Why are rectangle trampolines more expensive than round trampolines?
You have noticed while researching and shopping for a trampoline, that the rectangle trampolines of any brand are more expensive than their equivalent sized round and same brand counterparts.
So why is this so?
Understanding trampoline frames and “planned obsolescence”
- There are substandard trampolines and quality trampolines in the Australian market today and just to the casual eye they can all appear to be the same.
- However, there are many differences and improvements, with some information we will give you the knowledge you need to be sure you compare apples with apples.
- When it comes to trampoline safety nets and pads, it can be a little easier to detect if quality materials are used, or not, by being able to look, touch and feel. (For the purpose and clarity of this article we will stick with just discussing the quality and thickness of the trampoline frame and not the other consumable parts)
How can you tell, what is a better trampoline frame over the next one?
- It is a little trickier to see the frame as it is somewhat covered by the padding and netting etc.
- But the frame is the main structural part of the trampoline and you want to know you have the bones that will last and keep your family safe.
To discuss Trampoline frames we need to cover a little history with you.
- In the early days of trampolines when they were all rectangle, as with anything made 50-60 years ago they were made to last.
- Trampoline frames sold in Australia were made of thick quality Australian steel and were of a thick steel diameter as well.
- They were properly double galvanised to last for 30+ years. (We all know Aussie Steel is of some of the best in the world)
- However, the rectangle trampolines were expensive and generally outside the budget of the average; middle-income family.
- As I reflect upon this, I only recall one family who had a rectangle trampoline other than us and I know my father bought ours second hand. (it lasted through my childhood and our children used it until only 8 years ago when we gave it away when we moved house – it may still be in use?)
Understanding planned obsolescence
- Since the 1960s there has been a culture to give products a shorter life, simply for the reason, products with long lives aren’t good for the economy. (As a parent and consumer, I find the short life culture of items, very frustrating and overall expensive – from socks to washing machines!)
- The economic term is “planned obsolescence” or “built-in obsolescence”
- "In, industrial design and economics, it is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete , that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time.  The rationale behind the strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases (referred to as “shortening the replacement cycle”) Wikipedia"
Why the huge shift to round trampolines?
- Round trampolines were introduced to the marketplace some 20 years ago in 1996 when Jump-sport in America developed the trampoline safety net.
- They were imported from China; predominantly introduced by department stores and on the whole, while affordable; did quickly establish a reputation of being made of poor steel and thickness that didn’t last.
- This seems to have become a bigger issue with Australians than it is with the Americans.
- Australians as a nation are very savvy consumers and justifiably so, do expect affordable, quality trampolines.
- Round trampolines by their curved and circular shape do have a strength within the shape that rectangle trampolines do lack by having long straight sides and therefore round trampolines can get away with thinner steel.
- A rectangle trampoline has at least 2.5 mm thick steel and of a diameter of 5-6 cm.
- Round trampolines came out with steel as thin as 1.2 mm and frame tubing 2.5 cm – 3 cm in diameter and
- They had lower load ratings than the rectangle trampolines but still, the springs would (in a very short time with say 50 kg on them regularly); quickly begin to wear away at the frame and tear through, if this didn’t happen then they soon rusted through in addition to poor quality galvanising.
- The round trampolines would regularly either collapse with not much weight or fold up like a taco especially if the netting had been removed.
- For many consumers, replacing a trampoline every 2 years wasn’t a problem; for others, however, be it the time to reassemble, the transferring of materials to landfill or how ugly the trampoline soon looked all have contributed to consumer demands for better quality trampolines.
How can you be sure you are comparing materials properly
- So before buying a trampoline and while comparing one trampoline against another - be sure the supplier has their specification sheet available online, to see how thick the frame tube is, and the thickness of the steel itself.
- You will find our specifications on each of our trampoline product pages, under the photos, a blue Tab that says “Specification”
There are even more reasons for rectangle trampolines to be more expensive than round.
- Additionally, the round trampoline parts will tessellate better in a carton
- To keep the integrity of a rectangle trampoline the corners need to be a certain length in each direction for each trampoline size.
- With this additional difference, it equates to not only the steel variance but bulkier packaging as well,
- Resulting in a significant difference in overall freight costs.
- As an example we can fit say 100 x 14ft round trampolines in a container but of the equivalent size in rectangle trampolines we can only fit 70 x 9x14 ft and once in our warehouse the 14 ft trampolines will fit on significantly fewer pallets but the rectangle trampolines being heavier can't be stacked a high and take up more warehousing more pallets as well.
The further benefits of a rectangle over round
- A rectangle trampoline is stronger when made correctly - be aware not all rectangle trampolines are.
- Will last much longer and not rust through as fast purely based on the metal thickness.
- Read more on the comparison of Round VS Rectangle Trampoline
- We work hard with our factory in China to continue to improve our trampolines.
- Our factory finds us most unusual, compared to other importers they work with globally, as we focus on quality over anything else.
- With all this information you are now much more informed and will be able to shop for your trampoline with greater confidence knowing what to look out for and why.
- Scroll down to see further reading on other consumable parts.
- If you do have any further questions please feel free to message here and ask or phone (03) 5292 1100