Can You Put A Normal Trampoline In The Ground?

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In-ground trampolines are becoming all the rage and can be seen popping up in family yards across the country. They provide all the fun and exercise benefits of a traditional above-ground trampoline but don’t obscure your view in the process.

Yes, these innovative and cool garden accessories are aesthetically pleasing, space-saving, and also very safe. 

You no longer have to worry about your kids falling to the ground from a great height because these beauties bring all the bouncing back to ground level.

In fact, they are so ingenious that you might be tempted to just dig a hole and insert your normal trampoline into the ground.

The kids will love it, you’ll be upcycling and you’ll save money in the process. Sounds great, right? Wrong!

Attempting to insert an above-ground trampoline into the ground will cause you far more hassle than you realize and will give you a substandard result.

It is much better to buy an in-ground trampoline that has been specifically designed to sit in the soil, trust us! Here are just a few of the reasons why…

1. You’ll Dig Yourself Into A Terrible Hole

Installing a regular trampoline into the ground would require A LOT of digging. And that would generate a lot of soil to dispose of.

Hiring a laborer to dig for you will be costly, and doing the work yourself will be time-consuming and arduous. What is more, the soil expands once it has been dug up – no joke.

Note: I do not recommend installing an in-ground trampoline yourself, even ones built for that purpose. Do yourself a favor, and hire an experienced contractor.

The particles in the ground are tightly compacted, but they grow in volume when you start to dig. You will find that one trampoline-sized hole creates many bags of waste and debris. Disposing of this soil can also be an added cost and a great deal of inconvenience.

Due to their specialized design, in-ground trampolines actually require 40% less manual digging than their above-ground cousins and create 40% less soil to dispose of, too.

2. You’ll End Up With A Pile Of Problems

The second reason is that your hole will lack structural integrity. Let’s say you go ahead and dig a hole that is deep enough to hold your above-ground trampoline, the verticality of those walls will be very tricky to make safe.

Unless you are willing to reinforce the walls with brick or stone, there is a high chance that dirt will gradually fall into the well of the hole and begin to pile up.

As this pile grows it will become a hazard because your kids will hit the bottom when they jump. Hitting the bottom could cause them serious injury, which would not be fun at all. 

What is more, the wobbly movement of an above-ground trampoline will eventually cause a gap to appear around the edge which will only increase with time. This gap could be a potential hazard – people can trip and little feet can fall through.

On the other hand, In-ground trampolines have a containing wall to prevent dirt from falling and collecting in the central hole. Their design also allows the frame to sit snugly on the ground to prevent gaps.

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3. You’ll Get Less Bounce For Your Buck

The third reason not to use a normal trampoline as an in-ground version is that it will not produce a very good bounce.

When a normal trampoline is above the ground, air beneath the bounce mat can escape easily out the sides, meaning that kids can jump up and down without experiencing any resistance. 

However, once planted in the ground, the air will become trapped beneath the bounce mat and prevent it from compressing as far. You will feel the trampoline is stiffer and more restricted as you jump. You also won’t be able to jump as high as you could.

This can feel really frustrating and disappointing for them. Things will be even worse for you. Since the trampoline pads will likely begin to wheeze and squeak in order to expel air, and this can be very annoying!

By contrast, in-ground trampolines have vented mats so that air can escape (soundlessly) through the mesh and the pads, and kids get a bigger, better bounce.

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4. Your Old Trampoline Is Looking Rusty

The fourth reason not to put a normal trampoline in the ground is longevity. Above ground, trampolines seem to withstand rain and shine pretty well.

However, the parts of your above-ground trampoline were not designed to be in constant contact with moisture and soil. As a result, they will start to corrode and rust once in the ground.

The legs, frame, and springs of your regular trampoline will begin to rust and weaken. Your springs will squeak and become stiff and you will have to replace them sooner than you’d expect.

Luckily, in-ground tramps have treated steel frames, springs, and poles that won’t rust (even when left in the ground for years).

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the cons of turning your normal trampoline into an in-ground version far outweigh the pros.

While you may (think you will) save money by reusing an old trampoline, it’s not worth it. You will pay back in labor costs, soil disposal costs, and continued maintenance and repair work.

Actually, it will be cheaper to buy a proper in-ground trampoline kit in the long run. It will also save you time and effort. 

What is more, the final result will be far more satisfactory since the trampoline will be very springy and robust.

Rather than disappointing your kids with a wonky trampoline that doesn’t seem to bounce well, invest in the real deal. You’ll be amazed how much they love it!

Your kids will be able to play without fear of falling from a height. Plus, you will be able to look out at your garden without a massive trampoline blocking your view.

And who knows, you might even be tempted to have a bounce yourself!