A Comparison of The Best Backyard Tampolines

trampoline with net I’m a father of two incredibly athletic girls, Skyler (age 12) and Piper (age 10), and lately I found myself shopping for a backyard trampoline. I’ve heard that trampolines were great ways to exercise, but it wasn’t until my daughters’ gymnastic coach recommended one that I convinced my wife that we had to buy one. It took a while for me to research all the benefits and other options, as there are a lot of backyard trampolines on the market. I finally bought one, and Skyler and Piper love it, spending hours in the backyard doing their tumbles, jumps, and gymnastic maneuvers. Now I’d like to share my experiences with all of you, in case you’re in the market for a good backyard trampoline.

Size

Depending on your budget , and the size of your back yard, choosing the right-sized trampoline is very important. Some trampolines are simply enormous, way too big for family use. Other trampolines are designed for basketball and cheerleading stunts, and are too small for your kids to get a thorough workout. I did my research and found a trampoline that was plenty big enough for Skyler and Piper to both use at the same time, a key factor in preventing the girls from quarreling over who gets to use it. Our trampoline is also big enough to prevent mid-air collisions or other dangerous crashes, something that my wife greatly appreciates.

Remember, once you install your backyard trampoline, you’re probably not going to be disassembling it very often. So don’t buy a trampoline that’s too big, or covers a large part of your back yard. But on the other hand, don’t skimp and get a trampoline that’s too small, or the fun will soon wear off, and it’ll sit there unused for weeks at a time. I highly recommend that you “test drive” your trampoline at home, giving your kids plenty of chances to put it through its paces before you commit to buying it and installing it semi-permanently in your back yard.

Safety

While you might think that your kids won’t care about safety, just as long as the trampoline has plenty of bounce, that isn’t necessarily true. Skyler and Piper told me that they appreciate a wide “non-bouncing” margin around the main part of the trampoline because it gives them enough space to slow down their bouncing when it gets to be too much. My girls also appreciate the safety perimeter on our trampoline too because it makes them less afraid that they’re going to suddenly fly off and land in the grass.

Fun Factor

No matter how carefully you research all of the scientific angles of finding the best backyard trampoline, in the end, it’s how much fun the trampoline brings that matters. I tested out a few trampolines with Skyler and Piper, and while my girls loved all of them, it was clear that one in particular was their favorite. While I don’t know the scientific terms for it, what my girls seemed to like was plenty of bounce, with just enough protection in place for the experience to not feel scary. My wife almost had a heart attack the first time she saw my girls bouncing and doing cartwheels in the air, but the safety fence and wide perimeter soon reassured her that Skyler and Piper weren’t going to break their necks. Once I found the right trampoline, the girls became addicted to it, and now I threaten them with time out from the trampoline if they break any house rules.

No matter which trampoline you choose, be sure to give it a test drive at home first. My girls love lots of good bounce, but enjoy having the safety corral installed so they don’t feel like they’re in danger of going flying off into the grass. Be sure to do your research, and consult with your wife (where applicable), as trampolines have unfairly gained somewhat of a dangerous reputation over the past few years. But, as a proud dad of two champion gymnast daughters, I can assure you that nothing will get your kids as active and healthy as a quality backyard trampoline. And if your kids love gymnastic, trampolines are probably the best exercise equipment out there on the market today.

Janet Mason
 

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