New trampolines are pushing athletes to do bigger tricks, but are they making skiing lose its style?
Last spring, two Woodward at Copper employees traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to test a trampoline the sports camp had bought for its Colorado facility. They sessioned the 14×14-foot bed of the tramp. “This thing’s sick,” one of them said. His co-worker turned to Paul Hagan, the 51-year-old gymnastics coach who wove the trampoline by hand, and explained: “That means he really likes it.”
He’s not alone. Woodward Tahoe also installed one of the 14×14 trampolines made by Hagan’s company, Tramp Squared, and Sammy Carlson put one in his backyard. North of the border, Dave Ross, coach of the Canadian trampoline team, designed a similar 10×20-foot trampoline and helped Canadian freeskiers with aerial tips. Now, one of Ross’s trampolines resides behind national halfpipe coach Trennon Paynter’s house in Squamish, B.C. Both products are commonly called Super Tramps, and they offer a higher bounce and softer landing than Olympic standard 7×14-foot trampolines.
This is good news for halfpipe and slopestyle skiers, who can train more on the softer tramp without wearing their joints and muscles while developing better air sense for tricks on snow. Hagan says his square construction also creates a larger landing area for athletes who shift left and right while practicing off-axis moves. “They’ve got room to land and rebound and go into a series of tricks or combinations,” he says. “They can set up a complete run.”