Having a level, horizontal surface on your trampoline mat is essential for safe jumping. Tilted or warped trampolines force jumpers to move toward whichever parts are ‘down,’ leading to more accidents. When the warping is severe, you should never try to jump.
What is the main reason why your trampoline looks like a Pringle? It’s all about pressure, so read on to learn what you need to know to fix it.
The main reason your trampoline looks like a pringle is that it’s bent out of shape. This primarily happens when the pressure isn’t spread evenly around a circular frame due to missing or damaged springs forcing parts of the structure to pull together. However, uneven ground and other pressure-related issues can also cause frame warping and pringle-like distortions.
Why Is My Trampoline Bending
There are numerous reasons why a trampoline bends. From basic installation mistakes to worn-out trampoline mats needing replacement, each has its cause and a unique fix.
The list below contains all the reasons your trampoline may be bending so you can troubleshoot the problem and, hopefully, get it setting flat again.
- Accident-Related Damage – Has your Trampoline blown over or tipped lately? Occam’s Razor tells us that the simplest solution is usually correct. If your trampoline had an accident, it probably caused misalignment or damage that makes the trampoline bend.
- Improper Installation – Most people set up their own trampolines, and with good instructions, it’s not a problem. However, mistakes happen, and a poorly put together frame or misaligned springs can create unusual stresses that cause a bent trampoline.
- Low Quality/Cheap Materials – Quality is essential. Inexpensive trampolines can seem like a great deal, but the savings must come from somewhere. Manufacturers who want to make and sell products cheaply have to find ways to save money themselves, or they’d go out of business. Cutting corners by using inexpensive, less reliable alternative materials is a common tactic. For example, you can replace the steel frame with aluminum, but the softer metal is more likely to bend under pressure.
- Manufacturer Error – Although it’s rare, it’s also possible that your trampoline looks like a pringle because the parts either don’t fit together correctly or were made wrong. With over 500,000 trampolines manufactured and sold each year, there are bound to be one or two mistakes that don’t get caught by quality control before they’re sent out.
- Sagging Mat – Trampoline mats are made to last around 2 years on average. Weather and use eventually cause stretching and sagging, which means the center of the mat will droop. Even if the worn mat doesn’t affect the frame, it can still look like a curved chip, especially on oval-shaped trampolines.
- Spring Wear – Springs provide a lot of the bounce for your trampoline, but because of how they are made, they wear out and break faster than other parts. If your springs on two opposite sides of the trampoline are worn or missing, then you will unintentionally put added stress on the other parts of the frame. The pressure pulling inward will force the spots with good springs to lift upward over time. It would be best if you replaced your trampoline springs every time they show wear, rust, or distortion.
- Uneven Ground – Setting a trampoline on level ground is necessary for safety reasons. Unfortunately, if you happen to choose a spot where the land curves up on two sides of the trampoline, over time, the metal frame will bend to fit the space as you jump and put pressure on the metal. When it happens, the process can be so slow that you don’t notice it for a long time, and by then, the damage has been done.
- Weather Exposure – Weather can damage outdoor trampolines in numerous ways. Too much snow or rain may weigh down the mat, which, in turn, pulls down on the frame. The weight distribution may raise some legs and pull others down.
Can A Bent Trampoline Be Fixed
A bent trampoline can be fixed with the proper knowledge and one tool. You will need a sturdy clamp affixed to a solid, immovable surface to hold the poles in place while you fix them.
However, it’s vital to understand that this is risky because bent trampoline poles are weakened when they bend, so bending them again can further damage the metal’s stability.
You will need patience and good observation skills to ensure your trampoline poles are corrected and safe to use.
If you see any cracks, you’ll need to dispose of the part you’re working with and replace it with a fresh, new piece.
I will also explain how to repair or replace a warped mat so you can fix every part as needed.
How To Fix A Warped Trampoline
When it’s not the poles but the mat that has warped, it’s probably time to replace your bouncing surface.
Unfortunately, there’s usually no other solution, but sometimes you may get lucky, and the place where some of the mat attaches to the springs is off-center, causing a wavy, warped effect.
Always check this first.
When the mat itself is warped, and it’s not from sitting funny on the springs, you’ll need a spring tool and a new mat.
Follow the steps below to replace your mat.
- Begin by picking one spring and detaching it from the mat or frame.
- Then do the same on the opposite side.
- Next, go a quarter turn and detach the third spring and its opposite on the other side. You should have removed springs that are equal distances apart so you could draw a perfect imaginary cross through the center if you connected the detached springs.
- Now remove every other spring, moving around the trampoline.
- Finally, remove the remaining springs and discard the old, warped mat.
- Replace it with a new mat by repeating these steps but attaching springs instead of removing them. The idea is to try to keep the pressure as even as possible on all sides as you work.
How To Fix A Bent Trampoline Pole
When the poles on the frame are bent, you’ll need that clamp.
This process is relatively straightforward, but it’s a good idea to keep an undamaged trampoline pole on hand to compare it, so you get perfect poles as you work.
You’ll be clamping the poles below the warped area and using your strength to pull or push them into the correct form.
The key to this process is to work very slowly and check the length of each pole between smaller re-bends.
Doing this can help prevent additional damage or broken poles. Please plan to spend no less than 3 to 5 minutes on each bar, making incremental adjustments rather than trying to force it back into shape all at once.
How Do You Fix A Bent Trampoline Net Pole
You can use the clamp described above to fix a bent trampoline net pole. However, these poles are often thinner than the frame and more prone to breakage.
Another simple solution is to remove the old broken parts by unscrewing them and replacing them with an electrical conduit or a similar tubular pole of the same diameter as your originals.
Have the hardware store cut poles that measure from the ground to the top of where your net should be.
If you have soft dirt, you can add three inches and put these in like stakes to help with stability as well, but if you live in a windy area, you may want to leave them just ground-to-top-of-net high.
This measurement will vary based on your trampoline model, and you should always measure twice before getting the new poles.
Once your old parts are removed, get your new poles and metal dryer hose clamps. Instead of screwing on poles, you’ll clamp these to the frame using the dryer hose clamps.
Set the clamps a few inches apart and use at least 3 on each pole.
Note that this only works when your net is on the edge of your trampoline, not for those with arched poles or poles inside the springs.
How To Fix Sagging Trampoline Net
Trampoline nets sag for three reasons. First, if the net poles are bent, it will look loose and baggy.
In this case, you need to fix the poles instead of the net, and I recommend the same techniques I described above.
Secondly, your net may be loose because it has sustained some damage. Over time, bouncing may tear Pole connections, or the net itself might have tears, making it unsafe for jumpers.
Fortunately, you can fix this with heavy-duty upholstery thread if the tears are relatively small, or at least in a straight line.
There are many different ways to see by hand. However, I suggest checking out this video from Brian Conceicao because they walk you through the repair process.
A visual aid for a successful repair should help even novice sewers make this easy fix with no sewing machine or special skills needed.
For larger or more jagged holes, you will need to obtain an additional sheet of netting material so you can create patches.
This is similar to what you might do to fix a pair of pants with a hole in it, and you’ll need a larger piece of material than the hole, so it overlaps the undamaged material around the edges by at least 2 inches.
It’s a good idea to double your patches and add one piece of material on the inside and one on the outside.
Doing this will give you a more stable patch once you sew around the hole. For those who have never made a fabric patch before, please see this video from This Little Farmhouse where they show you how to patch denim.
The process is similar for your trampoline netting, except that you may not have an embroidery hoop to fit over the hole.
As I mentioned, it’s a good idea to have net pieces on both sides of the hole for additional stability.
Pro Tip: When fixing a sagging trampoline net by stitching, use large safety pins to hold the tear closed or the patch material in place. Also, note that it is crucial to patch netting with a sturdy, similarly durable net fabric.
Helpful Tips To Know About Why My Trampoline Looks Like A Pringle
No one wants a warped trampoline, but it’s impossible to prevent every trampoline from having issues.
Taking time to set up correctly and conduct regular checks and maintenance on your outdoor toys will increase their lifespan and help you catch problems early when they are still easy to fix.
Here are a few helpful tips to know about why my trampoline looks like a Pringle.
- If you are fixing the connections between a mat and the springs, or the net poles and net where it has loops of material to hold the poles rather than a solid tube, you will need some hand sewing experience. Unlike a simple patch, these connection points are under a lot of stress all the time and making the correct size and style of repair can mean the difference between a safe trampoline and falling out of or through your favorite bouncer.
- When in doubt, replace parts or hire a professional. Trampolines are tons of fun, but they are also dangerous, especially when repaired incorrectly. If you are unsure of your DIY skills, in this case, it’s wiser to simply scrap the bent, warped or broken pieces in favor of new, functional parts.
- If you have aluminum parts on your trampoline that warp, they will be much easier to fix than steel and require less strength or leverage. However, they are also more likely to bend or break in the future than stronger metals.
A trampoline that looks like a pringle may be amusing and tempting to try out, but it’s also 100% not safe to use.
If you see warping on the frame or other parts of your favorite bouncer, please do not jump on it anyway.
Instead, take the time to troubleshoot and see if you can fix it yourself, or hire a professional who can make the repairs for you like a seamstress for sewing or someone who knows about metal and tools to help bend poles back into shape.
While you’re unlikely to find a trampoline specialist, most handy people know how to work a clamp.
A buckled trampoline is no joke, whether from the uneven ground below or the uneven pressures above. Fix it, don’t risk it.