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What Kind of Equipment Will My High School Pole Vaulter Need

Updated on May 5, 2017

Has your High School student decided to learn to Pole Vault?

When your high school student decides that they would like to participate on the track and field team, specifically high school pole vaulting, you, as a parent, may wonder just what type of equipment they will need to be involved in the sport. Understanding the type of investment that needs to be made, as far as high school pole vaulting equipment is concerned, will help you be prepared when the time arises to put out the cash.

Pole Vaulting Bar and Pit

This is an example of what a bar and pit will look like.  These are used for the actual vault.
This is an example of what a bar and pit will look like. These are used for the actual vault.

Thank goodness you don't have to invest in a bar and pit!

The school will most likely provide all the equipment such as the bar and pit and all the equipment associated with the actual pole vault itself, but there are some personal items that each high school pole vaulter will be required to provide.

Pole Vaulting Spikes

The spikes on the bottom give the pole vaulter added traction when running.
The spikes on the bottom give the pole vaulter added traction when running.

Pole Vaulting Shoes or Spikes

The first thing that is needed for high school pole vaulting is shoes.  There are actual track shoes that are made specifically for pole vaulting known as “pole vaulting spikes.”  These can run anywhere from $70-$120, but can sometimes be found on sale for about $50.  If your high school pole vaulter is new to the sport then purchasing an actual pole vaulting spike may not be necessary.  Any jump spikes (mid-distance, jump, long distance spikes) you can find on sale or for a cheaper price will do to start out with.

What to look for in a pair of Pole Vaulting Spikes.

The most important thing to consider when purchasing a pair of spikes is that there is some adequate padding in the heel.  Without that heel padding they may develop an issue with shin splints, for this reason it is better to stay away from sprint spikes.  Spikes will help you run faster and give you better traction, when used in the proper way.

The Vaulting Pole

The high school vaulting pole is another thing that you will need to inquire about. Vaulting poles range in variety, size and flexibility range. The most important thing to consider when looking into a high school pole vaulting pole is the pole’s weight range. In high school pole vaulting it is required to have vaulters use a pole that is test-weighted to support a weight equal or higher than their actual weight. This is required for the actual safety of the high school pole vaulter and reduces the risk of the vaulting pole breaking, which could cause injury to the vaulter. Vaulting poles usually start in the $200 range and go up from there.

Do I really have to purchase a vaulting pole?

Sometimes the high school that your student attends will have a supply of pole vaulting poles for your student to use.  This will eliminate the cost of purchasing one for your student until you are sure this is something they are serious about doing.

Pole Vaulting Tips

Pole Vaulting tips need to be replaced due to wear. They come in different sizes depending on the size of your pole.
Pole Vaulting tips need to be replaced due to wear. They come in different sizes depending on the size of your pole.

More supplies, Pole Vaulting Tips, and Tape

Miscellaneous supplies will also need to be considered such as, pole vaulting tips, also known as butt plugs. These will need to be replaced because of wear, or for cosmetic reasons. These run about $12-$15 dollars a piece.

White athletic tape is also a must for any pole vaulter to have in their bag. This is used to wrap the pole with; the vaulting pole needs fresh tape all the time, and runs about $3.50 per role. Pole vault pole grip tape is another small item that is needed and runs about $16.00 a roll. It is actually double sided sticky tape that makes your grip on the pole more solid.

Pole Vaulting for the beginner.

Pole Vaulting Helmets

In some states another piece of equipment that is required is a helmet for all vaulters. This is an issue that still raises quite a bit of controversy. If you are considering an actual pole vaulting helmet it can run anywhere from $100 or better. Some coaches recommend any type of helmet such as a skateboard helmet or any pro-tec helmet that starts around $35.

Talk to your High School Pole Vaulting coach.

As with any extra curricular activity that your high school student participates in, there is an initial cash outlay that will be required. Shop around and see if you can find any used or pre-owned equipment that can make the investment a little less expensive. Talk to the track and field coach to see if he can suggest any other ways to make your high school pole vaulting experience any easier and more cost effective.

Have fun, and remember, the sky’s the limit in fun and when it comes to cost, so be warned!

The sky is the limit!


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    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

      Thanks for the positive comments. Pole vaulting is sort of an unknown area for most high school parents. I just wanted to share some information to make their pole vaulting experience a little easier.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

      really good and useful information on pole vaulting. I found it interesting even though I don't have a high schoool pole vaulter around:-)

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      I am glad your daughter is doing well.

      Keep on Hubbing!