Evolution of a Favorite Pastime

Evolution of the trampoline

One might think that a seemingly simplistic device like the trampoline has remained unchanged throughout history, but the truth is the trampoline has evolved dramatically over time. Starting as a life-net device used by rescue personnel, the trampoline now comes equipped with safety nets, basketball hoops, and other accessories to make for a fun, safe activities for families.

The Early Years

The trampoline came about out of necessity to rescue people from buildings that had no other way to escape than to jump. As seen in many movies, rescue personnel would stand at the bottom of a building with a tarp/blanket held taut, and gentling releasing inward as the person landed on that tarp. The effect was a bouncing action that we now know as the trampoline.

Early Europeans also used blankets to toss individuals into the air during celebrations such as weddings and birthdays. In these days the people would act as the springs pulling a loose blanket taut, launching the person in the middle of the blanket into the air. This is the inverse action of the rescue life net that the early trampoline was used as.

The Evolution

The first modern trampoline as we know it, with a canvas and springs, started in 1936. The early inventors, George Nissen and Larry Griswold, observed a tight net-like device used by trapeze artist to catch themselves in the event of a slip and fall. Being gymnast, Nissen and Griswold set to the drawing table and the modern trampoline was born.

As the trampoline evolved, the apparatus has been made available for competitive use as seen in gymnastics, or for home use. The competitive trampoline comes in a much larger and springier version compared to the home use version. However, this is rapidly changing as trampolines are steadily being used in cross training techniques.

The first cross training uses of the trampoline were used by astronauts in preparation for space flights. The trampolines provided astronauts the ability to experience the bouncy habitat that they would be experiencing in space.

These same cross training principles are still being put to use. Now, trampolines are especially used with wakeboarding, snowboarding, diving and other sports which make use of airtime. Many competitive wake boarders and snowboarders are seeking to own their own trampolines to practice their tricks in their own backyard. This allows for athletes to hone their skills when not in the water or on the slope.

This has lead to a hybrid trampoline being born. The hybrid trampoline is a cross between a competitive trampoline and a home use trampoline. These hybrid trampolines tend to be bouncier and larger to accommodate a board, such as a snowboard or wakeboard, attached to the user’s feet to simulate the real activity.

Although some homeowner may be inclined to buy a hybrid trampoline to get more spring for their buck, it may not be the best of ideas in terms of safety. Many more options now exist including spring-less trampolines which help to reduce the risk of injury when jumpers, especially children are on the trampoline.

With so many options now available in the trampoline marketplace it can be difficult to make the right choice of trampoline. There are many trampoline reviews sites available on the internet to help you choose the best trampoline for your needs.