Skyfly wrote: The fact is, each 5 pound increment corresponds to an arbitrarily determined range of flexes and really means nothing. If the manufacturer doesn't certified or guarantee a pole based on weight against breakage if used by someone at or under that weight, then any kind of "assignment" of a weight is completely irrelevant. This would be why the high school rule of jumping on a pole at or greater than your weight makes zero sense. A 150lb vaulter that jumps well on a 15' 160 pole, would snap a 12' 160 pole like a twig.
Skyfly, I think you're hung up on trying to match the "weight" of the pole to the weight of the vaulter. Though it may be hard to do, due to the HS rule of not being allowed to use a pole rated under the vaulter's body weight, erase that double meaning from your mind. Call the pole weight "bananas
" (as I mentioned in a previous post). Then, the pole weight is just a nominal unit of measure, and this entire argument goes away.
Skyfly wrote: When a pole is built, the best attempt will be made for a certain flex number. But the actual flex isn't known until the end and the pole is tested. The end result may or may not match what was intended. If someone orders a 13' 170 and dead on flex is 15.0, but the pole comes out as 15.2 or 14.9, the manufacturer still calls it a 170 and sells it as such.
Yes, that's my understanding too.
KirkB wrote:But at your college level, you need to be more precise, and I think that's why you prefer dealing with flex #s instead of 5-pound weight increments. If that's what it is, then I agree with you on this!
It's not a matter of being precise. As already mentioned, the weight is irrelevant. Each 5 pound increment includes ALL of the flexes in that range. If a certain range of flexes is assigned as 160lb and the mid point of that range is considered 160, then you could also have every pole from 157.5 - 162.5 also labeled as 160. If you have a pole at the softest side of the range at 160 and then a 165 on the stiffest side of the range, you would have poles that are "10 pounds" different despite the fact they are labeled only as 5.
Again, think "bananas
" instead of "weight
" in your paragraph above, and see what logic changes. I think it's the same logic (which I agree with), except for the unfortunate confusion of the word "weight
". This is why I say that the "weight
" is just a range of flexes grouped together.
Skyfly wrote: Now think about that in context of the chart you've been referencing. It shows 13'6 165 and 14' 155 as "equal". Even if that were true (which it's not), what if the first pole is actually a 13'6 162.5 and the second pole a 14' 157.5? This is why flex number is all that matters.
Again, I agree with you, but without the chart that PVJunkie posted, what are we to do? Kyle has the flexes memorized, but you can't expect everyone to be as experienced as Kyle. A written reference is needed. So without a chart of pole lengths and flexes, we have nothing else to refer to but the chart of relative stiffness chart with pole lengths and weights.
And as silly as the HS weight rule may seem, I think it has pounded at least a little bit of common sense into the heads of some HS vaulters and coaches, probably saving many injuries, broken poles, and even lives. So for this reason alone, the chart that PVJunkie posted is necessary and valuable.
IN ADDITION TO the length/weight chart, I think that a length/flex chart would ALSO be helpful, if the mfrs were willing to disclose this information. I agree with you on this, Skyfly, which I think is also Kyle's point.