My dd is 10 training Hopes and Lvl 9. Her coach just moved gyms and the new location does not have a foam pit.
The question is, are airbags and/or resi pits a safe alternative to the traditional foam pit when learning new lvl 9 and 10 skills?
This is a tough question as much of it depends on the coaches training style as well. Here are a few questions…
1. Do they have an in ground resi pit / airbag landing for vault?
2. Do they have an in ground resi / airbag for bar releases and dismounts?
3. Do they have string bed / web bed competition style trampoline?
4. How about an overhead spotting rig over the trampoline?
5. Do they have a spring floor to in ground resi pit / air bag?
6. How about an rod floor or tumble track to resi pit / air bag?
I have heard the modern air bag systems are very good… however… I have never coached at a facility with them.
To expand on this a bit:I think that, with a trampoline and a good sound technical approach, it is possible to safely and effectively train up to about L8ish without a pit.
I'd also say that if I had to choose between a gym with no trampoline and a gym with no pit, I'd take the latter.
..... but I also (if I were still coaching) would be very reluctant to train anything higher than level 8 without a pit (and if it's available, I'll make use of it as early as L4).
HAVING SAID ALL THAT, I still think a trampoline provides significantly more technical benefit than a pit. Trampoline is where the bulk of the technical development should happen for most skills, imo. The primary benefit of a pit is that a skill can be done sloppily and still be (relatively) safe, but trampoline is in most cases the best place to build good strong technique.