Are In-Ground Trampolines Safer Than Above-Ground Options?

Amy Pawlukiewicz
Written by Amy Pawlukiewicz
Updated September 1, 2021
A father with his son playing on a trampoline
Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision via Getty Images

In-ground trampolines are not necessarily safer than their above-ground counterparts

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If your kids are bouncing off the walls, it might be time to consider letting them bounce outdoors on a trampoline. There are a lot of options available these days, and you want to choose the safest option for your family. When looking at in-ground and above-ground trampoline choices, there are pros and cons for each type.

Factors To Consider With Above-Ground vs. In-Ground Trampolines

A family jumping altogether on the trampoline
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Performance

Above-ground trampolines tend to provide a better experience for the jumper, because they can achieve a higher bounce than with in-ground trampolines. Jump height depends on airflow, and airflow is better with above-ground trampolines, which is why the jump is better.

Fun

Because of the better bounce, many kids (and adults!) have a better time on above-ground trampolines than in-ground. The higher bounce means you can do flips and tricks that you might not be able to achieve on an in-ground model.

Cost

The cost for an above-ground trampoline is significantly lower than an in-ground, often costing two to three times less. Plus, you can usually do the setup yourself, whereas, with an in-ground trampoline, you would have to call in a professional to dig out the hole, put in the retaining wall, and anything else that might need to be done during installation.

Storage

During the winter, you can easily break down and store above-ground trampolines if you want. An in-ground has to stay put regardless of the weather. And during heavy rains, in-ground trampolines can collapse or retain water and become a sunken hole, which can be an expensive problem to fix.

Maintenance/Troubleshooting

If a piece of your trampoline falls off or something breaks, you can immediately see the problem when it’s above the ground. It’s much easier to overlook missing parts and do the required maintenance when the base of your trampoline isn’t in view 24/7. You also have to occasionally lift the rebounder out of the ground to make sure it’s in good shape, and rebounders weigh between 100 and 500 pounds.

Aesthetic

Many people consider an above-ground trampoline to be somewhat of an eyesore, wherewith an in-ground, it lays flush with your lawn and you can mask it with landscaping. However, you need a net with both types of trampolines to keep everyone safe.

Safety risks

All trampolines are inherently risky. However, the farther away you are from the ground, the more risk that you’ll sustain an injury if you fall off. With an in-ground, you can still bounce into the air, but you’ll have a lesser distance to tumble if you misjudge your jump.

Accessibility

If you’re looking for a trampoline for a smaller child, an in-ground model will be easier for them to access. An above-ground trampoline is better for adults and older children who won’t mind the climb.

Wind

Above-ground trampolines are prone to being blown over or blown away by high winds. If you live in an area where high wind is a common occurrence, an in-ground model is probably your best bet.

Installation

Installing an in-ground trampoline yourself is a pretty big task that requires digging out a hole, putting in a retaining wall, and possibly getting permits. Above-ground models typically come in kits and are easy to assemble as long as you have all the necessary tools and hardware.

Verdict

No trampoline is inherently safe. Both in-ground and above-ground trampolines have their advantages and disadvantages, but anytime you’re bouncing off the ground, there’s an opportunity for injury.

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