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Jumps: Aluminum vs. Wood

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

While jumps are a familiar sight for many equestrians, the type of jumps we are seeing has evolved. New materials have crept their way into the world of show jumping and knowing their differences can be important for any rider, trainer, manager, or producer, especially before investing their money in new jumps.

Wood has been the long-standing and most traditional type of material used in many arena jumps because it is inexpensive, readily available, and nearly anyone can use it to build some form of a jump. Additionally, wood’s limitless possibilities gives builders a chance to be extremely creative, especially in custom or sponsorship jumps. But, while wood is an easy choice for many projects, it is also heavy, prone to weathering, and requires regular painting/maintenance. Also, pinless jump cup tracks are an option for wooden jumps, but most use the traditional “hole-and-pin” method.

Aluminum has grown to become the new standard (no pun intended) in jump material, as it is stronger, lighter, and does not require maintenance. Additionally, the aluminum

and its stainless-steel hardware will never rust or degrade in the weather. Pretty much, the only thing that will destroy aluminum standards is a tractor drag… but, if that happens, the feet are easily removed and replaced, thereby saving the rest of the standard from ruin.

Aluminum standards requires the use of Pinless Jump Cup Tracks, which is an upgrade to the traditional “hole-and-pin” cups that many wooden jumps use. Our Pinless Jump Cup Tracks are made from galvanized steel and are included in the cost of our aluminum standards. The Pinless Jump Cups required for these tracks are an additional purchase; however, trainers and riders love them because they can be adjusted with only one-hand – no more fumbling to adjust the height of poles!

Purchasing aluminum jumps is definitely an investment, as they are more expensive than wooden jumps; however, the savings is really seen on the tail-end when they do not need to be painted or replaced. Plus, they are easier to move, easier to use, and look much sharper, than their wooden counterparts. The jumps are even their own billboards, as people proudly show-off their aluminum jumps to their friends.

Often, the easiest way of affording an aluminum jumping course is like affording a new shoe collection – one pair at a time. As a pair of wooden standards starts to degrade, clients often purchase a pair or two of aluminum standards to replace them, thereby slowly building their collection. We also offer many aluminum packages at a discount to help people get what they need quickly. Also, there are many options for customizing aluminum jumps with barn logos or sponsorships.

In conclusion, wood has been the favorite material for jump construction for a long time; however, more and more we will see the world of show jumping transition into higher-quality materials for its jumps. While aluminum is more expensive than wood, is it also much stronger, lighter, and longer-lasting and it is quickly becoming the new champion of show jumps.

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