Dual-Bearing Handle Mechanics
Are you curious what it looks like inside JumpNrope’s patented dual-bearing handles? Well you’ve visited this page, so that’s a strong indicator that you’re willing to listen, so I’ll continue. 🙂
If one were to cut the JumpNrope handle down the center what you’d see are two bearings (an outer and an inner), a central shaft, and a pivoting ball element that couples the jump rope cable to the central shaft. Pretty neat, huh?
The only central mechanisms that touch the actual handle are the bearings, which provides the central shaft the ability to spin with very little friction. The only friction that can slow down a spinning jump rope handle can come from (1) the bearings and (2) air. The viscous friction of a plastic handle spinning in calm air is pretty small, so it’s really just the bearings!
But that doesn’t mean that when you spin your jump rope handles that the time that it takes for the spin to come to rest is entirely due to the bearings- there is a lot that goes into our famous ’35 Seconds of Free-Spinning Jump Rope Handles ‘ video!
We’re sometimes asked questions regarding the “35-seconds” video above. Most of the questions are on the subject of “How did you do that?!” or “How can I do that?!”. The answer is that it takes a little practice to get a good spin, a little patience to hold still for 35 seconds, and it takes time to massage your handle bearings into shape.
Regarding the spin, this takes practice. I used to personally make our jump rope handles a long time ago, and I would spin each and every handle that we sold at JumpNrope. My hands would be blistered by the end of a shift. That was a long time ago, but the ability to spin handles is now etched in my muscle memory!
My technique is this: I simply hold the pivoting element with my weak hand, and with my strong hand I firmly place my middle finger and thumb on the base of the handle and flick. The flicking motion is like snapping your fingers but in an opposite rotational sense. Even when I do it only a few times my fingers will hurt because of the enormous pressure I put on my fingers for the flick!
The second tip to spinning your handles for a long period of time is to hold the pivoting element absolutely still the entire time! It’s challenging because when you concentrate hard enough you’ll even notice your heartbeat moving your arm a little! In addition, I keep the handle spinning vertically because I think that spinning the handle in line with gravity helps just a little (but maybe I’m paranoid!).
Just know also, that it takes some time to break in jump rope handles with bearings. Some of the best spinning handles that I’ve come across over the years are handles that belong to competitive jumpers who use their jump ropes many hours each week! Looking back on some of the best handles that I’ve seen over the years, I know that if I came across handles that could spin freely for over 5 seconds, that that jumper practiced long and hard with that jump rope.
The jump rope handles that were used in the “35 seconds” video are handles that belong to a set of speed balls that I take with me to seminars and events. When I’m bored I spin the speed balls to occupy my mind. The bearings in those handles are in very good shape after all that use.
So in the end, if your handles don’t spin for 35 seconds, just know why and that with practice your handles will break in a little and become smoother. Also know that when it comes to smooth bearings, a jump rope handle that spins for 2-3 seconds is very good- you probably wouldn’t even notice the difference if you jumped with handles that spun for 35 seconds. That extremely small difference in friction won’t affect you.