Through my many years as an athlete, coach and physical educator, I have come across several helpful tips for making your cable jump rope last longer. It can be frustrating to pull out your rope for a workout only to have it all kinked and not work correctly. Follow these tips and you will have a rope in full working condition.
Tip #1: Coil your rope properly
The biggest culprit behind damaged cable ropes is improper storage. People will casually throw or stuff a rope into their gym bag. When they go to pull it out the next time, kinks have magically appeared. Kinks can be straightened out a little, but not completely. When a cable gets too many kinks it is worthless
Coil your cable before putting it in a small jump rope bag. The key to coiling is to take the cable between your thumb and index finger and twist inward. The twisting causes the cable to naturally make circles about 6 - 10 inches in radius. After the circles are mounded onto each other, throw one of the handles through the middle of the circle 2-3 times. This will hold it securely while in your bag.
Tip #2: Jump on correct surfaces
Jumping on the wrong surface is a big reason why a cable will break or fray prematurely. Cable jump ropes should only be used on hardwood, polyurethane, vinyl or rubber floor surfaces. Jumping on these surfaces is easier on your body and your jump rope cable will reach maximum life. Jumping on concrete (even smooth concrete) or asphalt surfaces will cause the coating of the cable to wear quickly. For those who have no choice but to jump on concrete or asphalt, invest in a jump rope mat or use an outdoor rated cable, which will last much longer than standard cables.
Tip #3: Use crimps to prevent fraying
Ultra Thin and Bare Cables can be prone to frayed ends after cutting the cable to size. Use a set of crimps (we include with all bare wore cable purchases) to cover the end of the cable after resizing. The Bare Cable is more likely to fray because there is no coating on it. Simply place the crimp over the end of the cable and use cable cutters or pliers to lightly smash the crimp securely.
Tip #4: Take care of your ball bearings
If a ball bearing in your speed rope handle is wearing out or is a little sticky, give it a drop of oil. Many jump rope manufactures put a coat of oil on the ball bearings in the handle to prevent rusting. After a period of time, however, the oil wears out. This is one reason our Elite Surge 2.0 ropes are now manufactured only with more expensive stainless steel bearings. With the Elite Surge jump rope, we never have to worry about rust or the ball bearings getting sticky.
Tip #5: Know the design of your rope
Many problems would be solved if jump ropes were used as intended. Using a speed rope as a freestyle rope will lead to frustration and likely premature wearing. Using a Light Show jump rope (an electronic LED Jump Rope) as a playground rope for a school will only lead to disappointment. Any electrical device needs to be handled with more care. But when a freestyle rope is used for tricks and a speed rope is used for double unders, good times are ahead.
Tip #6: Use grip tape
Grip tape is used to make a thinner handle a little thicker to fit the jumpers hand or to add extra grip for sweaty hands. In can also be used to customize your jump rope with color. The increased ability to grasp the handles in a relaxed manner (with little chance of the handle falling out of your hands) will protect your handle from damage.
About the Author
Matt Hopkins is a former competitive speed jumper and jump rope coach. Matt has won numerous national championships in speed jumping, and his athletes have won several national speed and freestyle titles and have broken world and national speed records. He also taught middle and elementary school PE in Leavenworth WA for 23 years.