Top 10 Best Starting Blocks

Decades ago, people had to start their sprints with feet stuck in the ground. This was a frustrating start to the race, but thanks to the starting block, the athletes can today have a thrust that gives them a great start. A starting block is the fixed object featuring angled surfaces used to push the athlete at the start of a race.

The starting blocks were invented in 1929 and must be fixed on the track with spikes to prevent a horizontal force of the start push but are easy to lift up vertically. There are several factors you need to consider when purchasing a starting block.

As you begin to race, the first stride is the longest. To achieve optimum acceleration, one needs to apply a significant horizontal force that will transition your body from a stationary position to a forward moving high speed. You also need to generate adequate vertical force to pull your body from the crouch to a standing position giving you enough time to quickly switch legs and gain momentum for the race.

The starting block efficiently helps you reach maximum velocity within the shortest period. The right block will shorten the distance between your start position and a correct running gait.

Below are some guidelines for selecting the best starting block and a few selected models to consider.

1. Stackhouse Championship Starting Block

Stackhouse Championship Starting Block
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Specifications

4 inch wide pedals
4-position adjustable
Lightweight aluminum
Anchor and all-weather spikes

This lightweight aluminum starting block provides a reliable starting performance for sprint races. It is durable and constructed for perfect performance for the high school and college competitions. The model comes with three large spikes for holding the block to the ground when the athlete starts with full force.

It measures four inches wide and has four adjustable positions for personalization. The block can also be used on a cinder track without issues.

Bottom line: a perfect starting block for high school and college competitions. It has a solid, durable construction and is lightweight with reliable spikes.

Pros
– 4″ wide 4-position adjustable pedals
– 2.5″ center rail
– Anchor spikes and all-weather spikes

Cons
– The top of the blocks stick out of the pack

2. Lightning Starting Block II

Lightning Starting Block II
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Specifications

Aluminum construction
Adjustable pedals
2.5-inch center rail with front and back plate
1-years warranty on all parts

This starting block has performed impressively in the tracks and you have just to love it like the coaches have. It is lightweight and designed to perform even in the toughest conditions. Its track and anchor spikes ensure the athlete gets maximum resistance during the start of a sprint race. Those who have used the Lightning starting block II have really been impressed by what it can do.

Bottom line: the Lighting starting block II has the right design and construction to support the athlete on the racing track.

Pros
– Adjustable pedals for individual fit
– 1-year warranty on all parts
– 100% customer satisfaction guarantee

Cons
– Only available in one color

3. NEWTON’s BEST Starting Block

NEWTON's BEST Starting Block
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Specifications

5 pedal angle degree adjustment
All aluminum casting
Highest quality construction
Easy carry center rail
Thread spikes for the synthetic surfaces

The Newton starting block is a favorite starting block, hence its display at the Smithsonian Institute as one of the best models for the tracks. It has a lightweight high-quality construction, making it very durable. It is made of all aluminum casting using a patented technology that ensures you get the best. It is frequently used by college coaches due to its versatile spikes that can support using the starting block on various surfaces.

Bottom line: if you want a reliable starting block that can work on most surfaces, then the Newton starting block II is what you need.

Pros
– 5 pedal angle degree adjustment
– Easy carry center rail
– Lightweight
– Durable
– Thread spikes for synthetic surfaces

Cons
– The finish is rough

4. GRAND PRIX Starting Block

   GRAND PRIX Starting Block
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Specifications

Responsive pedal plates or maximum push-off
5-inch wide pedals for adequate push surface
Lightweight aluminum construction

It is also referred to as the Grand Prix of starting blocks and is a solid device constructed of aluminum. It is designed to perform both on dirt and rubberized tracks with no loss of traction. It is the bestselling starting block in America due to its remarkable performance on the tracks.

It is fully adjustable and will customize the distance, and angle to perfectly fit the athlete’s torso and hip height for maximum push-off. It is relied upon to improve race and improve speed due to the excellent takeoff. If you want the best performance, go for the best starting block and improve your athletes’ performance. This model is adjustable to make it comfortable to work with and fit each every user every time due to the 5-angle adjustment and four adjustable positions.

Bottom line: the best track equipment speaks for themselves. The Grand Prix is a product worth every money spent on it.

Pros
– Wide pedals
– Responsive pedal pads
– Four adjustable positions

Cons
– It has one rod that does not solidly hold the foot plates in place

5. Port a PitCompetition Starting Block

Port a PitCompetition Starting Block
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Specifications

Dimensions: 37x16x6 inches
Weight: 9.9 pounds
Constructions: all steel
Spring-loaded plunge for pedal adjustment and secure locking
Multi-surface spikes and a spike wrench

The racing tracks require a solid, reliable and durable starting block if your athletes are to deliver the performance expected of them. Go for the Port a pit starting block and you will win all the way. Sprinting races require a dependable starting block for the initial thrust that plays a major role in determining who wins and who is left behind.

Bottom line: the best starting block for college and professional racing tracks at the best price possible.

Pros
– Durable
– easy to use

Cons
– Not colorful

6. Collegiate track starting block

Collegiate track starting block
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Specifications

Aluminum construction
5-year warranty
3-inch center rail
5-inch wide pedals
4-position adjustable pedals
IAAF certified

There are starting blocks and then there is the Collegiate track starting block. This model has a lightweight yet solid and durable aluminum construction. You will like the adjustability that makes it fit most users of different heights. Its 5-inch wide pedals ensure the user gets adequate takeoff surface and reduces the chances of slipping on push-off.

Bottom line: the starting block has a solid construction and a strong past that makes it worth testing on the tracks.

Pros
– Lightweight
– Wide pedals
– 4-position adjustable
– Durable
Cons
– a little pricey

7. Newton Elite Starting Block

Newton Elite Starting Block
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Specifications

Al aluminum construction
Patented starting block cast
Easy carry rail design

Fixed pedals that do not come off even during transport
With this lightweight aluminum starting block, you can set up the race on any surface and still get the best performance. It is an affordable choice the world over and is easy to carry from one part of the track to the other. Its pedals do not come off when carried and it displays top quality craftsmanship and durability in every aspect.

Bottom line: an affordable and reliable starting block trusted by athletes the world over.

Pros
– Durable
– Lightweight

Cons
– Spikes could have a better grip on dirt

8. Gill Athletics Collegiate Starting Block

Gill Athletics Collegiate Starting Block
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Specifications

Aircraft aluminum pedals
Adjustable pedals
Lightweight aluminum rail
4-angle adjustable
½-inch needle spikes for synthetic surfaces

For the high-level competitions, this is the best starting block due to its dependable performance. It can be adjusted to four angles for the user’s comfort. The ½-inch needle spikes ensure the block remains solidly on the ground when on a synthetic track surface.

Its pedals are designed to balance perfectly and deliver excellent performance each time. The airplane aluminum material makes this starting block durable and very lightweight. It is built for winners and is moderately priced, meaning it can be used widely. Let everyone experience the professional level starting blocks for improved performance.

Bottom line: this affordable and reliable starting block is all a budding racing star needs to shine.

Pros
– Lightweight construction
– Durable
– ½-inch needle spikes for synthetic surfaces

Cons
– not eligible for international shipping

9. NasRacer adjustable pedal starting block

NasRacer adjustable pedal starting block
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Specifications

Four pedal angle adjustment
Lightweight aluminum construction
5-inch wide pedals
4-position adjustable pedals
2.5-inch center rail
Anchor and all-weather spikes
5-year warranty

With this starting block, you will own the finish line like a pro. It is a crucial part of a sprint race and its reliability is paramount. The design of Nas Racer is aimed at ensuring repeat excellent performance in any track and weather condition.

It is lightweight and heavy duty. This gives the product durability and ease of transport. The unique craftsmanship is backed by a 5-year warranty. The pedals are wide enough to give a large push-off surface and can be adjusted to get the right angle for height and hip length for each user.

Bottom line: the Nas Racer is the starting block to consider if you are crazy about track performance and does not want to spend tons of cash in purchase cost.

Pros
– Durable
– Lightweight
– All-weather spikes
– 5-year warranty

Cons
– Should improve on synthetic surface traction

10. Champion Track Starter Block

Champion Track Starter Block
Buy now from Amazon

Specifications

IAAF certified quality
5 pedal angle face
Responsive pedal plate
Easy carry handle
Does not separate during transport

Athletes need comfortable and personalized racing equipment for them to deliver excellent track performance. This is the reason the Champion track starter block is designed with a five-angle adjustment to make it perfect for every user. It is designed to develop, refine, and improve each user’s technique for the best performance. The model is ideal for college and international competitions and can be used for years as it is durable.

Bottom line: impressive track performance requires professional-grade tracking equipment. This starter block is designed and constructed to deliver the best performance.

Pros
– Durable
– 5-angle pedal adjustment
– Easy to carry

Cons
– Not so light

Choosing the right starting blocks

It is crucial that you have the right starting block to help the athletes get out of the block faster and perform better in the tracks. The correct block can be the difference between good performance and excellent performance. Blocks with different center rails length allow for customization to suit individual athletes.

Some starting blocks have fixed angles to save time as you teach beginners, however, this may not be optimal for the competitive environment as each user will need a custom setting on the angle. Adjustable angle blocks and positions allow for setting the feet at different angles and to fit each height perfectly for optimal performance.

Not all starting blocks are the same as they have different construction and design. The first factor to consider is the safety followed by adjustability for different runners. It will be a waste to train hard only to lose due to a false start caused by unreliable or un-customizable starting block. Make the right choice, investigate the different models in the market and how they are built before you settle on a particular model.

Types of starting blocks

Starting blocks come in three different types; bunched, medium, and elongated. A bunched or bullet design lets your front heel align with the toes of your back foot. In the case of a medium starting block, the knees of your rear leg line up with the toes of your front foot. An elongated starting block design will position tour rear knees next to the heel of your front foot.

Different athletes prefer to start their race differently and any of these can be the winning type for different people so choose wisely.

Conclusion

When you use the best starting block it will not come as a surprise when you win. The above blocks are some of the best in the market and are designed for champions and can be used for both college and international competitions. You do not have to go for very expensive models when there are reliable, durable and high-performance models around. The wrong starting block can cause injuries in addition to poor performance so research and choose wisely. Follow the guide and you will get the right product to make your athletes outshine their competition.

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