After purchasing a trampoline for your yard, one of the most important decisions is deciding where to put it! It could be an easy task for you if you’re lucky enough to have a flat and level yard. However, a yard with a slope, even slight, could mean that you have a project ahead of you.
Before placing a trampoline, its setting needs to be level! For stability and safety, this is a required step. And it’s very possible! So, even if your yard is uneven or hilly, you can still consider a trampoline in your backyard by following the proper steps.
This how-to guide will take you step by step through installing your trampoline on a sloped surface. Read through the article to understand the project before getting started. Keep in mind that this task is simple, but will take some time. Get your kids out there to help you with the shoveling, and remind them that they’ll be bouncing in no time!
Step-by-Step: How to Level Your Yard For a Trampoline
For the safest play setting, a trampoline needs to be perfectly level. If not, jumpers may drift to one edge, increasing the risk of falls. It could also warp your frame or cause excess wear to your jumping mat.
Leveling your trampoline site is a necessity! For jumping to be effective, fun, and safe, that mat must be fully horizontal. There are a few steps to complete before breaking ground, so read on!
There are two basic ways to level a trampoline: lower one side or lift the other. Which process you choose depends on your unique yard and trampoline size.
Lower one side: The gist of this project includes digging a trench on the high-hill side of your trampoline to achieve a level jumping surface.
Lift one side: lifting an edge of your trampoline is a simpler project, using leveling blocks. Though easier, it is not as sturdy as lowering one side.
You will stack blocks on the low side of the trampoline, under the legs, until a stable level is achieved. Next, you’ll secure the blocks to the legs via zip-tie or industrial Velcro strap.
Supplies You Need
Gather the following supplies, paying attention to specific tools needed for which leveling method you choose to complete.
- Two tall stakes
- Pencil and paper
- Carpenter’s level
- Lower one side:
- Lift one side:
- Leveling blocks
- Zip tie or industrial Velcro straps
Decide where you would like your trampoline to be. You ended up at this article, so you’re likely dealing with a sloped location. Make sure your trampoline is at least 10 feet from other stationary yard items like fences, poles, jungle gyms, etc.
Before we begin the project, you need to determine the slope of your site. This is a simple task, yet it does require some basic math. Using a Carpenter’s level is best, though your smartphone’s level app will work in a pinch.
There are several methods of determining slope. We’ve chosen one to highlight for this guide, but know that you have other options at your disposal.
Time travel back to your high school physics class… slope is determined by rise over run. Now time travel back before you have to eat that slop at the cafeteria. On with the project!
Rise: the height of the slope (this is what we will find)
Run: the length of the slope (this will be the diameter of your trampoline)
You’ve decided where you would like your trampoline to be. Now let’s find the slope.
- Place a stake at the high edge of where you would like to place your trampoline.
- Measure out the diameter of your trampoline from the high stake to where the low edge will be. If you have a 12ft trampoline, there should be 12ft between the two stakes.
- Place your second stake at this distance on the low edge.
- Tie a string between the two stakes, attaching it to the bottom of the stake on the high edge and the middle of the stake on the low edge.
- With the help of a carpenter’s level, adjust the position of the string on the low edge stake until it is level.
- Measure from the bottom of the low edge stake (where it meets the ground) to the string’s knot. This is your Rise.
Now that you know your Rise and Run, we will begin the labor of the project. It’s a good idea to plan to position one set of trampoline legs at the highest point of your slope.
If your rise is over 7”, it may be too severe to install a trampoline. If it is lower than 7”, you’re in the clear; carry on!
For the determined trampoline owners with severe grades in their yards, you can reach out to a landscaping company to discuss the potential of professional help. This guide will focus on the approachable project of smaller slopes.
Prep the Slope
Lower one side:
Using your high stake’s position, mark out the length of the trench you will dig to fit your trampoline legs. You will chisel out a narrow channel, just large enough to fit the legs of your trampoline.
Dig out a small trench, long and wide enough to fit the trampoline legs. You will dig the trench to the depth of the Rise that you measured in the previous step. If you have dense soil, you can add a thin layer of gravel to the bottom of the trench to aid in drainage.
Life one side:
Stack leveling blocks to the height of the Rise you calculated. Make sure they span the length of the trampoline leg itself. Interlock them with each other to form the strongest base. You may also need to stack a few blocks on the side legs to avoid trampoline rocking, depending on the lay of your slope.
Test the Position
Place your trampoline into position. Set the carpenter’s level on the jumping mat and test for levelness.
Lower one side:
You’ll need to modify the depth of your trench depending on the level of your test position.
- If the bubble is not centered, but shifted uphill, you will need to dig the trench deeper.
- If the bubble is shifted towards the downhill, you will need to add a layer of dirt back into the trench to lessen the depth.
Lift one side:
Adjust how many blocks are stacked to achieve a level trampoline. As mentioned earlier, you may need to stack a few less blocks on the side legs if your slope is steeper.
- If the bubble is not centered, but shifted uphill, you will need to remove one or two stacking blocks.
- If the bubble is shifted towards the downhill, you will need to add a few stacking blocks.
Continue checking the level of your trampoline and adjusting accordingly until complete levelness is obtained. Next, give the trampoline a few test jumps – how does it feel? Does it slide around or rock side to side? Lay down on the jumping mat – do you feel even or like you are sliding to one edge or the other?
The Finishing Touch
Once you’ve achieved the perfect level on your trampoline, you can set your position more permanently.
If you dug a trench to lower one side, you can sprinkle some gravel on top of the legs to fill the trench. If you lifted one side with leveling blocks, secure the blocks to the legs with zip ties or industrial Velcro straps that can wrap around the stack.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll also want to anchor the trampoline to the ground to prevent it from moving out of position in high winds. You can find anchoring kits available for purchase online.
It is advised that you regularly check the level of your trampoline if you placed it on a slope.
Lower one side:
You may notice that the legs sink further into the trench, requiring an adjustment to maintain the level. If you continue to struggle with a sinking edge, try adding gravel to the bottom of the trench to improve drainage.
Lift one side:
Check that the leveling blocks are still secured well to the base of the legs. If the attachments become loose, you should replace them.
It is possible to level a trampoline in a sloped yard. You have multiple project options to choose from, both offering simple and accessible solutions.
Don’t skip this step in setting up your trampoline! A trampoline is an inherently risky toy, thus, all safety measures should be employed before play. This includes leveling, proper installation, choosing the right trampoline base, safety nets, and spring pads. Trust us; it’s more fun to play when that play is safe! … and when that trampoline is level. No one enjoys a wonky jump!