You might be wondering if you can put an inground trampoline above ground. Perhaps you’ve moved house, brought your old inground trampoline with you, and found that you don’t have the inclination to dig a hole again. Or you’ve bought a new inground trampoline, and realized that your new yard isn’t suitable for digging a hole as it is filled with cables or rocks.
Generally, you can use an inground trampoline above ground if it has a traditional frame with legs, and the mat is at least 2.5 feet high off the ground. There are some inground trampolines that don’t use traditional legs, or have a lower profile, and these shouldn’t be used above ground.
Let’s go through the ins and outs of using an inground trampoline above ground.
If you already know you want an inground trampoline, check out this article on the best inground trampolines and what makes each one special.
What Makes An Inground Trampoline Unique?
An inground trampoline, is dug into a hole in the ground so that it has a flat or very low profile to the lawn compared to a regular above ground trampoline. Under the inground trampoline, you would put material to help it drain and keep it weed-free.
Inground trampolines generally have a stronger steel frame to help it resist the higher moisture environment of being in the ground. This means that they are a good deal heavier when you try to move it or put it away for winter.
Additionally, to help with air exchange under the trampoline mat in the cavity when you bounce, it also has unique safety padding and mat material to increase air flow.
Finally, it’s more likely that an inground trampoline won’t come with a safety net. It is possible to buy them with some brands, but you generally have to search them out.
Pro tip: if you decide you want to use a safety net with an inground trampoline, put it on BEFORE putting the trampoline in the hole.
Why Would You Want To Use An Inground Trampoline Above Ground?
There may be times when you want to use an inground trampoline above ground.
Your Ground Isn’t Suitable
Perhaps you have purchased an inground trampoline, and realized that the ground is very rocky and difficult to dig out. Or that the utility services have cables and conduits running through your yard, and you can’t dig a big hole where you want.
Digging A Hole Is A Big Job
Or even that you’ve realized what a big job digging the hole is, and that you’d prefer to take a more pragmatic approach to getting the trampoline set up and the kids bouncing on it.
Or it might be the tail end of winter, and the ground is still semi-frozen.
The Kids Want To Do Crazy Parkour
Whilst I would never advocate this for my kids, there are some kids that want to test the limits of their own abilities, as well as the limits of physics itself. Inground trampolines often have a deep generous bounce to compensate for the air exchange factor.
Some intrepid (and foolhardy) kids might want to set the trampoline up so that they can jump from the roof of the shed, onto the trampoline, and then into the pool. For example.
Don’t try this at home kids.
Can You Use An Inground Trampoline Above Ground?
You can generally use an inground trampoline above ground if you have two elements in place.
The first is that the trampoline needs to have suitable legs. Some inground trampolines have frames that are suited to above ground use. However, others are not suitable at all for being placed on the lawn.
The second is, assuming that you have legs for your trampoline, that the legs are suitable. For above ground placement, they need to have a U-shape, and be the right height for bouncing.
This is important enough to expand upon.
Inground Trampolines Need Legs For Above Ground Placement
Some inground trampolines don’t have legs at all. These include the Exit Elegant inground range and the North Trampoline inground range.
These inground trampolines without legs are placed directly over a hole in the ground dug out to the right dimensions. Clearly, these ones can’t be used above ground bouncing. You wouldn’t be able to jump without hitting the ground on either take-off or landing!
The Legs Need To Be The Right Shape
The legs should have a U-shape that sits along the ground, rather than ‘stilt-type’ legs.
Stilt-type legs are generally used on rebounder mini-trampolines (see below) and on some in-ground trampolines. These work on aren’t suitable for outdoor lawn or yard use for larger trampolines. This is because they can sink into the ground in places, and make the trampoline uneven overall.
The U-shaped legs are necessary, as they distribute the force of the bounce throughout multiple points of the ground. This means they are less likely to sink in any one place.
The Legs Need To Be The Right Height
The legs need to be the right height so that the kids don’t hit the ground on either take-off or on landing.
For an inground trampoline, you need to dig the hole down to a certain depth, depending on the size and brand of the trampoline. Be sure to check the exact depth for your trampoline model.
A good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 feet (36”) between the flat mat of the trampoline, and the highest point of the ground under the trampoline.
There are some inground trampolines where you can dig down to only 2’6” in the center, and so these may be suitable if the legs are only 2’6” high. This might be for a smaller diameter trampoline, such as an 8ft or 10ft trampoline.
Do pay special attention to this. If the kids hit the ground under the mat when they bounce, they could end up having an accident.
You can use an inground trampoline above ground if you want to. It will need to have suitable legs, both in terms of shape and height. And remember, because inground trampolines need higher grade steel, they are often heavier and more difficult to move around the lawn.