If you look around long enough on the internet, you will find plenty of people who say that wetting a trampoline will make it bouncier.
And yes, wetting a trampoline will make it bouncier, but why does it make it bouncier? Wetting a trampoline makes it bouncier because it makes the trampoline mat heavier, which in turn means it creates more kinetic energy to bounce you up in the air.
Read on to find out WHY you shouldn’t wet your trampoline or bounce on a wet trampoline.
The science behind a wet trampoline mat
The science behind why a trampoline works starts off with something called Hooke’s law.
According to Brittanica.com:
Hooke’s law, law of elasticity discovered by the English scientist Robert Hooke in 1660, which states that, for relatively small deformations of an object, the displacement or size of the deformation is directly proportional to the deforming force or load. Under these conditions the object returns to its original shape and size upon removal of the load. Elastic behaviour of solids according to Hooke’s law can be explained by the fact that small displacements of their constituent molecules, atoms, or ions from normal positions is also proportional to the force that causes the displacement.https://www.britannica.com/science/Hookes-law
So, how does this relate to trampolines?
It starts with the springs.
When you get on the trampoline, the first thing you do is jump into the air.
Then, thanks to gravity, you come back down onto the trampoline mat.
From there, the trampoline mat will expand towards the ground.
This action (the mat expanding towards the ground) then causes the springs to expand.
According to Hooke’s law, the springs will then return to their original shape, bringing the same force or load that was originally exerted upon it.
This accounts for not only the weight on the person, but also how high they jumped into the air.
So while the springs are returning the same force, that is when the jumper gets thrown into the air.
What does this have to do with a wet trampoline, you might ask?
Well, to start off, the wetness on the trampoline makes the mat heavier.
The most basic part of Hooke’s law deals with the force put on the mat.
And the weight bouncy on the mat has to be taken into account.
So because the trampoline is wet, it is heavier than it usually is.
This means that the force on a wet trampoline is greater.
Then, when you go into the air, the trampoline mat is exerting more force on you than you did on it, since the weight is staying with the trampoline mat.
You then go up higher into the air.
And then the higher you go, the more force you are putting back onto the trampoline mat.
This is why a wet trampoline gives you more bounce.
Be very wary of wet trampolines
So wet trampolines can seem like a pretty fun thing since it typically means you are going higher into the air.
And to a lot of people think this sounds like a ton of fun.
But there are a few things you need to know about a wet trampoline.
First, trampoline mats are typically made of nylon.
And nylon is a type of plastic.
Nylon and plastic, while not the most slippery fabric out there, are pretty slippery by themselves.
That is why it is typically recommended that you take off your shoes and socks before you get on the trampoline.
Not only to keep you from ruining the trampoline but also to keep you and other jumpers safe on the trampoline.
Especially with just socks.
Just socks on a trampoline are worse than socks and shoes on a trampoline.
The same is true when you have a wet trampoline.
The wet combined with the nylon to create an incredibly slippery surface for people to jump on.
And while this could sound like a great amount of fun, it can lead to people getting injured.
A simple jump can lead to that person slipping and either falling onto the ground or landing on the trampoline frame or springs.
If you have more than one person jumping then those two people could end up running into each other, leading to any number of injuries.
And if your kids are dead set on jumping on a wet trampoline, make sure you are either watching them closely so no one gets hurt or that you invest in a safety net so no one goes flying off of the trampoline.
But overall, the best advice is to not jump on a wet trampoline and avoid taking the chance of someone getting hurt.
Will jumping on a wet trampoline ruin it?
In short, jumping on a wet trampoline will not ruin it.
Trampolines are made to be outside.
They are typically made with rust-resistant metal (frame and springs) and the trampoline mat from a nylon mesh that will not get ruined by the wetness.
So having the trampoline outside in the wet will not ruin it.
But again, be cautious when jumping on a wet trampoline, while it will not ruin the trampoline, it could ruin your day or week if someone has to go to the hospital.
What to do with a wet trampoline
The best thing to do with a wet trampoline is to wait for it to dry off.
It could be because you just had a big rain or that the trampoline was in the wrong spot in the yard that day and it got hit with some water from a sprinkler.
Or it’s the first thing in the morning and there is a bunch of dew on it.
But sometimes you can’t help when a trampoline gets wet.
And sometimes your kids are a little impatient.
If that is the case, there are a few things you can do.
The first one would be to get the wet off of the trampoline.
To do this, you have to get underneath the trampoline.
If your trampoline is inground, then you are out of luck, this option isn’t for you.
But if your trampoline is above ground and there are no anchors keeping the trampoline in place, get underneath the trampoline.
Then, make sure no one gets on the trampoline to jump until you are done.
The last thing you want is for someone to jump while you are underneath.
One or both of you would end up hurt.
Next, put the palms of your hands on the underside of the trampoline mat and then lift the trampoline in the air.
Then, throw the trampoline into the air and either lay down on the ground or run out from underneath the trampoline.
The trampoline should then fall to the ground and the weight should knock most of the moisture off of the mat.
If not, do this again a few times until you feel like all of the moisture is off.
Another option is to move the trampoline around so it is in the full sun.
While this option might not get all the water off the trampoline as quickly as your kids would like, it will do the same within an hour or two.
Just make sure the trampoline isn’t put in a place where some shadows will fall on it or not the whole trampoline will be dry.
Lastly, you could use a towel to dry off the trampoline.
Grab a towel (make sure it isn’t the favorite in the house) and take it outside to the trampoline.
Then get onto the trampoline and slowly dry each area of the trampoline as best as you can.
You might also want to try going to the underside of the trampoline and dry off there as well.
This should get rid of most of the water from the trampoline.
But if not, try placing the trampoline in the sun and wait for the sun to do the rest of the job.
How to keep a trampoline dry
There is a way to keep the trampoline dry.
You can purchase a giant tarp.
Take the tarp and place it over the trampoline.
Then get a stake or two and drive those into the ground.
You can then either use some rope and tie it around one end of the tarp and then to the stake.
Or you could loop the tarp around the stake.
This will keep the tarp in place.
Then, when it rains or the sprinklers go off, the trampoline should be protected from the water (the one exception to this being if the sprinkler is right under the trampoline. In that case, you are out of luck unless you move the trampoline)
This way, you can avoid having to do anything to dry off the trampoline.
Having a wet trampoline does in fact make the trampoline bouncier.
But keep in mind that while a wet trampoline can be fun, it can also lead to people get hurt because the trampoline is going to be more slippery.
So try to avoid jumping on a wet trampoline, is possible.
If not possible, do your best to try and dry it off before being used.
This way, you will have a lot happier people at home and a lot fewer people in the hospital.