In September of last year, I wrote a post on the Rogue SR-1 Jump-Rope, their tendency to unscrew and blow apart mid-WOD, and an invaluable tool needed for anyone who owns the SR-1 and how to effectively address the problem, (“Tools For Tools”). Since writing that post, some things have changed in regards to the SR-1 product and new Jump-Ropes have hit the market, along with new Jump-Rope tools, such as the Again Faster Speed Balls, designed to help improve people’s Double-Unders.
One of the coolest new Jump-Ropes to hit the market is the RPM Speed Rope. As a guy, the very design of this jump-rope appeals greatly to me. Who wouldn’t love the idea of having an all aluminum handle. (At least I think it’s aluminum. Strangely enough, as unique as the handle design is when compared to other jump-ropes, there is no mention of the handle design or what it is made of whatsoever anywhere on their website.) While the handle is cool and the spin nice, one of the biggest problems that our athletes who use the RPM have with it is that the cable that comes with the RPM is rather stiff and brittle and tangles easily. This can make it a pain to use in a competition setting. If you decide to go with the RPM, I’d suggest opting for the plastic coated cable rather than the uncoated. It still has tangle issues, but the coating will help it last longer, delaying the bad fraying that is happening with David M’s.
Another new Jump-Rope is the Rogue SR-2 Ballistic Jump-Rope. Like the RPM, it is made of “aircraft grade aluminum”, though UN-like the RPM, it is entirely made in the USA. I’ve yet to personally try it, so I can’t provide you any quality assessment just yet.
While the Again Faster Speed Balls can help improve Double-Under technique, I don’t think it’s necessary for every athlete to rush out and buy one. If each affiliate had just one or two sets, that would be more than enough to help athletes develop their skills with this tool if they felt it was necessary.
While the Rogue SR-1 is still by far my favorite Jump-Rope on the market right now, they have changed the cable that comes with the rope. The cable that originally came with the SR-1 was great, but the cable they now offer is much less flexible and malleable and now suffers the same problems as the RPM cable, easily tangles and, unless you lay it out right each time, makes quick transitions into your next set difficult. Generally, it might not be a big deal, but in a very limited timeframe setting such as the Snatch Ladder at Regionals or the Clean Ladder at the Games, it could be a critical factor.
I still love the SR-1 design, but the new cable sucks. So to remedy the problem, I ordered a cable from Rx Jump-Ropes as their cables are still very flexible and last a long time. As you can see from the photo, I simply used small split-rings to attach the blue cable to the handle, though you could cut off the end loops and use small set-screws to attach it to the handles instead.
While the Rx replacement cable works fine, it still cost $10 plus shipping, a bit pricey. A much better, faster and cheaper fix is to do as both Patrick L and Pete H did and go to Home Depot. For about $3, you can have your cable made right there on the spot. The Home-Depot coated cables are thin, fast and flexible, having none of the usual “tangle” issues that the new SR-1 cable suffers from and that plague the RPM cable. The only drawback to going this rout is that the only color generally available is kind of a “meh” green, but for only $3 and “instant delivery”, it is a great option for those of us who train a lot and burn through cables. You can save the $10 Rx replacement cable in the color of your choosing for Regionals so as, you know, to ensure that your cable matches your Custom Nanos, Atlas Power Wraps and matching team outfits, haha.
It really doesn’t matter what Jump-Rope you have or what kind of cable is attached if you don’t practice. The key to Double-Unders is consistent practice. Sure, you can get away with only doing them once a week and still be able to bust out a set of 38 fresh, but if you don’t practice them regularly, then mechanics will often break down when fatigued during a WOD, like, saaay, after doing 150 freakin Wall-Balls. Spend just a few minutes a day maintaining this skill and it will be with you when you need it in competition.
5 Squat C&J 155/105#
10 Wallball 20/16#
5 HP Cleans 155/105#