Jump ropes are relatively inexpensive pieces of equipment that can be used almost anywhere in which there is a flat surface and some space. Due to their cheap production costs, various needs and uses and a wide range of customer preferences, fitness equipment manufacturers have developed several different types of jump rope handles. These types vary by the materials from which they are made, fit and features. Each can be designed for different jump rope usage.
Most jump rope handles are made from wood or plastic. Wooden handles, though somewhat less common, tend to be found on leather jump ropes. Boxers especially seem to favor the sturdy, lightweight wooden handles, said to prove comfortable even after prolonged use. Speed ropes made of polymerizing vinyl chloride, or PVC, usually have handles made of smooth plastic. These handles are believed to work best for those who perform tricks and thus need slim, smooth jump rope handles for quick movements and control.
Some manufacturers try to make jump rope handles as comfortable as possible to attract customers. Cushioned plastic handles may help guard against blisters and prevent movement or slipping. Handles with contoured plastic, wood or cushioning may have grooves to indicate where one should grip for added comfort and control. Still other jump rope handles may be curved to fit the natural shape of a fist. These ergonomic handles may help prevent injury of the hands and wrists from gripping too tightly or rotating the wrists for long periods of time.
Jump rope handles also differ in their features, which are often geared toward the various uses for the equipment. Those who jump rope as part of a weight-loss regimen may enjoy the benefits of handles with a digital read-out screen, which can keep track of time, number of jumps, calories burned and even the distance jumped in miles or kilometers. Some jumpers prefer handles with ball bearings inside. Ball bearings can improve fluidity of movement and control of the rope and put less stress on the wrists. Those wanting to improve strength through jumping rope, such as boxers, might select jump rope handles with hollow cores into which one can insert extra weight.
The choice between jump rope handles is one of personal preference. As jump ropes are often relatively inexpensive, one can potentially try out several different types to find the best fit.