Jump ropes are a staple in everyone’s CrossFit bag, but how do you know which rope is right for you? In this week’s gear review, I’ll give you the low-down on ropes. Why should you listen to a guy who can barely do double-unders (dubs)? Well, this definitely isn’t a “how to do dubs really well” article. It’s about jump ropes, and I happen to have about half a dozen of them! My top three are pictured.
On to the good and bad of these ropes…
RX Smart Gear
Let’s start with the RX Smart Gear ropes (the orange rope in the picture). This was my 2nd rope and — believe it or not — it is thinner than my first RX rope. The RX ropes are great for executing singles or starting to learn dubs. You can always get a thinner rope to change out with the same set of handles. The handle is girthy (I said it), but the rubber grip makes it easy to hang on during those long jumping WODs. The company has a ton of colored ropes to choose from. Pair that with the custom handles and BOOM! An endless variety of color combinations between the cables and handles! So that’s neat. Overall these are great ropes, but the handles are a bit heavy and the length isn’t adjustable. You’ll also need to know the length of the cable you want, which is difficult to determine when you’re new.
- Interchangeable ropes and handles
- Customizable color combinations
- Length is not adjustable
- Heavier handles
SR-2s Speed Rope 2.0
The Fraser (HWPO) SR-2s rope is the red-handled rope in the picture. I purchased the rope when I decided to stop trying singles and move to a speed rope. At 2.3 mm, it’s is thinner than any RX rope I had ever purchased, and the length is completely adjustable. While this rope is not the smallest out there, it was a great rope for getting more dubs than I previously had. I really like this rope overall, but the shortness of the handles started to bother me during long WODs. There is a version with longer handles that would likely alleviate my in-WOD woes with this rope.
- Adjustable length
- Great weight for discovering a dub rhythm
- The small aluminum handles get slippery as you’re dying in a WOD
RPM Session 3.0
The newest (1 week old) addition to the Rutherford Rope collection is the dark lavender handled RPM 3.0. Judge my color choice if you must, but this thing is fast. The rope turns effortlessly because — according to RPM’s website — it features patented dual axis rotation, which allows your handles to stay on the end of the rope and eliminates torque build-up in the cable. And did I mention this thing is fast? The rope is fully adjustable, and when you find the rhythm with this rope, it is effortless. Although I have done a couple sets of 50 dubs and found it to be smooth, I have found this rope to be difficult to crank out those sets because of its lightweight.
- Adjustable length
- Replaceable cables
Now, I’m no Jenn Hogan, Ryan Barr, Kris Oberheim, Anthony Menichino, Mike Flynn, Sara Palmier, Ben Stroud, Paul Cegon, Josh Wansing, John Harder, Sarah Floyd, Kyle Pick, or Collette West (I’m sure there are plenty of people that have amazing dubs that I didn’t list here, I just listed the first people that came to mind that dominate their dubs. If I’ve left you off the list, it was unintentional, and I’ll buy you a FitAid once you show me your dub dominance), but I have been through a ton of jump ropes. There are plenty of ropes not mentioned here that are fantastic, such as the Froning SR-1F, Bridges SR-2 Speed Rope 3.0, the Double Under Wonder, and some of the Amazon ropes. If you’re new to the jump rope game, start with a thicker and heavier rope, and move to smaller, lightweight, faster ropes as you improve. Look for cable weight and coating, if the rope is adjustable in length or not, and handle material when shopping for new ropes. ALSO, I’m a talker and have a mild obsession with gear, so if you want to talk ropes, hit me up!