Given the variety of trampolines on the market, finding the right one for you means comparing features and understanding what to look for. The shopping process can be time-consuming and sometimes lead to dead ends. As with any large purchase, start the buying process with a solid idea about what constitutes a well-made trampoline.
Select a safe trampoline. The frame should be constructed from sturdy metal and feature smooth welds. If the welds are rough, they may snag clothing or cut those who are using the trampoline. Pipe edges should also feature a smooth cut and be devoid of rust. If the trampoline features springs, it should also come equipped with spring covers, which pad the springs and can prevent broken arms and other injuries. Look for a round trampoline, as rectangular trampolines tend to create dangerously high bounces.
Buy a trampoline that is the right size for your needs. Trampolines are available in many sizes, generally ranging between 6 and 17 feet in diameter. Trampolines are generally categorized as miniature, medium-sized or jumbo. Miniature trampolines -- 6 feet in diameter -- can accommodate only one person at a time. If two people will be using the trampoline together regularly, it should be 12 to 17 feet in diameter or roughly double the size of a miniature trampoline.
Look into springless trampolines. The springs found on most traditional trampolines can be dangerous, even if they are covered with padding. Springless trampolines use fabric straps or other types of elastic materials to achieve the same effects as springs, although they tend to be less bouncy than traditional trampolines. The lack of springs, however, means that this variety is generally the safer alternative.
Purchase a trampoline enclosure. Enclosures are typically made out of netting and wrap around the perimeter of the trampoline. They help to keep people inside of the trampoline and prevent them from falling off the edge. Trampolines without enclosures can be dangerous and lead to unnecessary injury. Look for a trampoline already equipped with an enclosure, as this piece of equipment can be pricey if you buy it separately.
The size of your yard and where you plan to set up your trampoline will help you determine how large your trampoline should be.
When setting up the trampoline, carefully follow the steps in the instruction manual. Taking shortcuts can result in improper installation, which could prove disastrous and promote injury. Setting up a trampoline can be very difficult and meticulous. It may be worthwhile to hire a professional.
Place the trampoline on level ground, preferably on a mounting platform.
Never allow anyone to use your trampoline during periods of inclement weather or at night.
Always supervise children when they are using a trampoline.