If you are familiar with my site, there is a good chance that you have seen me jumping rope. The jump rope training clips that I’ve posted to Youtube have received several million views. As a result, it is not uncommon for me to receive questions about skipping. Perhaps the most commonly asked questions are related to rope selection. For instance, I am often asked if high-speed cable ropes are necessary for fast turning styles such as double or triple unders. The simple answer is no.
Fortunately, specialty ropes are not required. Expensive ropes are not necessary either. In the video below, you can see a brief demonstration that I filmed with an inexpensive PVC freestyle rope. It is actually the same rope that I used in my jump rope DVD. The PVC cord was purchased for only two dollars. Clearly, rope speed is not compromised and the rope is also useful for a variety of freestyle movements.
In summary, while high-end ropes have become popular in recent times, the old school ropes that I started with almost 30 years ago are still as useful as ever. And while certain cable ropes will undoubtedly turn faster, more speed is not necessarily an advantage for jump rope training. As an athlete and trainer, the rope is just a tool. We are not training for the rope. We use the rope to improve other athletic qualities. Therefore, working with an easier rope may not help us in the long run. I have seen many athletes who can perform double and triple unders with stainless steel ropes who are completely lost when attempting the same feats with a regular rope.
Call me old school, but I would rather develop the skill to function with any rope. As the old Michael Jordan commercials would say, it’s not the shoes. We can modify that famous slogan to say that it’s not the rope. What matters more is the athlete behind the rope. Develop true skill and you can use any rope that you find.
“Price is what you pay; value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett