Leather vs Plastic: What is the Best Skipping Rope?

Last week I talked about how skipping is one of the best exercises for weight loss. Today I want to have a little chat about the different types of skipping ropes that are on the market and help you decide which one to buy. Your rope will make all the difference to your skipping experience.

Is the classic leather boxing rope the best?

Leather skipping rope Everlast

The most popular form of skipping rope is the heavy leather rope that was popularized by boxing. For over a hundred years boxers have been using a leather jump rope to improve their cardiovascular ability, muscle fitness and endurance. When people saw how fit boxers were they wanted to copy their training regime and as such the leather rope was adopted into gyms and weight loss centers around the world.

But is it really the best choice?

I have been skipping for close to ten years now and in that time I have had over fifteen skipping ropes. Some of them were good. Some of them were terrible. And after all these years I can honestly say that the leather skipping rope is NOT the best choice for your skipping needs.

Plastic speed ropes: the better skipping choice

Speed skipping ropes

So what should you choose instead of the traditional boxing leather rope? A plastic speed rope. These new inventions are a much better option if you want to make your skipping sessions intense, furious and extremely good for calorie burning.

The weighted versions of these ropes are particularly good. They allow you to turn the rope a lot faster than normal and as such you get a more intense cardio workout as well as really pushing your muscle strength to the next level. The main problem with the leather ropes is that you simply cannot turn it very fast. The plastic weighted ropes completely overcome this problem.

The other major advantage of the plastic speed ropes is the ball bearing handles that allow you to turn the rope at high speed without any tension. The rope is not “fixed” to the handles as in a traditional skipping rope but instead rotates 360 degrees inside the handle. This is a fantastic feature that every serious skipper must look for.


If you are in the market for a new skipping rope I would bypass the leather rope altogether. Go for a modern weighted plastic skipping rope and watch how much better your skipping sessions will be. I am certain that you will find them a lot more challenging, entertaining and productive.