The Vertec® is one of the most popular apparatus for measuring vertical jump height. It is comprised of a frame with horizontal vanes which are rotated out of the way by the hand to indicate the height reached. You can buy one yourself, but this will cost more than $500. Here is some ideas and guidelines for building your own, which should cost less than $50 of supplies from your local hardware store.
What You Need
This is a list of suggested pieces of equipment. You may not be able to find all the same products so you will need to adapt your design to what you can get hold of and the equipment you have available.
Equipment & Tools
- Electric drill
- Tape measure
- PVC pipes about about 1.5 inch diameter (3.8 cm) - total length at least 24 feet
- PVC pipe connectors - 2x 3-way Tees and 3x Elbows
- PVC pipe end caps (optional)
- Threaded metal rod - at least 40 inch (1m) long
- Shims or similar - for the vanes you can use 10+ wooden shims. A shim is a thin and often tapered or wedged piece of material, used to fill small gaps or spaces between objects.
- Nuts to fit on the metal rod, or some other spacer
- Nuts to secure the rod to the pipe
Prepare the pieces
- Cut the PVC pipes to the desired lengths. For the base you will need 4 x 2 foot pieces. For the support a single 10 foot length (variable length depending on use), and for the top 2 x 1.5 foot and 1 x 3 foot sections. The 3 foot section may need to be shorter or longer depending on the length of metal rod you were able to buy. Use these measurements as a guide for you to construct it to a size that is suitable to your height and jumping ability.
- Drill holes in two 1.5 foot PVC pipes to take the metal rod.
- Drill holes in each of the shims for the metal rod to pass through.
Put together the top section
- Thread the shims onto the metal rod, placing a nut between each shim to get the desired spacing.
- Place the rod between the two 1.5 foot pipes and secure with nuts.
- Use an elbow and tee connector to secure the pipe arms to the 3 foot length vertical support.
Put together the base
- The four 2 foot sections are put together as per the diagram using the two elbow connectors and one 3-way tee connector.
Put it all together
- Use the longest pipe to join the tee connector of the base to the tee connector of the top section. Select an appropriate length for the connector pole to set the top section at the desired distance from the ground.
- You can put end caps on the PVC pipes which will make it look better. Depending on how well it went together, you may also want to glue the pieces in, though leaving the vertical support loose will enable you to change the height as your vertical jump improves.
- Finally, you can mark or put numbers on the base of each shim so you can see which one you have hit.
- You may want to weigh down the base to make it more stable. You can fill the base PVC pipe with sand and seal it with end caps to add weight and support.
A more flexible and adjustable device can be created by using the top section, and designing a way of clamping this to a light pole of similar. This way it can be adjusted as you jump higher, and be used for athletes of different abilities.
- About the Vertec® vertical jump apparatus.
- Vertical Jump test results.
- Vertical jump equipment and measurement methods.
- Vertical jump devices in the fitness testing store.
- Poll: Which equipment do you use to measure vertical jump?
- Make Your Own Sit & Reach Box