History of trampoline

In its basic physical form of flips and jumps, trampoline can be traced way back to archeological drawings found in ancient China, Egypt and Persia. Some claim that the first type of trampolining was done by the Eskimos, who would toss each other up into the air on a sea lion skin similar to the sheet used by firefighters to catch people jumping from a burning house. Others point out that circuses have also used a number of devices to show off aerial and floor somersaults for more than a century. And over the years, a number of methods have been devised to allow man to gain time in the air and perform a variety of skills. Indeed the sport that made its Olympic debut in Sydney in 2000 is a much more modern offshoot. The trampoline itself was first developed by a circus trapeze artist named Du Trampolin. He saw the opportunity to use the trapeze safety net as a form of propulsion and as a landing device. An American inventor, George Nissen, put together the first portable unit of the trampoline in 1936. During World War II, his models were used by the American military as training devices for its soldiers. It was Nissen’s invention that led to the birth of a sport.

Modern trampolines

Although even in the early years of trampolining, notable American and international gymnasts performed many of the difficult skills and combinations of skills seen today, modern trampoline competitions are quite different from those of the early developmental stages – due in part to advances in equipment design, changes in the rules and governance, and more systematic training of the athletes. International competition trampolines are larger and more powerful than those utilized in the early years and a far cry from the backyard models found today in many American suburban neighborhoods. These modern trampolines can propel trained athletes as high as 30 feet in the air during performances. During competitive routines of 10 skills each, upper-level athletes can easily demonstrate a graceful array of double, triple and twisting somersaults.