing on top of one another it would take to reach the suspension height. It obscures the relationship between measurements.

It appeals mostly to young consumers, who would have been educated exclusively in metric units at school. Yet they are faced with a mixture of units in incompatible measurement systems.

2 thoughts on “Rock Reef activities flyer muddle”

  1. Their website refers to metres as ‘metres’, ‘meters’ and ‘mtrs’! The odd use of feet for climbing heights does seem odd. It’s almost as if the ‘official’ info for the public is in metric but the height ‘you’ will be above the ground is given in feet. Very much in keeping with the Great British measurement muddle, I’d say. But it wouldn’t take much to clean up their website (including poor English in places).


  2. The EU directive (and hence UK law) on units of measurement requires that metric units be used for purposes of, amongst other things, “public safety”. If somebody was badly injured or killed as a result of being too short/tall/heavy/light for one of the attractions, the insurance company would have to pay out. I suspect that the insurance companies therefore insist that all safety information obey the letter of the law so as to minimise their own exposure.


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