The surface area of the mat and the net makes the trampoline susceptible to high winds, the trampoline can become airborne and move uncontrollably and cause major damage to itself or anything in its path. As an example trampolines can become airborne and become entangled in power lines creating secondary hazards. Storms come and go at random, if you haven't prepared prior to a storm then its usually too late!
Here are some suggestions on how to prepare: Prevention is the best form of protection.
How to Secure a Trampoline in High Wind Areas
Trampolines tend to fly away more these days than they ever used to. This is a result of having a bigger mat surface area, generally having padding secured over the springs so less wind able to escape through the springs and even more frequently having a net enclosure as well which is almost as good as a sail!
There are some different anchor kits available but they tend to be made of flimsy materials and really not designed to hold big trampolines in the high wind open plain areas across Australia. We have tried some of these and found they were just not strong enough.
Our suggestion below has been proven to work over a number of years in resisting high winds (not tested in a cyclone though!).
We suggest securing your trampoline to survive in most winds;
or do the following at home yourself.
Purchase some metal star droppers (also know as star pickets) and safety caps from a hardware store. Also purchase some strong, quality trailer/motorbike ratchet straps to match the number of pickets you have. You will need to attach the strap to the end of the dropper so you may need some clips as well to go in the holes of the droppers, this makes it easy for the straps to be removed and easier to mow. You may need to drill a bigger hole in the end of the dropper so check how everything will attach before driving the dropper into the ground. Place the dropper on the inside of the frame e.g. approx 400mm from the inside of the frame and drive into the ground on an angle (similar to how you would place a tent peg), do this so the top of the dropper is just above ground level. Attach the ratchet strap from the top of the frame (near a leg/frame junction) and down to the top of the dropper, use firm but not excessive tension on the strap. Evenly space the droppers for a balanced effect. Placing the dropper on the inside of the frame avoids introducing a tripping hazard while at the same time keeps everyone away from the main jumping zone to also avoid another unlikely but potential hazard if someone was jumping and a mat somehow fails.
What length dropper should I buy? This depends on the compactness of the soil you have, tight soils like clay will only need 400-450mm long, loose soils like sand or constantly damp soils may need a full length dropper.
How many droppers will I need? This depends on the size of your trampoline, how exposed to high winds the trampoline will be and also how tight your soil is, as a starting point you should consider about 3 droppers/strap assemblies for 8 & 10ft Trampolines and 4 for every other size.
Any other items to consider? Yes, anything driven into the ground needs to be clear of any utility services e.g. water, sewage, gas, telecommunications and electrical services.
- Often people will secure the trampoline with railway sleepers and concrete over the trampoline legs, this may hold the trampoline in many cases but all too often the trampoline will breakaway from the legs and fly away. If you anchor the base of the legs it also puts more strain on the frame leg joints, this is because the "stress" of the jump is taken out through to the frame and sometimes the slight movement helps dissipates this. By securing from the top of frame you are supporting it at the strongest anchor point.
- Please note this will certainly hold in many of the high winds you are likely to encounter, but extreme weather conditions will challenge anything!
- If your frame has any bolts or screws holding the frame and or the legs together then we also suggest that you regularly check these that they are all there and secure. This will also keep your trampoline strong and more likely to hold up to high winds.
- When known winds are coming ensure any objects that could fly into your trampoline and damage it are secure as well. Overhead tree branches also do a lot of damage to trampolines!
- There are no guarantees of what can happen in high winds but we have heard insurance companies are more likely to be obliging to cover if you have a suitable policy.