In this FAQ, we will be addressing the following subjects:
- Lifetime of your rope sheath/cover
- How to increase the lifetime of your rope
- How to properly maintain and wash your rope
- What to use and not to use for a better grip on your rope
Lifetime of your rope sheath/cover:
The cover is the part of your rope that will receive the most stress during use. It is therefore perfectly normal for the cover to break after about 1 to 2 years for normal professional use, or 8 to 10 months for heavy use or when the artist makes falls that generate a lot of force. For extreme use, such as schools or training centers where the equipment is used non-stop, on the daily, the cover may break after only 6 to 7 months.
In case of breakage, the sheath may slip about 6" (15 cm). Although it can be spectacular, most of the strength of the rope is found in the core and therefore the "rope" as such will not break. However, it is important to remove the aerial rope from circulation and replace it.
It is often recommended for a professional artist to have a spare rope on hand.
How to increase the lifetime of your rope:
Always store the rope in a temperate place, not too dry or too wet. If your rope gets wet it is important to make sure you dry it well as it could become moldy and this could greatly affect its fibers and breaking load. The sun can dry out the fibers of your rope and make them more fragile, so when using your rope outdoors, it is recommended that you store it in the shade after use.
Always inspect the rope for signs of wear. If the sheath begins to have broken strands, it is possible to tape the sheath at this point to prolong its life a little more.
It is essential to restore flexibility to your rope after each use by "crumpling" it from the top of the rope to the bottom and from the bottom to the top. The main reason for sheath breakage is that when you do fall after fall after fall, the sheath stretches in relation to the core (reason why there is more and more sheath without core at the foot of the rope). Like a rubber band, the more you stretch the sheath, the faster you will reach its breaking point. It is therefore important to give it back its flexibility after each use.
It is recommended even if you do not use your rope a lot or every day, to replace it after 2 years.
How to properly maintain and wash your rope:
Here are some tips from the Rope Master himself (Emiliano Ron) on how to keep your rope clean.
- Avoid jeans with zippers and metallic buttons or buckles that could damage the sheath.
- You can clean your rope with water but must accept that it is a white rope and its normal that it doesn’t stay white forever.
- You can also clean your rope with a damp cloth and mild soap (if necessary). Air-dry away from direct sunlight. Do not put the rope in water, as it will generate stiffness of the rope and could cause damage to rope or components inside.
- Avoid the use of Rosin with Alcohol or handball grip rosin as it is extremely sticky and will in turn make your rope quite dirty. It is best to train your grip more instead of using these products
What to use and not to use for a better grip on your rope:
If you have sweaty hands and need something to help the grip on your rope, you can use Rosin or Chalk. Chalk works well for sweaty hands.
Avoid the use of Rosin with Alcohol or handball grip rosin as it is extremely sticky and will in turn make your rope quite dirty. It is best to train your grip more instead of using these products.
Keep your rope and hands warm. This will help your grip as Rosin is stickier when warm.