Trampolines come in all shapes and sizes. The two most popular shapes are round and rectangle.
You may think that at the end of the day, a trampoline is a trampoline, but there are some distinct differences between these two shapes that extend far past the way they look.
Each shape has a different purpose, and both have their own sets of pros and cons.
Some families will find that a round trampoline best suits their needs, while others are more interested in the unique perks that a rectangular trampoline offers.
Start considering who will be using the trampoline and the way they’ll be using it, and tally up the pros and cons about each potential purchase. If you’re purchasing it for your children, talk to them about what they want to do on their trampoline and narrow down the list together.
The Facts About Round Trampolines
Round trampolines are essentially the traditional shape. They come in diameters as small as 7 feet and as large as 16 feet. When you picture a trampoline in your mind, you probably see the iconic round trampoline.
These models are designed to pull jumpers back toward the middle of the jump pad, where the center of gravity is located. The design is simple, and it’s made to encourage children to get active while having fun.
The Facts About Rectangular Trampolines
Rectangular trampolines are a little more expensive, but you’re paying for some bonuses capabilities you wouldn’t get with a round trampoline.
Rectangular trampolines are used by Olympic gymnasts and professional athletes for training because they allow for a strong, high bounce over the entirety of the jump pad.
Because the jump pad is rectangular, it allows for jumpers to run and bounce into a trick, such as an aerial spin or a flip. These are designed for serious jumping enthusiasts, and will allow you jumpers to do virtually anything. A rectangular trampoline is nearly limitless.
Who Should Use a Round or Rectangular Trampoline?
If you’re looking to narrow down the big choice, you’ll have to consider what these differences mean for your family.
Think about the ages of your jumpers and the way they’ll use the trampoline. The size of your children, as well as their athletic ability, can have a huge impact on which design you should choose for your back yard.
There are some scenarios in which round and rectangular trampolines are interchangeable, but if you’re looking for specific benefits, you’ll need to be sure you’re selecting the right shape.
Children 6 and Under
Children 6 and under are just learning their athletic ability. They aren’t ready to play rough, and they need a trampoline that’s optimized for safety.
For little kids, a round trampoline is always better. Many small round models exist with padded enclosures and gapless spring pads to help keep toddlers and youngsters contained while minimizing the risk of injury.
A rectangular trampoline as too much open space and an unsteady surface, making it an unwise choice for children who have not yet mastered balance.
Children 6 to 12
The majority of children ages 6 to 12 are small enough to have just as much fun on a round trampoline as a rectangular trampoline. Round trampolines are a little safer for new jumpers and children in elementary school, so it’s hard to go wrong erring on the side of caution.
A major exception would be children who are already involved in athletic activities, such as gymnastics or soccer. These children are probably athletically skilled enough to handle a rectangular trampoline with minimal risk of injury.
Teens 13 and Up
Teens 13 and up can use a rectangular trampoline, but they’re taller and occupy more space. A rectangular trampoline may be a little more comfortable, allowing for multiple jumpers who are older and taller to bounce together without colliding.
Teenagers like to do tricks on trampolines, and rectangular trampolines offer enough bounce and space for a running start. If your teenagers want to do somersaults in the air, they’ll probably need a rectangular trampoline.
Adults who want trampolines are almost always purchasing them as a means of getting in a fun workout. Round trampolines are designed for leisurely jumping, and rectangular trampolines provide a better exercise experience.
With a rectangular trampoline, two adults can work out at the same time without being pulled together in the center.
Adults are too tall to share a round trampoline, and are more likely to collide in the middle.
Which Should You Choose?
You can’t go wrong with a round trampoline in most cases. Almost everyone will be able to use it, even if only one jumper can bounce at a time. If your kids plan to use this trampoline casually when they get home from school or they’re playing with their friends during the summer, a round trampoline is a safe choice that’s sure to pay off.
If your primary motivation for purchasing a trampoline is to promote exercise and the development of athletic skill, you want a rectangular trampoline. These are used for professional training, and will allow you to harness the same technology that world renowned athletes use. It’s a full body workout that burns calories and tones muscles at the same time.
Think about who is going to be using the trampoline, and how they want to use it. Round and rectangular trampolines are entirely different pieces of equipment with minimal overlap in their intended use.
There’s a perfect fit for everyone.
Featured image courtesy of "Mike" Michael L. Baird, https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/5902685361/in/photolist-9ZANHg