Pole Vault Equipment List

Pole Vault Equipment List

Pole vaulting is one of the most exciting events in track and field. Despite its highly intriguing nature, not many people know much information about it. One question that people have in particular is, “What equipment do I need to pole vault?” If you’re asking this question and looking for answers, then you’ve come to the right place! Below is a list of compiled information and prices on each piece of equipment you’ll need to start vaulting.

Pole Vault Equipment

Pole Vault Equipment

There are two main types of pole vaulting equipment; the pit equipment and the athlete’s equipment. Because the event organizer is in charge of the pit itself, the athlete won’t need to worry about getting standards, base pads, pits, or any of the equipment related to the actual pole vault itself.

However, the athlete is responsible for anything they will use individually, such as their own pole, uniform, water bottle, and practice equipment.

Athletic Tape

Pole Vault Athletic Tape

Athletic tape is a must-have for anybody wishing to start learning how to pole vault. Aside from its typical uses in injury-prevention, pole vaulters also use athletic tape to wrap their poles. The vaulting pole has to be constantly retaped so that the athlete can get a proper grip during their runs.

Athletic tape tends to cost between $3.00 and $5.00 per roll, but it can cost as little as a dollar fifty per roll if you buy in bulk. Because a pole vaulter uses so much, bulk is very often the best way to go.,


pole vault bag

Like most sports, a pole vaulter needs to have a bag to hold all of their gear during practice and competitions. A pole vaulter needs two bags: a bag to hold their pole (called a pole bag) and a regular athletic bag to hold food, water, clothing, and other small items.

Backpacks and duffle bags are the two ways to go for your general sporting bag. Both types of bags cost roughly the same amount, cashing in at 45-65 dollars each. Larger bags with added protection and pockets can cost up to 100 dollars, so make sure you’re getting the bag that fits your needs and budget.

Elastic Crossbands

pole vault elastic crossbands

These elastic and forgiving replacements for crossbars cost about $35.00, and are excellent for warmups and practice. While facilities usually have one, it may be wise to buy one yourself. Having one handy also means that you can show up to a track facility and if there is no crossbar available, you’ll still be able to practice your craft - so long as all of the pads are in place.

Grip Tape

pole vault grip tape

Unlike athletic tape, pole vaulting grip tape is sticky on both sides, allowing the athlete to get a proper hold while vaulting. Oftentimes, the athlete will apply both athletic and grip tape to different parts of their pole. Slightly more expensive than normal athletic tape, grip tape costs roughly 10 bucks per roll.


pole vault poles

The pole itself is of critical importance as a piece of the pole vaulter’s arsenal. The athlete uses their pole to send themselves over the top of the crossbar, and a pole that feels good and is lightweight is necessary for peak performance.

There are four main brands that most vaulters trust with their poles: Pacer, Altius, ESSX, and UCS. On average, poles fall somewhere in the 300-500 dollar price range. For instance, the popular Gill Pacer One costs between $350 and $400, depending on where you buy it from. 

Even though poles require a hefty investment, they are necessary to partake in the sport, and purchasing one that you truly love will go a long way towards your development as a pole vaulter.

Pole Bags

pole vault pole bags

Your vaulting pole is the most important piece of equipment that you’ll own, and so you’ll need to protect it as well as you can. A good pole bag is crucial for anybody who’s looking to get into the sport of pole vaulting.

Most pole bags are made of heavy duty polyester, plastic, or leather, and offer protection in all weather conditions for your poles when not in use. Most bags can also carry several poles at once, making them spatially economical. Depending on the materials of the bag, you’ll be looking at a price tag of $100.00 to $250.00, with high-quality leather bags being more expensive on average.

Pole Tips

pole vault pole tips

Pole tips are little rubber caps that go onto the end of a pole vaulting pole. They protect the pole from wear and tear with every use and are easily replaceable so that a vaulter can regularly switch out damaged or worn tips.

Tips cost about ten to fifteen dollars each, so while not extremely expensive, the cost can certainly pile up over an extended period of time. Reliable vaulting brands like Gill and UCS will provide great options for your pole. Remember to get a tip that fits your pole’s end and keep an eye out for any damage that might compromise the pole and your safety.

Pole Vault Pit

pole vault pit

The pole vault pit is the one piece of equipment that the individual athlete doesn’t need to be responsible for - a good thing considering that they cost several thousands of dollars! The pole vault pit includes adjustable standards, the pit itself, base pads, vault box, runways, crossbars, and additional protective padding - quite a lot for just one person to own! The meet or event director and facility is in charge of the pit, and it is their responsibility to make sure it is safe and in working order.


pole vault spikes

A vaulter’s shoes are one of the most important pieces of equipment they’ll use. The shoes help the athlete gather the appropriate speed they need to vault themselves over the crossbar. In track and field, competition shoes are called spikes because of the small metallic spikes on the shoe’s bottom.

There are specialty spikes that you should look into when you purchase your equipment for the pole vault. Nike, Adidas, and Puma are the leaders in pole vaulting spikes, and any one of those brands will cost you about 100 dollars for a pair of shoes. Though pricey, spikes are must-have items for any pole vaulter, and are well worth the monetary investment in return for improved safety, durability, and performance.


pole vault tights

Tights are part of the pole vaulter’s uniform. Because pole vaulting is all about getting up and over a barrier, you don’t want any loose clothing that might trip the bar - even if your body gets entirely over it!

Designer tights and leggings might cost anywhere from 30 to 50 dollars. On the other hand, reliable athletic brands like Nike can provide high performance tights for the higher price tag of up to $80.

Water Bottle

pole vault water bottle

All athletes need a proper water bottle. Hydration is key to all sports, and being properly hydrated ensures that you won’t pass out from heat exhaustion and ensures that you’ll be able to perform your best! In a sport like pole vault where you can be outside for extended periods of time during the spring and summer, hydration is even more important.

Athletes should aim to get either a 16 or 32 oz. water bottle, and should make sure to refill it multiple times throughout the day, whether at practice or competition. Some bottles can come very cheap, costing only a few dollars, while others might cost upwards to 25 or even 30 bucks!, It all depends on what style of water bottle you want.