Vaulting Pole History - the major players
BY JAN JOHNSON
· · Browning Sky Pole (Herb Jenks & George Moore) 1963 sold to Richards Family in 1968.
· · Cata-Pole begins production (Jenks and Moore) 1968-1974 Produced Black Cata-Pole and Green 550+ both poles feature adjusted sail pieces and new types of fiberglass.
· · Ampro Corp. purchases Cata-Pole in 1974 and begins production of Cata-Pole gold in 1978.
· · Fibersport (Bruce Caldwell) introduces training poles and Maxima III poles in 1978 which are contracted to various manufactures
· · AMF Pacer III begins production 1975 (Jenks & Moore). First pole to feature Spiral inner wrap.
· · Steve Chappell becomes Pacer managing director 1984 the is son in law of George Moore.
· · Sky Pole is sold by Paul Richards in 1986 to Gill T&F Equipment.
· · Pacer is sold to Gill T&F in 1987 at the time it is and remains the biggest selling brand.
· · Richards begins Altius Pole in 1988.
· · UCS introduces the Spirit Vaulting pole in 1988 Steve Chappell is managing director. The pole employs a unidirectional inner wrap. Within two years Spirit becomes a top selling brand world wide.
· · Cata-Pole goes out of business in 1989, equipment is purchased by Larry Rio who produces the Accelerator pole from 1990-1992 and then goes out of business.
· · Cata-Pole brand name is purchased by BSN. Bruce Caldwell becomes Brand Manager.
· · Cata-Pole contracts its pole manufacturing to Altius and other unknown manufactures.
· · Gill Sports introduces the Carbon Pacer in 1989, it becomes an instant success among elite vaulters.
· · David Hodge former world class vaulter becomes CEO at Gill sports in 1991.
· · Gill Sports introduces the Mean Green Sky Pole in 1991 in becomes the number two best selling pole in the country within two years.
· · Gill Sports introduces the Ms. Stic vaulting pole for girls in 1994. It has immediate sales success.
· · Gill researches and develops a normalized system called BEST FLEX for determining the stiffness of vaulting poles. The system is designed to standardize the methodology used to determine vaulting pole stiffness.
** Please note several manufactures including: Sports Beconta, Wonder pole, Thermo Flex and others have also played a role in vaulting pole history. However, they have not been included in this report; since they do not seem to have contributed to current methods of measuring vaulting pole stiffness ratings. In addition none of these brands are in use today.