Rectangular Vs Round Trampolines – What`s the Difference?
The market is saturated with all kinds of trampolines. Small or big, round, oval or rectangular – they’re available in all shapes, sizes and at all price points.
It’s different to make heads or tails of this complex situation, especially if you’re not well-versed when it comes to trampolines. No worries, most of the buyers aren’t. After all, one doesn’t buy a trampoline all that often and so most buyers are first-time buyers.
Trampolines can be a considerable investment and may make a serious dent in your budget. That’s why it’s very prudent to do some research beforehand and try to at least have a general picture of what you want. The shape of the trampoline is one of the things you should choose among the first.
The most common shapes are rectangular and round. There are also oval or even square trampolines, but these aren’t as common. In this article, we’ll give you an outline on the pros and cons of both rectangular and round trampolines to help you make an informed choice you’ll be satisfied with.
By far the most common type of trampolines, this is the one most people buy and indeed a shape you most often associate with the term ‘trampoline’.
This is partly associated with the cost savings that exist with the production of round trampolines. Their round shape enables a more even distribution of force. There are no ‘weak spots’ that need reinforcing. Round shape is also the most efficient, meaning you get the most jumping area for as little material as possible.
The manufacturer needs to use less steel and a smaller number of springs for the same quality and safety as with other shapes, and these savings result in lower costs for buyers. That’s why round trampolines are a type we most often find in our back yards, and it does make sense, especially if you are an undemanding user.
Round trampolines are also available in a plethora of sizes, from small rebounders (3ft) to huge jumping stations (16ft and up). Due to their popularity, the widest range of models is available in this shape as well.
One could argue that round trampolines are also the safest option. Due to physics, the bounce on round trampolines is a tad gentler than with the other shapes, due to the fact that all the springs are oriented in one direction – towards the middle.
An additional consequence of this is that the jumper is also naturally directed towards the middle, farther away from the edges. All springs are activated at the same time, as the jumper is usually bouncing near the middle of the trampoline. Trying to bounce near the edges is unlikely to provide any bounce anyway.
Most round trampolines come with enclosures and safety nets that further enhance safety. Coupled with their wide availability and best bang for the buck, it’s no wonder round trampolines are the most common shape in the world.
However, rectangular trampolines do have their benefits…
If you’re at all interested in trampolines, you may have seen some trampoline competitions on TV – the Olympics, for example, or even live at your local gym. There’s one interesting detail we’d like to point out to you – all competitive trampolines are rectangular. This is not just a fluke, and there’s a mighty good reason for that.
Think about it for a while. We’ll be waiting here…
Got it? A rectangular trampoline has more space for various acrobatic maneuvers – somersaults, twists and various jumps. In fact, the size of competitive trampolines is standardized and they measure 17 x 10ft, of which the trampoline bed is 14ft 1in x 7ft and about 110 springs.
Therefore, rectangular trampolines are mostly marketed towards professional gymnasts and gyms, which would explain their higher price. The frame is also more sturdily built to allow for a good transfer of energy, as some parts of the trampoline are under more stress than others.
However, various semi-pro versions are available for the average Joe at only a slight price premium, and they do offer several advantages.
For example, the bounce is softer than with the round trampolines, as not all springs react at the same time due to the uneven shape of a rectangular trampoline. The bounce is also higher and thus, perhaps not as suited for kids as a round trampoline. But those with more experience usually attest that rectangular trampolines give a much better feel when bouncing that most round trampolines simply can’t top.
Interestingly though, lots of kids’ trampolines are in fact rectangular or square, but these are much smaller and their bounce response is adequately mellowed.
Rectangular trampolines also have a higher weight rating (usually) due to their reinforced frame. They will also allow you to try doing certain advanced jumps much more safely, as there is more space to maneuver in a single direction.
These trampolines are suited for those looking for a more comfortable, advanced bounce and feel they have the skills necessary for such an undertaking. Rectangular trampolines also provide more net jumping area in a fairly cramped backyard, since most lots are square-sized, and such a trampoline can fit nicely in the general layout.
These semi-pro rectangular trampolines also come with enclosures (most professional trampolines don’t!) to keep you safe in case you judge a jump incorrectly or land badly.
Rectangular trampolines are usually available only in the larger sizes and there are no indoor rectangular trampolines (rebounders) available. 14x9ft or 15x10ft is common for consumer rectangular trampolines. Jumping area of such trampolines is usually similar to that of 12ft round trampolines.
Did we help solve your dilemma? We certainly hope so! In a nutshell, if you’re a first time buyer or have kids who’d like to bounce, then a round trampoline would likely suit you best. If (better say, when) bouncing gets under your skin, then you should seriously consider getting a large, pro rectangular trampoline. Such equipment will let you better develop your skills and enjoy trampolining even more – with all the health benefits is brings.
More to read: Trampoline Shapes