Water Trampoline or Bouncer?
You can have your own water park that will keep your family and friends actively entertained for hours. Not only are they a fun, active playground, water trampolines also double as a swim raft for lounging and playing. Water trampolines come in many sizes, shapes, qualities...and costs. Getting it installed correctly can also avoid retrieval problems when the next wind storm breaks out.
Water Trampolines with Springs:
True water trampolines such as the Rave Aqua Jump pictured here are built similarly to trampolines used on land. A heavy duty inflatable tube provides the support for the trampoline jumping mat. Springs connect the tube to a jumping mat. A safety pad covers the springs. For a true trampoline experience, with lots of height in the bounce, this is the right choice for kids, teens and adults alike. Quality counts, as water trampolines are not cheap. The tube should be made of heavy gauge, fabric reinforced PVC. Seams should be heat or RF welded. All components must be UV and mildew resistant.
Until recently, all water trampolines were built using a steel, tubular frame. The steel frame is strapped to the tube and the jumping mat is connected to the frame. The AquaJump Eclipse from Rave have eliminated the steel frame making them lighter and easier to install.
Aquaglide Supertramp water trampolines retain the steel tubular frame and are designed for superior bouncing performance. They are built using an eight sided, rigid steel frame to ensure that all of the jumper's energy is focussed, providing a bigger sweet spot and better bounce than round trampolines.
The most popular models are between 14 feet and 20 feet in diameter.
Water Trampoline Bouncers:
Lighter, portable and less costly, a bouncer like the Aquaglide Rebound pictured here, is a great choice for everyone but ideal for younger children. You don't get the bounce height with a bouncer that you do with a true water trampoline, as the jumping mat is attached directly to the inflatable tube without springs. This makes the Rebound and the Rave Bongo, portable and easily anchored. As the kids get older though, interest may wane.
Quality counts. This is a much more competitive market with many inferior products. Be sure that you check the thickness and material of the inflatable tube. Heavy gauge, fabric reinforced PVC is by far the best. Seams should be heat or RF welded. Look for a heavy duty but pliable matt which is open underneath. All materials must be UV and mildew resistant.
The most popular models are between 12 and 16 feet in diameter.
Locating and Anchoring
Water trampolines and bouncers are typically anchored for the season and setting them up, although easy to do, requires some effort and the right tools. You will need a high speed inflator or high output shop vacuum to get the tube properly inflated. An anchor connector with a shock chord on the anchor line will absorb vertical movements and wave action.
You will need a lot of space around the trampoline away from boat traffic and docks. They should be used only in larger bodies of water with depths of at least 8- 10 feet. Do not use the product in swimming pools or shallow water. You will need a location that is of sufficient water depth and free of obstructions above and below the water. A minimum of 150 lbs of anchor weight is recommended. Larger water trampolines in open areas will need even more weight. Many people use the precast concrete anchors used for anchoring floating docks or rafts or make their own. Concrete anchors are available at many building supply and dock centres in cottage country.