March 4, 2020

How Safe Are In Ground Trampolines?

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When deciding to install a trampoline you may wonder if it would be better to put it in-ground. This makes it less of a concern of increased fall distances and could help lessen the impact should someone bounce off the trampoline.

How safe are in ground trampolines? They are typically much safer in regards to fall risks which can be related to bouncing off a mat to the ground. They are also much safer in the eyes of smaller children as they have no ladder to climb to get onto the trampoline.

Now that we have covered the safety aspects that make people prefer to choose the in-ground option I would like to explain a little more about in-ground options. They can be excellent but they do have their own additional costs to be built.

Are In-Ground Trampolines Safer Than Above Ground?

While all trampoline contains inherited risk all around, there is no huge advantage or disadvantages to safety and that the biggest safety issue which could happen is a bounce related injury. Whether your trampoline is above ground or underground if you jump and miss the mat and hit the ground injuries can happen.

above ground trampoline - How Safe Are In Ground Trampolines
As you can see for a younger kid or some adults this is imposing

Are In-Ground Trampolines Better?

Most of what you will read online will center around this answer being a yes, but in my complete research all I've seen is that they "look" prettier due to being hidden and make you look "classier". To me these are mainly vanity driven metrics and more about appearances than use.

There are definitely some benefits to an in-ground trampoline that is helpful and does reward those who decide to invest this way, there are some things you need to consider prior to making this call also.

Benefits To In-Ground Trampolines

  • Better At Surviving High Winds - One big key to an in-ground setup is that the ability to survive high wind conditions like tornadoes and hurricanes, they are much less likely to be picked up and tossed away as the above-ground trampolines are.
  • Easier to Access - Being at ground levels makes it far more easy for jumpers to decide to bounce, from small kids to older adults.
  • Aesthetic Options - There are many ways to make an in-ground trampoline look pretty, many online actually have built gardens around theirs!

Drawbacks To In-Ground Trampolines

  • Can Be Cost Prohibitive - While it may seem pretty simple on the surface, most people will need to higher a company with an excavator to properly install the in-ground trampoline. This makes an expensive option plausibly double in costs after the necessary assistance is counted in.
  • More Expensive To Maintain - Since everything is embedded into the ground you don't have simple access to any part to do maintenance. This can include needing to remove the tub to ensure the ground under hasn't eroded.

Do In-Ground Trampolines Flood?

When you plan the installation there needs to be some time put into a ventilation and drainage planning. These will be key to a super fun and good experience versus the downside of building a bog underneath your trampoline.

If you fail to plan out proper drainage you will find the pit becomes a mess of water that may not leave for months. If this type of stagnant water occurs it will typically lead to insect infestations, rusting of your stilts, and rotting of the mat. 

As to ventilation, the reason the trampoline gives so much bounce is the amount of air displacement that occurs on the bounce. With an in-ground trampoline, this becomes vitally important because if there is limited airflow there will be NO bounce.

I would suggest starting to talk with a general contractor to see what they can do to help you plan out and do this correctly the first time. Nothing is as heartbreaking as doing all this work and then placing it into the ground only to have no visible bounce.

How Deep Should I Dig My Hole?

Before you begin you will need to know how big your trampoline is. In addition, you must remember that the pit needs to be a foot wider than the outer frame for proper air ventilation to help maintain the bounce.

Please note that this measurement doesn't include the required space for your retaining wall if you plan to use one.

Below are two ways to position the trampoline for quality airflow:

  • Parallel to the Ground - Have the height of the trampoline equal to the depth of the pit. The trampoline will be flush with the ground but this will need better ventilation setup.
  • Ideal: Slightly Above Ground Level - Have a pit that is slightly shallower than the height of the trampoline which will offer proper ventilation room and a better bounce. The downside is this could be considered a tripping hazard.

Final Thoughts

An in-ground trampoline is an amazing thing to be able to play on and it most definitely looks good within any landscaping do to the low profile. Add in that it is a benefit to hosting parties and entertainment at the home and it can in the long term save a decent amount if done right and correct the first time.

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Article written by Josh Koop
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!