A wet trampoline looks super attractive to kids to jump on. It might be after a simple sun shower or days of rain, but there is something about the glistening surface that seems to call to kids during warm days.
You can jump on a wet trampoline, but you should be careful. Jumping on a wet trampoline won’t damage the trampoline, but it isn’t very safe for you or the kids. If you jump on a wet trampoline, you should have a safety net. Don’t jump on a wet trampoline with lightning about due to risk of electrocution.
Let me explain what we know about jumping on wet trampolines below.
When Will a Trampoline Get Wet?
Trampolines get wet after as it rains, and as the snow melts. They will also get wet from lawn and yard sprinklers. Every now and then, on super hot days, you’ll find that someone (such as myself) will hold a garden hose so that it sprays on the kids as they bounce on the trampoline.
Regular yard trampolines are designed for outdoor use, and so the manufacturers design them to be able to withstand all sorts of weather and situations. The frame and springs should be galvanized and protected from rust, the mat is made of a weatherproof plastic, and the safety net is also a type of plastic. The only thing that will deteriorate relatively quickly in the rain are the safety pads that cover the springs.
Is Bouncing On a Wet Trampoline Safe?
It is not very safe to bounce on a wet trampoline, although it is a lot of fun. It’s not safe because you will end up slipping and sliding on the plastic of the mat.
As the trampoline mat is effectively weatherproof plastic, the water forms a thin layer above the mat. You’ll see it either as small drops or a shallow pool of water. If you come down directly onto it, then you will just bounce straight up again. Sprays of water drops will go everywhere, adding to the joy.
However, if you bounce at a slight angle, you will hit the thin water layer at that oblique angle, and it is likely to have a sluicing action. This means you will slip and slide slightly, before you jump back up again. This sliding action means that you will end up in a different place to what you expected.
If you don’t have a safety net, you could end up bouncing off the trampoline very easily. You’re also more likely to slip over and land in the puddle on the mat. But, then again, that’s probably what makes it so much more fun!
Does a Wet Trampoline Bounce Higher, And Why?
Many kids who bounce on wet trampolines say that they can jump at least a foot higher. There seem to be a couple of hypotheses as to why this might be the case.
The first hypothesis is that it is just a perception bias. The change in angles means that kids might be perceiving themselves to be bouncing higher. It might even be that the water on the trampoline does a miniature second ‘bounce’ from the weight of the water drops whilst the kid is in the air, causing it to appear to be further away.
The second hypothesis is that you really do bounce higher on a wet trampoline. This might be due to evaporation cooling the trampoline down. When the trampoline mat moves through space, the water on the mat evaporates, which then cools the mat down. The air takes the warmth from the trampoline mat along with the water that evaporates from it.
When the mat is colder, it will be less elastic. This slight difference in elasticity means that the colder mat now wants to return to its original shape as quickly as possible. It will then give a sharper rebound as it snaps back in shape. This means that it forces the kid bouncing on the trampoline up in the air faster, giving a higher bounce.
As far as I could tell, this latter theory hasn’t been scientifically tested, but it certainly sounds plausible.
If you want to see more about this, I wrote another article you should check out: How Does A Trampoline Work And How To Make It Bouncier.
Can I Jump On A Trampoline In Wet Weather?
You can definitely jump on a trampoline in rainy wet weather but not in an electrical storm or a thunderstorm where there is a risk of electrocution.
When it’s raining, the trampoline will be wet. The wet trampoline mat is a safety hazard as it becomes more slippery.
But when there is lightning about, such as in an electrical storm, or a thunderstorm, the metal in the safety net can act as an earthing conductor. The electricity will come down the metal poles, and can come through the conductive water on the trampoline mat. You will also find it difficult to get off the trampoline without touching the metal frame or ladder.
Jumping on a wet trampoline either from rain, a sprinkler or garden hose, can be a lot of fun, but it also is more hazardous than normal as you will slip and slide on the wet plastic mat. For this reason, you should always have a safety net in place. Never jump on a trampoline when lightning is about.