Help! My Trampoline Looks Like A Pringle!
Ever looked out at your backyard trampoline and thought to yourself “hey… why does my trampoline look like a pringle?” Warping is NOT what you want to see.
While owning a trampoline is awesome, dealing with warping issues is NOT so awesome. It can be really frustrating, especially if you aren’t sure what’s causing it.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the reasons why your trampoline may be warping, and what you can do about it (if anything)
Your trampoline might be warping due extreme weather conditions, improper use, or the wear and tear that unfortunately comes with age. If the metal frame bends, even slightly, it can cause the springs to stretch or break and the mat to sag or become uneven. This makes the trampoline unsafe for use, greatly increasing the potential for injuries. If you have a warped trampoline, you have two choices: repair it or replace it.
Four Possible Reasons Why Your Trampoline Is Warping
1. Storm Damage
One of the most common causes of trampoline warping is storm damage. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures on Facebook or another social media channel of trampolines that look like Pringles after a storm… or trampolines that have flown through the yard or neighboring field and landed, warped, on their sides. Crazy stuff!
Yes, strong winds (or heavy rain or hail) can wreak havoc on your trampoline, causing the frame to warp or even break.
If you live in an area prone to storms, it’s important to take precautions to protect your trampoline. You’ll need to secure it well before the storm hits. Stakes, sandbags, or even taking it down are all options. (You could consider flipping your trampoline over as well, although this also takes time and effort.)
The warping done by a storm is easy to spot, as the frame is usually visibly bent or distorted, when it was “perfect” before the storm.
2. General Wear and Tear
Plain old age. This is another reason your trampoline is warping.
Over time, the constant stress of bouncing (plus the exposure to the elements) can cause the frame to weaken and lose its shape.
And as the frame slowly warps, the springs stretch and may even start breaking, and the mat starts sagging or looking “off”.
Unlike quick warping damage done by a storm, you’ll probably not notice this warping as it’s pretty gradual. It’ll shock you one day when you look outside and suddenly see how bad it has become. And you’ll wonder “when did that happen??”
If your trampoline is showing signs of age-related warping, you may need to consider replacing it entirely.
3. Improper Use
Using a trampoline improperly can also cause warping. So tell your kids. 🙂
Jumping in the same spot repeatedly, or jumping too often at an “over capacity weight level”, can put a lot of stress on the frame. So can using it in ways that it wasn’t designed for (such as jumping onto it from a high surface such as a shed roof, for bouncing INTO the safety enclosure net on purpose).
The warping that comes from improper use also happens gradually… unfortunately the damage is often done before it gets noticed.
So to prevent this type of damage, plan from early on to encourage your kids to use your trampoline only for its intended purpose and follow safety guidelines.
4. Sun Damage
This affects cheaper, entry level trampolines more than high quality trampolines. So if you have an AlleyOOP or something like that, you probably won’t need to worry about that.
Cheaper trampolines are often made from plastic or other other materials that are sensitive to heat. If you have one of these, if possible try to keep your trampoline in a shaded area, or cover it when it’s not in use.
If you don’t, and your trampoline is exposed to direct, strong sunlight for long periods of time, the heat can cause the frame to warp. Again, you’ll only notice this once it’s too far gone.
What Happens When A Trampoline Frame Warps?
If you have discovered evidence of warping on your trampoline, it’s important to understand what’s happening to the frame.
Warping occurs when the metal frame becomes bent or distorted, making it difficult to achieve a level bounce.
In some cases, warping may be so severe that the trampoline is actually unsafe to use. It also means that the metal frame is structurally weaker, and more susceptible to snapping. THAT is what you absolutely want to avoid!
So, the frame is the problem spot… but the warping also affects the springs and mat. Springs on a warped frame are constantly stretched or twisted in a certain direction, meaning they aren’t working the way they should. And the mat is not stretched at even strength around the frame, meaning there will be sagging or too much pull in one direction.
Is It Safe To Let My Kids Bounce On A Warped Trampoline?
No. If your trampoline frame is warped, it’s not ok to let your kids keep bouncing on it.
Here are 3 pretty important reasons why it’s no longer safe for anyone to use:
1. Uneven Mat = Unpredictable Bounces:
When you bounce on a trampoline, you instinctively rely on the mat to provide a predictable and consistent bounce. It’s something you don’t think about at all. A warped trampoline means that the jumping surface is no longer even, and this can cause your weight to be distributed unevenly when you jump… resulting in unpredictable bounces that can throw you off balance or even launch you off the trampoline.
2. Structural Integrity:
A warped trampoline is a sign of structural damage. The warping is usually due to a bent or broken frame, but it could also mean, as we’ve discussed earlier, that the springs and mat are not in good shape either. If you keep jumping, you may be causing further damage or putting additional stress on an already damaged trampoline.
3. Risk of Collapsing:
If the warping on a trampoline is bad enough (and you can’t always tell just how bad it is, especially the springs and mat), there is a risk that the trampoline could collapse or break while you’re using it. Yikes!
Should You Repair Or Replace A Warped Trampoline?
When it comes to repairing or replacing a warped trampoline, there are pros and cons to each option.
Replacing the trampoline entirely will mean that you’ll have a fresh, undamaged piece of equipment to use. However, this can be expensive – and might not be totally necessary if the warping isn’t all that bad and can be fixed.
On the other hand, repairing a warped trampoline might not always be possible, depending on how far gone the frame is. Keep in mind that repairing is simply delaying replacement, as a repaired trampoline is structurally weaker than it was prior to the damage.
How To Repair A Warped Trampoline
If you want to give repairing your warped trampoline a try before spending the big bucks to replace it, there are a few things you can do.
First, you’ll need to assess the extent of the damage and determine what needs to be repaired. You may find you need to reinforce the frame with additional supports or braces, or simply replace the most damaged parts. Some people may try to bend the frame back into shape using specialized tools (including heat – done by a professional).
Watch This Guy Repair The Storm Damage On His Trampoline
In conclusion, there are several reasons why your trampoline may be warping, including storm damage, wear and tear, improper use, and sun damage. If you notice any signs of warping, it’s important to address them as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of those using the trampoline.
Whether you choose to repair or replace a warped trampoline will depend on the extent of the damage, but in either case, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure that your trampoline is safe and in good working order.