Trampoline mats are made to flex down when you land and return some of the energy as they bounce back up again, so they flex in both directions.
It’s the same on both sides before you make the material into a trampoline mat unless the manufacturer takes extra steps. Does it matter if you put a trampoline mat on upside down?
It is still safe to use an upside down trampoline mat because it’s one solid sheet of stretchy fabric that’s the same on both sides. However, at the edges where the mat is finished, you may encounter rough stitching that belongs on the underside.
Trampoline Mat Installed Upside Down
Assembling a trampoline yourself can be confusing at first, especially if the mat and springs are all separate with no instructions.
Fortunately, there’s not much to worry about. The springs attach at both ends, but the closed end usually connects to a hook or triangular loop on the mat, and it works regardless of which side you place facing up.
That said, you should still install the mat properly to avoid any issues with the stitching.
Does It Matter If You Put A Trampoline Mat On Upside Down
It doesn’t matter if you put a trampoline mat on upside down in terms of flex and jumping.
The trampoline mat, sometimes called a jumping mat, is made from a sturdy and flexible woven material.
This fabric stretches equally in both directions to catch a jumper and return some energy upward, but it has no right or wrong side in its initial un-stitched state.
The fibers on this rugged canvas-style fabric consist of a combination of two different materials.
First, polyethylene is a plastic used in many products, including quite a few outdoor toys.
The second is nylon which is well known for its stretchability. Together they make a heavy-duty surface that is somewhat weatherproof and completely two-sided.
The only difference when you turn the material into a mat is where it gets stitched.
If you’ve ever looked at the two sides of a piece of clothing with stitching, you’ll know how different they are.
You’ll see a simple row of stitches that look like a line of small, even thread dashes on the outside. Inside there’s a much more complex loop-ladder pattern.
Which Side Of The Trampoline Mat Goes Up
The side of a trampoline mat that goes up is where the stitching is less pronounced. Look for a simple line of stitches such as you’d encounter on the outside of clothing.
The underside should have the matching loop ladder that indicates the back side of a machine-made row of stitching.
Since a lot more of the heavy thread is visible on the reverse side of the mat, this becomes the downside.
Not only is the loop-ladder considered unsightly, but it tends to be looser compared to the ‘correct’ or ‘outside’ stitching.
The slight looseness and wide, complex weave of mat stitching’s backside leaves a rough, though very narrow band around the edge of your trampoline mat, which you’re more likely to scratch yourself on than regular stitches.
How To Put A Rectangle Trampoline Mat On
It’s generally recommended for two or more people to work together assembling a rectangular trampoline mat.
However, one person can do the job if they are careful. Always pay attention to where you place your hands during assembly to avoid accidental injury.
Follow the steps below to put on your trampoline mat.
- Assemble the frame.
- Lay the mat out right side up inside the frame.
- Line it up with the holes.
- Lay out your springs to ensure you have all the pieces.
- Connecting a spring involves hooking the spring over a triangular connection point on the mat or using a hook attached to the mat to secure the looped end of a one-hook spring. Then you connect the other end of the spring to the holes in the frame.
- Connect the four corner springs first using a spring tool. It’s good to wear work gloves and attach one pair of opposite diagonal corners first and then the other set. This usually means connecting two springs at each corner, one on either side of the frame.
- Next, connect only the springs in the center of each row on all four sides.
- Take every other spring and connect it working on opposite sides and corners and moving toward the center, then to the other opposite corner. It’s good to secure the long sides springs first, followed by the short side.
- Once every other spring is connected around the edge, it should be easier to join the rest. It’s still a good idea to start at opposite corners on the long sides and work your way around moving the same direction as your assembly partner until you’ve connected the rest of the springs on two sides. If you are working alone, alternate sides back and forth as you work.
How To Fix Trampoline Pad
There are patch kits designed to fix damage to a trampoline’s outer pad. It’s always best to use the brand-appropriate corresponding patch kit for best results.
Follow these simple steps to make repairs.
- Identify and mark your damaged spot. Chalk works well for this and wipes away easily.
- Cut a piece of the patch that is longer and wider than your hole or tear.
- Make sure the fabric around the damage is clean and dry.
- Apply your patch glue. It’s vital to get an unbroken glue line around the damaged area.
- Place the pad patch over the glue and make sure it is smooth.
- Allow your glue to dry for 1 to 2 days before jumping on the trampoline.
Helpful Tips To Know About If My Trampoline Mat Is Upside Down
An upside down trampoline mat isn’t a huge problem, but you should still reverse it to avoid minor abrasions from the rough stitching on the underside.
You may not even notice anything is wrong at first since the bouncing is the same on either side.
Here are more helpful tips to know about if your trampoline mat is upside down.
- Polyethylene and some nylons are both subject to slow photo degradation so there may also be a later of UV protection on the canvas that makes up a trampoline mat and the ‘downside’ is less likely to be treated to withstand sunlight properly. As The National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information explains, “Photodegradation is the degradation of a photodegradable molecule caused by the absorption of photons, particularly those wavelengths found in sunlight, such as infrared radiation, visible light, and ultraviolet light. However, other forms of electromagnetic radiation can cause photodegradation.”
- When attaching trampoline springs to the mat, the direction of the mat doesn’t matter. However, if you attach the springs from underneath so the hooked end faces up, you could be in for accidents later if the mat flexes and wriggles enough for a spring to drop out the bottom side. This is relatively rare but still possible. Ensure the springs attach to the frame and mat with the hook facing down.
- Trampolines have been around for over a century. Yet the design has changed very little in that time. The mat on a trampoline has always been relatively reversible. According to Madehow “Circus lore has it that a Frenchman named du Trampoline, helped develop the basics of the trampoline as we know it. For years, circus performers had used a net under the trapeze so they could rebound. By developing a system of spring suspensions, the Frenchman, a former trapeze artist, moved trampoline development forward. He adapted safety nets and experimented with spring suspension systems to make the earliest form of the trampoline.”
Assembling outdoor toys properly is important. Luckily if you happen to put the mat on upside down the bounce is exactly the same.
Still, it’s a good idea to take it off and flip it so the stitching is on the bottom. The rough edge of the stitching could accidentally cause an abrasion if you fall on it.
The top surface of the mat doesn’t have the same rough stitching because of how industrial sewing machines form the stitches.
So, while it won’t change the way your trampoline functions at all, it’s still better to put the mat on right side up.