6 Jump Rope Cable Options

Oct 08, 2023Matt Hopkins

Maybe you jump rope for fun or simply for a casual workout. Maybe you compete at CrossFit or even at the National or World jump rope competitions.

The most important decision you’ll make when purchasing a jump rope is the type of cable you choose to go with it.

Handles are important, but using the correct type of cable makes all off the difference when jumping rope. This guide will help you pick the correct cable for different types of jumping and skill levels.

  Type Recommended for Image
Ultra Thin Cable Competitive athletes
Non-Coated Bare Cable CrossFit athletes and competitive speed jumpers
Nylon Coated Cable Anyone already proficient in double unders
PVC Coated Cable Learning double unders
Outdoor Cable Double unders or speed jumping on outdoor surfaces
PVC Cord Beginners, freestyle jumpers, and single under fitness

Ultra Thin Cable

Diameter: 1.1mm or 1.3mm

Recommended for: Competitive athletes (CrossFit & Jump Rope) who need speed above all else

This is the newest and fastest of all cables on the market. When you first try the ultra thin cable you'll have a sensation that you're turning an invisible rope. The cable is very difficult to feel. However, the top jumpers in the world are using this cable to set speed and double under records (with much practice).


  • Coated with PTFE material that provides superior impact and wear resistance
  • Low sliding friction
  • Turns with extreme ease


  • Hard to feel the cable turning because of its low weight
  • Can fray at the ends of the cable
  • Wears quickly due to its thin coating
  • Expensive
  • Can kink
  • Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
  • Sharp learning curve to master control
  • Does not do crossing moves well

Non-Coated Bare Cable

Diameter: 1/16” (1.6mm)

Recommended for: CrossFit athletes and competitive speed jumpers

This is the mostly widely used cable in speed and multiple under competitions around the world. The bare cable has been the mainstay for high level athletes at competitions for over a decade. As it turns, the cable has a very light and responsive feel. This is a very fast cable.


  • Turns with great ease
  • Inexpensive


  • Wears quickly due to lack of coating on the cable
  • Frays easily which can make it hard to work with.
  • Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
  • Does not do crossing moves well

Nylon Coated Cable

Diameter: 3/32” (2.4mm)

Recommended for: Anyone already proficient in double unders

Nylon coated cables are commonly seen being used by CrossFit athletes doing double unders. This cable is slower that the Ultra Thin and Bare Cables, but still is plenty fast. There is a greater "feel" to this cable when spinning the rope than that of the previous two cables, which leads to greater control and less misses. We need to make note that most companies coat this cable with PVC, which causes the cable to wear much faster. Look for nylon coated speed cable.


  • Excellent wear resistance on smooth surfaces (ie hardwood floors)
  • Turns with ease
  • Lots of color options
  • Fray resistant
  • Inexpensive


  • Can kink
  • Leaves marks on your skin when being whipped after a miss.
  • Does not do crossing moves well

PVC Coated Cable

Diameter: 1/8” (3.2mm)

Recommended for: Learning double unders

The PVC coated cable is becoming extremely popular of late with freestyle jumpers and CrossFit athletes. Freestyle jumpers love this cable due to its quickness and ease of turning. Yet, the cable is flexible enough to easily do crossing and power moves. Athletes learning double unders find this cable super helpful because it turns quickly and has a good feel to it. This will decrease the double unders learning curve. We find many double under workshops are using this cable exclusively for teaching purposes. The PVC Coated Cable is also being used as the cable in speed double dutch competitions. 


  • Easy to feel the cable turn
  • Most flexible cable
  • Long lasting
  • Easy to do crossing and power moves


  • Can be a little too fast for freestyle jumpers
  • Can be a little to slow for double under athletes.

Outdoor Cable

Diameter: 1/8” (3.2mm)

Recommended for: Double unders or speed jumping on outdoor or abrasive surfaces

We designed this tough cable for the athletes who have no other choice but to jump rope on rough or outdoor surfaces. Any other type of cable will last only a very short time on outside surfaces. The Outdoor Cable has a super tough nylon coating, which makes it stiffer than the PVC coated 1/8” cable. It has the heaviest feel of all of our cable ropes.


  • Tough, long lasting coating
  • Heavy weight


  • Too stiff for crossing moves
  • Slower than all other cables

PVC Cord

Diameter: 4mm or 5mm

Recommended for: beginners / freestyle jumpers / single under fitness

Though not technically a cable, I'll discuss these cords as a possible choice for your jump ropes. Typically PVC cords are used for beginning or casual jumpers. They provide a good weight allowing the jumper to have excellent control of the speed and manipulation of the rope. The top jumpers in the world are combining the PVC cords with simple short or long handles to do their freestyle routines. Beginner jumpers will be able to get the rhythm of jumping quickly with these cords. The 5mm cords provide more weight for those who desire the heavier feel.


  • Long lasting
  • Nice weight
  • Easy to do crossing moves
  • Easy to control
  • Does not hurt with a miss


  • Slow turning
  • Cold weather can make brittle

Cable Recommendations Based on Skill Level 

The Casual Fitness Jumper

You can jump rope, but you're not whipping out big sets of double unders or crazy freestyle moves. This is most of us. If you're a casual fitness jumper, the following cords will give you better control of the jump rope and get a better workout. These cords are heavier and thicker, which both slows down the speed of the rope and gives you more feedback through your hands. 

Recommended Cables:

Jump rope for casual fitness jumpers: Fit+ / Boxer 3.0 / Pulse Workout Rope

The Serious Athlete

You work out hard at home and or belong to a gym and jumping rope is a core part of your workout or warm up. You can string together sets of double unders and longer periods of jumping. The following cables allow for greater speed during your workouts:

Recommended Cables:

Jump ropes for serious athletes: Double Under Starter Kit / Muay Thai 2.0 / Bullet COMP

The Competitive Athlete

In order to be the best, these athletes use cables that combine speed and control. It does no good to go fast if you are going to miss. In addition, many of theses athletes need to jump for very long periods of time. The weight and speed of these cables are all important.

Recommended Cables:

Jump ropes for competitive athlete: Surge 3.0 Bullet COMP

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.


  • A Helper


    Go to the top of this page, click the menu button on the top left, then click Gear, then click Cables & Cords. There you can buy the Nylon coated cable rope.

  • Garry

    I just need the rope (not the handles). How can I buy the nylon coated cable rope?

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Subscribe & Save