The trampoline is a unique and interesting device. For years, it was commonly associated with gymnastics. Few people who weren’t gymnasts ever used them. However, that eventually began to change. They became more accessible, and more people began to use them. While many people use trampolines for recreational purposes, some competitions have sprung up outside of the gymnastics world.
A trampoline consists of both fabric and springs, which are connected to a frame. Even though a lot of the people assume that the fabric itself is elastic, all of the bounce actually comes from the springs. There have been devices similar to the trampoline throughout history. For example, Inuits used to bounce each other using the skin of a walrus. In Europe, people did a similar thing with a blanket. However, at this point in time, no one had built a device that would allow someone to bounce like this on their own.
In the 19th century, devices like this were very popular in the circus. Because they were not available to the general public, circus-goers were very impressed with this stunts. They weren’t constructed with springs; they usually set up something like an acrobats net and bounced on that. The first official trampoline was built in 1936. It was created by two men, Larry Griswold and George Nissen. Unlike some of the devices mentioned above, this was very similar to the models that people use today. Several years later, Nissen and Griswold began manufacturing their invention. In 1942, they started a trampoline company in Iowa. To help sell their jumpers, they began to invent a number of recreational games that people could play on them.
One of the most popular games was known as Spaceball. Two teams lined up on a single, large trampoline. Behind each team was a wall with a target. Each team had to bounce and hit or throw the ball as they tried to reach the other team’s target. This game could only be played in certain kinds of areas.
By World War II, the military had become interested in the practical application of trampolines. The US Navy asked pilots to start using them in their training. It could help people to improve their spatial orientation skills quickly. Some people tried to use the trampoline for competitive sports. Jeff Hennessy worked to put together the United States trampoline team. The sport eventually became a part of the Olympic games in the year 2000. Even though they are a sport of their own, it is commonly associated with other sports. Divers use trampolines, as do gymnasts. The models that people use for recreational purposes aren’t as strong as competitive versions. They also tend to be a different shape; competitive models are usually rectangular. This shape allows people to bounce to higher heights.
In the 50s and 60s, trampolines were so popular that a lot of people began to open parks. Children could come to these parks and bounce to their heart’s content. However, because there were a lot of accidents at these parks, most of them shut down eventually. With that said, there are some parks open today. Today, most people enjoy using them in their own backyard. They are easy to purchase, and they can also be very affordable for families. While injuries do occur, most people know how they can be used safely. There are fewer accidents every year, even though plenty of people are still having fun with these amazing devices.