How Did Trampolines Come to Be?

Jun / 02 / 2020

You’d like to know more about the history of the trampoline? Would you like to have some interesting facts up your sleeve for a family visit to a trampoline park? Would the fact that astronauts use trampolines help you out? Or that trampolines are great for your kid’s development? Yes, trampolining is beneficial for toddlers, too!

Or are you just trying to read an interesting tidbit or two while trying to decide what the best trampoline park for your family is? Whatever your reasons, here’s a brief history of the trampoline for you. You should know why we have an indoor trampoline in Peoria, AZ now.

Who invented the trampoline and why?

Have you ever heard of George Nissen? We don’t blame you if you haven’t. Not exactly a household name. But perhaps it should be? In our opinion, everybody should know the name of the person who’s brought so much joy into our lives.

It was Geroge who created what we now call a trampoline. You see, he was 16, visiting a circus in Cedar Rapids, watching performers fall into the safety net upon finishing their acts, and started wondering if it would be possible for them to continue their act by bouncing some more instead of simply falling into the net.

And that was the moment of inception. The year was 1930, and the world would soon get a new novelty that would, almost immediately, begin to captivate the young and the old alike. Jumping up and down on trampolines provides the ever so precious moment of unadulterated freedom, and it is something all of us covet to experience, at least once.

George created the first prototype with his friend Larry Griswold in 1934 using rubber springs and a canvas bed. A gymnast himself, he would soon discover its potential for competitive use in sports, as well as an engaging pastime activity for everybody else. The 75-year patent arrived in 1945, and the world felt a slight shift.

As for the why – Nissan was looking for a way to improve his own training regime, and he was constantly on the lookout for ideas on how to do so. That was when he got the idea for a trampoline. He wanted to improve his training, and he ended up improving our lives.

How did the trampoline get its name?

The story of how the trampoline got its name is also an interesting one, as it has nothing to do with the English language if you can imagine that. OK, it has a bit to do with English, but only a tiny bit.

Nissen, apart from being a gymnast, was also a member of his high school’s diving team. He continued diving in later life too, and it was 1937 when he and his teammates found themselves in Mexico, performing their act the Three Leonardos.

It was in Mexico that George got the idea to name his new contraption “trampoline”. The Spanish term for a diving board is el tramplin. Nissen simply added the “e”, thus coming up for the name of his invention.

What was the first trampoline park?

Who invented the trampoline and why?There are currently over 600 trampoline parks all over the United States at this point. A whole lot of fun to go around, it would seem. But, it all had to start somewhere, at a certain point in the past, right?

Well, it might be interesting to know that the first trampoline park in the world was also opened in the US, in 2004. The company Sky Zone had a brainwave, which probably sounded something like “OK, kids love jumping about, why not open a trampoline park?”. OK, this is our interpretation of the events we were not witnesses to.

From there, trampoline parks spread throughout the world, all over the planet, with over 1,500 in many different countries. Because of that, Sky Zone is now a massive company, and trampoline parks are available to many people, which is a total win-win.

When did trampolines become popular?

You could say that trampolines became popular immediately after their invention, or, at least, shortly after. Whoever saw one wanted to get on and jump up and down as much as possible. It just looked awfully cool and felt equally good.

However, the true expansion of the popularity of trampolines started in the 1950s, when there were dedicated “jump centers” at every gas station in the US. Parents would allow their kids to have a go on a trampoline while they took care of other things.

That peak in popularity lasted for some 30 years, with a decline afterward. The popularity came back after the year 2000 when trampolining became an Olympic sport, and it would continue to rise ever since.

“What’s the best indoor trampoline place in Peoria, AZ?”

If you’d like to give trampolining a go in Peoria, you should only ever do it at Uptown Jungle – the best spot for all things trampoline-related. We offer fun galore, and you will never get bored at Uptown Jungle. If you’ve ever visited Sahuaro Ranch, you might have passed near our place. Perhaps you didn’t know then, but you do know – Uptown Jungle is “the” place for trampolining!

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