Are In Ground Trampolines Safer?

Backyard trampolines are a fantastic way to keep children of all ages happy, healthy and busy. Choosing the safest type of trampoline for your family is essential and the first big decision is whether to opt for an in ground or above ground installation. In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of each type of trampoline and answer the important question ‘Are in ground Trampolines safer?’

in ground v above ground trampoline

Table of Contents

Introduction

In ground trampolines can be considered safer compared to traditional above-ground trampolines for many reasons, but safety ultimately depends on various factors and how well they are installed and maintained. Whichever way a trampoline is installed, the risk of injury can never be completely eliminated so it’s always useful to weigh up the pros and cons of each if you are considering purchasing a new trampoline for your backyard.

Before we go any further, it’s worth pointing out that in ground trampolines and above ground trampolines are usually exactly the same in design, it’s the way they are installed and set up that differentiates them.

What is an in-ground trampoline?

An in-ground trampoline is a trampoline that is installed in a hole dug in the ground. The frame of the trampoline sits at ground level, making it easier to get on and off. In-ground trampolines are usually flush with the ground, making them more aesthetically pleasing than above ground trampolines. They are also safer than above ground trampolines as they have a lower risk of tipping over.

in ground trampoline

What is an above ground trampoline?

An above ground trampoline is a trampoline that is installed on top of the ground. The frame of the trampoline is visible and usually sits a few feet off the ground. In ground and above ground trampolines are essentially exactly the same frame design, springs, mat and cover.

Above ground trampolines are easier to install than in-ground trampolines because there’s no need to dig a big hole and they can be moved around the yard if necessary. However, they are less aesthetically pleasing than in-ground trampolines and have a higher risk of tipping over.

above ground trampoline

Safety Comparisons

When it comes to trampoline safety, in ground versions have many safety features. Let’s take a closer look.

In ground trampoline safety

In-ground trampolines are generally considered safer than above ground trampolines. This is because they are flush with the ground, reducing the risk of falling off the trampoline and injuring yourself.

It doesn’t completely eliminate the chance of a fall – trampolines by their very nature will always cause falls and drops, it just means that when it does happen the height of the fall is reduced.

In-ground trampolines don’t usually have safety enclosures (nets) because of the lower height. This makes them more aesthetically pleasing to look at and makes backyards seem more spacious.

Above ground trampoline safety

Above ground trampolines are generally less safe than in-ground trampolines. They sit higher off the ground, increasing the risk injury caused by falling to the ground. For this reason, safety enclosures are recommended and despite them being a big help, they can often fail due to damage and wear and tear.

Above ground trampolines can also tip over if not properly secured, which can be dangerous. To minimize the risk of injury, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation and use. Also, follow the guide to winterize a trampoline and avoid high winds tipping your trampoline over in the bad weather.

In Ground v Above Ground Comparisons

In addition to safety factors, there are a number of other comparisions which are worth considering to help you make the right choice for your family.

1. Cost Comparison

When it comes to cost, in-ground trampolines are usually more expensive than above ground trampolines. This is because in-ground trampolines require excavation and additional materials such as retaining walls and drainage systems. Above ground trampolines, on the other hand, require less preparation and can be installed relatively quickly.

As mentioned already, an actual trampoline which sits in the ground can usually be the same as a typical above ground trampoline. So the increased cost is purely from the installation.

2. Installation

The installation of an in-ground trampoline can be a time-consuming process. It requires digging a hole in the ground, leveling the area, installing a retaining wall if necessary, and creating a drainage system. The process can take several days to complete, and you may need to hire a professional to do the work for you. Above ground trampolines, on the other hand, can usually be installed in a matter of hours with a few basic tools.

3. Maintenance

Both in-ground and above ground trampolines require maintenance to ensure they remain safe and functional. In-ground trampolines require less maintenance than above ground trampolines, as they are less exposed to the elements. Despite being less exposed, in ground trampolines will still need to be cleaned regularly and springs and pads often need replacing due to wear and tear on all types of trampolines.

above ground trampoline with enclosure

The hole under the trampoline will need to be cleaned every so often as leaves, branches and other items can often fall down gaps and build up at the bottom. If there is drainage this can potentially get blocked unless it is properly maintained.

Above ground trampolines should always be used with a safety net or enclosure which needs to be maintained and cleaned to prevent damage. However, even with the right maintenance this is one of the parts that will need to be replaced through wear and tear. In ground trampolines can be used with a safety net but many people don’t use them because of the level height with the ground. This reduces the time and money needed to maintain an in ground trampoline.

4. Durability

When it comes to durability, in-ground trampolines are generally more durable than above ground trampolines. In-ground trampolines are less exposed to the elements, making them less likely to suffer from rust, wear and tear, and damage from extreme weather conditions. Above ground trampolines, on the other hand, are more susceptible to damage from wind, rain, and sun exposure.

wrecked trampoline

5. Aesthetics

In terms of aesthetics, in-ground trampolines are generally more attractive than above ground trampolines. In-ground trampolines sit flush with the ground, making them blend in better with the surrounding landscape. Above ground trampolines, on the other hand, are more noticeable and can be an eyesore in some backyards.

The more favorable aesthetics of an in ground trampoline will require more time and effort to be created, especially if safety is a priority. This will often mean landscaping lawns, removing hard surfaces around the trampoline and moving large objects to create a safe space.

6. Space Requirements

When it comes to space requirements, both in-ground and above ground trampolines require a certain amount of space to install. However, in-ground trampolines require more space as they need a hole dug in the ground. Above ground trampolines can be installed in smaller yards and can be moved around if necessary.

7. Portability

In terms of portability, above ground trampolines are more portable than in-ground trampolines. Above ground trampolines can be moved around the yard if necessary, while in-ground trampolines are a permanent fixture.

8. Accessibility

When it comes to accessibility, in-ground trampolines are easier to access than above ground trampolines. In-ground trampolines sit at ground level, making it easier to get on and off the trampoline. Above ground trampolines require a ladder or stairs to access, which can be challenging for young children and people with mobility issues.

9. Comfort

In terms of comfort, both in-ground and above ground trampolines are comfortable to jump on. However, in-ground trampolines are often considered more comfortable as they sit at ground level, reducing the impact on your joints.

10. Performance

When it comes to performance, both in-ground and above ground trampolines perform equally well as the trampoline itself can be identical. There are no differences in the design or performance of either, its just about where the trampoline is placed. Placing a trampoline in-ground will not reduce its performance or bounce.

Verdict

If you are considering buying an outdoor trampoline there are many questions you should consider as both in-ground and above ground trampolines have their pros and cons. In-ground trampolines are generally safer, more durable, and more aesthetically pleasing. Above ground trampolines are easier to install, more portable, and require less maintenance. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and what works best for your backyard and family.

FAQs

  1. Can you put an above ground trampoline in the ground?

Yes, in ground trampolines are the same as above ground ones, just they have been put in a hole that’s been dug in the ground!

  1. Are in-ground trampolines more expensive than above ground trampolines?

The trampolines themselves cost the same. The installation of an In ground trampoline is more expensive than above ground trampolines due to the cost of digging a huge hole and the additional materials required.

  1. How much space is required for an in ground trampoline?

The amount of space required for an in-ground trampoline varies depending on the size of the trampoline. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should have at least 2 feet of clearance around the perimeter of the trampoline.

  1. How often do you need to replace parts on an above ground trampoline?

The frequency of part replacement on an above ground trampoline depends on the quality of the trampoline and how often it is used. Generally, you should replace parts such as the safety net and springs every few years to ensure the trampoline remains safe.

  1. Can you move an in-ground trampoline?

In-ground trampolines are designed to be a permanent fixture and are not easily moved. However, if necessary, an in-ground trampoline can be disassembled and moved to a new location with the help of professionals.

Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Andrew Payne

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