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  1. #1

    Default Family Swim Raft

    Does anyone have any experience with lake swim rafts? Would like to get one for the family (3 kids 8 and under). Thinking of everything from making one with barrels, trampolines, or the otter island. Something like these below. Anyone have any experience with the bouncers / trampolines?


    https://www.hewittrad.com/products/o...cts/swim-rafts

    https://ravesports.com/bongo-15-3844#92=
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Eastern Long Island
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    198

    Default

    Being the people in my family I would go with the trampoline. If it were for me the island would be nice.
    2018 Moomba Max - 400 Raptor - 6 pump ballast - auto wake 2 - flow 2 - gps zero off

  3. #3

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    Anyone have first hand experience on how well the trampolines hold up?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Tims Ford Lake TN
    Posts
    330

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    Take it with a grain of salt because my experience is all of one time -- but I was able to get on one of those trampolines and thought it really stunk -- as in no fun. I envisioned being able to get a good bounce and then get some big cannonballs off the tram into the lake. No dice -- I think with it floating it is just not enough of a solid platform to really function like the tramp should. Either that or maybe the one I was one was just underinflated. For kids, maybe not an issue.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Henderson, NV
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    5,939

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    we had a raft called the oasis island quite a few years ago. it would hold around 6 people and had netting in part of the middle to allow some to soak in the water.
    it was used a half dozen times the first year and don't think it has seen the light of day in over 10. don't know where it is at this point. took quite a while to inflate so we only used it on weekend camping trips.

    granted we are all adults and never had kids with us so that might introduce a different thought had we been going with kids but for us it was a waste of coin.

    if it was my coin and had kids, i'd get one of the big rollup mats that are all the rage. no work to set up and the kids I see on them seem to enjoy them. feels like they would be a lot less maintenance.
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  6. #6

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    Thanks. Good feedback.

    We actually have one of those foam pads that you roll out, but was just looking to get something I could leave in the water through the summer. Something to entertain the kids that doesn’t involve me pulling a tube ��
    2018 Mondo

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Henderson, NV
    Posts
    5,939

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    not a fan of tubes BUT I'd get on something like this once. looks like it could entertain a group for a while and might entertain them when not in tow. it's big enough to climb and jump off.

    https://youtu.be/7B1CQDLgWUw
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Alberta/BC
    Posts
    1

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    I have experience with a bouncer (i.e. trampoline without springs), a foam mat and a neighbor's Otter Island.

    The bouncer was great while it lasted. We would leave it on the water all summer and except for a freak summer storm that flipped it over lifting the 250lb anchor off the lake bottom we didn't have any issues. The problems started when we took it out and the end of summer. We have a quite steep and rocky shoreline which as I found out the following season can put small holes in the material. I bought a patch kit and tried the DIY option the first year and after several unsuccessful attempts to fix it I took it into a inflatable boat dealer for a professional patching. It appeared to hold air sitting on the grass but as soon as we put it in the water it was clear it was still leaking. Took it back for patching again and they found a leak on the seam which they then patched. To make a long story a little shorter that was two years ago and I have lost interest in dealing with it. If anyone wants a lightly used 13' bouncer I will give you a great deal. I do know other people with these bouncers who have not had the same problems so it could be just my luck with inflatable toys.

    After the bouncer experience we thought we would try a foam mat. We purchased one of the better mats we could find and the kids have really enjoyed it. It is way easier to get on than the bouncer even with the ladder. The mat bounces almost as much as the Bongo (note we have the bouncer which does not have springs). The second or third time the mat was used one of my sons friends decided to dig his fingers into the edges of the mat and pull chunks off. I had given the kids some basic instructions for using it but did not mention anything about not digging your fingers into the foam. From then on I added this to the top of the list of usage instructions. Unfortunately, on year two while 5 or 6 of my older sons friends were on it the anchor tether ripped off. Since there are two tethers we can still use the mat, at least until the other tether comes off. Even with these couple of issues I feel the mat is less maintenance and just as much fun for the kids and it is less expensive as well.

    The neighbor at our lake has an otter island and although the most expensive option it is by far the least maintenance. It can be left in all year without a worry and it is indestructible. It is great for diving off and has a couple of back rests for laying in the sun. It has nice rounded edges so even with a lot of kids pushing each other around there is little chance of injury with the exception of banging a head on the side or ladder (which I thankfully have not seen happen). I am seriously considering one of these as the next water toy although there is a floating dock with a slide option that also looks interesting (https://www.ez-dock.com/product/dock-slide/).
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    25

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    I used to have a water trampoline and didn't like it. It is fine to hang out on and float, but it hardly has any bounce, nothing like a regular trampoline.
    2017 Moomba Helix

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Prince George Canada
    Posts
    67

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    For a “bouncer” to actually function similarly to a trampoline you will need to find one with an internal metal ring to support/attach springs. A bouncer that relies on the air inside the structure to provide the bounce will likely leave you disappointed.
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