How to buy a trampoline
A trampoline buying guide
Trampolines can provide hours of fun for the whole family. They provide an enjoyable way for children to get exercise, burn off energy and play. Although people have used trampolines mostly for fun, they are also serious pieces of equipment that play a role in competitive sports and physical conditioning. Before deciding which trampoline to buy, you should educate yourself on the types available as well as the maintenance requirements and safety considerations for each to keep them working for as long as possible and safe for the whole family.
>> Types of trampolines
There are four main types of trampolines to choose from:
The trampoline that most people envision is the classic round blue backyard trampoline, consisting of the metal frame, trampoline mats, trampoline springs and steel legs. It's the trampoline springs attaching the fabric to the rigid frame that creates the bounce. Classic trampolines also come in square shapes, which are used in competitions. The round trampolines come in several sizes, ranging from 8 to 16 feet in diameter.
Water trampolines are similar to classic trampolines except that the metal frame that is enclosed in an inflatable covering that floats and raises the trampoline fabric above the water anywhere from one to several feet. It must be anchored to stay in place, but one of this trampoline's advantages is that you can bounce from the trampoline to the water if the trampoline is anchored deeply enough. This is a fun option if you or your family spend a lot of time at a lake or on a river.
Mini-trampolines are used for fitness. They're the smallest type of trampoline, at about a yard in diameter and a foot off the floor. This trampoline can support only one person at a time. It's a convenient type of trampoline, because you can fold it when you're not using it.
Children's trampolines are most commonly referred to as bounce houses and are inflatable houses with mesh enclosures and ladders large enough for a child. When choosing from the different types of trampolines and determining how to buy a trampoline, this is the safest for young children. It comes in bright colors and fun shapes and sizes to suit any child's imagination.
>> Space considerations
Which trampoline to buy might be determined by the space you have available. Common to all types of trampolines is a requirement for a flat, even surface wherever you plan to set it up. Never set up a trampoline on hard surface, like concrete or pavement. Instead, set up large trampolines on grass or soft dirt areas, and set up mini-trampolines on carpet or a padded mat. Clear outside areas of low-hanging branches and any obstacle that could cause an injury when jumping on the trampoline. Make sure that the area around the trampoline is also free from any objects which could injure a jumper.
>> Trampoline accessories
In addition to the basic trampoline, there are many accessories that can be installed around the perimeter of the trampoline. Knowing what is available can allow you to customize a basic trampoline to your needs.
|Trampoline canopies/tents ||The trampoline canopy is set on top of the enclosure to create shade. It can also be lowered to cover the enclosure sides. |
|Trampoline pads ||Trampoline pads/mats attach to the outside ring of the trampoline to protect users from injury. |
|Trampoline ladders ||A trampoline ladder is a necessity for larger trampoline sizes for safe mounting and dismounting. |
|Trampoline enclosures ||Enclosures prevent bounce-offs and falls from the apparatus; comes as a mesh screen with two-way visibility. |
|Trampoline covers ||A trampoline cover is essential for proper trampoline care. Put the cover in place to protect the trampoline from UV radiation damage, snow and rain. |
When considering how to buy a trampoline and the options available, most of these accessories are recommended to maintain safety and privacy.
>> Care and maintenance
Permanently installed types of trampolines require a cover to keep them protected from UV radiation, snow and rain, especially during seasons when you're not using them. It's a key part of proper care. The cover also protects the trampoline from other factors such as dead leaves, bird droppings and animals.
To keep trampoline use fun and leisurely, jump barefoot or with socks on. This will keep the trampoline mats clean and minimize damage to the safety padding. Sweep away dirt with a small brush or broom.
It's important that trampoline users aren't allowed to walk, stand or sit on the padded edges around the trampoline. This can cause deterioration of the springs, padding and fabric, and it's a safety hazard.
Also, as you shop trampolines, make sure they're from well-established manufacturers, so that plenty of replacement parts are available.
>> Safety considerations
Trampolines create hours of enjoyment in your own backyard, but require a safety mindset when you use them. Use care when you jumping on the trampoline, and always work with an experienced person to learn tricks, preferably while you wear a safety harness. The bigger the trampoline sizes, the higher you can bounce and fall. Always have one person on the ground to monitor jumpers, and consider multiple "spotters" when children are jumping.
All types of trampolines come with user manuals. Follow the directions in the manual, such as the limitations on height, weight and number of persons jumping.
Trampolines are a fun way to let off some steam and get serious exercise. Use the information in this trampoline buyers guide to help you choose the best trampoline to buy for you and your family.