An air track is a type of inflatable gym mat that appeared on the market for commercial use relatively recently, and quickly became all the craze among young, enthusiastic gymnasts.
If your child is one of them, here’s an investment to really think about.
Most of us who exercise at home use regular floor mats. They offer some support to the exercising body, but aren’t too helpful for acrobatics. So, air tracks – mats filled with air – have replaced traditional padded mats for several reasons:
- They offer excellent support, bounce, and rebound height to gymnasts practicing leaps and jumps
- Their use guarantees less risk of an injury during practice
- They are quickly inflated with electric pumps, and ready for use
- They are easily deflated, becoming compact and convenient for storing in smaller spaces
- When deflated and folded, they are more portable and easier to carry around than padded mats
What Is an Air Track Used For?
The purpose of air tracks is to help gymnasts develop their skills and strengths, and gain confidence.
We say ‘gymnasts’, but air tracks are also used by cheerleaders, parkourists, yogis, martial arts fans, and other sports enthusiasts.
These mats offer a safe way for athletes to practice jumps, flips, somersaults, forward and backward rolls, front and back handsprings, bridges, handstands and other demanding moves.
The gymnasts most commonly hurt their wrists, ankles and knee joints during practice, but because air tracks are so bouncy, they minimize the chances of injuries.
The bounciness of an air track can be adjusted by adjusting the air pressure of the mat.
If the air pressure is at a maximum, the mat will be the hardest, while lowering the air pressure will provide a softer mat that will give more air and more power to the jump, and provide a more supportive surface during accidental falls.
What Are Air Tracks Made Of?
In order to provide full support for practicing jumps, flips and somersaults, air tracks need to be made from a durable and resilient material. High quality air track models are made of military grade PVC drop-stitch material that is sturdy and waterproof.
Drop stitch is a special coating technology that uses polyester threads to stitch the top and bottom layers of the air track PVC material. This technology provides the necessary sturdiness and stability of air tracks that are exposed to high pressure and pounding from the practicing athletes.
Though air tracks are made of a robust, high-quality material, they are not undestroyable. Heat and puncturing could damage them, so it’s advised to use them on a safe surface free of sharp objects and sources of heat.
How Long Do Air Tracks Last?
If your child properly uses and cares for the equipment, your air track mat can last a decade. Proper usage means regularly cleaning the air track, deflating it when not in use, and storing it in its bag. You should also make sure not to expose it to objects that could puncture or burn it.
Why Are Air Tracks So Expensive?
It’s true that air tracks are much more expensive than traditional padded mats. Their price starts at around $100 and can go as high as over $1000. Why is that?
As we explained, the purpose of air tracks is to provide athletes much more bounce, rebound height, stability, and safety than traditional mats.
We at Starzcom use a rigorous testing procedure before we start selling our products. That way we can be certain that they aren’t leaking, that they can withstand all the pounding from the energized gymnasts, and that our air tracks material is very durable and of high quality.
Hence, the price.
There are accounts of parents whose kids are fervently saving money to buy their very own air track. It does take time to come up with the necessary amount, but the investment is absolutely worth it.
Hopefully, our questions and answers have helped you determine whether you want to chip in and get your kid the best air track equipment to master their gymnast moves.