Finding the Right Trampoline for Your Section

  in  The Garden
Do you feel up in the air about which trampoline is right for you? Trampolining provides great exercise and entertainment for young children right through to the elderly. However, choosing the best one to suit your needs can be challenging, as there are many different types of trampolines for sale. Here are the main questions and considerations you need to think about before you buy to ensure you get the most out of your trampoline.

Who will be jumping and for what purpose?

Different trampolines are best suited to different purposes. For example, professional trampolines are often larger and rectangular in shape, allowing a higher bounce and more space to perform acrobatics. These are best suited to athletes, gymnasts and those wanting a hard-core workout. Kid's trampolines, on the other hand, are smaller, usually circular and come with extra safety features.

It is, therefore, crucial to consider the age, height, weight, experience, strength and skill of the user. How heavy and how many people does the trampoline need to be able to support? Most trampolines are labelled with a maximum user weight to help guide your decision.

How much space is available?
The space available often dictates the maximum size of the trampoline. The location needs to be flat and even, free from overhanging branches and have plenty of clear space on all sides (an extra 1.5 metres in all directions is usually sufficient).

Size
Mini trampolines or "rebounders" are ideal for those who want to enjoy all of the fun and health benefits of trampolining, but indoors or in a restricted space. Other benefits include easy storage and transportation, as well as the option of adding a balance bar.

Larger trampolines are generally preferred for recreation and hard-core workouts, due to the greater flexibility for performing acrobatics and exercises. There is wide variation of sizes available, such as 10ft trampolines which are more suited to young children and elderly and 14ft trampolines that are ideal for older children and adults.

As children grow quickly, opting for a larger size may be worthwhile. However, larger trampolines are often raised higher above the ground are more often associated with accidents and injuries, so it is also important to take safety into account.

Shape
Circular - These are the most common trampoline, and many people believe them to be the best value for money. They are safer than standard rectangular trampolines, as they have a more predictable bounce directed back towards the centre.

Rectangular - As the springs act in the same direction, rectangular trampolines provide a stronger, quicker response and thus offer the highest bounce. They are great for confident jumpers, heavier jumpers and those who are training for acrobatic sports such as gymnastics. However, the jump is less predictable, and they are often made of heavier steel which can be difficult to move.

Safety and additional features
Trampolines are often associated with a high risk of injury. Thankfully, there are now plenty of safety features that significantly reduce this risks. These include mesh enclosures, padding to cover the springs and hard metal frame and ladders, which are ideal for young children.

Spring type
Traditional springs - Coiled metal springs are located around the edge of the jumping surface at the same level.

Springless - This more recent innovation uses fabric and other elastic materials instead of metal springs. It is the safer option as there is less opportunity for injury.

The set-up
Assembling your trampoline can be complicated, even with an instruction manual. Be prepared to invest several hours of time and energy for the set-up. If this sounds daunting, you may be able to find a local supplier who offers an installation service. Remember to plan how you will transport the trampoline in advance and ask whether door-to-door shipping is available.

Research brands and warranties
How easy is it to source spare parts and undertake maintenance and repairs? Different companies offer different warranties and guarantees, so it is worthwhile doing some research into your supplier so you are not caught out.

Quality vs Price
Trampolines are one of those items that you get what you pay for. Avoid extremely cheap trampolines, as these are likely to be constructed from lesser quality materials, meaning they often do not last as long and can result in serious injury. Mid-range trampolines are versatile and generally adequate for most people's needs. High-end trampolines are pricey, but outcompete cheaper models in terms of durability and performance.

Happy jumping!