Up and Down About Trampolines?
Trampolining is a great way for children to enjoy outdoor play. It's also a great way to get kids exercising, and improves their balance, co-ordination and strength.
When buying a trampoline you want something that is safe and sturdy, suitable for all your children that will last your family for years. However, it can be hard to know which trampoline is best. This guide will highlight all the things you need to look out for.
Things to consider before buying a trampoline:
Decide where you want to position your new trampoline. We recommended finding a spot in your garden which is:
• Away from obstacles so that when you bounce there are not any overhead or ground obstructions – we suggest leaving a 2.5m perimeter.
• On a grassy or similar absorbent surface
• A level surface
Please note – never position your trampoline on a hard surface such as concrete or hard packed mud - this is dangerous.
Once you have found the perfect spot, you need to decide on the size of your trampoline. This can be difficult to visualise so a handy hint is to map it out using a hose pipe.
The most popular sizes of trampolines are 8ft, 10ft, 12ft and 14ft. The larger trampolines can take up a considerable space in your garden... and don't forget the safety perimeter!
• 8ft – A great bouncing experience, ideal for smaller gardens
• 10ft – This size trampoline is the most popular, as it isn’t too big but will fit in the majority of gardens! It is a great size, offering plenty of bouncing fun
• 12ft – A sizable trampoline with a large bouncing space which will suit each family member
• 14ft – One of the largest trampolines available - plenty of room for budding trampolinists.
Please note – always check for minimum user age and maximum user weight and adhere to the guidelines. For all the above trampolines the minimum user age is 6 years and children should always be supervised by an adult.
What should I look for when buying a trampoline?
This check list will help you understand what is important when buying a trampoline, so you can provide your children with a trampoline that you know is safe and of high quality.
• The trampoline frame should be made from thick galvanised steel; this will provide increased strength as well as protection against rusting.
• Using zinc coated springs increases the strength of the trampoline as well as offering resistance to the weather – making your trampoline last a lot longer.
• Check the leg joint attachment to the frame as this part of the trampoline receives the most stress. Look for re-enforcements with welded straps or alternatively trampolines which use a Plum® Tramp Klamp® bracket. The Tramp Klamp® bracket is a weld free system which securely encases the joints offering greater strength and integrity at these critical points.
• Trampoline pads are the most susceptible to wear and tear, therefore investing in a trampoline which offers a good quality one is vital – as it also gives additional protection from the springs and metal frame. It needs to be made from strong weather proof material, which is ideally UV protected to prevent the colour being bleached from the sun.
• Buying a trampoline with an enclosure is essential as it greatly reduces the risk of the jumper falling from the trampoline. In addition it gives protection should they loose control. Look for designs which also prevent contact from the frame and springs such as the Plum 3G® Enclosure.
• Parts such as the trampoline enclosure, pad and springs, are more susceptible to wear and tear and therefore may need to be replaced periodically. Check that spare parts are readily available to purchase so you are able to pro-long the life of the trampoline.
How should I maintain my trampoline?
Your trampoline needs to be checked on a regular basis to provide your children with years of fun and enjoyment as well as to ensure your child’s safety - we recommend this to be done every month during the season. You will need to check for:
• holes, tears or sagging in the mat
• loose stitching or deterioration to the mat
• bent or broken frame parts
• broken, damaged or missing springs
• sharp protrusions of any kind on the frame, springs or mat
During the winter months dismantle your trampoline and store it in a cool, dry place as this will prevent rust as well as damage to the frame, springs and enclosure. In windy conditions it is important that you move your trampoline to a sheltered area, remove the enclosure and secure it to the ground using a trampoline anchoring kit.
If you notice any signs of deterioration the relevant part needs to be replaced before the trampoline is used again – you can contact your trampoline’s manufacturer to buy spare trampoline parts.