Trampolines have a habit of taking off in the wind, literally! To keep your trampoline safe, you should use some anchors to keep it secure on the ground.
This article will teach you how to install U-Shaped anchors for a trampoline. These are sometimes called trampoline wind stakes, or even trampoline spikes. If you have winds up to around 40 mph, these U-shaped anchors are a good option.
If you have winds well above this on a regular basis, I’d recommend going with something a bit sturdier, such as corkscrew anchors. Read here for how to secure a trampoline for a storm or hurricane.
What Are U-Shaped Trampoline Anchors?
Trampoline U-shaped anchors are also called wind stakes or trampoline spikes. They are used to hold trampolines to the ground, and help prevent them from blowing away in the wind.
As the name suggests, these anchors are shaped like the letter ‘U’. Good ones are generally galvanized steel , so that they don’t rust in the ground, and are up to 12” long.
You turn them upside down, and push the arms of the U over the leg of the trampoline. You then push them right down into the ground. They ideally then hold the trampoline in place during windy or stormy times.
They only hold the bottom of the trampoline legs. In a big wind, the top of the trampoline frame can come free from the legs if the bolts are corroded, old or even just loose.
Why Are U-Shaped Trampoline Anchors Useful?
U-shaped trampoline anchors are good at holding trampolines in place during moderate winds, up to 35-40 mph. The U-shape sits snug over the round steel leg of the trampoline to hold it in place.
They are fairly economical, and you can generally use a soft mallet or even a hammer to push them into the ground if it is too tough to push them in by hand or by stepping on them.
When Should You NOT Use U-Shaped Trampoline Anchors?
The danger is that in high winds, the safety net acts like a parasail. It gets pushed over by the wind, and this puts pressure on the rest of the trampoline, often lifting the edge of the trampoline frame.
When the wind gets under the trampoline mat, it can then push the trampoline mat as well. Whilst the safety net has a good deal of airflow, a black polypropylene mat is fairly solid, with only 12% of air holes.
Once the trampoline has tilted even a little, and wind is under the mat, more solid trampoline mat catches the wind even more, and can often pull the U-shaped anchors out of the ground.
As they are just pushed in, there is nothing ‘grabbing’ at them or holding them in the soil.
When Do U-Shaped Trampoline Anchors Fail?
These U-shaped trampoline anchors are fine in light winds, but have been known to fail dramatically during gales, big storms or hurricanes.
If you expect winds stronger than 40 mph, you should look at anchors that ‘screw’ into the ground instead. These are called corkscrew or auger-style trampoline anchors. Please read this article if you would like instructions for how to install a corkscrew anchor for your trampoline.
How do you Use them U-Shaped Trampoline Anchors?
I’ll share some step-by-step instructions for how to install your U-shaped trampoline anchors. This should help keep your trampoline safe and secure.
Step 1 – Decide Where You Want Your Trampoline To Go
It’s important to get the placement of your trampoline right. Whilst these anchors will come out of the ground if you need to move the trampoline, it’s far better for it to stay in one place.
Choose a place that has a natural wind break if possible, behind a line of trees, or in the lee of a house, shed or barn. This is one case where prevention is better than cure.
If you take out the U-shaped anchors often to move the trampoline, you’ll find that the holes for the anchor become less firm over time. They’ll be looser as the soil around them compacts, which means they will come out more easily in windy conditions.
There is also a good chance that the U-shape will deform, and start to look more like a V-shaped anchor. As the arms spread, they become almost impossible to get into the ground.
If you want more information to help you decide where to put your trampoline in the yard, click here to read my article on “Perfect Yard Placement for Your Trampoline”.
Step 2 – Lay The U-Shape Trampoline Anchors Out On The Ground
Gather all of your anchors and decide which legs you are going to stake down.
Ideally, you should have between 4-8 wind stakes for a regular sized trampoline. If you have a competition-size trampoline (10 x 17ft), it’s better to go for at least 12 wind stakes. The larger the trampoline mat, the better sail it will make. Although the larger ones are heavier, they have a disproportionate ability to catch the wind.
Put the anchors out around the legs of the trampoline.
If you have a prevailing wind, put slightly more anchors on the side that the wind comes from. Remember, you are trying to prevent the mat from tipping upwards, so you will want to hold that side down more firmly.
You can put two anchors for each leg on the side the wind comes from, and one for the others.
Step 3 – Drive In The First U-Shaped Anchor
Put the anchor over the leg of the trampoline, and off to the side, close to where the leg goes upwards. Angle the arms of the U-shaped anchor so that the arms point inwards under the trampoline.
This angle will make it harder for the wind to pull the stakes out of the ground.
In very soft soil, it might be possible to use your feet to step on the anchor and drive it in. If you can use your foot, it’s a good sign that this isn’t going to be strong enough to stay in during high winds. Use a corkscrew anchor or auger instead.
Use a hammer or sledge hammer to drive them into the ground. Make sure there is no gap between the top of the trampoline leg and the anchor. Even a one inch gap is enough for the wind to lift the trampoline slightly.
Put them in the corner of the legs, as many trampolines have a slight raise in the center. This will make it hard to anchor it firmly against the ground.
Step 4 – Repeat With The Remaining Anchors
On the side that the prevailing wind comes from, be sure to put at least 2 U-shaped anchors. Then go around and put at least one anchor on each of the other legs.
Each time, try to drive the points of the stakes inwards so that they are more secure.
Try not to repeat this too many times, especially in clay soil. The arms of the stakes will deform, and become unusable.
Step 5 – Enjoy Your Trampoline
As your trampoline is now staked to the ground, get the kids back out, and burning off that extra energy!
Our Recommendation for a U-Shaped Anchor Kit
Eurmax Trampolines Stakes Wind Stake 12 Inch Heavy Duty
These are great U-shaped anchors or wind stakes from Eurmax. This company specializes in awnings, canopies, and ways to secure them against the wind. They have engineers on the team who study wind dynamics.
These anchors have a wide arch, and so fit any trampoline with a tube diameter up to 2.8”. Eurmax Trampoline Wind Stakes 12 Inch (Check out their reviews on Amazon).
A Video From Another Reputable Manufacturer
You can see some similar anchors from Skywalker Trampolines here in this video.
U-shaped anchors are a quick and practical to stake your trampoline to the ground. They can help secure your trampoline against light-moderate wind conditions.
You May Also Like:
- For a comprehensive overview, click here to read How To Secure A Trampoline For a Storm or Hurricane
- If you want stronger anchors, try How to Install A Corkscrew Anchor Kit for Your Trampoline
- And if you are on concrete, or in a real hurry, try How To Use Sandbags To Hold Down A Trampoline (With DIY Tips)