Bouncing on a trampoline can be a fun time for people of all ages. But trampolines on land can have some limitations, not the least of which is safety. Falling off a traditional trampoline can cause broken bones or sprains. But falling off a water trampoline is kind of the point! Read on to have all your questions about water trampolines answered.
What is a Water Trampoline?
A water trampoline is a trampoline designed specifically to float on water for bouncing fun. They feature springs and a frame much like a traditional trampoline, but instead of the frame being attached to legs, it’s attached to an inflatable structure typically made from PVC.
Like traditional trampolines, water trampolines come in many different shapes and sizes. There are also many different accessories available for water trampolines that can make for added fun on the water.
Most water trampolines aren’t designed for use in pools, as they are much larger than can fit in the typical backyard pool. They need significant clearance around the sides for safe use. As such, they’re best used on larger bodies of water, such as lakes, lagoons, or large ponds. A calm slice of ocean is also a possible place for a water trampoline.
Note: If you’re looking for information on using water with your traditional trampoline, check this article out.
What’s The Difference Between a Water Trampoline and a Bouncer?
Technically, water trampoline is a term that includes water bouncers. While a water trampoline has a jumping mat attached to a frame with springs, a bouncer has a jumping surface that isn’t attached by springs. Instead, it’s attached with straps directly to the PVC structure.
Since water bouncers don’t have springs, they aren’t as bouncy as water trampolines. They also are able to hold less weight than water trampolines, since they don’t have a metal frame that’s attached to the jumping surface. That said, they can still hold a decent amount of weight — usually around 200 to 500 pounds.
Water trampolines are heavier than bouncers, which makes them harder to move around. They also take a little bit longer to assemble than bouncers. Bouncers are more suitable for home use, whereas water trampolines are ideal for both home or commercial use. Since water trampolines are more heavy-duty, larger, and more complex than bouncers, they tend to cost more.
Since water bouncers don’t generally have a heavy-duty frame and springs like water trampolines do, they’re easier to assemble and disassemble as needed. If you want to leave your trampoline in the water for months at a time, you’re better off purchasing a water trampoline. But if you want to be able to load up and transport your trampoline after a day at the lake, a water bouncer is your best bet.
Are Water Trampolines Safe?
Provided you follow all the safety recommendations and instructions for proper use, water trampolines are safe. In fact, since they’re used on water, falling off the trampoline lands you in the relative safety of the water. In this way, they’re safer than traditional trampolines.
But, it’s very important to follow all safety precautions when using a water trampoline. These include making sure the trampoline is placed in an area with deep water (8 to 10 feet) that’s free of rocks or other obstructions. It’s also important that the trampoline isn’t too close to other objects, such as the shore, docks, boats, or anything else that jumpers can fall into.
Plus, for ultimate safety, jumpers should always wear floating life vests. Children who jump should always be supervised by an adult. And anyone who jumps on the trampoline should know how to swim. Since the edges of water trampolines are well padded, there’s little risk of someone seriously hurting themself by hitting the side.
Do Water Trampolines Have to Be Anchored?
To keep water trampolines from floating away, they do need to be anchored. Luckily, they come with anchoring kits provided, although the anchoring weights may need to be purchased separately. It really depends on the water trampoline.
Although anchoring is required for water trampolines, this does allow some slack for the trampoline to float around a bit, which can make jumping that much more fun. Anchoring also depends on the conditions of the water and any anchoring restrictions in the area.
Can Water Trampolines Be Used on the Ground?
Water trampolines are designed to only be used on water. However, some manufacturers make clear that you can use them on land. Since they’re inflatable, they should only be used on grass, sand, or soft dirt, so they don’t get punctured by sharp rocks or sticks.
Water acts as the legs of the trampoline, meaning it doesn’t need to sit very high off the surface of the water. The jumping mats of most water trampolines sit only a couple of feet from the surface of the water. Typically, the larger the trampoline, the higher it will sit off the surface of the water. This is why, unless the water trampoline explicitly states that it can be used on land, you shouldn’t risk it.
If the trampoline is too low to the ground, someone could hit the ground while they’re jumping, which could cause an injury. This problem is nonexistent on the water since a jumper hitting the water won’t be hurt like they would hitting land while jumping.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Water Trampolines?
Now that we’ve covered some of the most common questions about water trampolines, let’s look at their benefits and drawbacks.
Benefit: Great for Exercise
There’s nothing like a water trampoline to get some exercise. Not only do you get the benefit of jumping on the trampoline, which is good cardio, but you also get the benefit of swimming, which is an excellent, low-impact activity that’s easy on the joints and great for developing the muscles of the whole body.
Benefit: Fun for the Whole Family
Speaking of exercise, getting active is good for the whole family. Especially these days, where movies and video games are held in higher regard than playtime outside. This is why a water trampoline is so beneficial. It provides fun for the whole family. The kids will be having such a good time jumping and swimming that they won’t realize they’re exercising!
Benefit: Relatively Safe
As far as many outdoor activities go, jumping on a water trampoline is relatively safe. Much safer than jumping on a regular trampoline, provided every jumper knows how to swim and all safety precautions are taken. When compared to skateboarding, mountain biking, or playing football, water trampolines are a pretty safe option.
Benefit: Excellent Summer Activity
Although they’re not ideal for use in the colder months, they do make the summer months a real treat. When the weather warms up enough to get the water trampoline out, it can make for a most exciting time for everyone.
Benefit: Accessories Available
For those who want to add a little more fun to their water trampoline, there are accessories available. These include inflatable slides that lead from the jumping surface into the water, inflatable “logs” that people can try running across from the trampoline, and launch pads where one jumper can launch another into the water.
Drawback: Need Water to Use
The major drawback of a water trampoline is the fact that you need a rather large body of water for proper use. Most backyard pools won’t do. And since a lot of people don’t have easy access to a suitable body of water, investing in a water trampoline may not be worth it.
Drawback: Transportation Can Be Difficult
Since water trampolines tend to be large, they can make transportation difficult. Unless you own access to the water or you have permission to leave the water trampoline where it is during the months it’s in use, you’ll have to transport it, which means disassembling it.
How Long Do Water Trampolines Last?
How long water trampolines last depends on many factors, including the manufacturer of the trampoline, the location in which it is kept, how often it is used, and the type of water it’s kept in (salt or freshwater). Quality water trampolines last between 7 and 10 years with proper care.
Are Water Trampolines Worth It?
Water trampolines are worth it for those who have access to water such as a lake, pond, or beach. In addition to water access, it’s important that there are people who will use the water trampoline. All the users must know how to swim for safety.
There’s no question that water trampolines are an investment. But if you’re looking for a fun way to get kids out of the house and exercising, a water trampoline may be the best bet.
How Much Do Water Trampolines Cost?
Water trampolines range in cost widely. It’s important to keep in mind that water trampolines and water bouncers are two different things. Water trampolines range in cost from $1,000 to $3,000 on average. Larger commercial models can cost as much as $6,000. Water bouncers range from $300 to $2,000.
Water trampolines are expensive because they are made with springs designed to last when exposed to water. Unlike water bouncers, they also have frames, usually made of metal and designed to last when constantly exposed to moisture. They also provide a higher jump, are larger, and are ideal for commercial use, all of which add to the price tag.
Water Trampoline Sizes
Water trampolines range in size from 10 to 20 feet on average. The larger the trampoline, the more weight it can hold — which means more people can enjoy it at the same time. But even smaller water trampolines can be enjoyed by a small group of people. The size you select depends on how many people will be using it.
Water Trampoline Recommendation
Now for the fun part! The water trampoline recommendation. If you’ve done any kind of research on water trampolines (besides this article, that is), then you’ve probably heard of the Island Hopper brand. And you can’t go wrong with one of their trampolines.
This Island Hopper 15-Foot Classic features a steel frame, springs, and hardware. This is essential if you’re going to leave the trampoline out on the water for months or more at a time. In fact, this trampoline is rated for commercial use. The colorful yellow inflatable material is made from UV-resistant PVC.