How To Get Started With Double Dutch

With the recent success of the Disney movie Jump In!, a lot of people are looking to start jumping rope. In particular, there is a lot of interest in double dutch. People seem to have a lot of questions about getting started jumping double dutch. If you want to start but don’t know where to begin, I’ll try to help you out by answering a few common questions. Keep in mind that there are no absolute right answers here. You have to experiment to find what works best for you. There are many factors to consider such as what event you are jumping in, how many jumpers are in the ropes, etc.

How long are double dutch ropes?
Double dutch ropes are typically 12 to 16 feet in length. For speed events you should use 12 foot ropes. For freestyle you would typically use 12 foot ropes for 1 jumper only, 14 foot ropes for 1 or 2 jumpers, and 16 foot ropes for 2 or more jumpers.

What kind of rope works best for double dutch?
There are 4 different basic styles of jump rope: Licorice/Speed ropes, cable/wire ropes, beaded ropes, and cloth ropes. Each style of rope has its pros and cons.

  • Licorice/Speed ropes: These are good multipurpose ropes. They are good for speed and are usable for freestyle. The downsides are they stretch, they are hard to see, and they are not as easy to control as beaded or cloth ropes.
  • Cable/Wire ropes: These have very small diameter and are excellent for speed. They do not stretch like licorice/speed ropes. They are not good for freestyle. The top speed scores are typically obtained using this style of rope.
  • Beaded ropes: These are the easiest to see and are therefore most often used for demonstrations or teaching. The colors of the beads can also be customized to match team colors. The downside is that they are the heaviest ropes and can have a little “bounce” when they hit the ground.
  • Cloth ropes: These are the easiest ropes to control and don’t “bounce” when they hit the ground. They are decently visible, but not as visible as beaded ropes. These are the ropes we used for double dutch freestyle routines on the Texas A&M Jump Rope team.

Where can I buy double dutch ropes?
There are several shops on the internet that sell ropes. Jumprope.com and buyjumpropes.net are both official suppliers to USA Jump Rope.

Where can I learn how to turn/jump double dutch? Where can I learn new double dutch tricks?
Jump rope workshops or camps are a great place to start.

  • Workshops are often conducted by local teams as fund raisers. Single day workshops are an excellent chance to “jump in” and get your feet wet. Contact a team near you.
  • Camps are an excellent chance to really dive in and improve your skills by learning from some of the top jumpers in the world. They are also a ton of fun.

If you have more questions that were not answered here, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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  1. […] you are new to Double Dutch and curious about the differences, you can read more on my post about getting started with double dutch. If you’ve been jumping for a while and have tried different types of rope, leave a comment […]

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