George Nissen had no idea his trampoline would become more than just training equipment for gymnasts. Nissen was an acrobat in the circus during the 1930s. He wanted exercise equipment where acrobats could warm-up and practice their techniques.
Over time, Nissen’s trampoline would find its way into family backyards. The trampoline was also used by NASA to help astronauts regain their leg strength and balance after months in space.
The trampoline has become a popular pastime and activity for families and individuals alike. If you’re thinking of buying one, you’ll have to choose among the different shapes available in the market.
You can find trampolines that come in the following shapes: round, rectangle, square and oval. Of the four shapes, round and rectangle are the most popular choices.
But which is the best trampoline to buy for you and your family?
Trampolines come in different shapes to fit the individual needs of the user. Your decision on which shape to buy will depend on your answers to the following questions:
If decision- making appears to be a complicated process, we’ll make it easier for you!
We have listed five factors that you should consider before choosing the shape of your trampoline. By keeping in mind these five factors, you will be able to clear out all the smoke and have a better idea of which type of trampoline to buy. Compare trampolines and see which one fits your needs.
Why do you want to buy a trampoline? There are many reasons why people buy one for their homes:
You probably have some of these reasons as your motivation for buying one for the family. If you do, the next step is to identify which among the reasons is your priority.
A round or a rectangular trampoline will do just for all these reasons except one. If you or your children are doing gymnastics, you should get a rectangle trampoline.
Compared to a round trampoline, the rectangular shape has a narrower area for jumping. This means the user’s weight will result in less compression on the springs.
The result is a more responsive bounce which will mean higher altitude. A higher jump will make it easier for your future gymnasts to practice flipping, turning and twisting techniques.
Where will you setup the trampoline? Traditionally, these are setup outdoors. However, it is not uncommon for some owners to have a specific area inside of the home for the trampoline. Case in point: Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.
If you don’t have the space like the world’s richest man, just go traditional and have your trampoline setup in your backyard. Where you plan to put it up will depend on space availability.
Outdoor trampolines have to be setup in an area where there are no potential hazards. Even with a safety net, jumpers could find themselves falling out of the area. Therefore, the area must be clear of sharp rocks and hard objects.
You will also need enough clearance around its perimeter. Again, you don’t want your kids losing control of their jump and hitting a tree.
When choosing the shape of your trampoline, make sure it can be accommodated by the size of your backyard or garden area. Generally, a trampoline with a larger jump area is preferred.
The most popular dimension for rectangular trampolines is 6 feet by 12 feet which will give you a jump area that is approximately 4 feet wide. A rectangular trampoline that is one foot larger or 7 feet by 14 feet will only improve the width of your jump area by half a foot.
In contrast, the most popular size for round trampolines is 14 feet. Factor in the space for the springs and the frame, then the 14- foot round trampoline will give you a jump area of 12 feet.
Who will use the trampoline? This consideration is a bit more complicated but you can sort it out by answering the following:
If you have children younger than seven years of age, they will not have the leg strength to get enough altitude on a rectangular trampoline. As previously mentioned, this shape offers a more responsive jump. However, there are more springs which will make the mat tighter and harder to jump on.
Regardless of size or shape, it is not advisable to have multiple jumpers on the trampoline. Unsupervised children and inexperienced jumpers might lose control of their jump and hit one another.
However, as we mentioned earlier, the round trampoline has a wider jump area. If it is not possible to have the area supervised at all times, the round shape would be better for you.
It should be worth noting that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recommends parents to choose the round trampoline for very young children. This is because it has a wider jump area and it would be easier for them to use. The round trampoline would be the best family trampoline.
Because they are intended more for gymnastics and sports training, rectangular trampolines are made with thicker 2.5mm steel frames. In comparison, round trampoline frames are thinner at 1.5mm. This means rectangular trampolines are much more durable.
Its thicker steel frame means the rectangular version can accommodate a heavier load of up to 450 pounds regardless of dimensions. The durability of round trampolines will depend on its size. Eight to 10-foot round trampolines can handle a load of 200 to 250 pounds, while a 14 to 16- foot model can manage a total body weight of 450 pounds.
Round trampolines are more popular than rectangular trampolines. Therefore, in order to keep up with demand, they are mass produced and are priced much lower than their counterparts.
Rectangular trampolines are usually chosen by those who want to train in gymnastics or Parkour. It is not produced in mass quantities and thus, is generally more expensive than the round variety.
The best trampoline to buy for your family would depend on who will be using it and what it will be used for.
Let’s break it down as follows.
Choose the round trampoline if:
Choose the rectangular trampoline if:
Whether you get a rectangular or round trampoline, make sure to run the following checks before purchasing:
Lastly, if it doesn’t come with the merchandise, buy a safety net. When it comes to trampoline use, don’t take any chances. Always ensure the safety of its users.