A resilient nylon tarp supported by springs in a metal frame. It is supposed to be used as a springboard and landing area in tumbling or acrobatics. It is more often used by children as a place to bounce and play or, sometimes, to fall off of, sustaining head injuries and broken limbs. Adults could use a trampoline for--ahem--other activities, but I wouldn't advise it. You're very likely to get injured, and the guys in the ambulance will laugh at you.

toy program = T = trap

trampoline n.

An incredibly hairy technique, found in some HLL and program-overlay implementations (e.g., on the Macintosh), that involves on-the-fly generation of small executable (and, likely as not, self-modifying) code objects to do indirection between code sections. These pieces of live data are called `trampolines'. Trampolines are notoriously difficult to understand in action; in fact, it is said by those who use this term that the trampoline that doesn't bend your brain is not the true trampoline. See also snap.

--Jargon File, autonoded by rescdsk.

The way your legs feel, after jumping off a trampoline
wooden, stiff and slow

The way your feet feel after ice skating,
small, soft and light

The way your face feels, stepping out into southern humidity (after ice cold movie theater)
numb, melting, distorted

The way your body feels, in early spring (without a jacket)
clean, sleek and mobile

The way I feel after a night with you,
intoxicated, exhausted, speechless


When I was a kid, my parents bought me a trampoline. Using a black ink marker, I scribbled my name on it.

The trampoline was twelve feet in diameter, so it accommodated two or three people at a time. Bright blue cloth hugged its sides and its spring coils were huge- as big as my arm, a blue octopus, with silver tentacles, and a springy black body.

Day and night, my trampoline was alive. At night, sitting in the center of our backyard, strange shadows cast over it, scaring me when I put out the garbage. During the day, the black mat basked in the heat of the sun. We had to keep our socks on while jumping; otherwise, we'd hop like desert lizards that never have one foot on the ground for more than a second.

Many kids in the neighborhood joined in the fun. The trampoline not only allowed my friends and I to hop around, but it also became a wrestling ring of sorts; we could fight each other without fear of landing on a hard surface. Then there was Jim, my next-door neighbor. For some reason, everyone called Jim "Tuna". Was it the sandwich of choice for Jim or perhaps it was Jim's large tuna-shaped physique? Regardless, when he ran over from the house across the street, his feet dragged across the pavement, making a "swoosh-swoosh" sound that competed with the "swish-swish" of his corduroy pants- a walking instrument.

Tuna weighed at least two hundred pounds. We could watch the trampoline sink a few inches into the dirt as he clawed his way onto it. He gained a wide berth because we knew the results of his jumps; he landed and sent us flailing. The ground shook when he jumped- and although he never really got as high as most of us, he always laughed afterward. No one wrestled with Tuna, because if he sat on you, you were done for.

We all had fun on that trampoline, but the fun was short lived. The fleeting summers of our New England town left us anxious for next spring so we could continue our tramping on the trampoline.

Winter meant long days inside being bored, or outside shoveling snow. I could think of absolutely nothing to do one particular winter day, so I walked the stairs down to the basement. The basement appealed to me. It had the only carpeted floors in the house. I liked the feel of the carpet on my bare feet. Dark lighting and a musty smell permeated the basement. I never pinpointed where the musty smell came from, or what the smell was; that's why it fascinated me. The basement also had the quality of being rustic and yet totally inviting.

I wandered to a far corner where my trampoline sat (in winter, the trampoline hibernated in the basement, to save it from rust). Today I decided to jump on my trampoline. There would be no hurt in taking a few hops. Yet in my mind, with a shaking finger, I heard my mom say, "Don't use the trampoline indoors". But I was bored, and boredom demands silence from those voices of parental concern. I wanted to jump on my trampoline.

So, I jumped, once.

Emergency Medical Technicians arrived a few minutes later. They gave me a free ride to county hospital in their ambulance. I had knocked myself out, my forehead leaving a large dent in the basement ceiling. Luckily, the doctors at county hospital determined that I did not suffer a concussion, although dizziness left me incapacitated for a few hours.

Long after my attempt to break through the basement ceiling, the trampoline remained my favorite toy. Tuna and all my friends continued to play on it with me. We became more daring and agile on it as time went on. Soon some of us could execute back and front flips.

The letters of my name on the trampoline soon faded, as did my youth. But I never forgot my favorite toy. Many memories came back to me the other day when I saw a trampoline in a neighborhood backyard: Tuna "swish-swooshing" musically to my house, my childhood friends bouncing around and knocking each other over, the EMT's and my ride in an ambulance. Soon I found myself jumping into the air, and I rubbed my forehead, smiling.

I was jumping on the trampoline about two years ago. The trampoline just happened to be located at the Karate Studio I frequented (and still do). I was a brown belt at the time, but that is not important.

I was alone on the large trampoline. I tried to invent some new moves on it; I already succeeded doing a kip-up-like maneuver where I landed on my back and sprung forward with my legs down, though they never touched the black membrane below.

I thought, This is cool! Why not do it backwards?

I bounced on the trampoline, gaining momentum. I tried landing on my chest a few times, bouncing precariously high each time. Finally, I landed on my chest for the last time, and sprang backwards, my legs coming up, but as before, never actually touching the trampoline.

However, my torso failed to move. My left knee contacted directly with my nose, which started shooting geysers of blood mere seconds after said incident.

My nose, was of course, broken.

It took about twenty minutes for the bleeding to stop, and for two weeks after, I was unable to participate in kumite (sparring). I still have a small dent in my nose.

The interesting part of the incident was that my sister broke her nose two weeks before, by being savagely butted by a goat.

The number of moves that can be executed on a trampoline is truly fantastic, and I wouldn't claim to know them all. However, trampoline lessons in my youngest years and a persistant enthusiasm for the one in my garden has taught me many moves of varying difficulty. For your general entertainment, here is a list of those that I can actually execute myself:

Tuck jump

Ahh, the old classic. I believe that this was the first move I ever learnt, at the ripe young age of five. It simply involves getting up a bit of height, then bringing your legs up underneath you with a bend of the knees. The more thorough among you may wish to clasp your hands underneath your legs as well, although I'm not sure if this would be condoned by The Powers That Be.


There's a lot to be said for self-explanatory moves. You just... turn around, 180 degrees. There's a full turn too, and more, but they need little in the way of explanation. These are not very tricky and, appropriately, not very impressive. But fun.

Seat drop

Dropping onto your backside in a sitting position. This ever-popular move is often sloppily performed, so I shall go into considerable detail as to how it should be done:

  • When you land on the trampoline, your legs should be straight and at right angles to your body, and your feet together.
  • Wrists should be by your side and hands pointing backwards.
  • Your head, if you have one, should ideally be attached to your neck and facing straight forwards.

I hope I remembered that right.

Swivel hips

An extension to the seat drop in which, after a first seat drop, the hips are swung 180 degrees and another seat drop is landed in an opposite direction to the first. This is a little more tricky than a simple seat-drop, especially to do it gracefully, but it looks slick if you do it properly.

Pike jump

This is harder than it sounds, actually. The pike jump requires you to jump and raise your legs to right angles with your body, then reach forward with your hands and grab somewhere around your knees. Landing back on your feet again is tricky, as is raising your legs sufficently high. This also doesn't look that exciting, but there's a challenge if you need one.

Forwards flip

Playing with the big boys now, forwards flips are surprisingly tricky to land. The flip, in which the body stays fairly rigid, is different from the somersault, where the body is brought up into a tuck. The former is easier, because there's no need to time the unfolding in order to land. Either way, painful practice is the only method for improvement.

Back flip

Surprisingly, I've always found these to be easier than forwards flips, and more impressive too. The hardest part is over-coming the psychological barrier about throwing the head over first, but so long as you gain sufficient height, the worst that can happen is landing on your front again, as I did many times when first learning. With furthur practice, it's possible to do several flips one after another; my record is five continuously. I fell off at the end, though.

This is certainly not every move that is officially recognised, but they are the ones that I can remember offhand. Happy bouncing.

I am a trampoline coach, and I recommend that tricks involving rotation over the head should be taught by a person with experience, and on a suitable trampoline to avoid injury.

People attempting dangerous tricks on their own are invariably the ones who get hurt, usually something broken from them having fallen off, or damaged spine or neck from having landed incorrectly.

For the record, in a seat drop, the hands should be facing forward to avoid snapping the elbows.

How to do a summersault on a trampoline

(Note: I originally made this as an independet node, but it was moved here. I have made a couple of changes, but if some of this still seems a little out of place, at least you know why.)

Some might find this very easy (If that goes for you, you might not want to bother reading this!). Others may find it extremely difficult to do. As with all things however, practice makes perfect. My younger brother (with some economic support from my parents) bought a trampoline not long ago. Now I thought I would be rather good at this stuff, as I have been attending a “sports-school” for almost a year now and should be in good shape and everything - I was mistaken.

It was slightly embarrassing not to be able to do one out of ten summersaults on the trampoline, when my seven years younger brother could do about eight out of ten. I tried and tried again, but it seemed only to be getting worse – probably because I was getting slightly pissed off at my own incompetence at something I thought I would master easily. I think I managed about two out of fifty attempts on that first day, before I finally gave up.
I tried again the next few days though, and kept trying till I finally felt that I mastered it really well, and in this write up I hope to give a few hints to help others master this a little quicker than myself.

First Of All...
First you have to get the feeling of the trampoline. Jump around a little, from side to side, as high as you can, etc.. Try landing on your knees, your bottom and flat on your back and bounce right back up to your feet. Just play around for a while until you feel relaxed on the trampoline. Now for the summersault:

If you have never tried this at all before, the biggest problem might be to dare to jump at all. All I can say is, don’t worry, it is not really that scary. As long as you make sure you jump round enough there is no real danger. Just don’t change your mind and try to pull away right after you have jumped, or you may end up right on your head, which can be slightly uncomfortable . :o) The things you should think about when you jump (or at least the things I think about) are these: (1) Get a rhythm (2) jump high and fast enough (3) remember to pull my feet up. In my experience, there is no need to consider the landing, because once you get the hang of these three steps the landing will fall (bad pun) natural by itself. Indeed, thinking of the landing will only make you more unsure and loose focus of the jump. Like I said, once you can do the jump, the landing is a piece of cake.

The Jump
Jump carefully up and down three times before doing the summersault; Count: One, Two, Three, JUMP! This way you get a nice rhythm which makes it easier in the beginning. Now, on JUMP, jump slightly higher than when counting. You don’t need to jump very high, just make sure you spin well enough, and no, this is not difficult either once you get the hang of it. Just make sure you have really made up your mind about it when you jump!
Now finally (and this is the important part!), make sure you pull you feet up. Everybody knows you have to curl together like a ball to spin better, but there are different ways of doing it. My brother pulls his knees almost up to his chin and grabs around his legs with both arms in the air. I just concentrate on pulling my feet up as I jump. Until I realized this I kept landing on my butt, then I found out how to do it: Just concentrate on your feet (NOT your legs, knees, etc. but your feet!), draw them up right after you have jumped and pull them around. Pull them up in a quick "whipping" movement and use them to force yourself around. Before you know it you will be spinning so fast you will be landing on your face on the trampoline! Of course you must be prepared to land on your butt or on your front a few times before mastering it, but don’t worry, you will get the hang of it soon! Just remember that if you can’t do it on the first day, your brain will keep working on it unconsciously (even when you sleep), and within the two next days (with just a small effort of practicing) you should find it a lot easier.

I hope some of you find this write up useful, just remember that practice makes expert, and don’t be afraid to try – it is only dangerous if you think it is!

Good luck!

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