Can You Put a Normal Trampoline in the Ground?

Guide to burying regular trampolines and in ground trampolines

You might have seen on social media the proliferation of trampolines in the ground and started wondering, can you put a normal trampoline in the ground?

You can bury a normal trampoline in the ground, but there are lots of considerations and ultimately, an equal or higher amount of effort required. Beyond that, you will need to figure out how much it costs before deciding if that is what you want to do or simply install an in-ground trampoline instead.

In this post, I have put together a comprehensive guide to discuss burying regular trampolines versus the use of professionally made in-ground trampolines.

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Can you bury a regular trampoline?

The question seems innocent enough. If I can bury my time capsule, surely I can bury my trampoline too right?

Well, yes, you can bury your regular trampoline in the ground, but it is highly likely that it will bring up a host of issues for you to tackle.

The real question then would be are you willing to jump through the hoops to make it happen?

Read on as I share more about putting your normal trampoline into the ground and the challenges you might face.

Factors determining whether you can sink a normal trampoline into the ground

Size of Trampoline

The most significant factor is the size of your trampoline.

Needless to say, your trampoline has to be appropriate for the space you can afford.

If you choose a trampoline that is either too large or too narrow, it may not fit exactly in the available space.

A small trampoline, on the other hand, may restrict the amount of safety space available during your jump.

As a result, the ideal solution is to get the largest trampoline that suits the space you have.

In this manner, you may fully enjoy yourself without the possibility of an accident.

Shape of Trampoline

If you wish to put your trampoline in the ground, the shape and color of your trampoline are vital factors to consider.

I personally prefer a round shape as it is more pleasing to the eye.

To make it fully obvious, make sure the color contrasts with the grass!

Otherwise, someone who isn’t aware of the trampoline may just injure themselves.

Size of Hole

Another important factor in deciding your safety with regards to an in ground trampoline is the hole you dig.

If the hole isn’t deep enough, the trampoline mat will collide with the hard subsurface with each leap.

As a result, the jumper may sustain a significant knee injury.

Make sure that the hole depth is sufficient to keep the trampoline installed at ground level.

Otherwise, burying a trampoline might not be beneficial at all.

Drainage

With a sunken trampoline, drainage is a key concern. To allow water to seep through, make sure the trampoline has a hole or hose.

The lack of sufficient drainage is a fundamental reason why many sunken trampolines are easily ruined.

Rainwater and dew collect on the trampoline surface, rendering it quite useless as a result.

You might also want to consider how you are going to drain away all the water collected beneath the trampoline, such as installing a sump pump. 

Edge Collapse

Only bury a trampoline if you can keep the edges from collapsing.

Otherwise, a heavy jump will easily cause one side of the trampoline to collapse.

It’s also pertinent that you have to think about how to keep the hole’s walls strong and sturdy.

This should not be an issue if your soil is firm but if your soil is sandy, you may need to consider installing a wall support system.

A jumper may be severely injured if the edges collapse.

Airflow

When you put a regular trampoline in the ground, airflow becomes critical.

If there isn’t enough room for air to escape from below the trampoline while people are jumping, the height you can leap on it will be limited.

Installing the trampoline with several inches of clearance will help, but if the trampoline isn’t flush with the ground, small hands or feet can get stuck between the frame and the ground, which can lead to accidents.

How do you put a trampoline in the ground? 6 Steps to follow

1. Measure

Select the area where the trampoline will be placed and spray paint a perimeter around the trampoline that is a few inches larger than the trampoline.

For example, paint a 16-foot circle if your trampoline is 14 feet in diameter.

2. Get the Area Cleared

Before you start digging, make sure the area is free of obstructions.

Municipal governments may provide this as a free service to ensure that people do not mistakenly dig up power lines, fiber optic cables, sewer lines, and other utilities.

You should also make sure that there are no sprinkler lines in the vicinity.

This is a very important step as you might need to place your trampoline elsewhere, but it may not be where you want.

3. Start digging

This is the most time-consuming component, so make sure you have a strategy in place.

It’s always a good idea to hire a landscaper or someone who has experience excavating trampoline holes.

For between $150 and $500, you can usually find someone to dig the hole and cart away the dirt.

If you’re doing it yourself, make sure the hole is slightly larger than the trampoline’s circumference.

If you have a 15-foot trampoline, a 16-foot hole will provide adequate space to work with.

The pit should be deeper in the center and slope gently up to a level ridge on which the trampoline’s legs will be placed all the way around.

An important point to take note of here is your soil.

Knowing the soil type in your location will help you evaluate whether or not you’ll require a drainage system.

Some regions have naturally drained soil that does not require any additional assistance.

Others, on the other hand, have soil that does not. If you have the latter, a sump pump or other drainage system for the trampoline hole is required.

4. Build the wall

You’ll need to build a retaining wall to keep the dirt walls from falling within. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. 

Some people build the wall into the frame, while others build it around the circumference of the entire structure, keeping it distinct from the trampoline to make transporting it for maintenance easier.

This doesn’t have to be a difficult or costly undertaking, regardless of the strategy you use.

Cut-to-size lumber and sheet metal or flexible plastic landscape material will suffice.

5. Drainage

To remove rainwater, install a sump pump or drainage system. If you require a drainage system, now is the time to have one installed.

The majority of homeowners install a sump pump in the hole’s bottom.

6. Installation

It’s now time to put the trampoline in place.

Before you put the springs and mat on, put the frame in first and make sure it’s level.

You may need to make minor adjustments after installing the trampoline, such as backfilling the dirt you dug out around your trampoline.

After you’ve made these adjustments, it’s all systems go and time for a test jump!

How Much Does It Cost To Put A Trampoline In The Ground?

Assuming that you want to get some professional help, here is a breakdown of the cost involved in putting your own trampoline into the ground.

Take note that I did not include the cost of the trampoline itself since that is likely a cost that you already incurred.

And obviously, costs differ from state to state and country to country.

  • Landscaper to dig the hole: $150 – $1000
  • Build retaining wall: $2000 for a 14 foot round trampoline
  • Install sump pump: $1200

How Hard is it to Put a Trampoline in the Ground?

It takes a lot of effort to install a trampoline in the ground. 

The most time-consuming aspect is digging the hole, which typically necessitates the assistance of an expert. 

Heavy machinery (such as a backhoe) will be necessary to complete the job fast. 

It also needs preparation and work to keep the trampoline level and the walls of the hole from crumbling over time.

The project can be completed in a weekend with professional assistance. However, if it’s a one- or two-person DIY project, it’ll probably take longer to complete.

Why should you not sink a normal trampoline into the ground? Sunken trampoline problems

Much less digging

When you start digging, the particles in the ground are compacted, but they expand in volume.

You’ll notice that a hole the size of a trampoline produces a lot of debris. Disposing of this soil can be an additional expense as well as a major hassle.

When constructing a purpose-built in-ground trampoline, there will be roughly 40% less digging, making the process much easier, and there will be less soil to dispose of as well.

When you realize how much earth expands when dug up, you’ll realize the magnitude of this project.

Safer for the jumpers

An above-ground trampoline is specifically made for this purpose.

When you sink one into the ground and remove the net, the pads are joined in such a way that springs may become exposed.

To allow for the height of the trampoline, you’ll need to dig deeper and vertically, and there’s a good chance that soil will fall away over time into the hole, causing your kids to hit the bottom while bouncing, as well as a gap appearing around the edge of the frame where little feet could get trapped.

Furthermore, an above-ground trampoline’s unsteady movement will eventually cause a gap to emerge around the edge, which will only grow with time.

People could trip and small feet could fall through this gap, making it a possible hazard.

Poorer bounce

Another reason to avoid using a regular trampoline as an in-ground variant is that the bounce will be poorer. 

When a trampoline is elevated above the ground, the air beneath the bounce mat can easily escape out the sides, allowing anyone to jump up and down without resistance. 

When you put the trampoline in the ground, the air has nowhere to go and pushes on the jump mat and pads.

This means that even if the trampoline bounced well above ground, it will most likely bounce poorly once it is sunk into the ground.

It also puts strain on the fasteners, resulting in a deafening ‘pad slip’ noise that will drive you insane.

Longevity issues

Regular trampolines appear to survive rain and shine wonderfully above ground.

However, it was not built to be in continual contact with moisture and soil. As a result, once in the ground, they will begin to corrode and rust.

Your standard trampoline’s legs, frame, and springs will rust and degrade over time. You’ll have to repair your springs sooner than you think because they’ll creak and become stiff.

Fortunately, in-ground tramps have rust-resistant steel frames, springs, and poles. If longevity is on your mind, in-ground could be the better option.

Costs too much

When you consider labor, additional soil disposal, and a builder for retaining wall solutions, you will find that purchasing a purpose-built in-ground trampoline kit is more cost-effective.

It also means you won’t go to all that trouble just to discover your trampoline is no longer as bouncy as it once was, and you won’t have to replace rusty springs every season.

Pros and cons of In-ground Trampolines

Pro 1: Safety

The most obvious advantage of burying a trampoline in the ground is increased safety.

It’s crucial to remember, however, that while having a trampoline in the ground provides certain safety benefits, it doesn’t guarantee that the trampoline is fully safe. It is still possible for someone to be injured.

However, the fact that a trampoline in the ground lowers the height to which people can fall if they exit the trampoline is a significant benefit.

Furthermore, having a soft surface around the trampoline, such as padding, grass, pea gravel, sand, or cushioning, can considerably lessen the likelihood of falling accidents.

Pro 2: Better aesthetics

A sunken trampoline can be decorated in a variety of ways.

You can choose the color based on the appearance of your lawn. Similarly, you can choose the finest location for your backyard that complements the surrounding landscaping.

Similarly, some individuals enjoy placing flowers around their sunken trampoline to enhance the attractiveness of their garden.

Pro 3: No damage to your landscaping

Trampolines are known to be unfriendly towards grass.

For one, they weigh quite a fair bit and will certainly damage the areas where their legs stand.

Also, the grass beneath a trampoline is constantly covered which makes it lack sunshine. It is likely you will end up with dead grass over time if the trampoline stays in the same position.

An in ground tramp will not have this problem.

Con 1: Lots of work

Installing an in-ground trampoline is unquestionably more difficult than setting up an above-ground trampoline.

It’s not the simplest solution available, from digging the pit and shoring up the sides to ensuring sure there’s enough airflow.

While this labor may be worthwhile for some, it is simply too much for others.

Con 2: Dirt and pests

Another disadvantage is what gets inside the hole where the trampoline is placed.

Water is a common problem, which is why it’s crucial to have a drainage system in place.

Dirt can also fall away from the sides of the hole if they aren’t adequately shored up, progressively filling up the hole.

Critters can also become trapped beneath the trampoline, and getting them out can be a difficult task, potentially becoming a pest control issue.

This can be mitigated by checking with your local pest control on some basic steps you can take to prevent it from happening.

Con 3: Maintenance

Maintenance is harder because the trampoline is buried in the earth.

Although most trampolines don’t require much care, checking the springs, tightening fasteners, and making sure the trampoline is level is a little more difficult than completing the same maintenance on an above-ground trampoline.

Regular Trampoline vs In-Ground Trampoline

Above and below-ground trampolines are both excellent choices, but your decision will be influenced by cost, safety, yard size, aesthetics, and other variables.

In-ground trampolines, unlike above-ground trampolines, are installed underground.

In comparison, they both necessitate maintenance, and both require you to plan where the equipment will be placed.

This is particularly true with in-ground trampolines, which are difficult to relocate once set up. 

Performance

The appeal of an above-ground trampoline is the jumper’s ability to reach greater heights. Above-ground trampolines tend to bounce higher than in-ground trampolines.

The height of your bounce on an in-ground trampoline is determined by airflow.

Limited airflow can reduce bounce, but by increasing the distance between the trampoline mat and the ground, you can improve bounce (2-4 inches).

Appearances

This can be quite subjective, but I find that an above-ground trampoline is more difficult to integrate into your yard if you’re concerned about aesthetics, especially if your equipment is enormous, bulky, or worn out.

On the other hand, an in-ground trampoline, like an in-ground pool, is easier to integrate into your landscape, merging the jumping surface with your garden. 

I do think it has a high cool factor but that’s just my opinion.

Installation

Trampolines, both above and below ground, need time to set up.

Depending on the trampoline brand and assembly instructions, installation can be arduous.

It’s difficult to install an in-ground trampoline on your own, but a do-it-yourself kit can help.

Still, digging a pit, building a retaining wall around the perimeter of the trampoline, or simply filling it with dirt to hold the trampoline takes more time and effort.

To make matters worse, you may be required to contact your local city office prior to beginning your excavation.

Safety

In-ground trampolines are safer for small children.

Because everything is level, they have more freedom approaching and exiting the trampoline without having to worry about ladders.

Both above and below-ground trampolines, however, pose a danger of injury.

Jumpers can still fall off the trampoline and collide with the ground, resulting in significant injury.

In-ground trampolines also pose the risk of injuring yourself on the hazards that surrounds the trampoline, which is why you should always keep the area clear of obstruction.

In comparison to an above-ground trampoline, the risk of a height-related injury is considerably reduced with an in-ground trampoline.

The springs on both above and below-ground trampolines require a gap, and in-ground trampolines require a gap for optimal ventilation.

As a result, there’s a risk of tripping over gaps or landing/falling on exposed springs.

Another point of note is regarding strong winds. If your area frequently experiences strong winds, an in-ground tramp might be better suited. 

High winds might cause property damage by flipping or blowing your above-ground trampoline away.

In-ground trampolines recommendation

If burying your existing trampoline is too much work for you, there are lots of good in-ground trampolines that can do the job.

Based on suggestions from our group of friends who have installed them, here are a few recommendations:

Avyna Pro-Line Flatlevel 14-ft. In-Ground Trampoline
  • NEW DESIGN – Avyna’s design team solved the problem that have plagued its competitors’ ground-level trampolines – evacuating the air under the trampoline during jumping
  • Avyna’s new jumping surface evacuates the air and jumps the same as Avyna’s excellent “In-Ground” model or Avyna’s above ground models.
  • Avyns's advanced FlatLevel design is the easiest and least expensive to install than any other major ground level trampoline.
  • All Avyna trampolines carry Avyna's Lifetime Frame warranty and the longest component warranties in the industry.
  • Avyna owns its own plant and designs - builds its trampolines to meet tough TUV European safety standards and US ASTM specifications.
BERG Trampoline Champion Inground 17ft with Safety net

On a BERG Champion you jump higher and better than ever! This is due to the TwinSpring springs and the AirFlow jumping mat. This combination ensures less air resistance and a larger jumping surface. Thanks to the thick protective padding and the sturdy frame construction, the trampoline is also super safe.

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Jacob Mackay
Jacob Mackay

Hi, I'm Jacob Mackay. I work as a structural engineer currently based in Tampa, Florida. Trampolines have brought a ton of fun to my family and now I wish to pay it forward through this blog. You will find a trove of well-researched articles that will help you choose the best trampolines, how to use them safely, as well as pick up a few tricks that will impress your friends and family! Connect with me on LinkedIn or learn more about Trampoline Junction!