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A Regular Trampoline versus a Competition Trampoline

Trampolines have always been a source of fun for many of us, something to bounce on whenever our friends come over and pose while in the air. However, as we grow older, we find that it’s much more than that. Trampolines are used in gyms and even at the Olympics (and this is the reason for the term, Olympic trampolines). As there are many trampoline competitions held Nationally and Internationally every year to include multi-sport competitions and the World Trampoline Championships, we call them Competition Trampolines. Some people chose the name Olympic Trampolines. The Olympics are held once every 4 years for a small number of athletes.

Many believe that regardless of where they are used, trampolines are trampolines. They are designed to help you bounce up and down. However, there are different sizes, shapes and types of trampolines for different purposes. There are also many different trampoline accessories.

In this article, we will be looking at the difference between a regular trampoline and a Competition trampoline in more detail to help you understand the differences, or to help you decide which one is the best option for you.

Recreational vs. Olympic Trampolines – Differences

Feature/Purpose Recreational Trampolines Olympic Trampolines
Trampoline Bed and springs Recreational trampoline beds offer relatively low air passage. Springs often give a stiff bounce. On average, athletes can perform no more than one rotation safely. The springs and beds used are of much higher quality. The bed is more porous. Springs have more initial tension but give the bed a softer bottom. Hence allowing a trampoline athlete to jump much higher for the same maximum force. Top athletes can perform three rotations safely.
Training Recreational trampolines do not shoot the performer as high. They are great for fun, fitness, simple skill learning and the development of control and dynamic balance. Many trampoline competitors started on a recreational trampoline. With the same effort, trampolinists can go much higher on Competition trampolines. Competition trampolines can shoot individuals up to 33 feet (8 meters) high. The prudent performer will develop control before height.
Frames and pads Recreational trampolines come in all sizes and shapes. The most common are round and rectangular. Oval and Octagonal are next. Generally, Round are the cheapest and Rectangular give the best bounce. See details in our other article. Competition trampoline frames have sturdy frames which can withstand the forces required. Most fold. The bed size is 7ft by 14 ft. End platforms with mats on them are required in competition as well as frame pads which cover the springs completely.
Markings Most backyard trampolines use a black polypropylene bed which is very difficult to paint. They are not used in recognized competitions. So they are not marked. Competition routines now include a score for precision placement on the bed. Deviations per skill are taken for landing in particular areas away from the centre. So both those areas and the centre are marked on a competition trampoline. The beds are usually white and the lines are usually red.

If you would like to learn more about which one suits your needs, or are merely looking to buy the right one for your backyard (or gym), please let us know! We can help you choose the right trampoline accessories and beds to meet your needs.