When you think about outdoor trampolines you will probably visualise an above ground trampoline, i.e. a trampoline which is supported by pole-like legs and is raised above the ground. What you may not realise is that you can either buy one of these above ground trampolines or, if you would prefer, you can buy a trampoline and insert it into the ground so the mat is the same level as the ground.
Above ground trampolines are a lot simpler and easier to set up. All you need to do is buy the trampoline, assemble it and start using it.
Unless you buy a safety enclosure (which is also recommended for in ground trampolines) there will be no additional costs once you have bought it. This means that an above ground trampoline will probably work out cheaper in the long run.
Above ground trampolines are easier to maintain. Not only will you notice problems more quickly, but you won’t have to worry about additional problems such as rust from inadequate drainage.
Above ground trampolines are a lot easier to move. If you want to re-arrange your garden (or put the trampoline away for the winter) you are able to do so without having to dig the trampoline up first.
If you don’t want your trampoline any more it is a lot easier to dispose of a trampoline if you don’t have to remove it from the ground first.
Disadvantages Of Above Ground Trampolines
All trampolines can be dangerous because when the user is jumping in the air they can still land badly and/or miss the mat and land on hard ground. However, above ground trampolines have the additional safety risk of already being above the ground. This means that someone (especially younger children) could fall off the trampoline and hurt themselves without actually jumping at all.
Above ground trampolines can be harder to access. As you may have to climb a ladder or physically hoist yourself up it may be harder to reach the trampoline in order to use it, and this is especially true for smaller children.
Above ground trampolines stick out more than trampolines which are closer to the ground, and this means the trampoline may spoil your view or make your garden less attractive.
Advantages Of In Ground Trampolines
In ground trampolines have an aesthetic advantage because they don’t stick out as much and they are less likely to draw the attention away from the rest of the garden. The trampoline won’t block the view from your garden either so if you live in a picturesque area you won’t have to compromise your views for your trampoline.
In ground trampolines are obviously closer to the ground, so if you happen to fall off you will literally just fall over rather than fall from a raised height.
Trampolines which are placed in the ground are also easier to climb onto seeing as you can just step onto it without having to climb a ladder or hoist yourself up. Injuries can happen even before the user has started to bounce, so if the trampoline is on the same level as the ground it takes away that risk.
In ground trampolines are a good choice if you have small children. Not only will you take away the risk of the child hurting themselves if they fall off the trampoline, but smaller children will be able to safely access the trampoline without an adult helping them on and off (although adult supervision is still recommended).
Disadvantages To In Ground Trampolines
Even though trampolines which are at ground level are normally better for aesthetic reasons, the downside is that once you have installed your trampoline into the ground you are basically stuck with it. If you want to re-arrange your garden you will have to work around the trampoline, whilst if the trampoline is above ground you can simply move it to a new location.
In ground trampolines are safer in the sense that you won’t hurt yourself if you fall from the trampoline to the floor, but people often forget that you can still hurt yourself if you miss the mat and land on hard ground. You may think that buying an in ground trampoline negates the need for a safety net, but it is still recommended.
In ground trampolines require quite a lot of work. If you want to install a trampoline into your garden you will have to dig a hole (typically 3-4 feet), you will have to make sure you don’t disrupt any utility pipes, and you have to remove any rocks you find for obvious safety reasons.
You also need to think about what you are going to do with all the earth from your hole. Garden waste disposal can be quite expensive, plus you’ll either have to dig the hole yourself, enlist people to help you dig the hole or pay someone to dig the hole for you.
You will also have to think about drainage issues. As the trampoline is underground, you will need to make sure the area does not flood to avoid rust and other complications.
Adequate air-flow underneath the trampoline is essential if you want an effective and comfortable bounce. If your trampoline hole does not allow for proper air flow, you may find that jumping on the trampoline is ineffective and uncomfortable.
Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it is up to you to decide which model you prefer. It is certainly cheaper and easier to buy an above ground trampoline, but it may be safer to buy an in ground model.