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What started off as circus training equipment or a backyard toy for children went on to become standard equipment used by acrobats, gymnasts, the US Navy, and even NASA. Trampoline became the easiest and the most natural solution for any jump or gravity-defying training. However, although the inherent concept of Physics remains the same, the nature of equipment can vary based on how it is being used. Therefore, it is essential to understand the features of different types of Trampolines.
Before we discuss the types of trampoline, it is a good idea to understand what it is. Essentially, Trampolines can be used as a children's toy, a fun activity for teenagers, and training equipment for adults.
A trampoline is a webbed bed, generally made of a canvas sheet. The sheet is stretched tight and is supported by a raised metal frame and springs. This adds tension to the entire framework that is required to create a bouncy surface, ideal for jumping or tumbling. As one jumps, the surface adds force to the jumper, making him jump higher and higher in a constant motion.
With this force, the jumper can perform acrobatics in the air. This has led to Trampolining becoming an Olympic sport. George Nissen, an American gymnast, has designed the current format of the game.
As trampolines are used for several purposes, there are several types of trampoline that you can buy. Either way, you can rent trampoline. But the question arises, should I buy or rent. Here're some pros and cons of owning vs. renting a trampoline.
Without further ado, let's dive into the types of trampoline based on shape, features, usage, size & age.
This is the most obvious way of categorizing trampolines. There are some common shapes of trampoline, but new ones keep emerging all the time. Some common shapes are:
Round trampolines are the most commonly found ones in most backyards. These are perfect for some outdoor fun and are available in multiple sizes and features. The round shape minimizes the risk of injury.
These are designed in such a way that you land back at the center after jumping from it. This reduces your chances of falling off and hurting yourself. This is why round trampolines are ideal for beginners and children. Example: Magic Circle 10' Round Trampoline With Safety Enclosure
Rectangular trampolines don't just have a different shape; they have a different bounce pattern altogether. These are better for expert and professional gymnasts and therefore not advisable for children. Due to its different bounce pattern, there is a 'sweet spot,' a portion on the mat the results in the best jump. These intricacies make mastering a jump on a rectangular trampoline more challenging than a round one. Example: Magic Circle 9' x 14' Rectangle Trampoline With Safety Enclosure
One of the best things about rectangular shape is that it occupies lesser space. Further, it is easier to move from one place to another. Also, as these are used mainly by adults, they are designed to withstand more weight. However, because of these very reasons, rectangular trampolines are much more expensive than their counterparts.
A square trampoline is what you call a hybrid trampoline. It can be used for recreational purposes as the round ones, and it can also be used for beginner training trampoline. Naturally, these are priced somewhere in between the round and the rectangular trampolines.
These are a little less common for individual owners but are prevalent in training academies as a training progression tool. An intermediate-level gymnast can't get his technique right on the round one, and cant start off with the rectangular one. Therefore, he needs a trampoline that is in between, and a square one is the answer to such needs.
Apart from the shape, some features are also critical while choosing from different types of trampoline. These can be safety features or valuable features. So, these offer good decision metrics for purchasing the right kind.
Caged trampolines are one of the safest trampolines in the market. There is a mesh cage around the edges of the trampoline that prevents the jumper from falling off. These make trampolines extremely safe for children. Also, as the mesh is see-through, you can keep a watch on your children.
Many competitive trampolines also come with cages, so it is not just a child safety measure; it is more of an injury prevention technique.
There are many varieties of inflatable and water trampolines based on what they are used for. Some are simply used for recreational activities; however, some are used along with water slides. The larger the trampoline, the larger the water body it can be used in. These also provide very high jumps. However, these can get extremely expensive and, therefore, primarily used by rental companies.
Springless trampolines might be counterintuitive; however, it doesn't imply that these don't provide any bounce. These offer a flexible rod mechanism instead of springs that make these safer and less injury-prone.
The flexible rod system eliminates the injuries occurring from jumping on the springs themselves. However, this safety mechanism comes at a higher price. Therefore this trade-off is always there.
There are various types of trampolines specially designed for competitive games such as the Olympics and for exercising.
Competitive or Olympic trampolines are generally rectangular in shape, although not strictly. These are designed with more durable materials and provide very high bounce, drive, and performance. These are designed to bear the weight of adult sportspersons and are very expensive.
Exercise or Jogging, or Fitness trampolines are typically small in size with a handrail arrangement built into them. There are several forms of exercising which are performed using these. The most common one is called rebounding. These trampolines are also used for weight loss exercises. At times, these are also known as mini trampolines and are perfect for exercising in small spaces. You can learn more on the health impact of trampoline.
Apart from the shape, size is another common metric for categorizing multiple types of trampoline. Although there is no standard trampoline size, there is a standard range of 8 ft to 15 ft. However, the size differences are pretty visible just by looking at the trampolines. You can also measure it by following our quick guide on how to measure a trampoline.
If you have to put a number, any trampoline greater than 14 ft. will be called a large trampoline. These are better for more people jumping on it at once and can therefore bear more weight. Typically, Olympic trampolines are slightly over 16 ft in length.
Trampolines between the size range of 12 to 14 ft can be termed as medium size trampolines. These can be used for various purposes as training, gymnastics, or even recreation.
Anything between 8 to 12 ft is considered a small trampoline and is the most common in the recreational category. This is your standard backyard toy trampoline, but it can accommodate lesser people at once and has a weight restriction.
Mini trampolines are used for very young kids and come with a handrail. The size can range from 3 to 7 ft. This is similar to the exercise trampoline, just with varying weight-bearing.
With so many different types of trampoline available, it is natural to ask which trampoline is best for you. There is no universal answer, but various factors can lead you to your perfect trampoline. However, it is best to think of the appropriateness in reference to the user:
Mini trampolines are best for very young children, such as pre-schoolers. These have limited bounce and a handrail to prevent any kind of injury. You can even use it indoors as it requires very little space. This also reduces the chances of injuries.
For kids between the ages of 7 and 12, a round and caged trampoline is the best. It provides ample bounce for having fun and the cage for safety. You can go for a medium-size one if your child wants to call some friends over. It is best to opt for a springless one if your budget allows it because this minimizes spring-related injuries.
Teenagers and trampolines are a difficult mix. If you want a trampoline just for recreation, it is best to go for a large round one. It can bear the weight. Although teenagers are more careful and less injury-prone, it is always best to go for a caged one, just to be safe rather than sorry.
However, if the teenager is training for a sport, then a square or a rectangular one is an option to get the proper technique. However, it can get a little expensive.
Again, if you want a trampoline just for recreation, it is best to go for a large round one. You can remove the cage as adults are cautious, but you can still have a caged one.
Finally, adults are more likely to be training and thus require a rectangular trampoline, and it could be a good investment if you are into professional sports.
However, for jogging or exercising, you can even consider a mini exercise trampoline with the handrail.
Even though there are so many different types of trampoline, it is still not so difficult to choose the right one for yourself. We have tried to compile this guide to help you choose the most appropriate one for you. Ultimately it boils down to the budget and usage, and everything else automatically falls into place.