on Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I stumbled upon a rather interesting post about the safest shape for trampolines.   In gymnastics and diving trampolines are used frequently in order to provide assistance with learning new tricks.  Sometimes there are safety harnesses/pulling rigs attached to the trampolines as well. 

In general tramplines have always petrified me, unless they had a harness attached to it.  Even the ones that are essentially built into the floor and surrounded by mats scare me so this was an interesting find.

On average the distance from the center to any edge is greater for round trampoline however the likelihood of falling off the trampoline is greatest in only one direction, the one that is inline with the person on the trampoline.

Due to the physics involved with the trampolines it was Sundance's opinion that the rectangular trampolines are the safest.  In the trampolines the springs criss-cross with each other in order to create a relatively even bounce over the entire trampoline, making jumping not directly in the center still alright.  This creates a softer and better controlled bounce because the springs that are at the end of the rails stretch less than the ones in the middle causing greater vertical travel... which in my opinion just means the trampoline is a little scarrier.

Compared to circular trampolines the rectangular ones require stronger and heavier materials because majority of the stress is located on the center portions of the rails.  While this costs more to build it is also stronger and losts longer.


All of this makes sense as to why you only see rectangular trampolines in gymnastics gyms, for competitions and even for diving training.   While the shape may be safer I still preffer the ones with the pulling rigs so you can't fall off, and have the ability to gain additional height and perform a greater number of flips, which is particularly useful for diving.