Once upon a time choosing a jump rope was easy … you had a choice between the beaded one or the leather one. Now, as rope jumping has grown in popularity for fitness and as a sport, you have seemingly endless varieties and styles of ropes to choose from.
In fact, we get calls and emails every day from people asking for help choosing a jump rope. This guide is based on 20 years of customer reviews & feedback and my experience as a jump rope coach, competitive jumper, and PE teacher.
All jump ropes work indoors, but many jump ropes will wear out very quickly on hard surfaces like concrete. This makes it important to pick a rope that can hold up on rough surfaces. The most durable outdoor jump ropes use a PVC cord or thick shatterproof beads. Here are my picks for outdoor jump ropes.
Many ropes now are built exclusively for speed because of the popularity of double under workouts in CrossFit. These double under speed ropes are incredibly fast, but more difficult to use if you're a beginner or just use a jump rope casually. They also won't do crossing moves well if you plan to work in freestyle elements.
Workout / Gym Ropes
If you just want a jump rope to get your sweat on in the gym, look for a jump rope that has handles with comfortable grips, a thicker PVC cord, and an easy size adjustment system.
Thicker cords help with setting a rhythm and getting your heart rate up faster. They also don't tangle or kink like speed cables and beads .... this rope will probably live in your gym bag, so you don't want to spend time undoing a spider web every time you want to jump.
As you improve your jump rope skills you will typically shorten your rope to accommodate faster speed (related: see our jump rope sizing guide).
Jump ropes for kids don't need to be extra fancy. A good combination of quality, cost and that "fun" factor is what's important. These ropes are all made of very durable materials (so you won't worry about them breaking or getting tangled up), they will last a long time even if jumping out on the playground or the street, and they're all reasonably priced.
Feel free to comment below if you have further questions! I usually respond within a day.
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.