Which is better for a rope climb? Natural or Manila

If you've done any type of obstacle course race, I can bet you have probably come across the rope climb. While it does take a certain amount of grip and upper body strength to get up the rope, there are techniques such as the J or S-Hook that can be used making it much easier to get up it, by using more of your legs, instead of all of your upper body. Either way, having your own rope to practice climbing and strengthening your grip can be quite helpful. While there are several kinds of rope out there, the two most commonly used ones in races are either Manila or Poly-Dacron. And while both kinds of rope are great for training and have a lot of different ways you can use them, each have their pros and cons, depending on what the rope is made out of. I'm gonna give you the lowdown on both, and I hope this will help you determine which one is best for YOU, should you ever consider adding a rope to your training gear.

Let's start with the Manila...
The Pros:
1. It's a bit rougher, making it easier to grip.
2. For those of you that like things that are organic, it is a natural product.
3. A little less expensive than synthetic.

The Cons:
1. It sheds. So if it's not going outdoors, expect to be sweeping up little fibers after you use it.
2. It can rot and mildew over time if left outside. With that being said, it does take a while for that to happen. I've personally had ours hanging out in our yard for almost 4 years and it hasn't rotted yet.
3. Remember those little fibers I mentioned? Yeah...those things can hurt and cause splinters.

Now let's look at the Poly Dacron Synthetic...
The Pros:
1. Doesn't Shed.
2. Excellent resistance to moisture, UV rays and weather conditions.
3. This is what you'll see at most races.

The Cons:
1. Harder to grip.
2. They tend to be a bit stiff when you first get one.
3. A little more expensive than Manila.

I hope this helps if you've been on the fence about which rope would be better for you.

1 comment

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