Springs are an essential part of a trampoline. After all, it’s what gives them the bounce that we all love. They are very sturdy but from time to time, springs might actually break or get detached. In such situations, can you jump on a trampoline with a missing spring?
Yes, you can jump on a trampoline with a missing spring, but not for long. As long as the spring pad is still there, it is relatively safe to continue jumping, but you should look to replace the missing spring right away to ensure the integrity of the trampoline and a safe experience.
In this post, I will share how a missing spring can impact a trampoline and how you can go about fixing it.
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Table of Contents
- The basic mechanics of a trampoline
- What do trampoline springs do?
- Why do trampoline springs break?
- How do missing springs cause further damage to your trampoline?
- How does a missing spring affect the bounce?
- Is it dangerous to use my trampoline with a missing spring?
- How to check for damaged springs?
- How can I fix my trampoline with a missing spring?
- With proper maintenance, trampolines can be fun and safe for the whole family.
The basic mechanics of a trampoline
Trampolines have four basic parts: a frame, springs, a jumping mat, and a safety net (many people don’t use this though).
The frame is the circular, metal part that extends to the ground and holds everything up.
Springs are anchored to the frame and connected to the jumping mat.
They function as shock absorbers for when you jump on the trampoline, allowing you to leap higher and bounce more vigorously than normal.
The safety net keeps users from falling off while they’re bouncing around on it.
If any of these parts are missing or malfunctioning, then your trampoline will not work as it should – or at all!
Read this next: 4 Best alternatives to trampolines
What do trampoline springs do?
Trampoline springs, of course, generate the bounce, but they also play a critical role in the bounce’s safety.
A spring’s physical characteristics, such as length, coil diameter, and material composition, combine to provide a certain performance.
When a jumper jumps, they are getting energy transferred through their body.
If your trampoline springs can extend further, energy is transferred through your body over a longer period of time, allowing you to put more energy into your leap.
This can be described as a “smooth bounce” in general.
If your trampoline springs can’t expand as much if they’re too short, the energy transfer is faster, and you get a harsher bounce.
Why do trampoline springs break?
No matter how good we get, there is no foolproof way to land in the center (or sweet spot) of the trampoline every time.
Landing off-center is typical, and the closer you get to the trampoline’s edge, the more stress you’ll put on the springs.
Even though routine trampoline use is unlikely to overburden the springs, there is still the possibility that one will fail and cause injury or harm.
How do missing springs cause further damage to your trampoline?
You might think that a spring is only such a small piece of the puzzle, and it is so easy to underestimate its importance.
The thing is, a trampoline can only work well, especially if you want it to last, if all its parts are in good condition. A missing spring can cause wear and tear pretty quickly if it is not fixed.
The mat of a trampoline is stretched tight in the middle of the frame, being dragged in every direction by the springs and getting uniformly distributed tension.
When a spring is missing, that causes the tension to be no longer evenly distributed and that tension will now find its way to other parts of the trampoline.
The trampoline will have less bounce as a result of the tension redistribution.
At the same time, this also means that the additional tension can cause the stitching to get ripped off. As you can imagine, a jumper might fall right through the trampoline if a few of those give way.
A mat that isn’t evenly tensioned will impose additional strain on the remaining springs, not only because they are bearing the load of the missing spring, but also because the distorted mat is drawing some springs tighter than others.
The springs will be overstretched and will wear out faster as a result. This will have a cascading effect throughout the trampoline as more and more springs lose tension and the remaining springs are forced to take on the stress.
Overstressed springs may snap or bend to the point where their hooks pop out of the frame or the mat’s V-rings, turning them into lethal projectiles.
Someone could be hurt even if they simply burst out and roll onto the jumping pad.
Frame of the trampoline
If the tension in the mat and springs is unevenly distributed, it will also weigh on some portions of the frame.
Trampoline frames, no matter how robust they are, can be bent or broken by poor tensioning, especially when combined with the weight and constant bouncing of a jumper.
Because circular frames are built of very light galvanized steel, they are prone to warping and can gradually take on an oval appearance.
Rectangular trampolines are often composed of thicker steel, but they can still warp due to uneven tension, causing the sides to bow in or out, causing the entire frame to take on a trapezoidal shape.
A warped or bent frame will not only reduce the lifespan of your trampoline and make it more difficult to replace other components, but it will also make the jumping surface uneven and cause pieces of the frame to fall off the ground, reducing stability.
A warped frame may even break or collapse in the middle of a jumping session in some situations.
All of these scenarios can, of course, result in significant injuries.
How does a missing spring affect the bounce?
The rebound when you jump on a trampoline is the result of stored energy.
The springs in a trampoline provide tension, which gives the mat elasticity and allows it to bounce.
Without tension, jumping up quickly will not cause a spring down—instead, the mat will simply move out of your way without any resistance.
Since the spring is essential to creating this rebound effect, a missing spring affects the bounce.
A trampoline with fewer springs will have less tension and therefore less elasticity, resulting in weaker bounces that don’t propel you quite as high into the air.
Is it dangerous to use my trampoline with a missing spring?
If your trampoline has a missing spring, it is not so safe to use, but if the spring pad cover is still intact, you might be able to get away with it for one or two more sessions.
The spring pad prevents potential accidents where a child (or even adults) has their limbs stuck in the gap created by the missing spring.
A broken or missing spring can cause the mat to sit unevenly on the frame, adding extra tension to the remaining springs.
When this happens, your bounce will be off, which can lead to serious injuries, which is why, if you sense something is off, you should end the trampoline session right away.
It is important to replace it right away before using the trampoline again.
I recommend having a thorough check of the entire trampoline and replacing all faulty or missing springs as soon as possible so that no one gets hurt.
While it’s not dangerous to use your trampoline without a safety net (as long as you aren’t jumping in a crowded area), it’s always good practice to inspect your trampoline and replace any parts that are broken or worn down.
In addition to looking for loose springs, check the condition of all other parts of the trampoline: bolts and screws should be tight, padded poles should be straight and free from tears in padding, etc.
How to check for damaged springs?
Whenever you discover that one of your springs is missing, it’s worth checking to see if there are any others.
Lift the spring pads all the way around the frame and inspect each spring carefully.
When inspecting each spring, make sure the hook connecting the spring’s end to the trampoline mat is not broken and twisted. Check that the opposite end is the same too.
The spring’s actual coils should be good and tight.
All of the coils should be in contact with one another, with no gaps. If gaps can be seen, the spring has stretched and is no longer in excellent working order.
How can I fix my trampoline with a missing spring?
If you need to replace a spring, it’s important to buy them from the same trampoline manufacturer.
You can’t just purchase any old spring at the store and expect that it will fit onto your trampoline.
If you’re unsure of what length spring you’ll need, measure the broken one or remove it and take it with you to the store.
The best way is actually to contact the manufacturer and let them know your trampoline model and they will be able to advise you about its availabilty.
Sometimes, you might still be under warranty so be sure to give them a buzz.
To replace a spring, use a spring tool (see spring tool alternatives here) to hook one end of the spring (the part where they attach to metal hooks) and pull out the old spring.
Once removed, open up the new spring so that its ends are spread out at an angle and pinched together.
Then place this end into one of its attachment points on your trampoline mat frame.
Again, use your spring tool to connect the new spring to the frame and the jumping mat.
Ensure that there are no loose parts after replacing!
With proper maintenance, trampolines can be fun and safe for the whole family.
Without proper maintenance, jumping on trampolines can turn dangerous.
Make sure to have a trained adult supervise children when using a trampoline and make sure the following safety guidelines are followed:
- Make sure the trampoline is in good condition – no holes or tears in the mat, no missing springs or other pieces, and the frame is secured and strong. If you find any problems, stop using them until they’re repaired
- Keep the springs oiled to prevent squeaking
- Make sure that only one person jumps at a time (learn more about trampoline weight capacity)
- Enclose all outdoor trampolines with sturdy netting
- Place your trampoline on soft ground (do not place it on concrete or asphalt)
- Consider a Springfree trampoline
- Anchor your trampoline to reduce unnecessary movements and from being blown away