How to Tape a Skipping Rope

When I decided that I was going to do a skipping challenge, I found that there wasn’t much online with how-to articles for working with a speed rope.  Most of what I know, I learned from taking boxing and kick boxing classes, and asking questions.  So I figured I’d share what I learn as I go.

First, start with a rope.  I like to use an inexpensive plastic speed rope that you can get at most sporting goods stores.  Mine is bright green.

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The fact that they are inexpensive is a pro.  But, they also have their cons . . . they are all one-size and they can wear out and break.  If you need to shorten the rope* and want to help increase the longevity of your rope applying a bit of tape can help adjust the length and decrease the wear and tear. 

The ‘Before’ Handles

Copy of IMG_6785IMG_6816 See how lumpy the tops are?  The one on the left is also kind of crooked too.  The bulkiness is ok, but makes the turning motion a bit more awkward.  You can’t see it in the picture either, but the taped parts further down the rope have been worn down and become very sticky and gummy from the friction, which also slows down the turning.

Tools:

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-electrical tape**

-box cutter/sharp knife/scissors you’ll need to cut the electrical tape

-goo gone/nail polish remover/cleaner to remove any gunk you might have on the rope

I taped my rope when I first bought it, but I had done a sloppy job and it was time for it to be redone.  So, I redid the tape job and took pictures as I went.

Preparations: 

First, if your rope is already taped, like mine was, you need to remove the tape.

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I used the box cutter to carefully cut off the old layer of electrical tape.  You can see how much of it there was covering the end of the handle.  The little black knob at the top was all that originally held the rope in place in the handle.

Second, you’ll want to make sure your rope is clean, so it’s easier to work with.  I used some goo gone, but nail polish remover, or anything that’ll take the sticky off, would be good enough.

Third, you need to decide where to tape the rope.  If you are adjusting the length, you’ll need to measure the rope for your height.  The way to figure this out is by standing with your feet together on the rope and holding handles straight up.  If the handles come up to your armpits, you will probably find it a good length for you.  I originally used a sharpie marker to show where the handle will end on the rope, but you can also just eyeball it.

Taping to Adjust the Length:

Once you’ve figured out the length, you need to add some tape to adjust where the rope stops in the handles.  Here are some tips to make the process a bit easier . . .

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-start with a short piece of tape, it will be easier to keep neat.

-slowly build up layers

-build it up until it’s the same size as the original knob

-if you have to shorten it quite a lot, you might want to clip the end of the rope so it doesn’t interfere with the rope turning

Taping to Prevent Wear

The second place you’ll want to tape the rope, is at the spot where the rope comes out the bottom of the handle.  If you leave it without any tape, the plastic handle tends to wear the plastic rope and weaken it, leaving it prone to snapping off at this point.  Trust me when I say this is not a fun thing to have happen while you’re skipping!  Here are some tips for this part . . .

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-start the wrapping with a small piece of tape

-slowly add length

-be careful not to make it too thick!

I still need to work on perfecting this.  The picture above is my before picture, and the tape is a bit thick.  You can see that the tape is quite worn around the bottom.**

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That’s it.  It’s a fairly simple process, but I thought some explanation might help.  I’ll finish off with a bunch of more pictures of my rope taping job . . . Enjoy!  If you have any ideas about improvements or questions, feel free to fire away in the comments!

             IMG_6831 IMG_6832     IMG_6837  IMG_6839                  

*You can also shorten the rope by tying a knot in the end, but for the small adjustment that I need to make, knotting it is more difficult.  Also, depending on the plastic of the rope, the knot sometimes catches in the end of the handle making the turning awkward and choppy.

**I’m going to be experimenting with different kinds of tape that don’t get as gummy with the friction of the turning rope.  More updates as I do more research.

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