Skipping Rope Tape

Just an update, that I tried out using medical tape for the skipping rope and it was terrible.  It tore through the tape after 2 rounds of skipping.  Going to have to try another option.  Does anyone know where to buy that special tape they use on books?

Advertisements

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.

Copy of IMG_6783

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:

Copy of IMG_6824IMG_6826

-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.

IMG_6822

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 . . .

IMG_6828

-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 . . .

Copy of IMG_6819

-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.**

IMG_6836

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.

Fitness Projects

In addition to my Boxing Cardio Challenge, I’ve also started working on another fitness challenge, this one with friends.  We’ve teamed up with two other couples to work on our own ‘biggest loser’ type challenge, using a Wii Fit to measure our progress.  L and I are the only ones without a Wii, so this is also a nice excuse to get together with our friends and play some Wii a couple times a month.  We are trying to meet two Sundays each month to do active things.  And, we’ve each set our goals on the Wii Fit too (and our friends even made little Mii versions of us all – so cute!).  According to the Wii Fit I need to lose 8 pounds.  That doesn’t sound like a lot, but the last few pounds are always a bit difficult.

We’ve had our initial weigh in, but haven’t had a chance to meet up for any Sunday activities yet.  Some of the stuff we are thinking about doing . . . snowshoeing, a core yoga class, indoor rock climbing, and it’s even been suggested that we sign up for the Dragon boat festival (though we’ll need more than 6 people for that).

My boxing cardio challenge is going fairly well.  I just added my 4th round of skipping into my routine.  I’d like to be doing it a little more frequently than I currently am, but still struggle to get up early enough.  I’ve also started adding in some strength training and yoga to my exercise during the week. 

I finally managed to re-tape my skipping rope and am planning to post a tutorial about it.  I don’t think there are nearly enough skipping related blog posts available on the web, so I’m taking it upon myself to fix that.  I like the new tape job I did except the electrical tape does get gummed up with the friction of the turning rope.  I’m considering a few different options to try out.  By my third round I could feel the drag the sticky tape was putting on the rope turns, so if I’m going to work up to 12, I’d like to get the rope moving as smoothly as possible.

Progress Reports

Last year I did occasional posts reporting on my progress.  But, they turned out to be spotty at best.  So, this year, I decided I’d do what seems to be all the rage in the blogging world, put progress reports in my sidebar.  So, if you look to the side you should be able to spot my Big Rocks Progress Report.  If you are reading in a feed reader, you won’t be able to see it, so you’ll have to click through to my actual page.  I’ll try to do brief posts once in a while letting you know what’s been updated.

Lately, I’ve managed to do 2 perfect skipping rounds.  Not in the same workout mind you.  I’ve also decided that I’m going to have to re-tape my skipping rope as the current tape is starting to wear and affect the movement of the rope.  I’m hoping to snap some pictures of the process and post a tutorial.  One of the things I noticed when planning this challenge was the lack of information for skipping techniques and tips.  This is really a shame since it’s quite a good conditioning workout and a lot of fun too.  I’ll do my best to fill this void.

The only other update is that I actually drove.  I can’t believe I went almost an entire month in 2009 without driving, but there you have it.  Today I drove to and from work and my in-laws place.  I’ll also be driving again tomorrow and will try to update the progress bar accordingly.