What Shape Should My Trampoline Be?

Brittany Graves 

Anyone who has even started to look at trampolines to purchase knows that there is such a wide variety of shapes and accessories to choose from. Whether your trampoline is sunk into the ground, whether it requires netting, or, what we will be looking at in this article, the shape that it comes in.

A quick scroll through almost every shopping website will tell you that there is a huge plethora of shapes to choose from, be it the standard oval/ circle shape or the rectangle, to the more obscure such as hexagons and octagons.

Typical uses of each shape:

The majority of trampolines you will see in your everyday household are circular but if you ever frequent the gym then you may notice that nearly all of the time the trampoline is rectangular in shape. This however does not mean that you can’t purchase a rectangular trampoline for your own personal use at home.

Breakdown of each:

Rectangular trampolines have a larger surface area than round trampolines (of course we are looking at similarly sized trampolines for this observation), this means that you can create a more powerful bounce. This increased bouncing ability is certainly a bonus when there are older children in the household or if someone who is going to use the trampoline is going to take up gymnastic trampolining. On the flip side taking a look at circular trampolines they have less ‘bounce’ to them and therefore could be a better option if you have younger children as they provide greater safety for your children.

There is also the issue of cost and in general circular trampolines cost less. This is because they require less support and therefore fewer materials and more lightweight materials can be used hence decreasing the price so if you are on a budget when purchasing your trampoline this is something that you may want to keep in mind.

Middle ground:

While circular trampolines provide an increased level of safety and often offer slightly cheaper prices, rectangular trampolines offer a better bounce so it is often logical to try and find a middle ground between the two.

The first option when looking for a middle ground is the square trampoline. This offers a slightly smaller bounce due to the lower surface area compared to the rectangle although it still has a decent jump height for older children. The majority of the time it is also smaller and therefore costs less in general. There is also the added bonus that it takes up less space in the backyard and therefore leaves more room for you to enjoy yourself when the trampoline isn’t in use or when you have guests over.

The second option is an oval-shaped trampoline. This shape finds the middle ground in bounce between the rectangular and circular trampoline however offers a lot more in safety. Of course, comes the added safety of a lower bounce like the circular and square trampolines have but there is also something else that plays a part in its increased safety if you look at the physics behind them.

In rectangular, circular and square trampolines the centre of gravity is in the middle and so naturally those jumping on the trampoline naturally move in towards the centre, this is not the case in oval-shaped trampolines. Instead, there are two bouncing zones at either end of the trampoline so it is actually much safer to use with multiple people jumping at once. While all this sounds brilliant, oval trampolines are much more awkward to fit in your backyard in a corner and don’t offer the cheap prices that circular trampolines offer.

Which one should you buy?

It is of course up to you as the buyer to come up with your own decision but it is always helpful to have a table that summarises all of the information that you have just read so you can have a reminder of each trampolines pros and cons:

Trampoline Type: Price: Safety: Size: Target user: A quick note:
Circle Generally, the cheapest as they support the least and are the most lightweight. The safest trampoline -is safe due to its smaller bounce height. The smallest of all the shapes coming also with the most options. Younger children.
Rectangle Generally the most expensive as the frame is very heavy and requires lots of support. This is generally the least safe option as you can bounce the highest. The largest of all the shapes offers the best bounce. Late teens and adults as well as those interested in gymnastics and exercising on the trampoline. Can support heavier people as the support is very strong compared to other trampoline types.
Oval Cheaper than a rectangle normally but due to fewer manufacturers and still large weight needing to be supported not the most affordable option. A middle ground in safety for one person between the circle and rectangle but the safest if you have multiple people bouncing at once. Smaller than a rectangle but larger than a circle due to its peculiar shape can often mean that especially in a small back yard the space isn’t well utilised. Older children or families with multiple kids as specialised bounce zones.
Square Generally cheaper than a rectangular trampoline but not often thought of as a budget option. A middle ground in safety between circle and rectangle. Slightly larger than circular trampolines in general but ideal if you want to tuck it away in a corner. Late teens and older children. Can support heavier people as the support is very strong compared to other trampoline types.


Popular Brands:

While you should always look at lots of options before you buy, some of the most popular brands include Springfree, JumpSport and Skywalker so you may want to start your own search there.

The bottom line:

When you are picking your trampoline it all comes down to your individual needs and situation so as long as you take that into account you can not make a wrong decision. Just make sure before you buy to look at the reviews and maybe watch a video if you can find one before you make a purchase. Happy bouncing!

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