A trampoline is another fun thing that your children or you can enjoy in your backyard. There are different reasons why you would want to purchase a trampoline, from your desire to train for gymnastics, have a jumping zealot, or because your kids ask for one.
Trampolines come in four common shapes: oval, round, rectangle, and square. Among these popular shapes, the rectangle trampoline is the best one because of its design and shape. It is also recommended for both sports and recreational use. With its shape, the springs work unconventionally, creating an even controlled takeoff and landing, no matter the jumper’s position on the trampoline.
In this article, we will individually describe the four common types of trampoline shapes, from their unique qualities down to each one’s advantages and disadvantages. We will also share six important guidelines to make sure that your trampoline is safe to use, as well as factors that affect its bounciness and other factors’ impact.
Trampoline Shapes: Description and Pros and Cons
Trampolines are a fun item to have in your backyard. They come in different sizes with varied specifications and unique qualities. Regardless of their sizes, trampolines provide an excellent and enjoyable experience.
However, the shape of a trampoline can affect the jumping area, bounce, and space where it will be used in your backyard. Below are the four shapes of trampolines.
1. Round Trampoline
Round trampolines are the most popular shape sold on the market and are perfect for kids and adults. They are often described as entry-level trampolines and often feature an enclosure to protect toddlers and small children.
The springs of a round trampoline are equally placed around the frames, and the round shape creates a consistent bounce. Regardless of where the person takes off, it will redirect the jumper back toward the center of the trampoline.
A round trampoline is engineered to absorb force with its entire frame each time a person jumps on it. The weight of a round trampoline is decreased compared to that of other trampolines to create a sturdy frame resulting in an inexpensive option for you. You can easily move the round shape trampoline around your backyard since it is lightweight.
Round trampolines come in seven different sizes meant to provide the perfect size for you and the size, from 7’ to 16’. A round-shaped trampoline is intended for recreational purposes only and essentially for an outdoor playpen for kids and adults alike.
Advantages of a round trampoline:
- It is the cheapest trampoline shape.
- It is great for beginners.
- It has a lower overall bounce height possibility.
- It is highly recommended and safer to use than its counterparts.
- It takes up less space, depending on its size, than other shapes.
Disadvantages of a round trampoline:
- It is not recommended for sports training use due to the low bounce potential.
- The bouncing surface is confined to the middle, which means one person can maintain the balance and the other surface isn’t available.
- It can only be used by a single jumper at a time.
2. Oval Trampoline
An oval trampoline has the same design as a round-shaped one, as well as a wider jumping area. With an oval trampoline, you can get extra-long jumping surfaces from both sides. This type of trampoline also sends the pointer bouncer back to the middle.
However, together with wider trampoline shapes, you need to put in effort to get a bigger bounce in an oval trampoline since, in oval trampoline designs, the frame tubes somewhat have an uncommon shape.
When assembling it, make sure to follow the instructions carefully as doing so will prevent accidents. Once the setup is complete, enjoy the jumping experience with your oval trampoline.
Advantages of an oval trampoline:
- It offers two bouncing zones, one on each end, which is good for multiple jumpers.
- It is safer than rectangular trampolines.
- It has a higher bounce than a round trampoline.
Disadvantage of an oval trampoline:
- It is harder to fit in some backyards due to its shape, and depending on its size, compared to a round trampoline. However, an oval trampoline is perfect if you have many jumpers at a time.
3. Square Trampoline
Like other trampolines, a squared-shape one is measured from frame to frame. However, it has a longer corner-to-corner measurement than other shapes. On average, a square trampoline provides 20% more jumping space than a round trampoline of the same size. With a square trampoline, you can make use of the corners of the trampoline, which, in oval or round-shaped ones, are nonexistent.
A square trampoline has a bigger gauge of steel and usually has a higher weight limit. The square shape tends to provide more bounce compared to oval or round-shaped trampolines, but less bounce than rectangle-shaped trampoline, making it perfect for any user. It is also easy to put in your backyard without wasting too much space.
Advantages of a square trampoline:
- It has a very sturdy frame to support its shape.
- It can hold more weight than a round trampoline.
- It has a large bouncing surface, which means more people can get a jump on it simultaneously.
Disadvantage of a square trampoline:
- It tends to be quite expensive compared to any other shape of trampoline. Square trampolines are safer to use and meet the needs of aspiring acrobats and a family.
4. Rectangle Trampoline
Gymnasts tend to prefer rectangle trampolines, which is the usual shape of a professional trampoline. It is also perfect for recreational purposes and provides better bounce than any other shape. With its shape, the springs work unconventionally to create an even controlled takeoff and landing, regardless of the jumper’s position on the trampoline.
The rectangle-shaped trampoline has an extra thick gauge steel frame, giving it a strong bounce. Due to its spring work, you can get a high bounce, so be careful when pulling higher jumps for these can endanger you. Such a trampoline also provides an added bounce with the longer both-side jumping surface and strategically placed springs.
Advantages of a rectangular trampoline:
- It can hold up to multiple jumpers, regardless of their sizes.
- It often offers the largest surface area.
- It provides the highest bounce.
- It is best for sports training like acrobatics.
- It provides excellent consistency and controlled bounce performance.
Disadvantages of a rectangular trampoline:
- It can be expensive because of its size and the materials used.
- Since it provides the highest bounce, it is not safe and less suitable for toddlers.
If you want your kids to spend more time outdoors and have fun at the same time, you should consider getting a playset for your backyard. A playset is a big addition to your property that your kids will surely enjoy, but is a backyard playset worth it? Read our article to find out.
Factors That Impacts the Bounce of a Trampoline
Although a trampoline is fun, without its bounce, it isn’t worth playing on it. It is made to produce a bouncy action for enjoyment and fun when people jump on it. The shape, spring, and mat determine its bounciness, but other factors come into play.
As previously discussed, the trampolines that provide the best bounce are rectangle ones, followed by oval and square ones, and finally, round ones. However, there are others factors to consider when trying to get the most bounciness out of your trampoline.
A trampoline will not work without springs. These are specially designed to stretch and retract with each jump while retaining the trampoline’s shape after it has been used. You might have noticed, when you were done assembling your trampoline, that the bounce wasn’t right. If so, you don’t have to worry, as it is common for the springs to be initially tighter. With time and continued usage, they can be stretched and deliver the perfect bounce.
With technological advancements, the performance of a trampoline’s springs has also enhanced. Some trampolines are designed with rod-based technology, where fiberglass rods make a coiling action instead of a spring.
This advanced technology gives a softer bounce and offers the same lifespan as a traditional spring-type trampoline. It can be expensive, but it provides a safer bounciness. It is recommended to upgrade to high-quality springs when getting a spring replacement for the first time.
To achieve the ultimate bounce, you need a professional-grade trampoline mat, like the one used by gymnasts, which allows them to perform aerial flips and other stunts. The mats are specially woven with less than six millimeters of nylon and cater to a bounce of over 33 feet. Mat weave and quality provide the best bouncing experience.
However, if you are not looking for this type of mat, the standard one isn’t that high for a recreational trampoline for backyard use compared to professional types. Recreational trampolines are usually made of polypropylene fabric that provides a remarkable bouncing experience.
The Jumpers Weight
Apart from the shape, mat, and spring, the jumper’s weight also plays an important role in the bounciness of a trampoline, regardless of the materials used. A toddler or younger child will not cause serious bounce, for instance, while the weight of a person with a large body or a young adult will significantly affect the bounciness, even on a large-sized trampoline.
What Makes a Trampoline Safe?
Among the aforementioned trampoline shapes, there’s no definite answer to which shape is the safest. However, you must follow some tips to ensure that your trampoline is safe, regardless of its shape.
Here are the things to keep in mind:
- Place your trampoline on a leveled ground to always ensure its safety.
- Avoid placing your trampoline near fences, trees, or other obstacles.
- Make sure you have a protective enclosure or net to prevent jumpers from accidentally jumping off the trampoline.
- Limit the number of jumpers on the trampoline at a time. This may vary based on the size, capacity, and shape of your trampoline, but if you’re unsure, limit the jumpers for safety reasons.
- When toddlers and younger children are playing on the trampoline, make sure that they are supervised by adults to ensure their safety.
- Make sure to regularly check your trampoline, from its springs down to its mat. Also, check the net enclosure of the trampoline. Conduct this regular check-up before letting your children play on the trampoline.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safety of your children every time they’ll be using the trampoline.
With the aforementioned qualities, disadvantages, and advantages of a trampoline, you now know the shape of trampoline that’s best suited for your family. If you are into sports like acrobatics and gymnastics, then a rectangle one is the best one for you.
For anyone else, oval, square, and round trampolines are among the best options. But, compared to the three, oval trampolines are ideal for family and recreational jumpers who don’t plan on jumping alone. All trampoline shapes are fun, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Just make sure to choose the best one based on your purpose.