Many artificial turf manufacturers claim that woven surfaces have the edge over tufted pitches based on information gathered during ‘spike resistance’ testing, which simulates the long-term effects on both surfaces of continuous use with spiked footwear.
However, there is no official test with regards to spike resistance for Cricket, so there is no meaningful data to compare the results with to accurately predict a lifespan. If a surface wears more quickly in the test, this doesn’t mean in use the lifespan would be less. The tests also rely on continuing until the backing is completely worn through, whereas it is the pile that determines the life – you don’t play on the backing.
Interestingly, the results of more realistic ‘abrasion resistance’ testing on tufted and woven surfaces – based on the British Standard test (BS EN 13672) used by the ECB in its TS6 Performance Standard – are quite different.
In fact in rigorous tests simulating the long-term effects ordinary non-spiked footwear on two of the surfaces used in Notts Sport’s leading ECB-approved cricket systems against their nearest woven equivalent, the tufted systems were found to be nearly twice as durable.