The trampoline is a device that is used around the world both for entertainment and for sport, but who was first to arrive on the scene with this springy product?
In 1936, two Americans, George Nissen and Larry Griswold, who were both athletes representing the University of Iowa (in diving (Nissen), and gymnastics (both)), decided to create a ‘rebounding’ object that would allow for enhanced training and more entertainment in sport, after seeing a circus trapeze act use a tight net for a more entertaining and flowing show. Nissen and Griswold would realise that their product could provide more than one ‘rebound’, provided that it was used correctly (jumping). They would tour their product, named after the Spanish word for ‘diving board’ (trampoline), and eventually started selling them commercially in 1942, with the new product even being used in training for astronauts. The modern trampoline is now made with a mesh canvas/polypropylene surface attached to springs at the side to provide the ‘rebound’ effect.
Nowadays, alongside being produced for competitive ‘trampoline gymnastics‘ competitions (including at the Olympic Games), and being used as training methods for other sports, trampolines have been sold for home use, meaning that the thrill of bouncing can now be a few steps away in your back garden. With a variety of styles, and improving saftey measures to combat the obvious risk involved, it is fair to say that Nissen & Griswold’s product has really ‘taken off’.
With the popularity of home-use trampolines reaching new ‘highs’, it is inevitable that users will try and expand their use, and attempt to create different ‘moves’ or styles. Sometimes, though, to the delight of home video clip shows, this does not go to plan…