A trampoline can be a fun addition to your yard that will potentially provide hours of exercise and entertainment. But if you live in an area that sees a lot of windy days and serious storms, you might be worried that you’ll see your investment cartwheeling through the air as soon as a strong wind swoops in. So it’s only natural to wonder what kind of steps you’ll need to take to secure your trampoline to the ground – and whether new trampolines include anchoring systems.
Some trampolines come with anchors or tie-downs specifically designed to fit that model, but most do not. Fortunately, trampoline anchor kits are fairly inexpensive and work with most types of trampolines. There are a few different kinds of anchor systems available that vary in cost and efficacy.
Why Anchoring Your Trampoline Is Important
The importance of anchoring your trampoline to the ground is greater if your region regularly experiences high winds or heavy storms, or if your property offers little protection against the wind. Medium to full-sized trampolines are heavy, but they’re not so heavy that a strong gust can’t send them soaring. The large flat surface of the jumping mat can act as an enormous kite – a kite with a hefty steel frame.
Needless to say, when a trampoline goes airborne, it can cause serious damage, not just to your property but also that of your neighbors. It’s not unheard of for trampolines to be blown into power lines, busy streets, or even wind up crashing down several blocks away. Anyone unlucky enough to be caught in its path can be seriously injured.
Now, those are the more rarified worst-case scenarios, but they do happen. So if you live in a part of the country that gets a lot of tumultuous weather, you’ll absolutely want to anchor your trampoline.
If you live in a region with fairly tame weather or your yard is sheltered from the wind, it may not be as vital – although mother nature can be unpredictable, and even one powerful gust could tip your trampoline or lift it off the ground. But anchors are helpful for more than just severe weather or freakishly strong breezes.
As people jump on your trampoline, it can rebound slightly off the ground (particularly with very big jumps or when multiple people are on it). In some cases, this can be dangerous for those jumping on the trampoline, but more commonly, it can put undue wear on the frame and cause the trampoline to shift over time. Securing your trampoline with anchors will help it stay put and lend it extra stability.
Will Sandbags Hold Down a Trampoline?
Sandbags will hold down a trampoline in a pinch – if you use enough of them. But they’re not likely to do much against very strong winds or in more severe weather. This and their other drawbacks (mainly in terms of aesthetics and practicality) make them less than ideal for anchoring a trampoline.
If you plan on putting your trampoline on concrete, asphalt, or some other hard surface that you can’t drive a ground anchor into, sandbags may be your only option for securing the trampoline (without turning it into a serious project, that is). But for anywhere else in your yard, you’re probably better off using a trampoline anchor kit.
If you don’t mind the look of having a whole bunch of sandbags under your trampoline, it may not be a bad option. But keep in mind that depending on the size of your trampoline, it could take a lot of sandbags to be worthwhile.
Another downside of using sandbags is that they typically don’t hold up as well against the elements as traditional trampoline anchors – especially if you’re just using regular old bags of sand from the hardware store. If you are going to use sandbags to weigh down your trampoline, you may want to consider more aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting bags made from weatherproof materials, such as these.
How To Anchor Your Trampoline Properly
The best way to anchor your trampoline is by using a trampoline anchor kit. There are two main types of trampoline anchors – augers and U-shape anchors (aka wind stakes).
Augers are metal corkscrew-like stakes that are “drilled” into the ground below the frame and connected to the frame via straps. U-shape anchors resemble giant staples that are driven straight into the ground over the horizontal leg braces. Augers are the least likely to be pulled out of the ground due to their shape, but their ultimate effectiveness depends on the strength and durability of the accompanying straps. U-shape anchors are easier to install but are more likely to be pulled out of the ground.
These kits will come with detailed instructions that should always be followed closely, but here’s a general look at how to install each one. And since you’ll be driving metal objects into the ground, some of which are necessarily quite long, it’s a good idea to check with your utility company to make sure there’s no risk of hitting buried cables or pipes.
How To Anchor Your Trampoline Using Augers
Most trampoline anchor kits come with 4 augers and 4 straps. Depending on the size of your trampoline, this may or may not be enough. It’s generally adequate for most larger round trampolines, but you can always buy two kits for extra security. Here’s how to install them.
- Step 1 – Place the tip of the auger or corkscrew in the ground about 6-12 inches from the middle of one of the horizontal leg braces (the auger should be almost directly underneath the edge of the jumping mat).
- Step 2 – Twist the auger into the ground until only the loop or eyelet is visible. (If the soil under your trampoline is very hard, you may need to wet it down in advance.)
- Step 3 – Fasten your strap to both the trampoline frame and the auger according to the kit’s instructions.
- Step 4 – Pull or ratchet the strap until it is taut.
- Step 5 – Move to the opposite side and repeat (follow a cross pattern until all 4 anchors are in).
How To Anchor Your Trampoline Using U-Shape Anchors (Wind Stakes)
As with auger anchor kits, U-shape anchor kits typically come with 4 stakes. Again, you can double up if you need to, and since these are more likely to come loose, it’s generally recommended that you do so. Fortunately, these are even easier to install than augers.
- Step 1 – Position your U-shape stake in the middle of the horizontal leg brace so that it’s straddling the tube. (If you’re using double the stakes, instead position two stakes at either end of the horizontal leg brace at equal distances from the vertical legs. In some cases, the horizontal leg brace may have a peak in the middle, in which case you’ll want to double up the stakes in the same manner.)
- Step 2 – Using a hammer or mallet, drive the stake into the ground until it pulls the leg brace snugly to the ground.
- Step 3 – Move in a cross pattern around the trampoline and repeat until each leg brace is secure.
Best Trampoline Anchor Kits
Now that you know how to anchor your trampoline properly, here are the two best trampoline anchor kits I’ve found, based on customer reviews, general quality, and overall value.
Eurmax Heavy Duty Trampoline Stakes
For auger-style trampoline stakes, you can’t do better than these corkscrew-shaped anchors from Eurmax. These foot-long (not including the eyelet) anchors are made from durable, rust-resistant galvanized steel. This pack of 4 anchors comes with heavy-duty seat belt-grade belt straps with steel buckles – and a spare T-hook spring tool. You can even choose from a range of colors!
Pinnacle Mercantile Trampoline Stakes
These U-shape trampoline anchors from Pinnacle Mercantile are about as tough and versatile as it gets as far as wind stakes. Made from zinc-coated galvanized steel rebar, they are weather-resistant and less likely to pull free than similar stakes without the characteristic rebar ribs. These are 12 inches long with a ½ inch diameter and can fit over any frame tubing up to 3 inches wide. These come in sets of 4 or 8.
- SECURE YOUR KIDS TRAMPOLINE- Pinnacle Mercantile Trampoline ground stakes help stabilize your trampoline during high winds in dirt, grass, sand and rocky soils.
- EXTRA HEAVY DUTY - Stakes are 1/2 inch diameter, 12 inches long, 3-3/8 inside diameter weather and rust resistant galvanized
- CHISEL POINTED ENDS - Make for an effortless insertion into to any type of soil
- UNIVERSAL SIZE- Fits any size trampoline with a leg diameter up to 3 inches