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Choosing the right vault board to fit the needs of your gymnastics club’s programs and their athletes can be a confounding endeavor. Ten-o.com, itself, carries 20 different boards from major manufacturers across the industry and they’re all excellent pieces of equipment.
However, they’re not created equally. Our vault board offerings vary in length and height, number and size of springs, platform covering, guide graphics and punch. Some boards are designed for younger, smaller bodies in recreational classes; while others are geared for the weight, strength and skill of older gymnasts training to compete.
We’ve written a 3 post series to help you sort through the diverse specs of our vault boards to ensure you spend your hard-earned money in the wisest way. To begin, let’s look at vault boards designed to cater to the size and capabilities of your littlest gymnasts.
These boards are: By GMR’s “Little Stars” 5 mini-spring vault board, Norberts 4 spring Performance Top Pre-school board, Spieth-America’s 3-spring “Little Thumper”, Gibson’s 3-spring “Bronco” board and AAI’s Pre-school 3-Spring vault board.
Our “Little Stars” baby board is the springiest of the bunch and perfect for pre-schoolers who weigh 50lbs. or less; and therein, don’t pack the punch necessary to get a bigger bounce from a harder board. It’s made with 5 mini-springs which are 4 3/8 inches high. The “Little Stars” board’s platform is padded in flexcell foam and covered in carpet with cute, colorful stars to capture their attention and ignite their imaginations, as they launch themselves toward their dreams of being a gymnastics star. Additionally, “Little Stars” is not as tall or as long (measuring 20” x 30”) as other pre-school program boards offering a lower crown and shorter hurdle to younger gymnasts and rec program kids. For smaller children, a springier, shorter board is more forgiving and easier to use when they lack strength, stride and weight to really punch it.
Saving the best for last in our 3 part series on gymnastics vault boards are our advanced, competition boards. Built for bigger, heavier, stronger gymnasts training and competing more difficult skills, these boards bring big bounce per ounce!
In gymnastics vaulting, timing is Everything! The more recoil you have in your springs the faster the gymnast gets off the board, onto the vault table and into the air. When you’re doing more advanced vaults — your Yurchenkos, Tsukaharas or Produnovas — every millisecond counts ’til you stick that perfect landing.
All of our advanced, competition boards measure 2ft x 4ft long and are 21cm high from the ground up. Beyond that, our boards vary by the type of covering on the platform and the number of springs. More springs beget a harder board.
Some gymnasts prefer a softer board; whereas, other prefer a more firm flex and return. We carry several models from different manufacturers across the spectrum, so that you can cater to your athletes’ individual preferences.
Let’s get into the details, so that you can make the right choice for your gymnastics facility and the gymnasts you train.
AAI offers 6 different vault boards! All of which meet FIG specs for competition. The AAI 8 Spring Stratum comes covered in grey carpet with 1/2in. padding. Its springs are removable so you can fix the firmness to the needs of each athlete. The AAI 8 Spring TAC 10 LZT features the pebbly textured, basketball fabric that provides extra protection against slippage and offers a slightly thicker, more reactive padding and is one of our most popular. It also lets you remove springs to fit individual gymnast preferences for harder or softer. Both of these boards meet competition specifications set out by USAG, AAU, NCAA, FIG and NFHS.
In a busy meet or a high volume gym club, you might not want to take the time to adjust the springs. For that reason, AAI came out with their line of EVO boards that come color coded per preference from soft to medium to more firm.
Softer boards are great for younger gymnasts. They’re easier to punch, less jarring and less fatiguing when you’re hitting the board over and over trying to nail down that Yurchenko timing. Like so much in gymnastics training, evolution of skill happens in progressions. Move to the medium board once you’ve mastered the softer version and prep for the harder, faster recoil board. Or just stay there. With AAI’s EVO boards, you can have your pick of the litter!
Mike and Kappy attended the Region 8 Mini-Congress that was held in Atlanta this past June 28 – 30. If you’re not familiar with Congress or a Mini-Congress (where have you been?!), it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the gymnastics industry plus meet a lot of important industry vendors (GMR *hint hint*).
If we’re talking the National Congress or Congress, as it’s called, then you might just run into some gymnastics Olympic luminaries or see a major US Gymnastics competition. This year National Congress will be held in Kansas City, Missouri, August 9 – 11. Alongside, the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show (it’s super official, formal title) will be the 2019 United States National Championships. Attendees to Congress, are able to purchase these tickets at a reduced rate. Pretty sweet!
But we digress…
What happens at a regional mini-congress? A regional mini-congress is a great opportunity for folks of a particular geographic region to get together to teach and learn how to coach gymnastics, run a gym, run a meet and meet gymnastics industry vendors. The best part is that it’s within a modest driving distance because it’s always held within your gymnastics region or localized clumping of states. And, the entry fees are a bit cheaper.
For struggling gym clubs, that’s a big deal because its a lot easier for gym owners to bring more people to a location that’s closer to them for less money.
Mike and Kappy got lucky this year as the 2019 was held in Atlanta at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia which is only a little over 25 miles from GMR’s Lithonia HQ. That’s about 45 minutes, if the Atlanta Traffic Gods are being really nice.
This year Mike and Kappy saddled up the new GMR Trailer for its maiden voyage! Check out the fancy new wrap! Mike and Kappy hope to fire it up frequently and make it to more of your region 8 gymnastics meets. Besides price and proximity, mini-congress is a great opportunity for gymnastics coaches, gym club owners and devoted parents to connect.
Ten-o.com is now selling AAI’s EVO-Black product line!
GMR is always working to bring our customers the very best in gymnastics equipment: be it from our own innovative, made-in America, ByGMR product line or those of other reputable gymnastics equipment companies. We look out for all of our customers by offering new and used equipment at diverse price points. No matter if you’re just starting out or updating your decades old, we’ve got just what you need.
AAI’s EVO-Black products are the next evolution in gymnastics equipment technology for the competitive, competition-oriented gymnastics gym. As with all your best gymnastics routines, it’s the little tweaks that take it to the next level. So it goes with the equipment you use to train and compete.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s new with AAI’s EVO-Black equipment!
EVO-Black Uneven Bars
- Longer pistons provide additional height for taller gymnasts.
- Get maximum performance with an E-rail (Also, available with an X-Rail)
- Lower spinlocks for easy accessibility
- Dual height markings provide convenient visibility when making adjustments
- Single adjustment collar offer simple width adjustment
- New E-Locks give a stronger hold to the upright
- Raised attachment point of the spreader bar on the low bar improves stability
- Better height visibility for FIG & Domestic settings
- Cables and swivel tie downs are designed to transfer any load sustained by the cables to your floor plates
- Can be used with AAI®’s Freestanding system
EVO-Black Balance Beam
• Height adjustments glide with ease for quick changes
• Internal reflex system helps reduce stress on the athlete’s body
• Upgraded internal slide plates and rollers
• Clear and accurate settings of 100-125cm
• Improved padded beam caps for a secure fit
• A strong base helps reduce vibration during use
• Sleek tubular design with baked on black vein finish
• Ease of assembly with minimal hardware