Of all the products we’ve used and reviewed here at Connect the Watts, this one may be the most polarizing; Renpho’s Smart Jump Rope. Rep counting, digital timer, workout data storage… in a jump rope?! On one side you’ll have people saying it’s unnecessary, and the other saying it’s a must-have. Read on to see where we stand.
Jump ropes have been a gym staple probably for as long as there have been gyms. Back in the day, Boomers discovered it was a good way to raise heart rate at the start of a workout, or to keep heart rate up between circuits, but Millennials have taught us to embrace jumping rope as a workout in its own right.
Most people are still using the same primitive style of jump rope as their ancestors. Renpho is looking to change that by shaking up the glamorous world of jump ropes with their Smart Jump Rope.
Renpho Smart Jump Rope specs
|Handle dimensions||1.3 x 7.6 inches|
|Handle material||ABS + PC + EVA|
|Rope length||up to 118 inches|
|Rope material||TPU + PVC + Steel wire|
|Weight||~10 oz. inc. batteries|
|Batteries||2 x AAA (included)|
|Standby time||1 year|
|Display||LCD (0.5 x 0.8 in.)|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, RENPHO app|
|Sync range||~32 feet|
Using the Renpho Smart Jump Rope
I have never been more untrusting of anything than I was of how the Renpho Smart Jump Rope has you adjust its length. You feed the rope ends through spring-loaded eyelets and holes at the end of the handles. There is no mention or suggestion to cut the rope, at all.
I dare to say I adjusted the rope as short as any person will ever adjust one of these ropes. I’m only five feet tall when I lie on my drivers license, plus I have always preferred to have my jump ropes sized even shorter than usually suggested. This made for a lot of leftover rope doubled back at the handles.
With no mention of trimming down the rope, I decided to follow the directions to a tee. Much to my shock, all that extra rope did not negatively impact my use.
This is the first jump rope I’ve ever owned that I could actually share with others; no tools needed to resize, and all the original rope intact.
Display and sound
The Renpho Smart Jump Rope has a digital display and a single button (in manual as Mode button) on one of the handles. This handle is where the batteries are inserted. The other handle has a counterweight, to keep the jump rope balanced.
The digital display has tiny icons to let you know which mode it’s currently in, battery life, and bluetooth connection status. The large numbers display either time or reps. The display is easy to read. Because of how the numbers are aligned on the screen, I found it easier to read the screen mid-jump when the handle was in my left hand.
Any beeps produced from the mode you’re in (countdown to start, target hit, etc) play from the display handle itself. So even if you are listening to music through earbuds, the beeps are played on the handle. Needless to say, it was super easy to not hear the beeps sometimes. There is currently no way to adjust the beep volume, either.
Setting targets on rope
You can set targets for time, or number of reps, using just the Mode button on the handle. Honestly I found that process to be ridiculously cumbersome and with the option to use the app, I pretty much never set anything using the Mode button.
Renpho Fit app for the Smart Jump Rope
The Renpho Fit app couldn’t get any easier to use. No matter what type of jump rope session you choose (Free Jump, Time Countdown, Number Countdown), the app will keep track of all the same metrics.
You’re able to look back and see the time duration, average and max jumps per minute, max consecutive jumps, and number of “tangles.” Tangles are what they call the chunks of unbroken reps. Is that an official jump roping term? I have no clue, but in my research I learned “Tangle” is a Sonic the Hedgehog character I’ve never heard of before.
You’re able to see the time duration and number of jumps in each “tangle.” I’ve been geeking out HARD on those specific metrics. In a past life, I worked to master my double-unders (rope passing under feet twice in a single jump), and I would have to take video and literally sit there watching the playback and count my jumps in the unbroken chunks to gauge my progress. So archaic.
If you launch the app and just start jumping, it will kick off a Free Jump session. So fear not – no jumps ever have to go unaccounted for!
I found the rope’s counting to be pretty accurate. Revolutions of the handle end is what racks up the reps. This means when you start or finish, a flick of the wrist to grab or drop the rope could increment the counter.
Its count of double-unders was also pretty accurate. It counted every pass through of the rope, so 10 jumps would be 20 on the counter. During one workout, I swear it tripled my count instead of doubled, but I couldn’t reproduce the issue. I think maybe I was just dog ass tired and miscounted myself.
Using the Renpho Smart Jump rope, old school style
Tech aside, the Renpho Smart Jump Rope is a great jump rope for skipping rope. I was able to use it for double-unders, which I did not expect, and I never experienced a tangled up rope.
I don’t know how well the rope will hold up with continued use on pavement. Jump ropes tend to get chewed up on rough ground, but with the way Renpho has you feed the rope through the handles, makes me think you could easily replace the rope when needed.
The handles are covered in EVA, so it’s a squishy foam grip. I found them to be very comfortable and the grip held up well, even when sweaty. The handles are longer than I’m used to, and I expected to hate that about them. The length of the handles was a total non-issue.
Why the Renpho Smart Jump Rope is worth it
We have a lot of connected fitness equipment come through the doors of Connect the Watts HQ. The more we use, the harder it gets to impress us. It takes exciting design, groundbreaking tech, or super fun workouts for us to get that “kid on Christmas morning” feeling when something arrives.
Well, the Renpho Smart Jump Rope got me giddy like Christmas, eighth night of Hanukkah, and my birthday, all rolled into one.
There isn’t anything I need a jump rope to do, that the Renpho Smart Jump Rope can’t do. I was able to adjust it down to my size, skip rope, and even do double-unders. On top of covering what I need a jump rope to do, it counts my reps, lets me set goals, and offers me challenges.
RENPHO Smart Jump Rope – your goal setting companion
Connected fitness is all about measuring, counting, and comparing. Comparing ourselves to others, and also to… ourselves. What I love most about connected fitness is that it facilitates goal setting (and thus, achieving) in a super simple way.
But all that measuring, counting, and comparing can discourage as much as encourage, when the achievements start coming along slower than they did when you were a newb.
The Renpho Smart Jump Rope can be a fun way to give yourself micro-challenges that run in parallel to your greater goals. For the most part, skipping rope isn’t something you can do so much of that it would negatively affect other athletic pursuits.
So if you’re in the middle of Peloton’s eight week “Peak Your Powerzone” cycle, why not challenge yourself to build up to 100… 200… unbroken jump rope reps. This might be an achievement you hit in a week or two, and can satisfy that craving for a win before you take your FTP test.
Focusing on strength and working towards strict push-ups in your Tempo classes? See if each week you can improve how quickly you can do 50 jump rope reps. A little speed work could be a welcome distraction from your strength focus.
Those are just a couple examples, but the possibilities are endless in how you can use the Renpho Smart Jump Rope to help you get through an achievement lull. It’s also a well priced gift option for a connected fitness freak. Doesn’t matter if you are peddling for Peloton, into iFit, or a hardcore Hydrower, the Renpho Smart Jump Rope is a good fit for any home gym.
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