How do I know if my rope is the correct length?
To cut or not to cut, that is the question.
So you've just received your new rope, but it's way too long for you to jump over without tripping. You may be wondering 1. What length do you aim for? 2. How do you avoid cutting it too short? - and maybe even 3. How do you actually cut it? We'll talk about all 3 of these most common questions.
1. What length do i aim for?
Well - it depends firstly on how tall you are, and next on how experienced you are in jumping. Here is how to measure your perfect length:
First, grab your rope by the handles. Then, put one foot in the middle of the rope and step down on it to hold it in place. Pull the rope up equally on both sides to measure. For beginners, you may start with a max length of where the bottom of your handles reach your armpits when pulled up tight. As you level up in jumping experience, you may reassess your rope length and cut it shorter over time. As a rule of thumb, chest to hip height is the ideal length range to aim for.
2. How to avoid cutting my rope too short?
Ouch, cutting your new rope is scary! But necessary.
If you're smacking your hair/cap with each jump or having to bend your body to get the rope over, your rope may be too short for you.
Our suggested jumping form is to keep your arms close to your body to lengthen the rope arch. If you're having to flare your arms too wide to avoid tripping, the rope may be too long for you. However, as beginners struggle to keep their arms tight while jumping, we suggest to avoid cutting it too short by leaving extra rope and then knotting it to the desired length. For PVC ropes, knot it a bit below the bottom of your handles. For beaded ropes, you can knot some extra cord above the handles.
Tip: For beaded ropes, a shorter length will greatly benefit you when learning releases.
3. How to cut the rope?
Grab a scissors!
PVC: Remove handle and clasp. Use a sharp scissors or blade to cut the PVC rope to your measured ideal length (with extra length for spare). Reassemble the handle and clasp, and test the new length. Knot the rope to a desired length if needed.
Beaded: Unknot the cord and remove the washers and handles. Remove beads as necessary for the desired length. You may keep the extra beads as replacements when your beads are worn out. Use a sharp scissors to cut the braided cord, leaving extra length for spare. If the cord is too frayed to fit into the washer hole, use the lighter to melt it very slightly to weave it through easier. Reattach the handles before washers, and knot the cord to fix it in place. You may tie more knots for extra cord to spare. To keep the cord ends from fraying, seal the ends by using a lighter to lightly melt the edges. Be careful not to set your rope on fire!
We suggest leaving two inches of un-beaded space between each of your handles and the closest beads, but this depends on each individual's preference for the rope's weight distribution. You may test out your own preference by leaving a bigger or smaller gap.
In saying all of the above, we want to emphasise that each jumper has their own style of jumping rope. Just because someone doesn't have their hands stuck by their sides does not mean they are an amateur jumper. Some jumpers use a longer rope to help increase their reach for wider footwork or complicated crossing skills. You do you.