When I was looking for a trampoline for my kids in Mission: Backyard Adventure, the size and shape of the trampoline, as well as whether it had springs or was springfree, were the main decision points. The price was a consideration, but I had to make sure I was getting the right trampoline for my family first.
A 12ft round trampoline is big enough for 2-3 younger children or 1 older teen. It’s a good size for beginner tricks and some more advanced vertical flips. A 12ft trampoline is too small for doing gymnastics where you need to ‘travel’. An oval 12ft trampoline will have fewer collisions than a round 12ft trampoline, as it has two bounce zones.
Let’s go through the various elements to help you choose, and finish up with some good tips on beginner trampoline tricks and flips.
How Big Is A 12ft Trampoline?
A 12-foot trampoline is around 4 yards across from frame to frame. The entire trampoline has an area of 113 square feet.
The mat is the jump area, and is generally around a foot shorter than the trampoline dimension. If it is a trampoline with springs, these usually come in either 5.5” or 7” long. The trampoline mat on a 12ft trampoline is 12 feet minus (2 x spring length), so will be around 11ft across.
How Big Is A 12ft Round Trampoline Compared To A 10ft Or A 14ft Trampoline?
A 12ft trampoline is 144 inches from frame to frame, whilst a 10ft trampoline is 120 inches and a 14ft trampoline is 168 inches.
A 12ft trampoline has an area of 113 square feet. A 10ft trampoline has an area of 78.5 square feet, whilst a 14ft trampoline has an area of almost 154 square feet.
The mat of a trampoline is the diameter of the frame minus the spring length on both sides of the trampoline. If the springs are around 6” (standard sizes are either 5.5” or 7”), you need to take off 2 of these for one on each side of the mat. This will give you a mat size of 11ft on a 12ft trampoline.
Keep in mind, the longer springs will generally give a better bounce
A 10ft trampoline has a mat size of around 9ft, and a 14ft trampoline has a mat size of around 13ft.
I’ve written another article designed to help you choose the right size trampoline here.
What shapes does a 12ft trampoline come in?
A trampoline described as 12ft can come in a round, oval or rectangle shape.
A round 12ft trampoline is 12ft in diameter, measured from the outside of the frame to the outside of the frame. A round trampoline is good for a single child. There is one bounce zone, right in the center, and a single child can have an absolute blast on this. To get a good bounce, the kid probably needs to be upwards of 8-10 years old. A very young child may not have the weight to get a magnificent bounce.
An oval or rectangle 12ft trampoline can be either 12ft wide or 12ft in length as different companies measure it differently. I would definitely recommend to double check before buying one of these, just in case you end up with one smaller or larger than you desire.
An oval trampoline is great if there’s regularly more than one kid jumping. The shape of the trampoline means that there are two jump zones, one at each end. This means the kids can jump on the trampoline at the same time and be less likely to collide.
A rectangle trampoline is well suited for gymnasts, as the kid can practice a jump routine from one corner to the other. A standard gymnast trampoline is 17’ by 10’, so a 12ft long trampoline isn’t quite big enough to do many of the standard routines. A rectangle trampoline is also good for 2-3+ kids as they don’t really have jump zones in the same way as the round or oval trampolines. The rectangle frame gives a great deal of strength to the structure.
How Much Weight Can A 12ft Trampoline Hold?
How much weight a trampoline can hold is dependent on the quality of the steel frame, the type of springs it has, and what the manufacturer has tested it for.
I’m going to focus on round trampolines here, as the oval and rectangle sizes vary so much.
12ft trampolines have quite a wide range for the recommended user weight, being reported as from 200 lbs to 450 lbs.
For some examples, a good quality round 12ft trampoline, such as a Skywalker, has a recommended maximum user weight of 200 lbs. Zupapa is also reputable, and has a recommended maximum user weight of 425 lbs for a 12ft trampoline. Another brand sold on Amazon with good user ratings, ORCC, has a recommended user weight of 450 lbs for their 12ft trampoline.
If you think you’ll be jumping on the trampoline with the kids, you may want to consider one with a higher weight rating.
Is A 12ft Trampoline Bouncy Enough?
A 12ft trampoline, especially a round one, is bouncy enough for a child from 8 or 9 years old, and super bouncy for a teen.
Even younger kids will be able to get a really fun run around, with a nice bouncy feel under their feet. It is unlikely that they will be able to bounce their own height above the trampoline, as the mat is taut, and their small weight won’t be enough to make a serious dent.
Older kids, such as tweens or teens, will find the bounce good enough for vertical flips and a fair few tricks.
If your kids are truly mad about trampolining, you’ll probably want to opt for a bigger trampoline, such as a 14ft or 15ft one, and you’ll probably also start to skew toward a rectangle one.
If your kids just want to mess around with friends and show off a bit, an oval trampoline will be fine. It will give them the space they need and it looks very modern. If they have aspirations towards gymnastic trampolining, the rectangle is the better shape, as they’ll be able to use the corners as part of their routines.
Constraints Of A 12ft Trampoline
Before getting a 12ft trampoline for your yard, consider if you have enough room.
You’ll want to have at least a yard clear around each side of the trampoline. This means that there will be an open space of at least 18ft across in every direction where you want to place the trampoline.
Kids have a tendency to run at the net, or bounce against it accidentally. You don’t want a brick wall breaking an arm or tree branches poking their faces.
You’ll also want to check for overhanging branches.
And it might seem obvious, but the trampoline shouldn’t be beside a pool, and especially not beside the shallow end of a pool.
For the full outline of where to put a trampoline in your yard, check out this article Where To Put A Trampoline In The Yard: 7 Rules for Perfect Trampoline Placement.
What Can You Do On A 12ft Trampoline?
The first skills your kids need to develop on a trampoline is balance. This is great for their core muscle strength and general motor skills.
They should be able to walk in a circle halfway around the trampoline, turn suddenly and not fall over.
Start by jumping gently. You can help them with this by showing them how to bend their legs slightly, then jump up by straightening their legs and pushing up with their toes. Suggest that they use their arms to balance and to help with the lift.
Simple Beginner Tricks for a 12ft Trampoline
Tricks on a 12ft round trampoline are best done vertically. You can do simple tricks to get started, and work your way up to flips.
Whilst these instructions below are good, do check out the YouTube videos to see how they are done in action. All care and no responsibility for any accidents from Go Forth Kids!!
For all of the jumps below, start with a few jumps in the air first to build some height and momentum.
A tuck jump is where you jump vertically, and tuck your knees up to your chin, and straighten your legs again before you land.
This is a great trick to learn, as it requires good vertical jumping with no big movements off to the side. It will help your balance and jump direction, as well as help you understand how fast you have to move once in the air.
A spin jump is where you jump up in the air, and spin around like a spinning top, and land again on your feet. For the early spin jumps, it’s easy to lose your balance, so don’t jump too high to get started!
It’s fairly easy to start with a 180 degree jump. This means you start off looking in one direction, jump in the air, turn around to face the opposite direction, then land again.
The next one is a 360 degree jump. Here you will jump up in the air, spin around so that you are facing the same direction as when you started. You’ll want to find a spot on the horizon that you can fix your gaze on. As you jump and start to spin around, try to keep look at that spot for as long as you can. Keep spinning, and when you can’t keep looking at the spot any longer, whip your head around so that you can find it and lock your gaze onto it again.
Kids who love spins will quickly progress to 540 degrees or 720 degrees (two full turns). There are even kids who somehow manage 1080 degrees, or three full turns without falling over.
The knee drop is fun. It makes you feel like you are really doing a trick.
Do a simple jump in the air, and then fall to your knees. The bounce should help you jump straight up again onto your feet. If you can’t get up to standing from the knee drop easily, you might need to get a bit more bounce up before you fall to your knees.
The seat drop is really fun. Don’t tell your kids that it feels more dramatic than it looks. When you’re doing this trick, it feels super fancy.
You do a jump in the air, it doesn’t have to be very big, and then put your legs out in front of you. You’ll sit on your bottom on the trampoline, and then bounce back up to your feet. You can use your hands to help push you up again as you sit.
You can do this several times in a row. You’ll quickly learn if you have got good balance. If you don’t, you’ll quickly start to fall sideways!
This is a good start to gaining co-ordination and practicing moving your body in the air. Here you jump fairly high in the air and then bring your arms and legs together in front of you.
As you jump up in the air, you look straight ahead, and bring your legs up straight out in front of you. Your arms also move forward, staying straight. As you reach the peak of your bounce, you reach out to try to touch your toes. You’ll start to descend, and straighten up so that you are back in the regular jumping position.
A 12ft trampoline is big enough for a couple of younger kids or one older kid. You can do some cool beginner tricks on a 12ft trampoline. If you have multiple older kids, or you know your younger kids are growing quickly, you might want to look at a 14ft or 15ft oval trampoline where you can have multiple kids in different jump zones.