What Are Trampolines Made Of?
As you might be aware, trampolines are amazing, highly addictive recreational tools known for their soft surfaces which allow for smooth and easy bouncing.
While most people use trampolines when looking to relax and have a good time, not many know how the recreational device works.
Related: Our Review of the Best Trampolines
To help improve your understanding of trampolines and how they are designed to bounce with so much ease, we will be analyzing the main parts, and the roles played by each part. (1)
Unlike bouncing castles which are ideally meant for children, trampolines give both adults and children the opportunity to jump high and land softly without any worry in the world.
Having a good understanding of the trampoline, its various parts and how it works will come in handy either when looking to make a purchase or when in need of making replacements.
The Main Components Of A Trampoline
Although trampolines might appear easy to make due to their simple design, their quality and durability rely heavily on the quality of components used.
A trampoline has four main parts which include springs, frame, jumping mat and safety pads. Read on as we delve deeper into the four components.
The Jumping Mat
Mostly made from polypropylene or nylon material, the jumping mat makes an important part of the trampoline as it accommodates the user's weight when jumping and landing.
Contrary to popular belief, the mat is not responsible for the bouncing effect; in fact, all it does is to create a sturdy and strong enough landing area.
The jumping mat is usually tied to the frame to allow the user to bounce up and down without the risk of falling down. For large scale use, it is advisable to invest in a fairly large mat made from well-knit nylon or polyethylene fibers.
When it comes to trampolines, always ensure that you select strong jumping mats as they go a long way in determining the durability of your recreational device.
Since the fun in trampolines emanates from jumping regularly on the surface, it is crucial to use soft and smooth jumping material to prevent injury.
Luckily, once cut out into the right size, the polypropylene fabric is usually interlocked thermally to make it even smoother thus ensuring that your children or even adult friends can jump for hours without sustaining injuries.
It goes without saying that springs are among the most important parts of a trampoline. In case you are not aware, it is the springs which allow you to bounce up and down the trampoline.
High-quality trampolines usually have several springs strategically located between the frame and the mat. However, instead of using springs, some springless brands rely on elastic bands which, despite producing a similar bouncing effect, are usually less durable as they tend to lose their elasticity over time.
For enhanced strength and durability, trampoline springs are made from rust-resistant steel that is usually galvanized. The rust-resistant steel enhances the durability and usability of the trampoline since it can be left outside without having to worry about rain or humid conditions.
In case you are looking to make spring replacements, it is advisable to go for springs with long coils as they allow for greater recoil unlike short coil springs.
Other factors that determine the efficiency of the trampoline springs are such as size, quantity and shape. When it comes to shape, settling for tapered springs is recommended since they provide users with increased lateral stability when on the trampoline.
Always go for trampolines with a large number of long, tapered springs as they will create an enjoyable, long-lasting bouncing effect.
Similar to springs, the frame is made from galvanized steel which helps to prevent rust. The rust-resistant steel allows for the use of the trampoline during rain or humid conditions.
Without a proper frame, chances are that your trampoline will always disappoint you, especially when supporting several users. The frame allows for the strategic suspension of springs to create a smooth, bouncy surface.
The frame is usually meant to outlast the jumping mat and the springs. As such, it is advisable to check on the frame regularly to ensure that the support remains firm and ready for use.
To maintain your frame well, be sure to always inspect the ground surface to confirm the stands are well positioned and in good shape.
The importance of safety pads to a trampoline cannot be overstated, especially due to their role in preventing trampoline-related injury. The pads are usually placed on the frame as well as on the springs. To enhance their efficiency in preventing injuries, the safety pads use plush-foam filled vinyl covers.
The foam usually comes in different densities depending on the type, use and manufactures of a trampoline. The whole idea of safety pads is to soften the impact when landing and allow for smooth jumping and landing within the trampoline surface.
High density pads are always preferred when dealing with trampolines that have strong sturdy frames meant for large scale use. Although safety pads are not considered as must-haves when it comes to trampolines, it is advisable to invest in high density foams that will guarantee safety during use, especially in the event of landing on the frame or springs.
Safety nets are also used to make trampolines safer, more so when dealing with users such as children who can easily land outside the mat. Safety nets are usually made of polyester, polypropylene or polyethylene.
However, due to their superior density and withstanding power, polyethylene safety nets are mostly preferred.
How Trampolines Are Made?
Interestingly, the construction of trampolines usually starts from the frame. A manufacturer will need to select the best frame material depending on the intended trampoline design.
Once the galvanized steel has been obtained, manufacturers proceed to bend the steel into arcs. Afterward, spring holes are usually punched strategically around the frame.
Once the holes have been created, the manufacturer then proceeds to welding sockets. The sockets allow for the perfect fit between the trampoline`s frame and legs. The sockets and legs need to interlock properly for the trampoline to have a strong, sturdy frame.
The next step involves cutting fabric into the desired shape and sewing it onto the web strapping. Once cut, the fabric is then laid and sewn onto the web strapping.
The web strapping helps to reinforce the strength of the jumping mat, making the trampoline safe and strong enough for use. D-rings are finally added to enhance stability and compactness of the jumping mat.
Finally, straps and vinyl covers are also sewn on the safety pads in a bid to increase the trampoline's overall stability and safety. The foam density is usually dependent on the intended use of the trampolines.
Normally, manufacturers prefer using higher density foams for trampolines with tougher frames; this ensures that, in the event of landing on the springs or the frame, users can remain safe and free from injury.
What Is The Best Surface For A Trampoline?
As mentioned earlier, a good trampoline surface should be soft and flexible enough to allow for regular, low or high-intensity jumps. Due to this, it is important to select jumping mats that are made of polypropylene or nylon material. Polypropylene and nylon material are known to stretch, and offer good resistance to pressure.
When selecting jumping mat material, be sure to avoid using latex since they are neither stable nor safe, especially for long term use. Put simply, latex surfaces can produce irregular bounces which can lead to injury in case users bounce off the trampoline surface.
If you want to purchase a long lasting trampoline that won’t disappoint, then it is advisable to avoid products made of aluminum material. Always go for galvanized steel frames as they are durable and strong enough to support different weights. A galvanized surface plays a pivotal role in keeping your trampoline strong as new, and free from rust.
Therefore, it is safe to assert that the best material for trampoline frames is galvanized steel. You can never go wrong with stainless steel as it prevents your trampoline from wearing out prematurely. However, to keep your frame in good shape, you should cultivate a habit of inspecting the base area and top parts of your frame regularly.
More About Springfree Trampolines
As you might be aware, springfree trampolines have been gaining popularity over the years, more so due to their safety-enhancing features. Springfree trampolines have a unique design that eliminates the need for safety pads and springs.
Both the mat rods and nets of spring-free trampolines are made from composite material which increases their ability to withstand hours of non-stop action. However, similar to other products in the market, the spring-free trampolines use a galvanized steel frame to enhance stability and durability.
As revealed in our discussion, trampolines comprise of four main parts which include springs, jumping mats, safety pads and the frame. All the parts are uniquely designed to make the trampoline extra safe for use.
When selecting frame material, it is advisable to go for galvanized stainless steel as it will help to keep your trampoline strong and study during and after use.
To get the value for your money, you must be extra careful when selecting the material of your jumping mat. The best mats are made of polypropylene or nylon material as they are flexible enough to stretch and maintain a high-level of tension.
Therefore, now that you know more about the trampoline and its main parts, you should be well placed to make the best decision when it comes to purchasing or making replacements.
Remember, a good trampoline is not determined by size or shape but by the quality of its main components. As such, be sure to always counter check on the quality of materials used in making trampoline frames, jumping mats and even springs.