A trampoline can give hours of enjoyment for the entire family. But though they are a great way to keep children active or busy, trampolines are actually very serious pieces of equipment. On fact, they play a role in many competitive sports and in physical conditioning for certain types of jobs.
Of course, if you’re planning to buy a trampoline, you have to be aware of the different types they come in, including the accessories available, and very importantly, the guidelines for safety and maintenance. The following are tips you can consider before making a purchase:
1. Prioritize safety.
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Kids may be thrilled by them, but trampolines are hardly all fun and games; they can be risky too. But of course, with responsible use – which includes providing proper instructions to all users, especially children – everything should be in control. For example, do not let two or more persons jump on the trampoline at the same time. Don’t flip or hop from the trampoline to another surface. And certainly, kids must never be allowed to jump unsupervised. A trampoline will almost always comes with a user’s manual, so make sure you read it and do as instructed.
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2. Consider the surface on which you intend to lay the trampoline.
Prior to buying a trampoline, look at the space you have in your yard. What goes under a trampoline should be soft and flat. There should be at least 24 feet of vertical clearance and 3 feet of clearance around. All objects within the immediate area, like rocks, have to be removed.
3. Check shape, size and spring.
Trampolines come in five different shapes – square, round, rectangular, octagonal and oval – with a diameter ranging from 6 to 17 feet. Round is the most common shape, designed to keep the jumper safely in the middle, while rectangular ones are typically made for athletic or gym use. Round is the shape that is most common, being designed to keep the jumper in the middle for safety, while rectangular ones are usually made for gyms and athletes. The bounce of a trampoline is determined by the number of springs in it. More springs mean a higher jump. For instance, in a round, 15-foot trampoline, there will probably be around 70 to 96 springs.
4. Be conscious of the weather.
Don’t even think about jumping in gusty winds. Moisture can also damage a trampoline, so keep yours dry at all times (not dry enough to crack though). Looking at a trampoline, you’ll find that its springs are cushion-covered. Either PVC or polyethylene (PE) is used for this, but PVC is stronger and more durable.
5. Think additional accessories.
You can usually buy vinyl trampoline covers – a great way to keep the equipment dry – from stores that sell trampolines. Mesh rings, which serve as a safety enclosure, are also very popular and are even recommended.