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How to Choose a Pole Vault Pole Neuff Athletic

Vaulting Pole Guidance for Athletes

Find your perfect pole with an excellent pole vault coach!

Where pole vault is concerned, it’s no easy task working out which vaulting poles are best suited for your needs!

Some poles may look great on paper, but there are many personal factors that you need to consider before committing yourself to any options that you have laid out on the table for yourself. 

For now, ask yourself the following...

  • What is your takeoff speed?
  • ...and where are you in your pole vaulting journey?

If you are lucky to have a vaulting coach, they should always be your first port of call, as they will know your abilities better than most. Or, if you’re part of a close vaulting community, you could try out other vaulting poles that are available to you.

However, if you need further guidance, then we think we know just the person who can help!

Introducing Kate Rooney Pole Vault Coach

Kate is currently a pole vault coach at Loughborough University, and she works with various athletes, including 2022 Commonwealth Games finalists Owen Heard and Ellie McCartney.

As a GB athlete, Kate Rooney (nee Dennison) was the former British record holder in pole vault (indoors and outdoors) and competed in the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics. She also competed at the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, claiming a bronze medal in the latter, and a 6th Place in the the World championships in Berlin in 2009.

Kate has extensive knowledge of Pacer poles but can advise on other poles where necessary. Kate has also listed a few factors to take into consideration when choosing a vaulting pole. Read her pointers below!

The difference between carbon and fiberglass vaulting poles

"The main difference between fiberglass and carbon poles is that the carbon poles are lighter to carry for the vaulters. However, this comes with a counter effect that they recoil quicker, and so the vaulters need to swing faster to time up with the pole. For beginners who are still learning to bend a pole, I would opt for a fiberglass pole."

Pacer has three types of poles:

Gill Porter Pacer Vaulting Poles

  1. Pacer One - Good for beginners
  2. Pacer FXV - Elite fiberglass vaulting poles, used by European Champions
  3. Pacer Composite - Light-weight performance vaulting pole

Pole stiffness and changing onto longer vaulting poles

"As a loose rule of thumb, 5lbs of pole increase should equal 1.0 flex change. Anything less than that becomes a “smaller” change up… whilst anything more than that becomes a “bigger” change-up. So, you can use the flex ratings to guide you.

At novice level, 5lbs / 1.0 flex change is absolutely fine as a change-up goes.  

I would also not worry too much about working in flexes at novice level… 5lbs increments are also fine… as long as you have a decent series of poles with mid-range flexes for each poundage (in the example above, a 21.4 would be a mid-range flex). The flex ranges used by each brand to determine poundage values are unique and cannot be compared between brands.

Changing onto a longer pole is usually needed when the vaulter starts to run out of grip as they grip higher up the pole. However, we don’t all have the luxury of an infinite number of poles, and often a jumper may need a stiffer pole when the next stiffer pole available is long. Choosing which pole to take becomes quite difficult as pole flexing systems differ. 

However, as a rule of thumb… I would say for a ½ foot / 15cm pole length increase, a 10lbs ‘softer’ pole on the same grip is pretty close to being like for like. And a 20lbs ‘softer’ pole for 1 foot / 30cm pole length increase with a like-for-like grip would also be appropriate. So… a 13ft 150, a 13’7ft 140, and a 14ft 130 would all be pretty similar if they were all taken with the same grip."

How to receive vaulting pole advice

Pole Vaulting Tips and Advice

If you’re really stuck on which vaulting pole to use and think you need further advice from Kate, please follow the below steps to the best of your ability.

  • Send us footage of your pole vaulting from different angles
  • Tell us your PB or your most significant accomplishments to date
  • Let us know which pole(s) you are currently using
  • Tell us where you currently are in your pole vaulting journey, what your current goals are and how long you have been pole vaulting for.

Please send the above to We will then pass your information on to Kate, who will advise on which vaulting pole best suits your needs. Kate will also explain her choices to you.

Tag us in your social media videos

Alternatively, you can post your videos on social media and tag us in them. If you would prefer to send us your details/footage this way, please also use the hashtag #advicepleasecoach in your post.

We are really excited to be collaborating with Kate on pole vaulting advice here at Neuff, and we’ll do our best to help every pole vaulter out there as best as we can!

With this in mind, get in touch with us now if you would like to receive free advice from a top UK pole vault coach!

Kate's journey in athletics and coaching

It goes without saying that Kate has had a very successful track record as both a former athlete and current coach. We wanted to find out more about her journey, so we sat down with Kate to talk about her experiences as a vaulter and coach!

In our chat with Kate, we discuss how first got into pole vault, what sparked her interest to become a coach and what her hopes are for the wider coaching community, amongst other topics!

Need advice on your javelin throws?

David Turner javelin advice

Did you know that we also have a top UK javelin coach at hand to help you pick a throwing implement for your athletics too?

If you or another athlete you know could do with some guidance on choosing a new javelin, take a read of our throws guidance page for more details!

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