Soar to New Heights: Your Guide to Pole Vault Equipment Essentials

Pole vaulting combines athleticism and precision, requiring specialized equipment for safety and performance. This guide from TrackBarn explores the essential gear needed by vaulters, from poles to landing pads, and offers expert advice on selecting and maintaining each piece. Understanding these essentials not only enhances performance but also ensures safety as athletes strive to reach new heights.

Introduction to Pole Vaulting

Pole vaulting combines speed, strength, and agility, making it one of the most thrilling events in track and field. This section will introduce readers to the excitement and complexity of the sport, setting the stage for a deeper dive into its history and the essential equipment.

The History of Pole Vaulting

Pole vaulting has a rich history, originating as a practical method for crossing obstacles in ancient civilizations before evolving into a competitive sport during the 19th century in Europe. It was included in the first modern Olympics in 1896, highlighting its long-standing significance in track and field. TrackBarn celebrates this storied past by offering a curated selection of pole vaulting equipment that honors the sport's heritage while incorporating the latest technology to enhance athlete performance.

Why the Right Equipment Matters

Using the correct equipment in pole vaulting is not merely a matter of performance enhancement but is crucial for safety. The pole, for instance, must perfectly match the vaulter's weight and skill level to prevent accidents and ensure optimal performance. TrackBarn emphasizes the importance of personalized equipment choices, providing expert guidance and high-quality gear that meets safety standards and boosts performance. This segment will explain how choosing the right shoes, poles, and landing mats can make a significant difference, supporting vaulters from beginners to elite competitors.

Choosing the Right Pole Vault Pole

Pole vaulting is not just about skill and courage; it's also heavily reliant on having the right equipment. The pole is central to a vaulter's performance, and choosing the right one can make the difference between a new personal best and a missed attempt. At TrackBarn, we understand the importance of precision in selecting your pole vault pole.

Types of Poles

Poles for vaulting are typically made from either fiberglass or carbon fiber, each offering distinct benefits:

  • Fiberglass Poles: These are the more traditional choice and are prized for their flexibility and durability. Fiberglass poles are generally more forgiving for new vaulters, making them a popular choice in high school and collegiate levels.
  • Carbon Fiber Poles: Lighter and stiffer than fiberglass, carbon fiber poles allow for higher energy storage, which can translate into greater heights. These poles are often preferred by more experienced vaulters who are able to control and utilize the stiffer pole dynamics.

Both types of poles come in various lengths and flex ratings. The flex rating is a measure of the pole's stiffness, and choosing the correct flex rating is crucial as it must correspond to the vaulter's technique and physical capabilities.

How to Select Your Pole

Selecting the right pole vault pole at TrackBarn involves considering several factors:

  • Vaulter’s Weight: Each pole has a weight rating that should closely match or slightly exceed the vaulter’s weight. Using a pole not rated for your weight can be dangerous.
  • Experience Level: Beginners might start with a more flexible pole, which provides more control as they learn the mechanics of the vault. More experienced vaulters may opt for a stiffer pole to maximize their energy transfer.
  • Technique Considerations: The choice of pole can also depend on a vaulter’s technique. Vaulters with a more aggressive approach may benefit from a stiffer pole, whereas those with a smoother style may find more success with a flexible pole.

Essential Gear for Every Vaulter

Pole vaulting is not only about soaring heights but also ensuring safety with every jump. At TrackBarn, we understand that the right gear is crucial for both beginners and seasoned vaulters. This section explores the essential equipment needed to vault safely and effectively.

Helmets and Safety Equipment

Safety is paramount in pole vaulting—a sport that combines speed, power, and precision. Helmets are vital for protecting vaulters from head injuries during falls or missteps. At TrackBarn, we offer helmets specifically designed for pole vaulting, featuring lightweight, impact-resistant materials that do not compromise the vaulter's comfort or mobility.

In addition to helmets, safety pads are essential. These include pole vault landing areas (mats), which TrackBarn ensures meet regulation specifications for cushioning and dimensions. We also recommend protective padding for the vault box and surrounding areas to protect athletes from injuries related to direct contact with the equipment.

Shoes and Clothing

The right shoes can significantly influence a vaulter's performance. TrackBarn provides specialized pole vaulting shoes designed to offer optimal traction and support during the run-up and take-off. These shoes feature specific structural enhancements, such as reinforced toes and secure fastenings, to aid in stability and power transfer.

Clothing, too, plays a critical role in a vaulter’s performance and safety. Our selection at TrackBarn includes form-fitting, aerodynamic apparel that allows for maximum mobility while also adhering to the sport's regulations. Fabrics are breathable and moisture-wicking, ensuring athletes remain comfortable and dry, which is essential for maintaining grip and focus during vaults.

Setting Up Your Pole Vaulting Area

Creating a safe and effective pole vaulting area is crucial for training and competition. This section will cover the essential components of a proper setup, focusing on the vault box and landing areas.

The Vault Box

The vault box is a critical component in pole vaulting, serving as the insertion point for the pole during the vault. It is typically made of metal and is embedded in the runway. The role of the vault box is to securely hold the pole at the beginning of the vault, allowing athletes to transfer their forward momentum into upward lift efficiently.


  • Material: Most vault boxes are constructed from durable metals that can withstand the force and wear of repeated use. Stainless steel is commonly preferred for its strength and corrosion resistance.
  • Dimensions: Standard vault boxes have a length of about 105 cm and a width that tapers from 60 cm at the back to 15 cm at the front. The depth typically ranges from 20 cm to 25 cm.
  • Angle: The box is installed at an angle, generally between 105 and 110 degrees, which helps in the smooth transition of the pole from the run-up to the lift-off.

At TrackBarn, you can find vault boxes that meet all regulatory specifications for both training and professional meets, ensuring that every vaulter can practice with competition-standard equipment.

Landing Areas

The landing area in pole vaulting is designed to maximize athlete safety during and after the vault. This area needs to be large enough to accommodate vaulters safely regardless of their height or the height they are attempting.


  • Size: The minimum recommended size for a landing area is 5 meters by 5 meters, with a preferred size of 6 meters by 6 meters to provide extra safety.
  • Material: Landing mats are typically made from high-density foam covered in weather-resistant material to protect the foam from the elements and ensure it retains its cushioning properties.
  • Setup: The landing mats should be placed around the vault box with no gaps. The setup often includes additional padding around the edges and back of the landing area to protect the vaulter from hitting the ground or the equipment.


Selecting the appropriate pole vaulting equipment is imperative for both optimal performance and utmost safety. At TrackBarn, our extensive collection of premium equipment caters to the diverse requirements of both emerging and seasoned athletes. By ensuring access to high-caliber poles, vault boxes, and landing mats, we empower vaulters to concentrate on surpassing personal records in a secure environment. We invite you to explore our meticulously curated selection to equip yourself for excellence in your pole vaulting endeavors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are the key factors to consider when choosing a pole vault pole?

Ans: When selecting a pole vault pole, consider the vaulter’s weight, experience level, and the flexibility of the pole. The right pole should match the vaulter's technique and provide the appropriate level of support and bend during the vault.

Q: How often should pole vault equipment be replaced or inspected?

Ans: Pole vault equipment should be inspected regularly for signs of wear or damage, especially before major competitions. Poles can last several years with proper care, but factors like usage frequency and storage conditions can affect their lifespan.

Q: Are there specific safety standards for pole vault equipment?

Ans: Yes, pole vault equipment must meet specific safety standards set by athletic organizations like the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). These standards ensure that the equipment is safe and suitable for competition.

Q: Can I use any type of landing mat for pole vaulting?

Ans: Not all mats are suitable for pole vaulting. Landing mats for this sport should be specifically designed to absorb the high impact of the vault. They must be thick enough and made from materials that provide adequate cushioning.

Q: Where can I find equipment specifications for competitive pole vaulting?

Ans: Equipment specifications for competitive pole vaulting can be found on the websites of sports governing bodies like the IAAF or your national athletics organization. These resources provide detailed guidelines on acceptable equipment dimensions, materials, and setup requirements.

Pole vaulting equipmentTrackbarn

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