We get phone calls all the time from beginner rope jumpers asking whether they should start with a beaded or PVC ("licorice") jump rope. To new jumpers, it can be hard to decide. If you're one of those wondering which rope is best for you, keep reading.
First, our beaded ropes are typically made of polypropylene beads, and our licorice ropes are made of PVC cord. We have many variations of each type of rope, but they are all generally made of those materials. The handles are the same.
Other than those technical differences, the ropes vary in a few other key ways:
Licorice ropes are slightly less expensive, primarily because they are easier to make. Most beaded jump ropes are still beaded by hand.
Verdict: PVC ropes are slightly cheaper.
In general PVC ropes are quicker, and beaded ropes are slower. We tend to recommend beaded ropes to beginners just starting because it's easier to establish a rhythm with the slower rotation speed and the "tick tick" of the beads when they hit the ground.
Beaded ropes are also preferred by most people learning tricks because they are less stiff, and therefore easier to manipulate when doing freestyle movements.
PVC ropes are best if you plan on practicing double unders and other speed movements that require the rope to cut through the air more quickly.
Verdict: Beaded ropes are better for beginners.
Both ropes will last many years if cared for correctly, but if you’re jumping on concrete, licorice ropes will experience some wear and tear. The handles will last forever, but you may have to replace the PVC every few months to years depending on how often you jump. Also, if you jump outdoors in cold weather (below freezing) in the winter, cold PVC can and will snap.
Our jump rope beads will last for 10s of thousands of jumps, even on rough surfaces in the cold, and they are very easy to replace. When the bottom beads where out where the rope touches the ground, new ones fall into place (and you can purchase replacement beads).
Verdict: Beaded ropes are much more durable.
Both beaded jump ropes and PVC jump ropes can be adjusted fairly easily, but it’s far quicker with a PVC Rope. It can be adjusted with a small plastic snap lock and trimmed with regular scissors.
On the other hand, in order to adjust a beaded rope you will need to untied the know holding the beads in the handle, remove beads and then retie the knot.
Verdict: PVC ropes are much easier to adjust.
When we're on the phone, we ultimately end up telling the customer it comes down to personal preference. You can’t go wrong! But if you’ve gotten to this point and are still undecided, here’s a little push - our customer service team chose the beaded rope 5-3.