Trampoline Buyer's Guide
Before purchasing a trampoline, a buyer must decide on size, shape, and budget. Trampolines can be dangerous if not properly used, so the location where trampoline will be placed for safety reasons should also thought through before deciding on the size and the model.
Size of trampolines range from 8ft in diameter to 16ft. The most popular sizes are 10ft trampolines (20%), 12ft trampolines (30%) and 14ft trampolines (35%) with mini and other size trampolines making up the rest (15%). Trampolines come in various shapes: rectangular, octagon, square and circle. Of the four shapes, the rectangular shape offers the most safety whereas circular offers the least safety although circular trampolines are most popular. Please read Trampoline Shapes & Safety article for details.
Before deciding on the size of trampoline, ask yourself how many people will be on a trampoline at a time. A 10 ft trampoline would be suitable for a single teenager, or two small children and occasional use by a single adult. A 12ft trampoline would be suitable for a couple of children, and regular use by adults. A 14ft trampoline would allow regular use by two or more children and adults. The larger trampolines allow more maximum weight.
As a potential trampoline buyer, you should carefully consider the space available in your backyard. A 12ft trampoline on the ground will look considerably bigger when it is assembled an on the 3ft above ground. Make sure you have at least 3ft extra space all around the trampoline so there is safe landing space if children do topple off from the trampoline. So, if you are looking for a 12ft trampoline, you will need a space of approximately 18ft diameter with no overhanging branches where the trampoline can stand.
Trampolines can cause injury if not used properly. Try avoiding cheap nylon trampolines, and purchase a quality trampoline with safety nets and safety mats (beds). Here are a few things to consider when choosing the materials.
1. Pick a trampoline with a mat that is made out polypropelene. Polypropelene mats are more durable, weather resistant and do not warp if left outdoor. Extensive exposure to sun will not harm polypropelene mats as opposed to nylon mats.
2. Pick a trampoline with prefitted, triple-tiered and thick springs. Prefitted springs stay tighter and don't fall off when you travel. Tripple-tiered springs give a more even bounce than the single-tiered springs. Replacing a single-tiered spring with triple-tiered spring at a later time will not have the same effect.
3. Look for polymer plastic leg tip that won't scratch the floors. Polymer typically holds up for years as compared to rubber tips which may crack after a year.
4. Decide on folding vs. non-folding model. In general, folding and non-folding models are equally stable. The quality of rebounder is determined by the type of springs, the mat, the stitching, the welding, and the finishing. In recent years, folding models are more popular as they are more portable. If you do decide to get a folding model, try getting the one with C-channel locking over the hindges.
5. Pick a trampoline with a stable 6 leg design. A cheaper 4 leg models are known to topple over. Also, unscrewable legs makes it easier to store during off season.
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