Product Review: The JumpSnap
So, a little over a month ago, after reading my article, featuring the JumpSnap, the jump rope without a rope, Brad LaTour of JumpSnap challenged me to actually give the JumpSnap a try. I was happy to do so and rose to the challenge. After all, what's the worst that could happen? I'd exercise more?
One trial month later, I have to say, it isn't all that bad! But it isn't all that good either. What I mean to say is that I wasn't 100% satisfied. Still, I did see potential in the JumpSnap and believe with a few minor changes I could find myself appreciating this exercise tool and using it on a frequent basis.
Before I mention the changes I believe the JumpSnap needs, I want to highlight what I thought were some of the benefits and nice features of the JumpSnap kit.
The JumpSnap Kit available through the JumpSnap website and other retailers includes:
• LCD Display for Jumps, Calorie Counter, Timer, User Profile, Target Mode, Key Guard, Auto Shut-off
• 2 Ergonomically designed handles
• 3 insertable weights for each handle of 2.5 oz each
• 8-minute beginner and 12-minute intermediate workout DVD
• 16-minute JumpSnap Jam Session DVD
• Mesh travel bag
• 2 AAA Batteries
The 8 minute and 12 minute DVD workouts are the best feature and are great for a good cardio workout. The workouts, though short, had me out of breath the first few weeks. Thank you, Tressa Campbell. Once I mastered the times, I felt a sense of accomplishment and that is always a good thing.
The weights are another nice feature of JumpSnap. The light weights are small and narrow cylinders that can be inserted into the handles. There are 3 weights for each handle and you can add them one by one or choose not use them at all. The weights allow for a nice lean build of the arm muscles. I love that. Since I began using the JumpSnap, along with the DVD workouts, I've definitely noticed more toned muscles in my arms.
Because there is no rope behind, in front, or on top of me while jumping with the JumpSnap, there is indeed a comfort in knowing there would be no rope to slap someone or something while I am jumping rope. That is a desirable feature, because it allows me to feel comfortable jumping wherever I am, even in small places with little room and low ceilings. It also avoids the rope getting caught on furniture if you are jumping at home.
The LCD is a nice benefit too. Counting calories, jumps and timing jumps is all made easy to do with the LCD display. I personally did not have much use for the LCD, but it is nice feature to have if ever I decide to see how long I can jump or how many jumps I can do in a certain amount of minutes.
With all of these helpful features and benefits in the JumpSnap kit, the JumpSnap wasn't everything I would like it to be. To meet my needs better, this is what I would suggest as changes for the JumpSnap:
First, I would take off those painful, awkward, little balance balls at the ends of the handles. I say painful because if I suddenly stopped turning the handles, the little balls would snap back on my finger and cause pain. The pain was minor, but still unpleasant and not exactly something I was able to get comfortable with. The balance balls also made holding the handles feel awkward. No matter how I held the handles or how fast I twirled them, the balance balls would throwing me off balance from time to time. It was especially awkward when changing to a different jumping exercise. In addition, I was concerned that my young children would get near me when I was using the JumpSnap and end up with a bump on their head or a black eye thanks to those fast twirling balance balls. Because of this concern, I only used the JumpSnap when they were not around. (A word of caution: Don't ever stop and try to scratch your nose while jumping with these things. Ouch!)
Second, I would add a detachable rope feature to the JumpSnap. I really don't like not having a rope. Without it, I feel like I am just jumping to my imagination and I don't need a JumpSnap for my imagination. All I need are my hands to twirl. The lack of rope is only good if you are in small places or crowded classes. This is why a detachable rope would be a great idea. I could detach the rope when in a small place or near people and then reattach it when I missed the feel and sound of the rope.
Third, I would change the shut off time from 3 minutes to 1 minute or less. Either that or add a turn off button. 3 minutes is just much too long to wait for it to turn off automatically. In my opinion, it is a waste of battery.
Lastly, I would make a set of less bulky handles for people with small hands like mine. There is nothing wrong with the handles for someone with bigger hands, but for my comfort, I would have preferred less bulky handles.
All in all, I don't regret trying the JumpSnap and think it can be a useful exercise tool for certain situations. Having a new exercise toy was indeed inspirational and fun. Since I received the challenge to try the JumpSnap, I have begun to exercise more. The JumpSnap and the DVD have given me a new exercise to include in my exercise routine and I am no longer in as much of an exercise rut as before.
Still, if JumpSnap the Ropless Jump Rope is going to be compared to the traditional jump rope, in my opinion, it doesn't compare. I like jumping to an actual rope better. A traditional jump rope is just as challenging, but it's cheaper, isn't bulky, is easier to fold up and pack away, and doesn't snap and hurt my fingers. Plus, I get to enjoy the sound and feel of a real rope.
I will concede that there are some limitations to the traditional jump rope. A jump rope does get in the way in crowded exercise classes or smaller living spaces. Also, if you don't know how to jump rope, it can cause tripping and frustration which the JumpSnap avoids. The JumpSnap does allows me to jump freely (with the exception of the distracting balance balls). That's an important benefit.
If the folks at JumpSnap could come up with a way to combine these two exercise tools into one, and making the changes I have suggested, it would make me a happy jumper. And perhaps, make for an even more successful and enjoyable product.