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  • The Weave

    I've been inundated at school with announcements about this new PV pole, and as good as it sounds, apparently many elites have already been on its beta versions, so I won't hold my breath on a bunch of new 20-footers any time soon, but IMO, it will indeed take new technology to get people up to Bubka's standard of 15 years ago.

  • #2
    Here is the promo video: http://www.gillathletics.com/weave/

    Here is the discussion on my site: http://polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16129

    They've been testing them for years. I don't think it will create any huge breakthroughs for the event, but I've felt quite a few of them and they are noticeably lighter than previous carbon poles. If you like carbon poles, you'll like these.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would not advise anyone holding their breath for the next set of record breaking performances caused by new technology. While these new poles are lighter to carry and "feel" nice to jump on, the basic technology of vaulting poles has already been developed past human potential. In other words, we have had the poles to jump 21' for a long time. We just have not had the athletes to use them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Are Isi and Jennski on Weaves?
        Does anyone think they actually add inches? If it were perceived as being a 10cm advantage (whether real or not), that would be pretty significant.

        Comment


        • #5
          The weave is lighter than other poles, so in theory the athlete can run faster and all other factors being equal jump higher. I think the real advantage of the Weave pole is that it allows the vaulter to be more consistent and move from one pole to the next more smoothly, and this will allow for better performances in general.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Barto
            The weave is lighter than other poles, so in theory the athlete can run faster and all other factors being equal jump higher. I think the real advantage of the Weave pole is that it allows the vaulter to be more consistent and move from one pole to the next more smoothly, and this will allow for better performances in general.
            I can't see a significant enough increase in approach speed to make a difference, but the promo video sure makes it sound as though the 'consistency' of response of each pole (and from pole to pole) is its greatest benefit.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Barto
              I would not advise anyone holding their breath for the next set of record breaking performances caused by new technology. While these new poles are lighter to carry and "feel" nice to jump on, the basic technology of vaulting poles has already been developed past human potential. In other words, we have had the poles to jump 21' for a long time. We just have not had the athletes to use them.
              To me, this helps sum up the problem with modern American sport (not just track): the eternal search for a technological edge at the expense of hard work by athletes and/or coaches.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by gh
                the eternal search for a technological edge
                And that IS "eternal." To protest that is to truly tilt at windmills.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by kuha
                  Originally posted by gh
                  the eternal search for a technological edge
                  And that IS "eternal." To protest that is to truly tilt at windmills.
                  I have no problem with the "eternal search". I have a problem with WHO is doing the searching. When it is the manufacturers/coaches we can all benefit. When it is the athletes we see stagnation. The best athletes I've coached tended to not care about the pole or the disc or the shoe or the jav. They cared about the training.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gh
                    To me, this helps sum up the problem with modern American sport (not just track): the eternal search for a technological edge at the expense of hard work by athletes and/or coaches.
                    To further kuha's point, it is neither modern nor American to seek extra-personal aid. Nor does this affect how hard one works. Even PEDs do nothing without the EXTRA work they (steroids, testosterone, HGH, etc.) allow you to do.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kuha
                      Originally posted by gh
                      the eternal search for a technological edge
                      And that IS "eternal." To protest that is to truly tilt at windmills.
                      If everybody were doing it, perhaps so; I have this terrible feeling, however, that it has become part of the "American Way," while others are taking a more solid approach.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gh
                        Originally posted by kuha
                        Originally posted by gh
                        the eternal search for a technological edge
                        And that IS "eternal." To protest that is to truly tilt at windmills.
                        If everybody were doing it, perhaps so; I have this terrible feeling, however, that it has become part of the "American Way," while others are taking a more solid approach.

                        Must be pretty exciting for you going to the tire store for a set of freshly quarried FireSTONES.
                        There are no strings on me

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gh
                          Originally posted by kuha
                          Originally posted by gh
                          the eternal search for a technological edge
                          And that IS "eternal." To protest that is to truly tilt at windmills.
                          If everybody were doing it, perhaps so; I have this terrible feeling, however, that it has become part of the "American Way," while others are taking a more solid approach.
                          I know you are speaking to broader issues than the carbon weave pole, but as far as this specific issue goes, I don't think you have the best perspective.

                          There are very few poles made overseas. Nordic makes the only foreign poles I have ever seen used by elite vaulters, and they represent a small fraction of the market. I believe Mizuno has been experimenting with making poles in Asia, but I don't believe any have been used by elite vaulters. Same for Saltus poles in South America.

                          There are 4 pole manufacturers in the USA (Gill, UCS/Spirit, Altius, and ESSX). Altius poles are mainly used by high schoolers. ESSX poles have been used at the elite level but are also in the minority.

                          Most of the poles in the world are made by UCS/Spirit and Gill Athletics (Gill makes PacerFX, CarbonFX, Skypole, Mystic, plus a few private label poles). When you factor in all levels of the sport, Gill probably has the biggest piece of the pie, but when it comes to the elite level it's a lot closer. Spirit has been able to capture more of the high profile athletes.


                          UCS/Spirit has been making very high quality poles from day 1. I don't know that they have ever made any real changes to their line. I don't know that they need to, though I do think they would benefit from offering 12'6 poles and labeling their 12' poles in 5lb increments. I've told them that too, but didn't get much interest.

                          Altius has been working over the past few years to improve their poles, and I have been pleased to see that the newer ones seem to have a lighter carry weight, though this has probably come with a higher price tag.

                          ESSX has always been very innovative and willing to make changes.

                          When Gill Athletics came onto the scene they had a mishmash of poles. Not all of the poles were that good when they started. The Pacer series took a step back before they took a step forward. When girls started vaulting, no one knew how stiff the poles should be, and the early poles were way too stiff for beginners.

                          What I like is that David Hodge and everyone else at Gill has been willing to listen to their customers and make improvements. Those lines that David shows in the promo video represent their old flex chart and their new one that they adopted around 2003 or so. They changed how they flex all of their poles 12'6 and shorter in order to make smoother transitions in pole length and stiffnesses that were more realistic for the needs of those using poles that short.

                          They also jumped on the chance to experiment with the carbon weave material when it was declassified from the military. They spent a few years testing it. It behaved differently from the unidirectional carbon they had used before. I think they have been testing it for at least 6-8 years now. The process led to them completely revamping their ovens, among other things.


                          I don't understand where lazy American athletes come into this. I think most of their testing has been with foreign athletes. If anything, the Americans were less willing to try something new.

                          They run a business. They want to make money off their products. There is enough competition in the market to push them to constantly improve their products.

                          When it comes to poles, it is a very global market.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by polevaultpower
                            When girls started vaulting, no one knew how stiff the poles should be, and the early poles were way too stiff for beginners.
                            When Florida HS girls started in 1996, I knew there was lots of easy gold to be mined. That first year 7'6 scored at States (our first girl, an 8th grader, got 3rd with that) and there was only one girl in the state who could actually the bend the pole at all. She went 10' and was the only 10-footer. There were poles that were labeled 'Lady' this or that, but they were stiff as steel and set that whole year of girls way back. Now I have 10'/70lb noodles that even the beginners can handle and things are progressing nicely.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Any meaningful narrative of 19th & 20th century American history must have as a central thread the notion of technological "improvement" in just about every nook and cranny of cultural life. The US has been particularly keen on technical improvements, but we see comparable trends in just about every other "modern" society on the planet.

                              I'd be perfectly happy if the track world made a conscious decision to turn the clock back to 1880, but I'm not sure that would increase public interest much.

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