A lot of people don't know this, but trampolines can be used along with something like a trampoline skateboard bounce board for much more than just jumping around one. In fact, a lot of professional snowboarders, skateboarders, and other extreme sports professionals do a lot of their training on trampolines.
This is the perfect way to learn the ropes of a sport you may be new to, as well as practicing advanced tricks and techniques in a safe, controlled, and comfortable environment before taking them out into the real world.
Practicing on a trampoline is much safer than trying to tackle difficult tricks and techniques on real-life pavement, rails, or half-pipes. Using this type of training technique will help you master the basics so, when you do take them out in public, you can look like a seasoned pro and not have to worry (too much) about embarrassing yourself in front of your friends or onlookers. Oh, and you'll get hurt less. That's always good too.
Ok, so you have a trampoline and you have a snowboard. You might be thinking, "what if I could use my trampoline to practice my snowboarding techniques?" Well, why not?! Snowboard tricks are all about lift and control. What better way to practice in a controlled environment than by using that trampoline in your backyard?
You could go out a buy a trampoline snowboard to practice on, but it may not be necessary if you have these items lying around:
Making your own trampoline is extremely easy if you have these materials. Simply remove the wheels from a skateboard and strip it down to just the deck. Drill four evenly spaced holes at the front and back of the deck. You'll use these to thread some shoelaces through to fashion tiedown's for your feet and, boom! You've got yourself a trampoline snowboard.
There are plenty of videos online that will guide you through this step by step, but the process is very simple and should take you less than an hour.
NOTE: I don't recommend using an actual snowboard because they can cause damage to your trampoline. Stick to a skateboard deck.
If you also happen to be into skateboarding (and who isn't), you may want to practice some of your skateboarding techniques on the trampoline as well. Good news! Remember that trampoline snowboard we just made together? Just take the shoelaces out and, just like that, you've got yourself a trampoline skateboard deck to practice with. Easy, right? Multi-tasking is fun!
Ok, so you've got your practice board made (or you went and bought one), and it's time to start practicing some tricks. If you're new to this, there are some important things to know. Here's a quick checklist for you to think through before you start hitting those tricks:
Once you know you can practice safely, start with some simple tricks to get your feet wet. A few beginner tricks I recommend include:
The few beginner tricks I listed above are just the tip of the iceberg of things you can learn while practicing on the trampoline. Here's a more extensive list of some tricks you might be able to work up to.
This is by no means a complete list of all of the tricks you may be able to learn. There are actually tons of tricks and new techniques are being invented all the time. On top of that, certain things just can't be learned on a trampoline (like grinds, wobbles, etc.) and you'll just have to take those out to the pavement or a half-pipe to learn as safely as possible. But I strongly recommend practicing on a trampoline as much as possible. There's a lot to learn here, so take your time, master one or two tricks at a time, and have fun!
If you prefer having someone teach you rather than figuring all of this out for yourself, you can get training in a few different ways. Some options are free (I personally like free) and others may require you to pay somebody to come help you learn.
There are personal skateboard trainers available for hire, although the availability of somebody that specializes in teaching people to skateboard on a trampoline may depend on where you live. Even if there's not a live person available, there are tons of online resources such as videos, step by step guides, etc. available online.
However you choose to learn, the most important thing is that you have fun and you do it safely.
Alright. So, we've already made a practice trampoline snowboard that can double as a trampoline skateboard. So, if you also happen to be into scooter tricking, why not take it there too? A trampoline scooter is exactly what it sounds like: a scooter that has been specially modified for use on a trampoline to practice your hardcore scooter tricks in a controlled, (mostly) safe environment.
Chances are you're not going to find one of these for purchase. Like, anywhere. I've looked all over and I have yet to find a trampoline scooter that you can buy at any retail or online store, so you're going to have to make one for yourself. Luckily, that's just as easy as making our trampoline snowboard/skateboard.
Alright, so how exactly do we make a practice trampoline scooter? Super simple. Just follow these few steps:
1 - Take any regular scooter.
2 - Remove all of the wheels and any of their connecting pieces from the scooter.
3 - You should be left with just the scooter baseboard, connected to the handlebar.
4 - Wrap the baseboard in duct tape. Make sure there are no sharp edges or corners left uncovered to avoid causing any damage to your trampoline.
And, just like that, you have a trampoline scooter to go along with your trampoline snowboard/skateboard!
Alright, so we've talked a lot so far about how to make your own special snowboards, skateboards, and scooters to use with your trampoline. If you're not into the whole DIY scene, there are plenty of pretty affordable options for you to look at (with the exception of trampoline scooters).
Trampoline bounce boards are great for practicing both snowboard and skateboard tricks and they're typically not very expensive. Just like with anything else though, there are good bounce boards and not-so-good ones, so here's a quick list of some things to look for when you're shopping for a trampoline bounce board of your own:
Make sure you get a board in a good size appropriate for the person that will be using it.
These are just a few things you'll want to look out for. The most important thing, if you're able to, is to try a few out and see what works best for you.
Ok. We've talked about a lot so far, so now let's look at some of my favorite bounce boards that are available for purchase. I've listed three of my favorites for you, but these are by no means the only ones you could consider. As long as you pick something up that's similar to what we're looking at, you should be in good shape.
There's a lot to love in the Bounceboard Classic Extreme Trampoline Board. While the manufacturer doesn't recommend this particular board for beginners, I actually disagree. Because it's designed for more extreme tricks, it's thick construction and durable foam material make it very forgiving when mistakes happen (and they will, for even the most advanced users) and it's extremely durable.
You're going to want that durability, especially while you're learning.
My favorite things about the Bounceboard Classic Extreme Trampoline Board:
Another great option to consider is the NSI Trampoline BOUNCEBOARD Classic. This bounce board is perfect for beginners, thanks to its lightweight foam material. It's great for getting used to the weight of an actual board without being too cumbersome, making it easier for beginners to get their feet wet. It's not quite as durable as some other boards, but this really shouldn't be a problem since you're not going to doing anything too terribly crazy or demanding while you're still learning. Its affordable price means it won't hurt your wallet too much when it's time to upgrade to a more advanced board.
My favorite things about the NSI Trampoline BOUNCEBOARD Classic:
The JumpSport Trampoline Bounceboard is, hands down, one of my favorites. You really can't go wrong here, as a beginner or more advanced trickster. It doesn't have a lot of color or style options to choose from, but it's super affordable and you get a great board for the money.
What I really love about this particular board is it's specifically designed to be slip resistant. That's going to come in handy, especially when you're new.
My favorite things about the JumpSport Trampoline Bounceboard:
As you can see, there's quite a bit to know about using a trampoline and trampoline skateboard bounce board, practice snowboard, or even a custom-made trampoline scooter to practice your technique and perfect even the most difficult of tricks in a controlled environment. I've done my very best to tell you everything you need to know on this topic, but the best knowledge comes from practice, practice, and more practice.
Whether you choose to make a board of your own, take a look at one of my favorite bounce boards, or venture out on your own to see what you like best (really, this is recommended because you may not necessarily like the same things I like), I've hopefully been able to at least give you enough information to set you on the right path.
Above all, have fun and remember to be safe. If you're not feeling 100% confident in your ability to pull off a specific trick, take it back to the trampoline, get your practice board out, and keep practicing until you're feeling good about things.