Ask an Expert: How to pole vault with bigger poles

Kevin Christian Pole Vault 5 Comments

I currently use a 10 foot 130lb pole and I weigh 142lbs so the pole is starting to bend way to much and not able to vault me over higher bars. I try to use our 12 ft 140lb pole but I can’t get it to bend much if any at all and always end up falling over when I’m in the air or falling back down into the box which isn’t very fun and doesn’t feel too good. I have only been vaulting for a year and a half or so. I’m a sophomore in highschool and my best is 9’6 with the 130 pole. I would like to get over this obstacle. Will try to post a video for a more specific idea of what Is happening when I use the 140lb pole. Please please help/ give tips.


The above post is from a coach looking for insight. If you can help by answering their question(s), please submit a comment below.
If you have your own question(s), please submit them here.

Comments 5

  1. First of all the rules state that you must be jumping on a pole that is at or over your weight. 6 inches down in grip = 10 pounds of stiffness. The 12′ 140 is roughly the same as a 10′ 180. 50 pounds of a difference if you hold at the same grip. That’s too much. People rarely go over a 10 pound jump. Raising your grip to say 11′ will result in being rejected (not getting into the pit). No video is needed. You’re right at how unsafe this is. The more appropriate pole for you would be a 10′ 145 – 15 pounds heavier (you can’t go any smaller because you cannot jump on a pole that is rated under your weight). A 10’6 140 will be logical – you could probably increase your run by a left and gain a dozen or so feet of runway distance together more speed to get into the pit safely.

  2. I have the same exact issue except I weigh 132 using a 130 and can’t get used to the 135. I can put bend in it I just can’t keep moving forward and eventually land into the pit which sucks bad. But the highest I’ve cleared with 130 is 9’6, i have my last meet as a freshman today and I was told to use the 135 but if I fail on my 2nd attempt, to use the 130. So I really have no idea what’s gonna happen, all I’m going to try to focus on really is my form and reaching the highest speed possible. But to answer your question, or to help out, as long as you’re holding in the right position on the pole.. it shouldn’t matter what size you use within 50 pounds depending on the length of the pole. Because as you lift your legs straight up (it’s very hard to master, broke my ankle trying) you can always move your hands higher up the pole when you are airborne, since that will make your weight decrease since you’re going up. Just for the 140, remember to resist with your bottom arm and you should be able to put plenty enough bend in the pole.

  3. I am a sophomore in high school and i use a 14/160 pound pole and i have cleared 13 ft several times on it but i can’t go any higher. I have been thinking about trying the next pole but it’s a 15ft 165 pole but anyway my question is is it safe.

  4. No it would be like Jumping on a 14 foot 185 if you jump to that pole the thing you have to do in order to get higher is make sure you plant is up so that you are crouched when vaulting. You want to have a vertical back and make sure that you hang long enough because the Longer you hang if you get on a bigger pole the more you will go into the pit so the best idea is to jump on a 14 foot 165 or maybe 170.

  5. I am a 6′ tall 130lb 8th grade pole vaulter. My pr is 14’6″/4.42m and I use a 14′ 160 ucs. Right now i’m starting to blow through it and our next pole is a 14’8′ 160 ucs and I cant convince myself to jump on it. HELP ME!

Leave a Reply to Patrick Sheridan Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.