Air Track Mat vs. Tumbling Mat: Which Is Best for Gymnastics?

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“Practice makes a person perfect”.

An age-old proverb but true to its very fact. All gymnasts whether amateur or professionals​ require tremendous amounts of practice to master the art. To accomplish this fact, what’s required are tools and props that will prove extremely beneficial for the person practicing acrobats. If there’s one training aid that all ambitious athletes can use, is a special glide surface, also known as a mat.

We all know gymnastics are so tough. It’s literally one of the toughest activities. The tumbling, the handstands, the rolling, the jumps, the forward and backward flips, the somersaults, etc. Everything is so tough and requires strong dedication and perseverance. Besides the level of toughness, these activities are also very harmful and riskier. And if performed at home, they even become tougher and dangerous. Now what is required to practice most safely is a professional mat.

People are often confused between an air mat and a tumbling mat. Don’t worry as in this article we shall let you know the difference between the two and also which one is safer for your practice.

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What is an Air track Mat?

An air mat is a type of inflatable surface that is specially designed for use outside of a formal gym or home. Because of their sturdy construction and the most accurate internal pressure, the air mattresses offer almost the same level of bounciness as a spring floor. These are perfect for using at home for your gymnastic activities. Increased bounciness is more advantageous in practicing acrobats and tougher gymnastic activities. It also prevents risks associated with falling and other accidents. Therefore we can safely conclude that the Air track mat is very safe. But so far we haven’t discussed the tumbling mats. So, let us discuss that too.

The tumbling mats consist of individual foam segments covered with leather, vinyl, or soft PVC – simple but effective. The biggest advantage of a traditional mattress, apart from its shock absorbers, is its ability to fold. It only takes a few seconds to adjust the mat before the session rolls and one can easily put it back down when the session is done.

Air Track Mat Vs Tumbling Mat

Now that we have discussed the benefits of both the mats, let us explore the differences between the two in detail. However​, if our opinion is considered, we would suggest you go for an Air Track Mat because of its increased safety and better features.

1. Size

Air mats are available in various sizes. The standard size of the air mats is 3 to 15 feet long and 3 to 6 feet wide, while larger versions can reach lengths of up to 50 feet. Higher choice means the person can practice more and commit more mistakes. Therefore, air mats are an excellent choice for gymnasts seeking the best option for safety.

Whereas if a traditional tumbling mat is considered, the standard models come in a size of 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. The thickness of the traditional mats is 1-3 inches. Therefore this mat is good for practicing single activity at a time and not a complicated sequence of gymnastics. To do a long or complicated sequence, one has to join multiple mats end-to-end to make them long and susceptible for practicing.

2. Safety

As far as safety is concerned, air track mats are considered safer than tumbling mats. Since these are dependent upon the air pressure, the increased bounciness helps the gymnasts practice better and safer. They are less likely to hurt themselves while practicing even the toughest steps. If the tumbling mats are considered, they are made up of foam and with regular practice, the foam tends to thin out and may not provide equal safety.

3. Comfort

As far as comfort is considered, the Air track mats beat the tumbling mats here too. However, one may take some time to adjust with the Air tracks, the tumbling mats are not as comfortable as the Air track mats. Once accustomed, the Air track mats provide a similar feeling as that of a spring floor. This is highly beneficial for the amateurs who are looking forward to becoming professionals.

So now we can safely conclude that air track mats are much better for practicing professional acrobatic activities at home. Considering the safety features and normalized air pressure, these mats surpass the traditional tumbling mats. The Air track mats are not just convenient but also very safe. However, if you are on a tight budget, you may end up buying a tumbling mat since Air track mats are costlier. But if you are looking for safer options, you ​should end up buying an Air track Mat. So, our vote will go for Air tracks because of its amazing features and safety standards.

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