A Complete Guide to Trampolines: Everything You Need to Know

A trampoline is an object made up of a strong fabric stretched taught between a frame using multiple coiled springs or glass-reinforced plastic rods. The fabric itself isn’t made up of elastic itself; instead, the springs provide elasticity by storing potential energy.

Most people have jumped on a trampoline at some point in their life, either at a birthday party as kids or an entertainment center. If you’re interested in buying your very own trampoline for infinite bouncing fun and hours of fun with your family in your own home, here’s all you need to know before making the decision:

Shapes

Buyers don’t often consider much other than the price when they’re investing in a trampoline. However, the shape of a trampoline should be a major consideration. Trampolines come in a wide range of shapes and sizes apart from the traditional round one. Depending on your needs and situation, other shapes may work better for you.

Round trampolines

Round trampolines are definitely the most popular choice amongst buyers, and although they have their fair share of advantages, they’re not the best choice for everyone. The springs in round trampolines impart an even amount of force around the entire perimeter, making jumpers slowly move towards the middle.

This is completely fine when there is only one jumper, and it’s not too difficult for two people to maneuver themselves enough to avoid any collisions, but the situation gets more dangerous with larger groups of people involved. Everyone has to be responsible for their own whereabouts while jumping on the trampoline, which isn’t the best for a bunch of unaware children.

For solo jumpers, round trampolines with safety enclosures are great and reduce any likelihood of accidents since they would automatically drift towards the center. They’re also the least expensive choice out of all of the other shapes, making them a super affordable option for potential buyers. This sturdy structure allows the frame to be light yet robust enough to stay up.

Round trampolines are available in a wide range of sizes. Small trampolines can be a minimum of 6 feet in diameter, best used for personal exercise than recreational activities. The bounce isn’t as high as in larger trampolines, and you won’t get much freedom of movement because of the small useable surface area. Kids are likely to get bored of this rather fast, making 8-foot trampolines a better choice for children who want to move around. Both are only for using one-at-a-time.

Medium trampolines range from being 10 to 12 feet wide, catering to two jumpers at a time. The bounce is much bigger, providing sufficient space for flips and tricks. This size is when trampolines go from being personal machines for exercise to the ultimate playtime powerhouse.

14 to 16-foot trampolines are the largest that are available in this shape. You can jump around with more than two people on this giant bounce machine! It’s also necessary to have a large trampoline if adults want to play around on it too.

Oval trampolines

Jumpers on an oval trampoline still drift towards the middle the same way as on a round trampoline. Oval trampolines provide a larger surface area for jumping compared to similar round sizes but with the same reaction of forces around the circumference. Hence, they’re the best hybrid of round and rectangle trampolines, with a thicker and heavier steel frame.

Oval trampolines are better for multiple bouncers due to their length, letting jumpers stick to their spot without interfering with one another. You can also jump across longer distances when bouncing by yourself. Their shape helps them fit into irregular corners without looking too out of place too.

Oval trampolines don’t have much variety when it comes to sizes. They mostly fall into medium and large categories at most.

 

Square trampolines

Square trampolines are rather different in both shape and function compared to round ones. The springs react differently, allowing bouncers to stay in their place without drifting towards the center. You’re more likely to land right where you started when you start jumping on a square trampoline.

Backyards are usually rectangular, so square trampolines can fit in much better alongside a fence. Remember to keep sufficient space as a safety zone — 2 to 6 feet is optimal.

Rectangular trampolines

Rectangular trampolines have the largest surface area available for jumping. They’re one of the most popular shapes in the U.S., often being used in trampolining and competitive gymnastics. This classic shape is easy to store, assemble, and transport. This allows users to take their trampoline down when it’s not in use to free up some yard space.

Square and rectangular structures handle jumping forces differently than round ones, making use of sturdier, heavier frames. This makes their portability worse than round trampolines when they’re fully assembled, making it important to pick the right spot to assemble it in your first go.

Small trampolines in this shape have a range of 7x10 feet, while larger ones can go up to 10x17 feet. Larger trampolines can accommodate more jumpers, but they can get too expensive for some simple fun in the backyard. 

Required space

Another aspect that trampoline buyers must take into consideration is the amount of space that they have available for a trampoline. Every shape has its own advantages and disadvantages, including how they fit into available spaces.

There should be around 24 feet of empty space above the area where you want to install a trampoline. It might seem like a lot, but it’s better to be safe than having someone bang their head against a branch. Ideally, there should be nothing above the trampoline at all.

There should also be 2-6 feet of empty space around the perimeter of the trampoline to ensure there’s no dangerous surface for jumpers to fall onto in case they slip out of the safety net.

The best surface for placing a trampoline

Soil and grass are the best choices for placing a trampoline. They’re excellent at absorbing the forces that get transmitted throughout the trampoline’s frame, taking off the stress from important structural components.

It should also be set up on level ground since an incline can launch jumpers out of the trampoline. The area underneath it should also be clear so that jumpers don’t have to worry about sharp rocks or other items injuring their legs and feet every time they bounce off the surface.

Important parts

Trampolines consist of a variety of different parts and accessories that are important for the safety or fun factor.

Safety nets

Safety nets are important to prevent jumpers from bouncing off the edge of a trampoline and landing on the ground. Durable safety nets usually consist of polyethylene, a material that is naturally resistant to moisture, dust, bugs, and fungus. This allows your net to last for a long time before it breaks down or needs to be cleaned.

Nets are coated in a UV-protectant spray to act as sunblock. This is an important step since trampolines sit outside all year round, accumulating damage from the sun. PE nets last much longer since they wear the coating better than other materials.

Polyester and polypropylene are much more rigid than PE, which isn’t the best when it comes to safety. A little bit of elasticity is ideal, along with resilience. Stiff materials bear the risk of ripping and tearing.

Check that there are no signs of tearing or fraying in the net before every use. Teach your kids not to sit on the net or jump over it too many times. Remove the net and keep it in a safe place in instances of extreme weather.

Enclosure entrance

The entrance to a trampoline enclosure needs to consist of more than a plain zipper. Zipper tracks should have reinforced stitching to ensure durability and strength for the weakest part of the net. Make sure that it’s strong enough to handle anything that your children could throw at it! It can also make it easier for jumpers to get in and out if there’s a zipper on both sides of the entrance.

Bottom attachment

The safety door is important, but so is the way that the safety net is attached to the trampoline’s frame because children can fall out if they’re not careful.

There are many different designs for this. One of them is to secure a safety net beneath the trampoline’s surface, covering up any holes or spaces at the bottom. Another design is to use a heavy-duty rope running through the v-rings along the bottom edge of the net. A net that’s properly secured shouldn’t have any space for jumpers to slip through.

Safety pads

Safety pads are an essential part of trampolines to ensure jumpers’ safety. No matter what quality or brand your trampoline is, it will still have the same basic design of steel springs stretched between the jumping surface and frame. These hard springs have sharp edges that can injure anyone who lands on them directly.

Choose a secure pad that covers and cushions the springs to provide a safe environment for jumpers. It’s not very likely for them to come into contact with this part of the trampoline if it’s well designed, but there’s never any excuse to skimp on protection.

The pad should be thick enough to break falls, with strong outer materials that can brave the elements throughout the year. They’re also great protection against rust for the springs underneath.

Frame

Frame tubes are usually created from an alloy of galvanized steel and coated with a weather-proofing layer. Heavier gauge steel will last much longer, but it’s not the only indicator of quality. You’re likely to keep your trampoline standing all year-round, so ensure that the welding and metal are capable of withstanding the elements.

If you need to move the frame, it’s best to wheel or lift it to its new location. Dragging it can harm or bend its legs and junctions. If your backyard is particularly windy, you can also stabilize the frame with an anchoring kit.

Jumping mat

All jumping mats consist of similar materials, so it’s important to focus on things like the sewing, number of stitches, and labels that indicate whether it’s waterproof or not. Jumping mats undergo the most stress in a trampoline, so it’s best to dig deeper into your wallet for this one.

While jumping mats are usually UV protected, they can tear under heavy pressure. Clean the mat ASAP if it’s undergone rain or snow, and cover it with a tarp if it’s not in use for additional sun protection.

Springs

Trampolines springs are vital for bouncing, so it’s important to check their condition before using the trampoline. They should be tightly coiled, and none of them should be missing. You can easily buy replacements in case they’re getting loose or breaking off. Snow and rain can damage the spring— use a trampoline cover to keep them protected from rain and dust. You can also take them all out and keep them in storage.

Trampoline cleaning

Make it a regular habit to clean your trampoline to keep it in tip-top shape. Depending on your frequency of usage, you should clean it weekly or monthly to prevent damage to the mat and springs. Dust and debris can collect and cause accidents in square or rectangular trampolines due to their uniform bounce ability.

Remove any leaves and dust, and clean the frame, springs, and mat with soapy water using a bristle brush. Rinse it clean with fresh water and let it air dry afterward. It’s best not to use detergent, as that can lead to erosion in the frame’s material.

Top-notch trampolines and installation services

Do you feel prepared to get your own trampoline and start jumping? Upperbounce offers a wide range of high-quality trampolines that are suitable for both children and adults. They also have trampoline assembly services, family trampolines, kids trampoline with net, trampoline replacement parts, and trampoline covers for sale.

Contact them at 1.888.965.3331to find out more today!