Does anyone use an inflatable tumble track in their gym? I'm considering buying a used one, but have never used one or seen one in use. Do you like it more or less than a regular tumble track? What are the pros and cons? Thanks!
I think that's what DD's gym has, but I think they use it mostly for open gym, birthday parties, etc. It has a triangle-shaped climby-slidey thing they can attach to it as well. I do see the team girls using it in open gym to tumble into the pit. I'm not sure if it counts as a serious peice of gymnastics equipment or not, but it looks like fun...
The rec. only gym I'm currently helping out at has one and uses it for all of their classes from basic jumps up to intermediate level tumbling (fulls off onto a resi). It's very portable compared to a regular Tumble Trak, so it's good for a gym with limited space for a more permanently placed tumble trak or that needs to put up/take down equipment every practice.
I've never used it, so I can't tell you how easy or productive it is to tumble on it, but the kids generally seem to enjoy it. The gym doesn't have a spring floor, so it's a good break for their bodies too.
Our girls used them extensively at Gym Rep summer camp. The owner of the camp is the Gymnova rep for North America and supplies all the equipment for it. I am sure if you emailed Robert Majeau he would happily share the pros and cons of the air track, he is a very chatty fellow and knows his products very well. He is also a L4 coach in Canada, which is the highest certification here and he is a great resource guy for all things gym.
The girls loved tumbling on it, but it is certainly not the same as a tumble trak tramp style, a very different bounce and you can boing sideways easily. Though a fabulous space saver as they can be put up in minutes. Certainly better than hard floor tumbling.
I know that there are also air bounce type mats that are about 10cm's thick that give an extra bounce and cushion. The girls used those at camp to and enjoyed them.
Not a fan. Fine for bday parties and gym date nights/sleepovers and maybe rec.
Useless for competitive programs.
The inflatable portable tumbling mats are good but seem to get small holes no matter how careful you are with them and they end up deflating way too fast. I think TumbleTrak now has a line that is supposed to be more robust now.
We had some somewhat portable (we just tilted them alongside the vault into pit or on a wall) tumbling mats we called bungees. Fairly thick and red, 1-2 feet thick. Still had a quick enough bounce and a decent substitute for rec&kinder instead of a tumble-trak.
They are getting common here, but mainly for part time facilities where they need to set up and clear away after each practice. So clubs that practice in halls, schools etc.
In that situation I think they are useful, but probably not if you have a tumble track and pits. If you have some spare cash it might be worth it for the fun and/or novelty value, or possibly training low impact in high hours or rehabilitating gymnasts.
We have one. I personally hate it. It feels really unstable for me (especially since hurting my knee) and I won't tumble on it at all. The kids like it. We use it in lots of ways. Often we fold it in half and use it as a mountain for pre-school classes. We have kids lay on it and then fill it up almost all the way and jump onto it from high up and the kids sort of go flying (we do this safely with coaches and if they stay really tight, it's a fun ride). We also keep it half inflated and do air track races. It's a good way to build leg strength.