I sometimes ask myself why I need so many jump ropes; you can only use one at a time right? I own, or have owned pretty much every jump rope designated for crossfit under the sun. But still, I get a curious thrill out of the thought that one might suit my needs better than what I’ve already got. From $7 to $60, I’ve come across a ton of good ropes, and honestly I think I’ve narrowed my favorite ropes down to a select few. Will that stop me from continuing the search?
The question arose every time that I would see little CrossRope ads all over pages that I would frequent. I had been aware of the CrossRope system since right about when I started Crossfit in 2012, but I could never get myself to take the plunge. Then the CrossRope 2.0 came out and I was intrigued even more, but still couldn’t get myself to purchase a set. I figured they would offer the same experience as the RX Jump Rope, which is a fine system in it’s own right; I still use mine but I don’t think it’s the best for me. Finally after some thought, I decided I would contact CrossRope for review samples, which they didn’t have, but instead they offered me a deal that I couldn’t pass up. So finally, I took the plunge.
As mentioned before, it’s easy to take a look at the CrossRope system and write it off as a variant of the RX Rope. The similarities are more than apparent: the handles are both wrapped in grip tape, they both have the same type of ball bearing, and they both allow for interchangeable cables. The differences, and in my opinion, improvements over the RX Rope’s design are in the handle thickness and the connection type. Anyone that’s used the RX’s handles always has the same complaint, they’re too thick, especially for long sets of double unders. I really like that The CrossRope’s handles are thin, roughly half the diameter of the RX’s at it’s thinnest point, where most people would grip the handles from. The best feature is that carabiner-like connection piece that allows for fast swapping cables on the fly. Everyone that’s used RX’s handles and switched cables knows that it can be a painful and long process. Along with the extra length and hardware, comes a bit of extra heft, 5.75oz to be exact. Though I couldn’t find the weight, the CrossRope’s handles are noticeably heavier than the RX’s and every other jump rope I’ve used to date. Granted, I couldn’t imagine being able to manipulate the weight of the heavier cables if you didn’t have that extra heft and leverage. Sizing is at a downside with the CrossRope, as it only comes in only a few preset lengths. Though most people should generally fall into these lengths, having the option for more precise sizing is a big plus.
I originally ordered the CrossRope 2.0 with just their sprint cable, as I was just looking for another speed rope and planned on reviewing just the handles for that purpose. Dave, the owner, recommended that in order for me to get the full effectiveness out of the system, I should go with the whole “Double Under Domination” set. I agreed since he was giving me such an awesome deal but to be completely honest with you, I was kind of put off by this. Here I am, thinking that I’m pretty good at double unders, so why would I need a set to teach me how to do them? My ego was about to get a big ol’ can of ass kicking (Thanks for setting me straight, Dave!). I’m that guy that can do double unders, but if you tell me to do singles, I’ll hop around like a clown not able to string more than 20. Even with my doubles I’m not terribly efficient, and after using the double under domination set, definitely could use more work. I never even thought of using the CrossRope as a tool to TRAIN with. If you read the product description, it clearly states that this set should accompany your current speed rope anyways.
I didn’t follow the 8 week program, mainly because I don’t have the time for all of that, but I did skim through it and tried some of the workouts. Doing 100 singles on the 1.25lb power cable is as another coach put it, “torture”, I could hardly muster no more than a couple godawful doubles at a time. Switching to the .75lb explode cable after feels like going to a plastic jump rope after the power cable, and finally getting to the 5oz stamina cable feels like a speed rope. Time with the CrossRope goes to show that the fastest cables and smoothest turning handles don’t make for the best double under practice. Using the CrossRope, I’ve noticed deficiencies in my own jump rope technique; one smack of the power cable is good for identifying those real quick.
As a coach, there is a definitely a process to learning double unders and this set stresses that. I do believe that if you stick to the programming, not only will you get your double unders, you’ll come out a better athlete altogether. Whether you’re struggling to learn double unders, you’re just trying to make yourself a fine tuned double under machine or you’re just trying to get a good workout, this system is right for you. Affiliate and gym owners should also think about carrying a few sets to help clients get those double unders!
Although it’s a lot of extra heft, the CrossRope earned it’s way as a mainstay in my gym bag.
Now for that sprint cable…