Trampolines are a tremendous source of fun and exercise for kids and adults alike. Anyone who’s experienced it knows there’s nothing like bouncing around and soaring through the air on a warm, sunny day. But what happens when you bring water into the mix? A cool, refreshing spritz from a sprinkler or a gentle rain may seem like just what the doctor ordered on a warm day – but is it a good idea?
Many people wonder whether trampolines and water mix, so in this article, I’ll lay out everything you need to know about how water affects trampolines – in terms of safety, bounce dynamics, wear & tear, and more.
Can You Jump On a Wet Trampoline?
You can jump on a wet trampoline – it will work virtually the same as a dry trampoline in terms of bounce dynamics. There are even sprinklers and misters made specifically for trampolines. However, you should always use caution when jumping on a wet trampoline, as it poses a greater risk of injury.
There are many instances in which water and trampolines seem like the perfect combination – usually on a hot summer day. After all, if you’re a kid who’s been given the choice between running through the sprinklers or jumping on a trampoline, wouldn’t you choose both? Or maybe you’re at a pool party and you want to alternate between bouncing and swimming.
(Of course, in the latter case, the inevitable temptation to jump from the trampoline to the pool should be nixed without hesitation – it’s best to keep the two as far away from one another as possible.)
Some people even like the idea of having a nice bounce in the rain – but more on that later. For now, let’s look at the most popular way to mix water and trampolines: sprinklers.
Putting a regular old sprinkler under your trampoline is the time-honored method. But the key is not to turn the water up too high, as this can cause water to pool on the mat, which can cause damage. As an alternative, many companies offer specially-made trampoline sprinklers.
Instead of spraying up from below the mat, these sprinkler systems typically attach around the frame or the top of the safety enclosure net, or both. Here’s an example of such a system from Bobor. Alternatively, some people prefer to simply outfit their trampolines with a mister system to help keep the jumpers cool on a hot day.
Regardless of how you do it, turning the trampoline into a miniature water park can make a kid’s (or an adult’s) day. But a wet trampoline can be dangerous, so it’s imperative to follow certain safety guidelines.
Is It Safe To Jump On a Wet Trampoline?
In general, it’s not considered safe to jump on a wet trampoline, particularly for younger children. The jumping pad and other surfaces can become very slippery, potentially resulting in awkward falls, collisions, or slips over the edge. That being said, there are ways to help mitigate the risks.
Ground Rules & Supervision
Of course, the safest bet is to not let anyone jump on the trampoline when it’s wet – this is especially true for younger kids, as they tend to have less coordination and strength in general. But if you simply can’t resist, you’ll have to lay out some ground rules and keep a close watch to make sure they’re being followed.
Firstly, it’s best only to let one person jump at a time, particularly on a smaller round trampoline. This will ensure that the kids don’t slip and crash into one another. This is less of an issue on large oval and rectangular trampolines, as it’s easier to keep a distance – but it’s still a risk.
Second, the acrobatics should be kept to a minimum, and bounce height should be kept moderate. Jumping from side to side, doing somersaults, and getting major altitude are all super fun, but they’re also the easiest ways to lose control, slip, or land in a dangerous position.
Safety Net & Spring Pad
A large amount of trampoline-related injuries occur as a result of landing on or going over the edge. And if the trampoline is wet, any slips and slides are most likely going to lead right to the edge. That’s why it’s even more important to have an enclosure net as well as a spring pad that covers the frame and springs.
However, it’s still possible for a child to slip and have a limb slide under the spring pad. With that in mind, it’s best to have a net that attaches to the edge of the jumping mat itself to further reduce the likelihood of slipping through the gaps.
The jumping mat isn’t the only thing that can get slippery when it’s wet – if you have a ladder leading up to the trampoline edge, try to keep it dry, if possible. Or, simply help your kids climb up to ensure they don’t slip and scrape their shin or twist their ankle on the rungs.
Jumping On a Trampoline In the Rain
The idea of climbing aboard the trampoline and bouncing around in the middle of a rainstorm may not sound like fun to most adults, but most kids will view it as a fun and novel adventure. To do it safely, following the above safety guidelines is a good start. But there are other risks to consider when jumping in the rain.
First and foremost is the risk of lightning strikes. While it’s unlikely that lightning will strike your trampoline itself, it’s not impossible. But the greater risk is that electricity from a nearby lightning strike will travel through the ground and reach your trampoline. The metal frame and springs can of course conduct electricity, but so can a wet trampoline mat.
Rainstorms can also bring down tree branches and power lines, adding to the risk. And if rainwater has puddled up on the surface of the trampoline instead of going through the mesh, it’s best not to jump on it as the excess water can overload the weight capacity of the mat.
Does a Wet Trampoline Make You Jump Higher?
Many people claim that a wet trampoline gives you a higher jump or bounce than a dry one, with different sources citing different causes. However, it’s difficult to find any concrete evidence to support these theories. In any case, if a wet mat does produce higher jumps, the difference isn’t huge.
Wetting your trampoline for the sake of higher bounces is also not advisable, as the combination of high jumps and a slick surface is a recipe for trouble. If you’re looking to add bounce to your trampoline, I’d suggest using another method.
Does Jumping On a Wet Trampoline Damage It?
In most cases, jumping on a wet trampoline won’t do any damage to the trampoline or its components. Since they’re designed to be weather resistant, water has little effect on trampoline materials. However, if the jumping mat is holding a pool of water, jumping on it may damage the springs or mat.
Even relatively small puddles of water on a trampoline’s jumping mat can be very heavy. If someone jumps on a waterlogged trampoline, the combined weight of the jumper and the water – plus the jump force – can exceed the trampoline’s weight limit. This can cause the springs or mat fibers to wear out more quickly, or even break.
If water is pooling up on the trampoline, you can simply get underneath the jumping pad and push upward on the center, causing the excess water to run off over the edges.
Is Water Bad for Trampolines?
Generally speaking, water is not bad for trampolines. Most trampolines are made from water-resistant materials and are designed to hold up to all sorts of weather conditions. However, water can damage trampoline components in some circumstances, particularly with excessive exposure over time.
Trampoline frames and springs are typically made from galvanized steel, which is durable and rust-resistant. But if it is constantly exposed to high levels of moisture and is rarely allowed to dry, it will eventually start to rust and wear out. This typically happens to the springs first.
Trampoline jumping mats are typically made from polypropylene or nylon, which do not absorb water and are highly weather-resistant – in a word, they are waterproof. But since they are tightly woven, water can collect on the surface and form a puddle. If the puddle is large enough, the weight of all that water can cause the mat to sag, straining the springs and the mat itself and leading to premature wear.
Consistent exposure to water is especially destructive in colder climates. Not only does water take longer to dry in extreme cold, but if it freezes on the mat, it can dramatically accelerate wear and tear.
Do You Need To Protect Your Trampoline From Rain?
While you don’t necessarily need to protect your trampoline from rain, it is recommended – particularly if you live in a rainy climate. Storms can make your trampoline dirty, and constant exposure to water will eventually make the springs rusty. Fortunately, there are ways to protect against rain.
Even though the occasional rainstorm won’t do much (if anything) to harm your trampoline, there are plenty of good reasons to invest in some sort of additional weather-proofing.
Dirt and dust that have accumulated on the jumping mat can be turned into silt or mud by the rain and get trapped in the weave. This can not only make your trampoline look dirty but also cause the fibers to wear out faster than normal. In addition, leaves, twigs, and other debris that get blown around in storms can land on your trampoline.
Most importantly, if the springs are constantly being bombarded with moisture, they will eventually start to corrode or rust.
How To Protect Your Trampoline From Rain
Firstly, you’ll want to put a good weatherproof spring pad around the edge of your trampoline. It should fit snugly and cover the springs as well as the upper frame tubing. This will keep the springs and frame out of direct contact with rainwater. But spring pads aren’t just great for waterproofing – they’re also an essential tool for preventing injuries and can help protect against burns in the heat of summer.
Next, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality trampoline cover. This will cover the entire trampoline, including the jumping mat, protecting it from debris and dust. Ideally, this should be put on the trampoline whenever it’s not in use to offer maximum protection – it will also shield it from UV rays that contribute to wear.
If rainwater collects on the cover, it’s important to dump it as described above to prevent it from weighing down the mat. The same is also true of snow – but this can usually be shoveled or pushed off without getting under the trampoline.
As you can see, water and trampolines can get along just fine – as long as certain precautions are taken to ensure the safety of the jumpers and prevent damage to the trampoline itself. Thanks for reading!