I cut off six of my 14' 7" (4.45m) poles by 3.5" (8cm) this morning as planned. They felt more balanced to handle and I was very pleased with the result. The grips did not have to be moved because the pole being shorter requires a slightly lower grip anyway. BTW - cutting the poles is done from the bottom. I also cut the tops so they don't hit the bar, but only cutting the bottom changes the bending properties of the pole. For every inch (2.54cm) the pole is cut, it becomes about 1.1 lbs (.5 kg) weaker, or easier to bend. It also lowers the sailpiece/reinforcement piece, thus making it easier to roll. Again, these were 15' 1" (4.60m) sails and not 14' 7"s so it's a real big jump.
So I get the six poles cut off and I'm thrilled, and then I go into the shed to get the biggest pole to cut it. What do I find but TWO EVEN SMALLER POLES that I forgot we ordered. They were thinner because they were originally made for Kris' high school kid. So I cut them off too and all of my pole problems are solved. I can now switch exclusively to my cut 14' 7" series no matter what the conditions or how I feel. AWESOME!!
It is so frustrating to know that I easily make 13' (3.97m) every day in practice but haven't in the past two meets because I can't adjust to the different feel on the 14' 7"s. Now I start on them and there will be no need to switch lengths at critical spots. I intentionally skipped lifting legs today so that I will be fresh enough to vault on Thursday/Sunday. Yep, Thursday is Thanksgiving, but it is also Thursday, my vault, run and lift day.
Had a great time catching up with the other fossils at the meet yesterday. Met a great guy, Bill, who follows this blog, saw Larry McIntrye and got a visit from USA Track & Field Biomechanist, Pete McGinness. He does velocity and physics studies of vaulters from around the world for USATF besides being a university professor. Pete was in San Antoinio for a conference and came by to jump. He showed me the coolest video on his computer where he taped a camera on the end of his pole and it shows the whole vault from an incredible angle. You see his face and upper body at the take off, and then see him ascend toward the sun. Super cool. Pete was Kris' college coach at SUNY, Cortland.
I'm asked fairly often about all of my metric notations. Well, the rest of the world is metric and I have several friends around the world who were emailing me questions about conversions since they don't understand imperial measures. In California everything was metric, even at the high school level, but Texas it is predominately imperial. In any case, I want to provide the info for the metric world.
That's it. The most fun non-training day I have had in years! SO excited about this new pole situation. Have a great Sunday! Bubba