Evolution of Our String Beds.

The Ross 2 String.

Dave Ross. Rebound Products Founder.
Published November 7th, 2012.

The most important part of a trampoline affecting its performance is the bed. Rebound Products has been making string beds since 1980. Plenty of prototypes were produced in the early years but from 1991 to 2008 the power and construction of our production string beds remained constant. Our string beds were used at the 1996 and the 2007 World Trampoline Championships, and at many other prestigious trampoline competitions to include World Cups and the Toronto Harbour front Reach for the Sky trampoline festival.

Since 1978 we have considered the conventional stitched trampoline bed technology as obsolete. This is because using stitching to hold a bed together also tears it apart, resulting in about 20% the lifetime of unstitched beds! Furthermore, when a string is worn or accidentally cut on a string bed, a new string can be easily spliced in with knots on the bottom of the bed with the bed on the trampoline frame, so repairs are cheap and easy! In order to keep a string bed together there is more weaving, which means smaller holes, a better feel on the feet, and also paint to stiffen the strings. We did plenty of research in the early years to develop our beds to have a very similar bounce to traditional equipment, so our athletes could train on string beds, but still compete well on webbed beds. For most of that time, this was the 4/6mm webbed bed. There were still some small performance differences. The main difference is that a string bed weighs more, but has lower air resistance. So the bounce feels a bit different. To an athlete who does not depress the bed too far the power is similar to 4/6mm beds. To an athlete who really pushes the bed down there is slightly more power. This enables both small and large athletes to compete successfully, which complements well our adult sport. Also the trampolines’ power is not so dependent on spring tension, so the softer beds which older athletes prefer, are still powerful. Our athletes adapted from string to web beds in 2 to 6 weeks. We would recommend a bit longer for athletes who have never jumped on one of the two. In 1996, at Worlds, although very few athletes trained on string beds prior to the training days, yet performance level was very high.

At the 2007 World Championships with Rebound Products again supplying the equipment, the sport had become Olympic, so many athletes trained on Rebound equipment prior to that event, as that meet was the qualifying event to the 2008 Olympic games. By this point with the development of the sport, and with the older age group involved in the open event, pretty much all athletes were powerful enough to get a better bounce from a Rebound Bed. Meanwhile between 1996 and 2007 our frames had undergone a significant improvement to include the introduction of double braced corners, which subsequently became the industry standard. The combined result was some amazing performances at the 2007 Worlds. In addition due to our superior springs and diligent work by our staff who fine tuned the trampolines every night during the event, the bounce remained very consistent over the training and competition days, resulting in a lower than usual incidence of failed routines.

After that meet the international athletes went back home to train on 4/6mm beds and pretty much started complaining. With so many athletes saying the same thing the big manufacturers finally started producing more powerful trampoline beds, and so now we have the new competition reality with 4/5mm and 4/4mm webbed beds.

Rebound Products has responded initially by producing a bed very similar to an amazing prototype bed that we made and tested in 1986. We did not release it then, as it was too powerful compared to the 6/6mm competition beds of that era. Our current competition string bed has the feel, construction, lifetime and stability comparable to our earlier beds but increased power. This has been achieved by opening up the space between strings somewhat. This new lighter, lower air resistance bed is very similar in power to the 5/4mm beds used at the 2012 Olympics, but has the stability and lifetime of a string bed. If you already have one of our older beds you will find the new ones very similar to control but significantly more powerful. Once again the adaptation to prepare for a competition on the new webbed beds is present but not difficult to master.

Although we have believed since 1976, and proved in 1991 with an 8.4 by 14 foot bed prototype trampoline, that the direction for competition trampoline evolution is to larger trampolines we will continue to further perfect the bounce of our competition sized trampoline beds.

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