With spring nearly upon us, many of you will now be venturing into the garden to tidy up and make preparations for the new Season. If you have a trampoline and it’s looking a little tired after the long cold winter, here are some tips to help restore it to its former glory.
The trampoline frame is at the heart of the trampoline for its safety and performance. It is vital that the frame is in good condition. It may be possible if you find damage or corrosion to source a new part and replace that section but if this isn’t possible, or the frame is beyond economic repair, you will probably have to scrap it. Inspect the frame carefully. Look for corrosion from water that has got inside the trampoline ring and is causing rust from the inside which might not be easily visible but causing a weakening of the trampoline frame. Many cheap trampolines will not galvanise the inside of the trampoline tubing and this does leave them liable to failure in this way.
If the trampoline has a welded frame check the condition of the welds carefully to ensure there is no fracture. This is a common area for the trampoline to fail, perhaps from overloading or just from a poor quality weld.
This is the most important area for checking as a frame could fail whilst in use leading to a possible serious injury for anyone who is using it at the time.
Trampoline Jump Mat
The trampoline mat may have holes in it caused by things falling on it like branches or fireworks (a common culprit!) or even a cigarette end. The trampoline mat (or jump mat as it is sometimes known) can be replaced. You will need to know the size of your trampoline, the shape of it and the number of springs it has to attach to. You may also need a spring tool to remove the old trampoline mat and install the new one. It can be hard work to do this without a spring tool. Make sure that any new trampoline mat is made of A grade Permatron Polypropylene, which is UV resistant, and sewn with UV resistant thread. The V rings to attach to the springs should also be galvanised to prevent rust.
Remember when you remove the old bounce mat to take off the springs in even stages around the edge so as to maintain the tension across the bounce mat evenly until you only have four springs left attaching it at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, then finally remove these. When installing the new mat start by putting these four springs on first and then build up the tension by gradually putting springs on to split the gaps. You will find this makes it much easier when you come to the final ones.
Your trampoline springs may have become over stretched or corroded over time and require replacement. You will need to know how many springs your trampoline needs, and the length of these when they are at rest (to do this you need to remove one that is in the best condition and not over stretched). Measure the full length of the spring from the outer edges of the hooks at either end.
You may need to order a spring tool to help you remove the old ones and install the new ones. See the “bounce mat” section of this article for instructions on the method to use when removing and reinstalling a large number of the springs at one time.
Don’t be tempted to use a spring that is a different length than those you have. It will cause the performance of your trampoline to be reduced significantly.
Trampoline Net/Trampoline Enclosure
The trampoline net can become damaged in high winds if garden debris is blown into it or maybe the trampoline has been blown over and the safety enclosure got damaged in the process. The net can also be damaged by children gabbing it while they are jumping and pulling it down.
With some designs of trampoline enclosure it is impossible to replace the netting alone and a whole new trampoline safety enclosure will need to be purchased. However, some suppliers offer the netting separately to fit their own design of trampoline and this might also fit some other makes.
If some of the trampoline enclosure poles, top caps or sleeves are missing, or damaged, then these can easily be replaced too rather than buying a whole new trampoline enclosure kit.
Trampoline Spring Padding
Probably the most likely part to need replacing on your trampoline is the spring padding. Over the years the fabric, however well made, will deteriorate under strong sunshine and in heavy winds. The cold weather can also make it brittle which results in it cracking. It is important not to use the trampoline without any spring padding as someone could fall on the frame and receive an injury if it is not protected.
Many cheap trampolines use a PE material which will probably require replacing annually as the material tends to crack in the sunlight. Spending a little more on better quality spring padding can save money in the long run.
In future, a good tip is to remove the spring padding at the end of the season to protect it from the elements. Alternatively buy a trampoline cover to give added protection to the whole trampoline. The trampoline cover will help protect the bounce mat, springs, spring padding and to some extent the frame also by preventing rain water getting inside the tubing. Some people collapse the safety enclosure on to the centre of the trampoline at the end of the Autumn and cover the whole thing with the trampoline cover.
In this instance, if high winds are forecast, it might be wise to secure the trampoline cover with some rope or strong twine as most covers are not designed for severe weather conditions.
If you are buying parts for your trampoline you might want to consider choosing some other accessories to make best use of any postage charges you are paying. Popular accessories include:
Trampoline access ladders, Trampoline anchor kits, Trampoline tents, Trampoline skirts and Trampoline shoe bags.
Hopefully all of these tips will help to keep your trampoline going for many more years to come.