Table of Contents
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Round, rectangular, oval, octagonal – these are basically the common shapes of trampolines. Aside from aesthetic preference, the trampoline’s geometric shape is an important consideration because it influences all of the trampoline’s bounce elements. Thus, it has a bearing on the trampoline’s overall performance and safety. Most home users typically go with round trampolines.
Balance – This pertains to your ability to maintain the center of gravity between your right and left.
Effortlessness – This refers to your ability for maintaining a sustained height.
Control – Better control means easily maintaining your jump path and/or progression.
Height – This is the overall or maximum height achieved by your jumps.
This shape is generally considered as “entry level” as it is the type usually intended for use by small children. It can be installed with an enclosure or as an outdoor playpen. The round-shaped trampoline is also easily outgrown by young kids.
While trampoline manufacturers recommend only a single person to use their product at any given time (this is usually indicated in warning labels and instruction manuals), most users simply ignore this warning. If you think that there will be instances when more than one person will use the trampoline at the same time, then choosing the trampoline with the right shape and safety features is a must to mitigate the risks posed by simultaneous users. Even then, it is still best to observe the one user at a time rule.
The round trampoline tends to draw the jumper to the bed’s center after each jump because of its spring layout. When using this type of trampoline, you will notice that even if you bounce near the perimeter area, you will be led back into the center. Except when jumping at the dead center (known as the sweet spot,) where you are at an equal distance from each of the springs, you will be off-balanced when jumping from any other area. You will find it difficult to control your bounce progression accurately. It would be a lot more difficult when sharing the trampoline with another user.
When it is in use, the round trampoline utilizes all its springs, and when the equipment is used by multiple jumpers simultaneously, the springs are shared. This will affect your control and balance even more. Because of the tendency of round trampolines to draw jumpers to the center, accident-causing collisions among the jumpers become highly likely.
While you can find high quality round trampolines after doing proper research, most of the cheaper models you can find are low quality. When considering buying a round trampoline, take note of the maximum spring and frame weight capacity. Most cheap trampoline models would require spring replacement as well as repair or replacement of damaged frame sections after only a short period of time. The effortlessness factor is significantly affected by the trampoline’s springs and frame. For one, small springs easily give in and do not offer as much lift as you may desire; this becomes easily noticeable with larger-sized trampolines.
Bottomed-out springs will take a toll on your joints and lower back. On the other hand, frames comprising of numerous pieces will find it difficult to keep a rigid shape. Because frame pieces need to be in an inside/overtop fit with one another, some wiggle room is necessary. The more room there is, the more flex the frame will provide, thus absorbing some energy from the bounce, reducing the maximum achievable level of jump height, providing more lag or delay in the bounce, and raising the required amount of effort for every bounce. You can visualize this by comparing the feeling of running on sand versus running on cement. Single-piece frames offer the best bounce. However, it may not be necessary and practical in some instances.
Octagonal and Square Trampolines
Considered as the middle ground between round and rectangular trampolines, octagon and square trampolines are usually characterized by better bounce quality, as well as overall product quality. The basic difference between round and octagon-shaped trampolines lies in their distinct sides, which are the reference points in the trampoline’s perimeter areas as they lower the deflection that a jumper gets when jumping off center. This results to an increase in the jumper’s balance, control, and level of effortlessness. All these factors contribute to making the trampolines safer and more enjoyable to use.
The rectangle is the ultimate in trampoline design. Rectangular-shaped trampolines are used by diving and gymnastics clubs, and are the most popular shape among home users. The trampoline’s 4-sided frame allows it to offer the best bounce possible. Compared to a square, the shorter span width of a rectangle gives an impressively stable and reactive bounce, while the longer width provides sufficient space for jumping around.
The rectangular trampoline also provides the most controlled, consistent, and effortless bounce. Accident risks from multiple jumpers bouncing on opposite ends simultaneously are also minimized because the springs work typically independent from one another. Thus, there is less chance of one spring affecting the bounce of another.
Rectangular-shaped trampolines are ideal in cases where multiple jumpers of highly contrasting body weight jump in unison. Perhaps the only drawback of the shape is that it isn’t self-supporting. There is more concern when strong springs outline the frames. This can, however, be addressed by heavily reinforcing the frames. While rectangles are considerably more expensive than other shapes, a well-built unit can provide the best bounce possible.
Importance of Size
The right trampoline size for you depends on your available space and budget. Likewise, while bigger-sized trampolines are generally safer to use and come with better quality, its benefits would not be fully enjoyed if the trampoline is meant for use only by a small child – even if you can afford the price and your garden can accommodate the biggest size there is. A bigger trampoline can also be expected to provide a higher bounce; thus, it is important to consider the intended users, their experience, and their jumping styles.
Following is a guideline to give you an idea on the various sizes you can choose from, depending on your specific requirements.
8-Ft. Trampolines – This is recommended for young jumpers (not more than 8 years old) and small gardens, but consider that young children can easily outgrow it.
10-Ft. Trampolines – The relatively compact size is ideal for smaller gardens or those who do not want a unit that takes up a lot of space. It can accommodate heavier and older children, but it is not recommended for use by adults or teenagers.
12-Ft. Trampolines – The size should be enough to provide decent jumps for users of varying sizes and weights. It can be used by all family members and cannot be outgrown by younger kids.
14-Ft. + Trampolines – Ideal for jumpers who require a lot of space and those who want to develop and improve their techniques. The trampoline of this size can be used for achieving decent heights and for doing tricks such as backflips and somersaults.
Common Trampoline Accessories
Your jumping experience can be enhanced by using accessories that are compatible with your trampoline. Some accessories can even help prolong the trampoline’s useful life. Following are the most common accessories that you can use.
Anchor Kits – If you live in a region that is frequented by storms or strong winds, you may want to invest on anchor kits. The devices also provide additional safety measures that allow for more stable jumps. As a parent, you enjoy the peace of mind that your kids’ jumps will be safe because the trampoline is securely anchored to the ground.
Ladders – While most kids can just hop on to get on the trampoline, a ladder makes it more convenient for small kids to mount the equipment without struggling.
Tents – You know how kids love to play make-believe. By simply attaching a tent over the jumping platform, you can turn the trampoline into an exciting and amazing play area.
Safety Enclosures – Most trampolines don’t come with a safety net enclosure, but having the additional safety provided by the enclosures is something that a lot of parents would welcome. Generally speaking, the safest trampoline has a safety enclosure and is large enough to allow for minor jumping errors. Typically made of net, safety enclosures are attached to poles that surround the trampoline. Kids can then enter the jumping platform through the safety enclosure kept together by Velcro. While there are still inherent jumping risks present even with safety enclosures around, it has been argued that accidents can significantly be minimized, those this is still up for debate. For one, kids may commit jumping errors that can send them flying in mid-air, and safety enclosures can lessen the impact. Check out this link for more tips on staying safe on the trampoline.
Trampoline Cover – Weather is a factor that can take its toll on your trampolines life. Heavy rains and exposure to direct sunlight, among others, can damage your trampoline. It is recommended to get a cover to protect the equipment from the harsh elements. Covering the trampoline keeps it dry and available for use anytime. Damage to the jumping area, and corrosion in the springs and joints are also minimized.
Bungee Bouncers – Aspiring trampoline gymnasts can greatly benefit from these training aids as they can practice their daredevil routines with less worries because of the safety harness attached to them.
Spring-Free Trampolines – One of the latest trends in the trampoline niche, the spring-free trampoline eliminates the risk of falling through the springs, perhaps the biggest worry that parents entertain while watching their kids jump. People who have gone through this traumatic experience will readily say that it definitely takes the fun out of the otherwise fun and healthy activity. A spring-free trampoline is more expensive than its conventional counterparts, but it takes away the need to replace springs from time to time that may cost you more in the long run.
Trampoline Pads – Safety pads have long been used to cover the springs. The foam-made pads are attached to the trampoline frame either by Velcro or by tying them. This helps minimize punching from, and falling through, the springs. The downside is that trampoline pads are not durable and easily deteriorate. They likewise tend to slide around that significantly reduces their effectiveness; and this is one reason for the rise in popularity of spring-free trampolines.
Properly Setting Up Your Trampoline
One great thing about trampolines is that they are quite easy to set up. It only takes two adults or an adult working with an older teen around two hours to assemble the equipment. Once your chosen trampoline is delivered to your home, immediately check the contents of the package to make sure that all parts are complete. Depending on the particular model, the trampoline may come in one or a couple of boxes. Carefully lay down all parts on the ground and go over each part as indicated in the included checklist. Make sure that each nut and bold is accounted for.
Surely, you don’t want to discover any missing parts once you have already started putting the trampoline together. Once you are sure that you have everything you need, you may now proceed to the assembly part. Typically, the box will include the following parts: springs, metal legs, bars, spring pads or protectors, jump pad, enclosure netting, enclosure poles.
In some instances, the netting and poles are not included with the purchase. However, because of their rising popularity, many vendors have decided to bundle them together with the trampoline. It also adds up to the cost of purchase. If you buy the enclosure materials separately, make sure that they are compatible with your particular trampoline model. A safety enclosure that does not fit well cannot be expected to provide optimum safety.
Make sure that you also have the necessary tools to use for assembling the trampoline. These include a screwdriver (Phillips), rubber mallet for driving the springs into their respective holes, and a pulling device that you can use to pull the springs as they are being installed.
Trampoline Assembly Guide
Standard trampolines, regardless of the size, are assembled typically the same way. Spring-free trampolines come with a different set of assembly instructions. The following instructions are for a conventional round trampoline w/ springs.
1. The first step is to lay out all the contents of the package on the ground in a circle. This will give you a good idea on how big the trampoline will be once assembly is done. Be careful in laying out the ring foundations, making sure that each of the ring parts are attached first before you start to attach the legs.
2. Put the legs together and carefully attach each leg to the main ring. If the particular trampoline you bought is one of the bigger models, the squares must be outside of the ring. Line up the holes. Repeat the procedure until each leg is properly attached to the ring.
3. Next, take out all the bolts and screws included in the package, and attach each one to their proper places. Make sure to sufficiently tighten each screw to guarantee a sturdy base for the trampoline. Failure to do so may make some parts of the equipment wobbly, and therefore unsafe to use. This will complete your trampolines foundation, and you can proceed with the rest of the assembly process.
4. It is now time to unroll the trampoline. After doing so, lay it out on the ring’s top portion. Before attaching the jumping pad to the metal ring, make sure that each of the springs is already attached properly to their respective hooks on the pad. Take note that as more and more springs are attached, the pad will become tighter and more difficult to pull the strings. This is why it is important that you have the rubber mallet and pulling device handy. The job will be much easier with these tools. Do the process to cover the entire trampoline, stopping only once all the springs are connected.
5. Attaching the spring protectors comes next in the assembly process. Lay them out on the springs, while making sure that spaces between the spring protectors are lined up with the metal stand’s bars. There should be no gaps when you tie the spring protectors as these can cause injuries and scratches. The spring protectors may be attached using Velcro or ropes, depending on your trampolines specific model. When using ropes, make sure to tie them up well, but not too tight to make it impossible for you to loosen them up. Especially if the climate in your area is snowy and cold, you may need to store the trampoline during extreme weather conditions, and thus, may need to take the spring protectors off for storing.
6. During winter, when it can be extremely difficult to completely take the trampoline apart, you may instead opt to just use heavy cover for the equipment to keep snow, rain, and dampness from damaging the springs and other parts of the trampoline. It is therefore recommended to invest in a high quality cover. As for the enclosure, it is easy to assemble and disassemble anyway, so it would not be a big problem to take it down when necessary.
Health Benefits of Trampolining
Low Impact Cardiovascular Fitness
The trampoline’s flexible surface absorbs some of the impact from your landing. It moves with you after you jump. Unlike other forms of cardio exercises like jogging, where the impact of your feet’s contact with the ground may cause joint and bone injuries, specifically on your hips, ankles, and knees, jumping on a trampoline minimizes the risk of these types of injuries. Throughout the activity, you are able to increase your heart and breath rates – from the jumping motion to landing. Trampolining helps improve your cardio fitness when done regularly and at an intensity level between moderate to rigorous. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, trampolining for around 150 minutes per week at moderate intensity can improve the average American adult’s cardiovascular health.
Improved Lymphatic Function
The lymphatic function is at the forefront of ensuring the body’s immunity against diseases, cloaking the cells in the entire body in lymph fluid, and in the process collecting cellular waste and helping eliminate it through any of the body’s waste removal channels – through the skin, kidneys, liver, or lungs.
The lymphatic system operates vertically along the human body’s extremities. Unlike the cardiovascular system where the heart continuously pumps blood to keep blood circulating throughout the body, the lymphatic system does not pump to distribute lymphatic fluid and get the waste disposal process going. Instead, it needs muscular contraction for waste movement, and keep waste from settling in the extremities.
By performing any kind of exercise, you can help promote muscular contraction. Trampolining, in particular, can be very effective for this purpose. Jumping up and down on a trampoline is quite easy to do, and it triggers the one-way valves in the lymphatic system to continuously open and close. This helps substantially improve lymph flow as it opposes gravity in giving the lymphatic system a boost. Waste product movement is then facilitated, toxins are eliminated, and the body’s overall immune function is improved.
Better Balance and Coordination
A lot of beginners to trampolining may find it difficult to maintain balance at first. After a few a few attempts however, they usually realize that trampolining is actually a good exercise to improve coordination and balance; and this is true for various demographics. Trampolining can be likened to the game of “Pong,” an old computer game. The ball bounces between two paddles, back and forth. The angle of the ball movement depends on its location and speed as it makes contact with the paddle.
Similar to the ball in “Pong,” your body bounces on the trampoline based on the force you use and the angle at which you hit the jumping pad. You bounce back into the air at a certain angle. There are times when you find yourself rebounding in an unpredictable way simply because you land on the surface with a greater force than what you expected. In other cases, you land even before the surface of the trampoline has completely settled. Likewise, you may accidentally put more weight on a particular foot compared to the other.
To compensate for these unplanned movements, you must find your center of gravity and do a “re-balancing act” prior to landing again. You improve your ability to maintain equilibrium with constant practice, and you also get better in anticipating your movements based on the way you land, thus allowing you to recover more quickly.
Various studies have shown that balance in practically every demographic improved when trampoline exercises are regularly performed. A study published by the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology in 2011 revealed that older people who were made to exercise on mini trampolines for at least 3 months logged significantly improved balance and were deemed less likely to experience forward falls.
Another study published by the Research in Developmental Disabilities in 2013 said that children who underwent exercise intervention for 12 weeks using trampolines showed remarkable improvements in terms of balance and motor function at the conclusion of the study.
Fun Type of Exercise
Not a lot of people would dispute the fact that trampolining is fun. People are naturally fascinated by the idea of flying as it is both rewarding and invigorating. If you have an opportunity to engage in a fun form of exercise, you would most likely stick with it.
In a study released in 2014 by Cornell Food and Brand Lab, it was discovered that people who perceive any type of physical activity as a form of exercise are more likely to be more tired, and less gratified with the workout. They are also likely to eat more. In contrast, those who see physical activity as an enjoyable pastime are likely to eat less after the activity. They are also more likely to consider the activity as a fun and enjoyable experience.
Even if Cornell’s study used controlled variables, the results are still nothing to scoff at. If people’s perception of physical activity as well as what it means can be changed, their decisions regarding food and nutrition will improve.
Healthy Form of Exercise
Similar to walking, jumping on a trampoline can be adjusted to suit any skill level. Beginners can start on mini-trampolines with simple zero-hop bounces where the feet don’t leave the trampoline’s surface. More advanced users, on the other hand, can practice performing advanced and more difficult jumps or stunts like high knees, tuck jumps, 180-degree jumps, and jumping jacks, among others.
In general, jogging on mini trampolines is much less strenuous than using treadmills. Even easier is hopping on mini trampolines. SparkPeople reports that 10 minutes of trampolining can help a 150-lb individual burn around 37 calories while jogging for the same amount of time at 12 mph can burn around 88 calories. You can, however, burn more calories from trampolining by bouncing more vigorously. The point is, you don’t have to exert as much effort when trampolining.
1. Skywalker 15-Ft. Jump N’ Dunk Trampoline Review
The Skywalker 15-Ft Jump N’ Dunk Trampoline is equipped with steel T-sockets that attach the safety net to the base of the trampoline. The sockets keep the equipment from twisting, thus improving the trampolines safety features. This ranks first as our best trampoline for adults and kids.
On the other hand, the 6 W-shaped legs that are made of heavy-duty galvanized rust-proof steel provide stability to the structure. Thus, the trampoline can withstand harsh weather conditions. It will remain standing because of its strong legs. As its name suggests, the round trampoline has a diameter of 15’. Because of its size, the equipment will eat up some backyard space. Ideal for big families, it is safe for children who would definitely enjoy jumping on a wide jumping area. Even adult family members would have a grand time with this trampoline.
As previously mentioned, the shape is crucial to the process of selecting the right trampoline to buy. The shape has an effect on the jumping area, bounce, and space required to accommodate the trampoline. Round-shaped trampolines are suited for any type of user – even young children. The springs are equally spaced, and no matter where in the trampoline surface, the jumper takes off from, they will always land at the center. The pressure from each job is absorbed by the entire frame, and this does not affect the trampoline’s overall quality. The round trampoline is easy to move to a different location as well.
Knowing the trampoline’s weight limit is also crucial to the user’s safety. An adult jumping on a trampoline intended for kids’ use can result to an accident. With a 200-lb. weight limit, the Skywalker trampoline is safe for use by practically any member of the family. It has a total of 96 springs, providing a huge bounce effect with every jump. Children below 6 years of age however, should not be allowed to use the trampoline.
A safety net made of UV-resistant material encloses the trampoline. You can therefore safely enjoy bouncing on the trampoline even with the sun up. A patented button-hole system attaches the net to the mat. V-rings that eliminate gaps are also in place. The Skywalker 15-Ft. Jump N’ Dunk Trampoline surface is fitted with foam pads that offer comfort when in use, while at the same time enhancing the product’s durability. To top it off, a portable basketball hoop is included and attaches directly to the safety net enclosure.
2. Skywalker 15-Ft. Round Trampoline Review
To put it bluntly, Skywalker knows the demands of the trampoline market. Trampolines are primarily used for fun, but people aren’t willing to spend a lot of money for a trampoline. The 15-ft. trampoline from Skywalker addresses this demand. For one, it is one of the most affordable trampolines on the market today, but it is packed with the same add-ons usually seen only in higher-priced models.
When fully assembled, the round trampoline from Skywalker measures 15’ x 15’ x 9.5’. The frame is made from heavy-gauge galvanized corrosion-free steel that offers unparalleled durability and support. Reinforced T-sockets stabilize the upper enclosure frame further, preventing the trampoline from twisting. A special button-hole system that eliminates gaps connects the safety net to the jumping equipment. The equipment is recommended for users older than 6 years old. It has a 200-lb. weight capacity. The common problem with typical low-cost trampolines is their inability to withstand the elements. When new, they look good, but after some time of being exposed to the elements, corrosion begins. Rust is not only unsightly, it also poses health risks. Rusting metal loses its strength, and eventually breaks. This can cause serious injuries.
Skywalker is aware of this problem and addresses the issue by using only rust-resistant, high-grade galvanized steel. Just by looking at the pictures, even without actually seeing the product, you can easily tell that the materials used in the Skywalker trampoline is tougher than other metals. The trampoline can withstand snow and strong winds, so leaving it outdoors will not cause much problems, though it is still best to move the trampoline indoors during extreme weather conditions. However, most homeowners do not have sufficient space to store the trampoline. Likewise, it would be tedious to keep moving the equipment inside each time it snows or rains hard.
One of the best things about the Skywalker 15-Ft Round Trampoline is that it is safe to use – straight from the box. It comes with a simple padding surrounding the jumping pad. This is important particularly for high jumpers because you never know when your jumps will be inaccurate. If you bounce high and unfortunately land on a steel rod, you may be seriously injured.
In addition, the package comes with the net enclosure, as well as the tools you will need to properly attach it. The net will provide safety measures in case your jump gets out of hand and off-course. The net will keep you safe and allow you to land on the padding. While it is not the ideal way to land, it is much better than landing on the metal rod or the ground, causing injuries in the process. Net enclosures are often sold separately, which may cost you a few hundreds of dollars more. However, with the Skywalker model, you get the trampoline, the net enclosure, and the padding for a single affordable purchase price.
3. Ultega Jumper Trampoline w/ Safety Net Review
With 8 sturdy, stable, and padded legs, the Ultega Jumper Trampoline w/ Safety Net provides a safe and fun jumping experience. It has a solid base and support system because of its innovative leg design where two legs are attached at the base. This provides extra support and stability. Total spring count is 88, which means the trampoline offers considerable bounce. Maximum weight limit is 200 pounds; thus, it can accommodate all, or at least most family members. However, kids below 6 years of age should not be allowed to use the trampoline for safety reasons.
The package already includes a safety net that also helps keep the jumping mat in place. The net enclosure is installed around the entire jumping surface, and can accommodate both big and small jumpers. This assures parents of their kids’ safety when using the trampoline. The frame is entirely made of high-grade and weather-proof galvanized steel frame. It is guaranteed to be durable and efficient.
For additional jumping comfort and safety, the trampoline comes with protective padding on the entire jumping surface. The product is likewise UV-resistant; thus, you don’t have to worry about getting burned while having fun on the trampoline even when the sun is up. The safety net has a zipper so the user can easily enter and get out of the jumping area. It is well-stitched and durable, and will not easily give in to normal wear and tear. The net is also easy to attach and detach.
Putting together the Ultega trampoline is a breeze. The package comes with a clear and easy to follow instructions manual. You can easily put it together even if you are not a DIY type of person. When fully assembled, the trampoline measures 14 feet, which is just right for most types of users. Likewise, it doesn’t require a lot of backyard or garden space.