Three Things to Know Before Buying an Outdoor Trampoline
Go ahead and jump!
Trampolines were invented in 1934 to help train astronauts and acrobats—but that bounce was so satisfying that trampolining quickly emerged as a sport all its own. In fact, the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney permanently added two trampoline events to the competition. Here’s what to look for if you want to train for space or the Olympics at home (or tire your kids out before bedtime).
A series of high-tension steel springs give trampolines serious bounce, so it’s crucial to check for safety features. When it comes to trampolining, safety is spelled N-E-T. Your trampoline should have a high-strength net that completely encloses the sides of the jumping mat. Also look for a spring cover, which keeps flying hands and feet from slipping through the gaps between the jumping mat and the safety net.
All that bouncing puts a lot of pressure on a trampoline’s frame. Look for models with U- or W-shaped legs. These designs disperse more of the jumper’s weight and make the frame more stable. They are also a breeze to set up (trust us; we just did it).
Your trampoline frame should be constructed with durable materials that can withstand the elements, as well as the jumping. Look for rust-resistant, heavy gauge galvanized steel. The jumping mat and safety enclosure should be UV-resistant so that your trampoline can weather the, uh, weather.