Mathematical Analysis on how Shock Trampoline Parks work
Understanding How Injuries Happen
The most common injuries in trampoline parks occur when a person lands on the trampoline frame rather than the trampoline mat (jumping surface). This is because of the stress on the body caused by sudden deceleration. Landing in the center of a trampoline a person decelerates smoothly as the springs stretch. Landing on the frame a two inch foam pad decelerates the body much more quickly over a much shorter distance.
Ten Foot Example
On a high-performance trampoline it’s easy to reach heights of ten feet or more. For simplicity let's take the example of a ten foot fall onto a padded frame.
As you fall gravity accelerates you at a rate of about 21.94 miles per hour per second. So if you fell for five seconds you would reach a speed of 21.94 x 5 which is 109.7 miles per hour. To get the speed you reach in a ten foot fall we use this equation: Sqrt ( 2 x h x a ) where “h” is the height and “a” is the acceleration. This gives us a speed of about 17.29 miles per hour.
As you can imagine, decelerating from 17.29 MPH to zero in two inches puts a lot of stress on the body. We can measure this stress as G force. One G is equal to decelerating from 21.94 MPH to zero in one second. 21.94 MPH to zero in half a second is two Gs and so on. To get the G force of landing on a two inch pad in a ten foot fall we use this equation:
Deceleration = velocity2 / (distance x 2). We then divide that deceleration by 21.94 (one G) to get the total number of G’s.
In reality a foam pad compresses down to about a quarter inch so you only have about 1.75 inches to decelerate. When you compute the G force of landing on a foam pad after falling ten feet you get about 68.57 G’s.
With a foam pad plus a Shock Trampoline shock absorbing frame you have an extra four inches to decelerate from the shock absorber incorporated within the trampoline framework. In a ten foot fall that brings the G force down to about 20.87 G’s. Compare that to 68.57 G’s with a foam pad alone. Falling from ten feet without the shock absorbing frame you would experience more than three times the shock on impact on a standard trampoline park structure.
This math is oversimplified only taking deceleration distance into account and assuming the deceleration is linear. The question of injury is much more complicated than just deceleration distance for several reasons.
⦁ Because of the ratio between mass and surface area the smaller a person is the less likely he or she is to suffer injury in a fall. A smaller person is also less likely to fully compress the shock absorbers in the Shock Trampoline frame.
⦁ Foam pads do not decelerate evenly so the G force produced in a fall will vary at different points during the compression of the pad.
⦁ The shocks in a Shock Trampoline frame come with a preload meaning it takes a certain amount of energy to get them moving. This means a brief spike in G force during the initial impact. It also means there is a goldilocks zone of maximum effectiveness based on the weight of the person and the distance they are falling.
⦁ There are many ways a person might fall on a frame and this can affect how well the combination of the foam pad and the Shock Trampoline frame absorb impact.
All this complexity aside, having an extra four inches for deceleration greatly reduces the risk of trampoline injuries in the vast majority of circumstances.
Why Choose Shock
Building great products in the trampoline park industry is a difficult skill. Many of our competitors believe they offer superior products, simply because they are their own custom products. But great products are scarce because, there is no formal training to become a great trampoline park designer. The best trampoline designers, however, have developed their skills through trial and error, have years of experience, are passionate about design, are obsessed with the user experience, and strive to stay current with the latest trampoline park safety standards and manufacturing standards. Unlike formal fields where designers often thrive, like engineering or architecture, anyone can offer their own opinion on the design or functionality of a trampoline park because there is no formal training in the industry. As a result, often times, the wrong people are made responsible for building and designing trampoline products.
There is no hard or fast rules to building a great trampoline park product. However, there are principles that must be followed, questions that must be asked, and tools that must be used.
The following list represents some of the most important principles and concepts that we use each time we design and build a new product. Shock has used this list throughout our long journey of building an industry leading product.
1). BUILDING THE RIGHT PRODUCT TAILORED TO THE INDUSTRY AND OPERATOR’S NEEDS
We do not waste time on the details of product features, on the intricacies of technology that we will utilize, or fixing small issues before we are certain that what we are building is exactly what the trampoline park industry needs. Our main priority was to solve the industry’s greatest problem, trampoline injuries sustained from customers landing on trampoline pads overlay steel frames. We also set out to solve issues relating to design deficiencies and park maintenance. With over a decade of experience operating trampoline parks, we have witnessed every possible maintenance issue! From trampoline structure bed rails breaking, welds cracking, to anchors popping. The countless hours we have spent maintaining trampoline park structures, pads, and dealing with common injuries relating to landing on trampoline pads increased our liability. Based on our past experiences, we created a trampoline structure that is easy to maintain for the operators. We over-engineered the structure to provide a worry-free owner and operator experience. We integrated our patented state-of-the-art German shock attenuating system and hinge connection system directly into the trampoline framework to reduce injuries. With our system, operators are able to focus on running their business while simultaneously providing the ultimate safe jumping experience.
2). UNDERSTAND THE PRODUCT’S VALUE PROPOSITION FROM THE OUTSET
How are Shock Trampoline Parks different from what already exists in the market? What are the alternatives? With over a decade of experience operating trampoline parks, we have used the same traditional straight steel structure design that our competitors still use today. The straight steel design first became popular in 1959. However, these structures tended to have a high accident rate and quickly fell out of favor. Based on our experience with straight steel structures, we combined our knowledge and experience into the Shock design to create our unique patented system to solve the industry’s greatest problem. The only alternative design that is currently offered by our competitors in 2020 is a straight steel design that was used in 1959. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE! SHOCK TRAMPOLINE PARKS PROVIDE THE ULTIMATE COMPETITIVE EDGE!
3). PRODUCT TESTING IN THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT
Our goal was to not only build and design an innovative park structure, but also to ensure we build a viable product that is safe enough for us to use for our own customers. All of our Shock structures and products have been tested in real trampoline park and family entertainment centers. The Shock design proved to work in high traffic parks and has exceeded our own expectations. After testing the design in many trampoline parks, we knew it was time to offer this product to other park operators.
4). DESIGN FACTORS
Our competitors ignore the fact that designing a park should always begin from an operator’s point-of-view. The origin of the problem is that most manufacturers have no actual operational experience with trampoline parks. We believe the “Operator Design Assessment” is one of the most important duties a park designer has. We also understand that our operators are paying a premium price for their lease and every square inch matters to maximize ROI. Unlike our cookie-cutter competitors, we custom fabricate each trampoline court to maximize every inch of your building space. As operators, we are well aware of the negative impact that dead space can have on your overhead and bottom line.
The hardest question to answer is usually the first, which surprises many people because it sounds like the easiest. However, if you ask every trampoline park manufacturer what problem their product is intended to solve, you will usually hear a rambling list of features and capabilities, rather than a crisp, clear, and compelling statement of exactly the problem that their product intends to solve. When you ask the right questions, it is clear to see why Shock Trampoline Park Systems and how our trampoline safety standards are different from our competition.
If you're just browsing, doing research, or just curious about Shock and the amazing parks we build all over the world, don't hesitate to reach out. We want to hear all about your next project!