Complete Buyers Guide For Gymnastics Air Tracks in 2023
Air tracks, also known as inflatable gymnastics mats, have gained major popularity over the past 3-5 years. Designed for gymnastics purposes, it comes in numerous sizes and styles. Things that are in common with all gymnastics air track mats are, however:
- Inflatability: they can be inflated with a pump or other mechanism, allowing you to impact on the bounce and feel of the mat
- Central line: most, if not all best air track models have a central line to align your gymnastics routine
- Portability: air tracks can be quickly deflated. They also tend to have handles for carrying and a bag for storage
Airtracks are not only used for gymnastics, but also for parkour, tricking, cheerleading and kids’ play. They can even be used as a swim mat for the pool! Being multi-functional, the air track could be one of the most valuable and versatile purchases for your family.
How to choose the size and shape of the air track?
If you want to choose the best air track mat, you should consider its size first. The most popular size is the 10ft Airtrack; a size suitable for practicing single gymnastics tricks or short routines. This is the perfect size for most beginners, yet even intermediate gymnasts are also able to enjoy the size. Varying from manufacturer to manufacturer, a good 10ft Airtrack should be wide enough for practicing as well. Expect approximately 40 in terms of width.
If you are an intermediate to advanced gymnast (or space is not an issue), you may want to consider longer or wider alternatives. Common sizes include 13ft and 26ft rectangular models, yet some may even be up to 40ft. The square models tend to be 20ft x 20 ft at maximum. These are designed for complex, advanced level gymnastics suitable also for professional use.
How thick should the gymnastics air track be?
Next, there is the question of how thick the mat should be. Well, the answer’s easy – most air tracks are 4 inches thick. While some exceptions exist, this tends to be the industry standard that provides enough bounce and safety for perfect and imperfect landings. After all, you have the opportunity to modify the feel of the bounce by adding or releasing air off the mat. However, if your air track is thicker, have a look on whether the manufacturer has other smaller mats, such as mats for spotting, that can be used on top of the air track.
Can you get air track accessories to it?
Now, you’ve narrowed down the size and shape of the air track of your dreams, which is great! Next, it’s time to have a look at the accessory selection. But what are air track accessories? Well, most providers with the best air track mats in the market have additional inflatable equipment useful for home gymnastics. These include, but are not limited to:
- Air beams: usually narrower compared to regular air tracks, the beam version is suitable for precision work and balancing.
- Air blocks and spots: practice balancing, launching and landing with these small air-filled mats. Either stack them on top of your air track or use them separately.
- Air rolls: cylinder-shaped inflatable items designed for practicing flips.
Regardless of whether you need them right now, it is a good idea to consider a manufacturer that offers an extensive selection of accessories.
How to choose a high-quality air track?
As you may expect, with various prices and manufacturers you also get various levels of quality. While it may be challenging to find out the details about what is the best in terms of quality, you could check the following aspects before buying:
- What is the material used?
- Are the seams handmade and double-layered? Handmade seams mean that the manufacturer has put extra effort into creating the product.
- Does the manufacturer or the product have any certifications?
The biggest concern for many parents is, of course, puncturing the mat with anything sharp by accident. A proper manufacturer should provide a repair kit as included in the set.
Does the buyer provide a good warranty for their air tracks?
This one is the final question. The best air track models are made out of extremely durable materials, but sometimes something may go wrong. In those situations, it’s good to be aware of the possible warranty available. It is a good idea to purchase and opt for an air track that comes with at least 1 year, preferably 2 year warranty. The warranty may also tell you a bit about the quality, since no manufacturer would provide a long warranty over a product they do not trust in.
And that’s a wrap! By now, choosing the best airtrack should be a little easier. We always recommend looking into air track reviews online before committing to a purchase and asking help from the customer support whenever needed. For more info, see air tracks by ACON and compare to find your favorite one.