As a manufacturer let me offer some facts here and get rid of a few misnomers that other pole makers do but not ESSX!
PS thank you Rainbow girl and well said!
As long as you know you are jumping on a safe pole (ie. one that is above your weight), it is better to go by the flex number. For both psychological reasons and precision reasons, the flex will always tell you more about the pole than the weight.
This is true vault3rb0y thank you however please do not get hung up on the difference between a 16.0 and a 15.5 the actual comparison on ESSX is about 2 lbs.
Try to not put so much value on a flex number! especially ordering by a flex number it is so difficult to explain that a 17.4 and 17.6 are the same size in the weight rating!
The flex number of a 12' 2" PVC plastic tube is the same as 12'-125 lbs test pole but you would not vault with it?
BUT make sure you understand two things when comparing poles using flex:
1.) Longer poles will always have a higher flex number, if they are flexed to the same "weight". Essentially a 16' 160 is stiffer than a 15'6 160 if you hold at the same point. It seems obvious, but if you go by flex numbers the 16' may flex to 22.0cm and the 15'6 may flex to 18.0cm, and if you dont look at weights you could jump on a pole without realizing how big it is.
I suggest you always look at the weight first before jumping then the flex. The flex number means nothing to you unless you note the length, the weight then the flex. Flex just shows a relative stiffness within that weight rating, telling you how much stiffer or softer that pole is to any other poles that length!
2.) The stiffness of a pole increases exponentially. If you compare the relative stiffness of 20cm, 19cm, 18cm, 17cm, 16cm, 15cm flexed poles.... the stiffness between the 16cm-15cm poles will FEEL much greater than that of the 20cm-19cm. The physics behind that one isn't terribly complicated, but also isnt worth getting into if this is just a summary.
vault3rb0y You offer a point I feel is worth diving into thank you for mentioning it!
Other companies may not recognize this info you just presented!
Other's flex their pole with more glass within the span claiming to get a better and more accurate flex? However , my opinion is this is not a true statement as a flex measure of more of the grip of the pole does not give you a more accurate flex especially when that area rarely bends or contributes to the stiffness of the pole's flex!
If one knows that on the ends of the flex scale you get a number that is stiffer or softer between it's flex numbers such as you have sited, then they could build the sail and structure of the pole to provide you with a pole that is not affected by this anomaly!
ESSX poles are built for performance, we make the patterns to get a safe, performing pole. IT is not just a stick of fiberglass rolled on a manderal! Engineering has been performed and tested over the years to provide the vaulter and coach with a fine tuned implement!
We build the pattern to get the weight rating and flex number correlation and we build into the pole the necessary things to give you a smooth jump pole size to pole size and length. No other pole company does that!
Let em give you an example; some other companies uses the sail piece with the small side to lengthen or shorten to provide a stiffer or softer pole! they may cut this pattern from 36" to 56" wider providing a stiffer pole and using 2-3 width of the sail from their standard widths of glass!
We feel this will provide a pole that requires one to adjust their timing as they progress through their pole range to a stiffer pole. this waste season time!
A better method is expensive and much more custom to building a pole such as ESSX does! The sail piece small side stays the same length for each diameter manderal ( which is the mold used to wrap the pole on) and the width of the sail determines the increase or decrease of stiffness to the pole. Thus a pole that is smooth bending the same each time except just a little stiffer like you expect!
It is very difficult for other manufactures with the volume they are running to stop production lines and provide you with such a custom part!
And they buy their glass is slit to a certain width and to cut this down for you to accommodate a better pole would increase their costs and is only done on World Class poles custom made!
(See drawing and photos I am referring to "A" and "B" changed to get a stiffer pole rather than what we do which is smoother only moving the width of "C" to get a stiffer pole!) http://officialessx.com/forum/index.php?s=f448616a05b3d6f2a1cb470482000dc4&showtopic=16&pid=17&st=0&#entry17
We call it the Xlogic System and it is why we are the only poles providing a smart label on every pole. The smart label tells the vaulters and coaches the flex number this ESSX pole compares to in other brand spans! Allowing you to compare to other brands in your bag!
It also provide the model number of the pole you may need to move to in your progression or one to move down too on bad weather days!
You want a custom made pole just like the World Class Vaulter get? Choose ESSX
Call Bruce Caldwell owner to be custom fitted fro an ESSX custom Pole
cell phone 817-819-1472
visit the JOE ESSX and the ELLA ESSX BLOGS at