Rebound Products strives to make top quality frame pads. They are thicker than standard, and tapered. Safety is important. Our tapered pads are thin on the bed side, where they should move with the springs on impact. They have a maximum thickness where most needed, over the metal frame.
Step edges are hazardous. Imagine landing on your back at the end of a trampoline without end decks. You arrive with your waist on the bed, your upper body over the frame pads, and your head over empty space. Not a pretty picture. This is why end decks were invented and are now required at competitions.
Now consider the frame pads at the sides of a trampoline. Let us look at possible maximum depressions. At the middle of the bed it could go down close to the floor, or 45″. At the edges of the bed it can go down over 30″. With a thick frame pad over the springs maximum depression could be under 20cm. Then as you go along the frame pad outward, depression will be reduced to only about 1″ right over the frame.
In a perfect world the depression would go down uniformly from the centre of the bed to above the frame. The closer to that, the better.
There are 3 areas of major concern. First at the bed to frame pad interface. The more the frame pad can move down, the smaller the step edge. This is the main reason for having thin frame padding at the bed edge. In addition, if an athlete impacts the inside edge of a frame pad sideways, a thin pad will allow more movement before the athlete is stopped. Hence the common 5cm thickness here is not ideal.
The second area of concern is what happens to an athlete’s ankle if their foot lands just inside the frame? If the frame pad is thin at this point, that area is quite soft, yet inches away over the frame is a hard place. This results in a steep angle inwards and the risk of ankle injury. If the padding is thicker over this area, that risk is reduced. The third area of concern is landing right over the frame where impact absorption distance is dependent on the thickness and composition of the frame pads. So above and near the frame you want a thick frame pad.