If you are an aspiring gymnast or athlete, an AirTrack is frequently used at home or in the gym to hone your skills and abilities, but what thickness AirTrack should you get? AirTracks come in various thicknesses, and the correct thickness depends on the skills and tricks you plan to practice.
AirTracks are inflatable mats that provide low-impact landing surfaces to practice different techniques and tumbling passes. As a former gymnast, I used an AirTrack frequently to practice my skills. Because it is inflatable, the surface of the AirTrack is almost identical to a spring floor that you would find in a gymnastics gym.
The AirTrack provides buoyancy to practice new tricks and gain height in the air, which is crucial to gymnastics and tumbling, but also for tumbling, cheer, martial arts, or parkour. If you are trying to perfect your skills and learn new tricks, an AirTrack can provide the perfect foundation to practice at home.
AirTracks come in a variety of thicknesses, lengths, and sizes. The most common thicknesses for an AirTrack are:
- 4 inches
- 8 inches
- 12 inches
In this article, we will explain why the thickness of your AirTrack matters and which AirTrack thickness is right for you and your home. We will also explain the difference in thickness between AirTracks and tumbling mats and the features you should look for when deciding which AirTrack to purchase.
Does the Thickness of the AirTrack Matter?
There are several different thicknesses of AirTracks to choose from, so it is important to know why the thickness of your AirTrack matters.
The thickness of the AirTrack matters because it affects the skills and tricks you can perform. In other words, the thickness of the AirTrack determines the type of tumbling surface you will have. Thicker mats allow you to create increased bounce and height from its spring floors. Thicker mats also have more stability and firmness, making them ideal for advanced skills. Thinner AirTracks have soft foundations, perfect for new techniques and tricks.
How Thick Should an AirTrack Be?
The thickness of your AirTrack depends on your skill level and how you will be using the AirTrack. Because an AirTrack is inflatable, the mat’s thickness will boost your power and provide a springboard for many skills and tricks.
You will need to decide between a 4-inch versus an 8-inch AirTrack. A 4-inch thick AirTrack has a softer surface, making it preferable for beginner athletes who learn new techniques and skills. In contrast, an 8-inch AirTrack is more firm. This surface will give you more bounce, making it ideal for trying complicated skills or tumbling passes.
How Thick Should a Tumbling Mat Be?
Tumbling mats are another tool you can use to practice gymnastics, cheer, or parkour. Unlike AirTracks, tumbling mats contain different types of leather, vinyl, or PVC. This surface provides a platform to absorb shocks for low-impact or high-impact techniques. Tumbling mats are foldable, making them ideal for storing and transporting your equipment. But, to complete a full tumbling pass, you will need to push multiple tumbling mats together.
Tumbling mats tend to be thinner than AirTracks and come in thicknesses of 1.5 inches, 2 inches, and 2.5 inches. The 2.5-inch tumbling mat absorbs the most impact, making it ideal for complicated skills or tumbling passes. The thinner tumbling mats are better for low-impact skills.
If you compare an AirTrack with a tumbling mat, an AirTrack’s surface will allow you to create more height in the air. They are ideal for complicated and advanced techniques and tumbling passes and great for practice in your yard.
What Is the Thickest AirTrack?
The 4-inch and 8-inch AirTracks are the most common mats to use at home because they can easily fit in backyards or small spaces. However, the thickest AirTrack you can buy is 12 inches. Due to its size, this thickness tends to be popular in professional gym settings and trampoline parks.
If you are looking for a mat for a commercial space, the 12-inch thick AirTrack is a great option for all athletes. It has greater buoyancy and cushioning, creating a platform for mastering many skills and techniques.
What Is the Difference Between AirTrack Thickness?
Thicker AirTracks absorb more impact, which is great when you practice complicated tricks or skills. Thinner AirTracks have a softer surface and do not absorb as much impact, which is ideal for beginner gymnast activities.
Which Thickness AirTrack Is Right for Me?
There are two different thicknesses that you can choose from to practice with your AirTrack at home. You will need to decide between a 4-inch AirTrack and an 8-inch AirTrack. To select the thickness of your AirTrack, consider the following:
Skill or Experience Level
To choose the right thickness for you, assess your skill level and the types of techniques you will be practicing. For beginner gymnasts, you should purchase a thinner AirTrack for its soft surface. If you are an advanced gymnast, you should buy a thicker AirTrack for a firm surface to perfect complicated skills.
If you are new to tumbling or gymnastics, a thinner AirTrack, like the 4-inch model, is the right choice because it has a soft and cushioning exterior and a forgivable surface for athletes to make mistakes.
If you are an experienced gymnast looking to advance your skills, a thicker AirTrack is right for you. A thicker AirTrack, such as the 8-inch model, will provide a bouncier and firmer surface, making it ideal for longer tumbling passes and advanced skills.
The Bottom Line
If you are practicing beginner skills, you will likely prefer the thinner 4-inch AirTrack, which has a softer surface. If you are practicing advanced skills, you will prefer the thicker 8-inch AirTrack, which has a firmer surface.
What Other Features Should I Look for When Choosing My AirTrack?
If you are still unsure which thickness is right for you, you should examine the additional features of an AirTrack. In addition to thickness, AirTracks come in many different sizes. It can be overwhelming to choose a specific model, but if you are wondering what else to consider when choosing the thickness of your AirTrack, look at the following features:
AirTracks come in a variety of different lengths, ranging from 10 feet to 20 feet. Assess how much space you have for your AirTrack. For a backyard, a smaller length might be ideal. You need to ensure that you have enough room for the mat, with no tables, chairs, or objects close to the mat to prevent accidents. For a gym setting, you might have more room for a longer AirTrack.
To choose the right AirTrack for you, assess your skill level and what you will be using the AirTrack for. If you are a beginner gymnast or tumbler, the 10-foot mat is excellent for working on basic skills and individual tricks. You will need a longer mat if you have mastered many gymnastic skills. You should purchase a mat that is 16 feet or 20 feet in length to have more room to combine skills and practice floor passes.
A crucial component to choosing which size AirTrack to get is the athlete’s height. Taller athletes need more length to complete tricks and skills, whereas shorter athletes can complete tricks on a smaller AirTrack. Remember that children often go through growth spurts, so consider sizing up your mat if your child is growing quickly.
The weight of the AirTrack will change based on the size of the mat. If you are concerned with storing and transporting your mat, a smaller AirTrack may be best.
AirTracks are very popular, causing many retailers to sell versions and models. Some companies may sell cheaper AirTracks but are likely poorer in quality. These AirTracks often start to break down soon after you begin using them. Paying more for a good quality AirTrack from a reliable wholesaler is worth it. Doing so will ensure that your mat will remain durable and safe for the years to come.
An AirTrack is a valuable piece of home equipment for many aspiring athletes. The inflatable mat surface creates a bouncy landing surface to practice gymnastics, tumbling, cheer, martial arts, or parkour. AirTracks come in various thicknesses, lengths, and sizes, so it is important to know which AirTrack is best for you and your home.
To find the right AirTrack thickness, consider your skill level and the techniques you will try on your mat. If you are practicing beginner skills, a thinner 4-inch thickness is right for you because it has a soft, flexible, and safe foundation.
If you are ready to advance to complicated skills, I recommend a thicker 8-inch AirTrack since it provides a firm surface to attain additional height for high-impact skills. If neither of those thicknesses is right for you, some gyms and tumbling parks will have 12-inch thick AirTracks for greater variety.
Regardless of your goals or experience level, an AirTrack is a convenient way to perfect your gymnastics abilities. From the comfort of your backyard, your AirTrack will elevate your techniques and skills to new heights.