The 10 Best Trampolines
10. AirZone 55-inch
9. Stamina InTone Oval Jogger
8. Sportspower My First
7. Upper Bounce Outdoor UBSF01
6. Little Tikes 3'
5. JumpSport Fitness 250
4. Skywalker STEC12B
3. Merax Hoops
2. Stamina InTone Plus Rebounder
1. Skywalker Summit 14-Foot
Find The Right Trampoline
When you think of a trampoline, you might think of the basic springloaded mat surrounded by safety nets in your neighbor's back yard. While one of their primary uses is recreation, they can also be used for exercise and the competitive gymnastics sport known as trampolining.
You will run into a few options for trampolines when you're in the market. If your goal is physical fitness, a small, indoor trampoline is your best bet. These sometimes come with extra features such as attached fitness bands or counters to track your jumps.
If you're looking for a recreational trampoline, you are probably going to look at the large outdoor models. These are often sold with optional springs. Many trampolines still use the metal springs that attach the mat to the frame. Some of the smaller recreational trampolines use a low impact bungee system.
Still other trampolines use the Springfree Trampoline system. This is a system that uses glass-reinforced plastic rods in place of metal springs. It is considered safer because the trampoline is lower to the ground than traditional trampolines, and there is less risk of getting pinched in the springs.
The Springfree trampoline also uses a net with flexible rods that move with the jumper and removes the risk of getting injured on the steel bars that hold up safety nets on traditional trampolines.
Make sure you don't confuse the trampolines that use a bungee spring system with an actual bungee trampoline. This type of trampoline is usually found at amusement parks. It is a large trampoline with surrounding bungee cords that allows children and some adults to perform air acrobatics. Some of these trampolines are accompanied by rock climbing walls or zip lines for even more fun.
If you are planning to buy a trampoline, you need to adhere to all of the recommended safety precautions to ensure that everyone has fun and no one gets hurt. Trampolines are considered by many child safety experts to be dangerous, and many recommend that you not use one at all.
But others, like us, believe that if you follow recommended safety protocols, you and your kids can have a great time.
First, make sure that the trampoline is properly assembled and placed on level ground. It should remain sturdy when it is used so there is minimal risk of tipping during jumping.
Second, jumpers should always be supervised by an adult. Don't let the kids run outside and jump without you watching. That is how accidents happen. If you're watching (and even participating in) the fun, it exponentially reduces injury risks.
Third, only allow one person on the trampoline at a time. The kids will protest, but this needs to be a hard and fast rule. The less people on the trampoline at one time, the less risk there is of injury and collaborative shenanigans.
Fourth, (and this is a tough one) make a no sommersaults rule. Yes, we know, it's hard to jump on a trampoline and not want to perform some spectacular acrobatics. But many injuries occur when children are trying to show off their flipping skills.
Finally, check all of the protective equipment (padding, safety net, etc) is in good condition. If any part of the trampoline is worn or damaged, repair or replace it as soon as possible.
If all of these safety rules are followed, trampolines can be a great recreational activity and fun for the whole family.
A Brief History of the Trampoline
The Trampoline was invented by NCAA gymnast, George Nissen, in 1934. He was inspired by circus trapeze artists using their safety nets to bounce back and do additional tricks to entertain their audience. He decided that this concept would be an excellent training tool for gymnasts.
Nissen marketed the trampoline for public sale along with his coach, Larry Griswold. He used gymnastic performances to promote sales and was moderately successful.
Prior to the official invention of the trampoline, makeshift trampolines were being used for many years. There is evidence of the Inuit people using walrus skin to toss people into the air. It also seems that this happened in Europe using blankets, but it was not for recreation. It seems that it was used as a form of mob punishment.
In 1887, springed nets were invented by firemen so they could rescue people jumping out of burning buildings. During World War II, trampolines were even used to train pilots and navigators. This eventually evolved into using trampolines to train astronauts for space travel.
Many circus performers and acrobats used "bouncing beds" and their safety nets to spring off and perform many new tricks. All of these things preceded the invention of the modern trampoline using canvas and metal springs. This history and the invention of the modern trampoline combined to create the sport of Trampolining.