How to Climb The Rope in The Spartan Race.

how to climb the rope in the spartan race

The rope climbing obstacle in the Spartan Race is one of the most difficult, one I’ve seen some of the strongest people fail at in these events, including myself.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing regular about this obstacle. Not only do you have to have crazy upper body strength to climb it, but here are:

4 very real risks you have to conquer to beat the rope climb in the Spartan Race:

  • Risk 1: There’s also cold and very, very dirty water you have to enter. 
  • Risk 2: It’s also incredibly wet because throughout the day, with the different waves of people passing through it, a lot of them fall into that water, then try to re-climb it, falling again, but the way the rope is designed, it almost absorbs all that water, making it constantly slippery.
  • Risk 3: This obstacle isn’t the first one on the course. Chances are you’ll run into it around mid way or close to end of the race by which time, you’re exhausted from the other parts of the race.
  • Risk 4: And of course there’s also the danger of falling from a large height, something which I have witnessed and depending on how you can reach it, if you slip, obviously you can fall very fall. Some Spartan Races like the Beast I ran, have begun to use mats instead of water to soften falls, but it’s still dangerous.

That slipperiness plus the grip strength you need and the exhaustion you’ll accumulate are all going to make this a very tough challenge so if you want to beat it, you have to be ready to face those 4 things and that’s how you’re going to beat this challenge! 

Mastering the climb and reducing the risk of injury: 

Risk 1’s solution: 

The cold, dirty water isn’t really a problem if you’re doing a Spartan Race in the Spring or Summer because in those seasons, when you get to it, you’re going to be overheated and sweaty so entering anything cold will feel great despite is being super dirty.

The only risky thing is catching a cold if you’re doing it in the cold seasons or catching some sort of infection if you’re cut. To avoid that, you need to try and not be cut during the race but that’s VERY hard considering how difficult the Spartan Race is. So to beat this risk:

  • Make sure you’re carrying supplies in something like a hydration pack that are anti-septic so when you finish this obstacle, if you have a cut, you can quickly reduce any risk of infection. 
  • Wear gear that protects your skin! More protective gear means less chances your skin gets cut! See the best protective gear you need to wear for the race!

Risk 2 solution: Tips on how to actually climb the rope! 

  • You won’t be able to avoid the slippery rope problem so you need to be ready to beat it:
  • Learn to climb a regular rope at a local gym. Every obstacle you do in the race should be prepped for beforehand. If you don’t have any of these at your gym, practice ANY upper body exercises, especially pull ups!
  • When actually doing it, make sure your elbows are tucked in. Many people climb it with their elbows out, looking as though they are some kind of fitness model posing. This puts tremendous strain on your elbows! You can really injure them doing this so tuck them in, when you practice and when you’re doing it on race day.
  • For beginners, use your feet to give your hands a break. Even advanced people are going to get tired from just using their hands. Your feet will provide an extra “lift” when you try it.
  • Since it will be slippery, you should get a pair of gloves that will help maintain your grip (grab excellent gloves especially designed for mud runs!). When practicing this outside the race, learn to climb it without gloves so you improve your grip strength! 
  • The J HOOK will save you…

How to do the J Hook when you climb the rope (I will include real pictures soon):

how to climb the rope in the spartan race

  • Begin by holding onto the rope with your hands as high as you can so when you let your feet go, your body will be slightly hanging off the ground.
  • Then take one of your feet, move it behind the other, and then swing it underneath it. So if my right foot and put it behind the left, that right foot would also swing underneath the left. 
  • That same right foot that swings underneath has to also grab the rope and tuck it above the left foot. 
  • Then take the right foot that’s holding the rope and tuck it between it and the left one. Now it’ll be tucked in place and all the weight is on your left foot.
  • This is the J hook and when you have this position, you can ease up on the pressure on your hands, giving them a rest.
  • Then, when you’re ready, let go of the J hook, and pull yourself up higher, then secure the J hook again. Every J hook is like a checkpoint until you reach the top and even when you go down.
  • All you’re doing with this J hook is each time you get higher and higher on the rope and get tired, this technique helps your body and hands relax before you’re ready to keep going.
  • Practice the J hook at the gym if possible to see how it feels when you have it secured correctly. Then you can feel out how much grip you can ease up on so you can do it during the race.

The J hook isn’t as easy to secure on a wet rope vs a dry one, so be ready to depend on your grip strength while you try securing it. My uncle had that issue on the Spartan Race where he tried to get it, but couldn’t because his foot kept slipping. You need to keep calm if you slip and patiently try to re-secure it.

Risk 3 Solution:

Since you will probably be tired when you reach this obstacle, the best thing to do is make sure you relax your shoulders when you’re not going through obstacles that require that upper body to work as well as your hands.

If you are tired when you get to this challenge, you should relax for a few minutes, stretch out your hands, feet, and shoulders before going through it.

Risk 4 Solution:

The best prevention from falling of this challenge is really having a secure, strong and long grip (with gloves) and keeping it secure with the added J Hook in place. 

If you do fall, the depth of the water isn’t that deep so make sure you fall with your feet first and when you land bend them and fall backwards or forwards. That will depend on where the momentum pushes you. If it pushes you forward, go forward, if it pushes you backwards, fall backwards and you will be fully submerged in the dirty water!

If you’re doing this obstacle completely vertically, this is how you’ll fall if you lose your grip. I have seen people do this challenge upside down and sideways. It is very risky. If they fall at that kind of angle, they can hurt their backs. Fall vertically and feet first if it happens and don’t forget to bend your legs! 

Note: Sometimes the rope can be dry and hard to hold on to as well.

With the last mud run I did, which was the Spartan Beast, I had a very difficult time climbing the rope. I had expected it to be slippery and in the water, but was met with a surprise:

It was the last obstacle on my event, but it was in a totally dry environment with mats. Not only that, but the actual rope wasn’t wet at all. Instead it was dry but felt as though powder was covering it. And it was nearly impossible to hang onto it. MOST of the people who were trying to climb it fell. 

Grip strength is definitely the #1 thing you need to train for the rope climb, but I would also add you need reps on obstacles like this before the race begins to get used to the feeling of what it’s like to hang onto the rope. It’ll mentally prepare you, which I did not do, and this was why I did not complete this obstacle.

How to Throw a Spear For The Spartan Race.

how to throw a spear for the spartan race

I’ve successfully completed the spear throwing obstacle in the Spartan Race twice and would like to share the technique I used to do it.

You may not be able to become the perfect spear thrower overnight, but these tips will definitely make your technique much better and I encourage that you practice the actual throw (which I’ll show you) so you can become better at it.

Update: Finally have some great pictures up to show how to throw the Spear for the Spartan Race.

Before I explain the technique I used to succeed on this obstacle in the Spartan Race, I want to give a very basic tip that has nothing to do with the actual throw, but rather the mindset when you encounter it.

1) Be patient when you do the Spear obstacle on the day of the race:

The spear throwing obstacle itself isn’t going to be your first challenge but by the time you get to it (if you do), you’re going to be tired and probably irritated. You’re going to also be very impatient when you’re waiting in line to try it and when you’re up, you’re also going to try and finish it quickly.

Most people fail this challenge in the Spartan Race not just because they lack technique, but also because of impatience. When it’s your turn to try it, walk up, pick it up, get comfortable holding the spear and take your time before you throw it. The people behind you can wait and rest and you can do it too if you’re waiting for your turn!

The art of using this weapon is being able to concentrate and relax. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to use it and hit the target and it only weights about 4 pounds.

Note: The distance to hit the target is about 15-20 feet. 

2) Here’s my technique for throwing the spear…

Do you remember making paper airplanes and flying them? Well that’s actually how I throw a spear, except you pull your hand back a little bit more and use more energy to LAUNCH the weapon (the pictures will show this).

My first spear challenge happened on my second Spartan Race and I did it very successfully because I automatically assumed it was like launching a paper airplane. Other people were just tossing it at their target and that’s not how you’re supposed to wield this weapon.

If you don’t know how to use paper airplanes or use this idea for the weapon, then here’s another:

  • Your body’s position when throwing the weapon must angled diagonally with your power arm behind.
  • I am a lefty, so when I did this challenge, my left foot was behind my right and I held the weapon with my left hand as well.
  • My feet were positioned about 2 feet away from each other. Make sure you have a good distance between your feet.
  • Now you’re ready to launch the weapon.

The power and precision of the throw comes from:

  • The whipping motion of the hand and aiming the tip of the spear at the target.
  • Pivoting your body and back foot when you’re ready to toss it. Think of the same paper airplane or when you toss a baseball.

3 steps to setting up the perfect spear throw for the Spartan Race:

1) The hard part is getting your hand used to letting go of the weapon at the right moment when you do launch it. Before you begin, position yourself like this:


Basically it should be right above you, in your power hand.

2) However if you launch it from that position (90 degrees), it’s going to miss. That’s what the black dashes are.

Instead you have to pull the angle of the spear back a little bit more so when you launch it, you will get more distance to set up the power and it will also get more distance in the throw:


Ok now a REAL life view of it:

how to throw a spear for the spartan race

Notice how just like in the illustration image, I am pointing the spear at an angle.

However, this is still not the position where you’re going to launch it yet! If you do it from there, it’s going to still miss and land hitting the back (the stick end). This is actually the same angle most people do this challenge from and fail.

You’re not going to throw it from there, but you are going to set up from there.

3) Now THIS is the position where you launch it. After you started at 90 degrees, angled it back a little bit to set up power, you are going to WHIP it back close to the starting point and let it go:

Your hand has to let go of the weapon right before it gets to 90 degrees otherwise, it’ll miss.

  • The hard part is letting go after you set up the launch like this. Many people go beyond the 90 degree angle before they let go and the spear ends up hitting the dirt before it hits the target.
  • Letting it go too early (under 90 degrees) makes it hit the dirt and land on the other end.
  • Your hand and the tip of the spear are the guide. Your hand sets up the tip and the tip then carries the rest of the weapon to the target.

Practice the motion before the race:

  • This tutorial is not going to be enough for you to become the perfect tosser.
  • No YouTube video on tossing them is going to do it.

You have to go out and practice it before race day. You don’t want to end up at this challenge and try to remember everything you read and saw. The best way to do it is to practice it so your body remembers how it feels.

Find a backyard, a park, any area where you have some space and practice the throw.

Practice it with a stick and use one tip of it as though it’s the actual tool. If it hits your target right at that point and in a straight line into the target, you made a good hit. If you didn’t or the angle was pointed too far in different directions (not straight), re-practice it. 

Remember to be patient with each turn you take doing it and make sure to remember how the whipping motion feels: When you set it up, when you pull it back and whip it before launching it.

Also make sure to remember to let go at the right angle. Try to look at when your hand lets go and for this you need to do it slowly.

If you have problems hitting your target, start from a shorter distance to the target, and do the techniques slower.

Always remember, using this tool is like throwing a baseball or airplane. You can practice with those before you try using it! 

Finally, here’s how it should look:

spartan spear throw step by step

Again, practice that motion, get the feel of this before you do it on the race. It’s honestly not that difficult, you just really have to imagine throwing a paper airplane. You can honestly practice with THAT if you don’t have space to practice with an actual spear or stick. Read more on the obstacles of the Spartan Race.

Also the pictures used to show my technique were taken when I ran the Spartan Beast

10 Workouts That’ll Help Prepare You For The Spartan Race!

how to prepare for the spartan race

The Spartan Race isn’t an amateur mud run. It’s Sprint, Super, Beast and Ultra are going to break you. I went through 3 of them. Here is a finisher photo of my last one (I’m the middle dude):

how to prepare for the spartan race

Not only are these events going to test you physically, but they’ll do it even more mentally so if you’re not prepared, and you’re thinking of trying this race, you’re going to get some “life” saving tips here.   

Having done 3 of them, I’ve come up with 10 workouts you need to practice to get yourself ready for the big day:

10 workouts that prepared me properly for the Spartan Race:

Note: These 10 workouts helped me for the Sprint, Super and The Beast, the 3 events I did.

1) Burpees.

If there is a single obstacle you cannot complete in this race, as punishment, you are supposed to do 30 burpees, each time. And while this punishment is reserved for people who are running the Ultra (the longest and hardest of the Spartan Race events), it’s still something you should be physically capable of doing.

You won’t have to do them if you can pass an obstacle (or avoid being seen by a supervisor), but I recommend you do 30 burpees every day just in case. It’ll get you used to the exercise and it’ll also strengthen your arms and core so this workout will help you through the other courses.

2) Pull ups.

Even if you hate them, you have to do them. There are a lot of obstacles that involve climbing (walls for example) and having good grip that pull ups are going to prepare you for. If you’re bad at pull ups, start by doing 1 a day. If you can easily do 10 everyday, you’ll be prepared.

3) Rope climbing.

Pull ups are also going to help you with rope climbing which is a big part of the Spartan Race, but if you have a chance to climb a rope, you have to practice it. Rope climbing is a lot harder than doing pull ups but if you can climb it at least twice, your upper body is going to be very strong. 

4) Monkey bars.

There are obstacles on the courses where you will need to swing from one pole to another and monkey bar climbing is going to help you with this. Kids do it on the playground all the time and I actually had to go to one of these playgrounds to practice it. 

5) Push ups. 

There will be parts of this race where you will need to go through mud a lot and use your hands and push your body through it and some workouts where you will also need to do push ups. You should do 50 push ups a day to prepare.

6) Weight lifting.

A few areas of the Spartan Race will have you carrying heavy things: Rocks, gravel, wooden logs and they will weight a lot. Practice lifting kettle bells or dumbbells and walking with them for a few minutes. If you can, walk up and down the stairs with them. A lot of the weight lifting areas will have you walking down hill and up.

7) Running up cliffs, stair master or just running up the stairs.

The hardest areas in the Spartan Race were the ones where you had to walk uphill for a long time. It kills your thighs so if you practice these workouts, you’re going to do better. Make sure to have a foam roller to stretch out the thighs before and after the race.

After I experienced the Super event and how that killed my thighs, I didn’t make the same mistake when I did the Beast. And let me tell you, by climbing the stairs multiple times everyday, not only did it help me finish the Beast, but my thighs did NOT hurt the next day.

8) Jogging long distances and trail running.

There actually won’t be a lot of long distance running in this race because the terrain changes very quickly so most people won’t be able to run distances, but you should get your body used to running to increase your stamina by both jogging and running through woods and places where the terrain changes very quickly.

An hour long jog like this every other day will help you during the race.

In other words: Do trail running and if you do, wear these shoes, which are the ones I also wore for at least 3 mud run events I did, including Tough Mudder. They are awesome both both trial running and mud runs in general.

9) Practicing jumping onto walls and hopping up. 

There’s a few walls you’ll have to jump over in the event, but some of them require that you hop of the wall first and aim up to reach the top, then use your upper body to pull yourself up and over it. A lot of people get scared of this area because they have never felt what it’s like. Practice it at home or outside, hop of gates, stone walls to get used to it. Also practice your grip.

10) Practice balancing.

Learning how to balance is going to help you through most of the race. There are several areas where you have to stay on a small, but raised pole and walk across it, but practicing balance when you run through rough terrain is also going to help you not feel uncomfortable when you have to run down hill or carry weights. 

Addition and helpful tips to prepare for the Spartan Race:

These tips aren’t workouts, but they will help you complete the race either way:

1) Prepare mentally more than physically. 

This race is more difficult on the mind than it is on the body. If you practice those workouts and train hard, you will also train your mind to withstand the mental challenges. 

I have seen people cry on the course and break down because they didn’t know it was going to be that difficult. And you will probably have moments where you want to quit the event. When you feel this way, it’s best to take a break, sit down, drink some water and talk to people. And you need to prepare for that BEFORE the race. 

2) Do the race with friends.

You should also participate in this event with friends so you can help each other through it. Make sure to get friends who are physically fit because it’s going to annoy you when you have to keep looking back and stopping due to physically unfit partners slowing you down or crying about not being able to do it.

3) First time doing the Spartan Race? I suggest the Sprint (5k).

If you’re never done a mud run before and are starting from the Spartan Race, do the 5K first. It’s the easiest of the 3 main races, but it’s also very difficult because there’s more obstacles in a short time. If you pass this race well and don’t feel pain, upgrade to the Super (8 Mile one) next time and if you pass that, then do the Beast (12 miles +).

This event is not a joke and if you’re not prepared, you’re going to really hurt yourself or just not finish the race. Be ready to get dirty. Be ready to be very tired.

4) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Every mile there is a water station available, but what you should also do is keep a hydration pack handy that carries water so you can drink anytime on the track without waiting to hit the next water station. 

For the 10 workouts, try to get used to doing ALL of them. The Spartan Race tests you in all areas of strength and those workouts prepare you everywhere. 

5) Wear the right clothing, it’ll make it easier (and safer):

As someone who made the mistake of wearing the wrong shoes and clothing on 4 mud runs, I finally learned my lesson and started wearing these 10 things. It helped out A LOT.

6) Proper nutrition for a Spartan Race.

Hydration won’t be enough to give you the energy to finish the race, you need calories. Get a full guide on what to eat during a mud run here!

7) Stretch numerous times throughout the race.

Because this race is a marathon (sort of), every time you feel you’ve ran or crossed a great distance, stop and stretch. Breaks help too!

Following these tips and practicing for the Spartan Race with these 10 workouts helped me out a lot when I did the event. In many cases, most of the obstacles and challenges never tired me out and it’s thanks to these workouts that this happened.

Spartan Super Race Review. I Was Not Prepared For This.

I finished the Spartan Super Race in 2015 and went through all of it’s obstacles. Let me tell you, if you’re not prepared, like I was, do not do it. I barely finished this Race because I greatly underestimated it and I suffered massive consequences including not being able to walk right for several weeks.

I also made some huge errors in wearing the wrong shoes and by a miracle managed to come out without twisting anything.

Let me cover all the details of my Spartan Super experience, help you prepare for one if you decide to try it. This review is going to help you learn from my mistakes!

Let me talk about the insane obstacles on The Spartan Super first…

spartan super race review and obstacles

If you’re wondering why I would take such a tough mud run so lightly, it was because my 3 previous mud run experiences, one of which was a Sprint and 2 other 5 km events, Survival Race and Mud Man X were pretty easy, so I didn’t expect this one to be that different.

The Spartan Super Race is 8 miles long.

When I did it, I was 3 other people and it was on a ski resort called Blue Mountain. I would later find out this specific location had some of the hardest obstacles and overall challenges.

Although there are more than 20 obstacles on the course, the most difficult parts of this race are the:

The uphill walks…

We had to walk almost to the very top of the mountain 3 times. This was the hardest part of the whole event.

My thighs were killing me. So you’d better prepare them because even though this isn’t an official obstacle, you’re going to remember it. When we had to stop, it was because we couldn’t walk up anymore.

When I tell people what to expect on Spartan Races, I tell them that the uphill climbs make up MOST of the event, so practice for them using these tips.

Walking downhill then uphill while carrying weights.

The designers of the Spartan Race basically troll you with this obstacle. No only are you walking and in pain, but they also make you carry weights.

In the event we did, there were 3 obstacles involving weights and taking them down hill, then uphill:

One of the first involved carrying a heavy sandbag that weighted about 30-40 pounds. Carrying it downhill was no problem, but when the terrain suddenly shifted upwards and we had to walk up about 200 feet on what felt like a 70 degree angle, it was torture. I had to stop at least 4 times to take a break.

The next challenge like this took place a few miles after that one. We had to carry pieces of logs the same way (down and then up). They didn’t weigh as much but they were very uncomfortable to carry. There was also someone who dropped one of those logs and they rolled downhill very quickly. That can be deadly if it hits someone.

The last challenge like this was close to the end of the event, after mile 7. We had to take a bucket, fill it with gravel and do the same thing. This one had the easiest slope, but it was also the longest and the weight was much, much heavier, around 50 pounds. You weren’t allowed to carry it on your shoulders, otherwise they’d have you restart it.

The other obstacles you’ll see:

Unfortunately, the Spartan Race (all it’s versions) appears to be the only event whose site doesn’t actually show all of it’s obstacles. Typically most events have a whole list available so you can prepare but in the Spartan Race, most of it is a surprise so I will do my best to describe each area we passed and tips on how we were able to do it.

When we started the event, we had to jump over a few logs. They were about 3 feet above the ground, but you had to roll over them to get over. You won’t be allowed to go around, of under it.

Obviously, the walls. There’s going to be walls you’re going to have to jump to reach the top and then pull yourself upward to get over them. There’s about 5 of them on the course. Some are about 10 feet high, but they do have smaller ones if you’re short.

There were 2 challenges where we had to carry a small, but heavy boulder about 20 feet, drop it, do push ups, pick it up again and bring it back where to it’s spot. The other one had us carrying logs with chains attached to them which we held onto.

There is a challenge where you have to climb about 20 feet on this net looking obstacle, then over on the other side to get down.

There are a few challenges which aren’t difficult but where it’s easy to slip where you climb a wooden wall that is vertically facing you, then when you get to the top, it slopes diagonally. There are a few others that are shaped like triangles, which you climb from one side, then out the other. There was a metal one with nets we had to go over. That one was about 40 feet high and about 70 feet long.

One obstacle had us swing across horizontal poles, but they were in mixed levels where the first pole was higher than the next, then after, it was high again so you were swinging up and down while going horizontally through this area.

There was also a lifting area, where a sandbag was attached to a long rope which stretch about 40-50 feet high. You are supposed to lift the sandbag by pulling on the rope and this part is very difficult. If you drop the sandbag or let go of the rope, you have to restart. I finished this challenge by using my foot to hold onto the parts of the rope I’d pull on, that way if I let go, I still had my foot holding onto the rope and holding the bag.

Of course, there’s always a spear throwing area with Spartan Races. The distance to hit the target is about 20 feet and they do something which makes it a lot harder which is they tie the spear to a rope and have you stand behind a gate to prevent stealing, but when you do this challenge, make sure to pull the rope entirely and then put it over the gate where you’re not allowed.

Then when you throw the spear, you won’t have the rope pulling it back:


Update: Instead of this horrendous picture, I’ve got my own spear throwing photos and techniques here to help you complete it!

There was also several rope climbing challenges.

One was where you have to hang either upside down or over the rope and pull yourself from one metal end to the other and the next was just a regular rope climb. 

That one was about 30 feet high and above very cold and muddy water. The rope was also very wet which made it very slippery. If you have gloves that can help your grip here, wear them. Also if you use a j hook when climbing the rope, it’ll be easier.

Several areas of the event also had a steep hill you had to climb by holding onto a rope and using it to pull yourself up.

Swimming is also a part of this race. We had to swim across a small lake that about 150 feet long. There were inflatable boats in parts of it where you have to dive under them. If you can’t swim, there is an alternative area next to the lake where you just walk through the water.

There is also a monkey bar type obstacle where you have to use rings to swing to the next one. This one was very difficult and it was towards the end of the event.

One balancing area is in this race too, where you have to walk across a wooden pillar that is horizontally above ground but about 2 feet. 

There is also several walls with bumps in them you have to climb on the side of. 

Update: It’s called Z Wall. This part is extremely difficult especially if you do it after a swim because it becomes very slippery. Although the rules of the Spartan Race say you can’t hold onto the top of the walls, I’ve had to do it or else I wouldn’t be able to finish this area. 

The final hard obstacle in this event is a LONG, rocky and muddy area…

Where you have to crawl or spin under barb wires. Spinning is easier to do but you will get dizzy. Crawling is slower but you should wear knee and elbow pads here. 


When training for the Spartan Super Race, train for the length of the race. That is the most difficult. Happy racing!


Our finisher photo! If you’ve done of these races, how was it for you? The three of us (plus a new member) recently also did a Tough Mudder. Let me say, it was quite different than the Super!

3 lessons taken from my Spartan Super experience:

1) I wrote really bad sneakers, wear these ones. I fixed that mistake with the next race I did (The Beast) and it truly changed things!

2) Never underestimate a Spartan Race. I stumbled onto the one which was in hindsight known to be hosted in one of the toughest environments.

3) This was the first race where I saw hydration packs being used and for later events, I got myself this one and it made dealing with the hot environment so much better!

Hero 7 Black Review. Bring This Camera on Your Next Mud Run.

GoPro has made action cameras over the years but I’ve been reluctant to recommend any for mud runs since the 5th model. But I am recommending the Hero Black 7.

There’s 4 immediate reasons why, if you’re a mud runner, you will want this camera for your next event:

1) The stabilization is next level. 

Gimbal level quality specifically. In comparison to my last 2 models, the Hero 4 and 5 Black, there was no stabilization on the 4 and very little of it on the 5, being that it was first introduced on the 5th one, but with the latest 7th version, that stabilization is astounding and you may as well consider it gimbal level.

Just imagine running through all the obstacles on your next mud run.

With the previous action camera (at least the ones I’ve had), there was crazy up and down bouncing going on all the time and in fact, I considered that to be acceptable, but with the introduction of gimbal sticks and then that perk being modified on cameras to be available WITHOUT the gimbal being necessary, you will now be able to catch all the stable details of any obstacle you do, on any mud run and let me tell you, that makes watching it later and showing it off to friends that much better, because they’ll be able to see everything, not get dizzy from watching it and who knows, maybe they’ll join on the next event you do (just make sure they are in good shape).

Now add that stabilization in combination with this camera being waterproof and VERY resilient and you’ve got a lot of potential. And in fact, don’t even limit yourself to mud runs when using this, use it for mountain biking, snowboard, jogging through the woods, your name it.

2) The camera quality is very nice.

While I still very much love the quality I get from my 4th and 5th models, let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to be taking many pictures on mud runs, and you’ll probably be using it more for taking videos. Well considering the Hero 7 Black shoots at up to 4K at 60 frames per second, mix in that buttery stabilization and you can capture awesome shots.

For just picture taking purposes, I’d still say you get similar quality from the 4th, 5th and 6th models, but it’s the video quality where the 7th version excels.

3) Less bugs, more action, more fun.

While you have seen me mention owning the 4th and 5th models, you will notice I said nothing about the 6th, and that’s because I didn’t like it.

To date, the 6th model might have been the king of bugs and issues, but the 7th model has so far been minimal in that regard and doing well in having you enjoy it right when you charge up the battery for the first time.

4) Sound quality is great.

Who doesn’t love to hear how people laugh and “woo” on mud run obstacles. While there’s plenty of good action cameras that record sound well, most of them (including old GoPros) “muffle” the sound quite a bit and that’s because the actual microphone is inside the body of the camera and that already makes it harder to hear what’s going on when you’re recording videos.

Don’t get me wrong, you can still fully make out what’s up, but that added muffled effect on everything you’re recording just sucks. 

Well the Hero 7 Black is great at fixing that since the recording of the sound is great, far greater than the previous GoPro’s out there, although my protective side still suggests getting an extra plastic body to protect the already protected camera itself, but that’s your call.

Now I want to make something clear about the 7th model, as there are 3 versions of it:

There’s a silver, white and black version, with the latter being the best. I don’t own the silver and white versions but from what I have seen reviewed, most people are disappointed by them and only like the Black version.

In fact, if you own a 4th, 5th and 6th model, you don’t really have any reason to buy the silver and white versions, and I would say your current models are better, so keep those.

What if I can’t afford the Hero 7 Black?

Currently, the price of this camera is $399, which is actually quite awesome, but still, that’s a few $100 some people may not have.

If picture and video quality are important to you, then even getting a Hero 4 Black should be more than enough for you and I’m the owner of one so I can say that. That one costs about $200, about 2x less than the 7.

And the 5th model which has OK stabilization (just not as good) is a little bit more expensive at $200+, but still FAR cheaper and I’m also the owner of one and am relatively happy with it.

As far as video and picture quality goes, these 2 models are VERY close to each other (see comparison) and in comparison to the 7, it’s also close enough to be tough to tell the difference. 

The only real drawback of those older models is that their stabilization is not on the same level as the 7, so if that’s important for you (and for mud run people who like to document their events, it should be a priority), here’s another option:

Just get it at a Best Buy or Amazon, but finance it.

You can probably knock the $400+ in small monthly payments and pay for it that way if you really want it. I don’t know how many people may have an issue with the $400, considering most mud run events are already pretty expensive just for admission, but who knows, if you have these money problems and REALLY want the 7, again, finance it.

One last option to consider if you can’t afford the 7 is getting a waterproof gimbal for the previous models, at least then, you can basically replicate the same gimbal stabilization you’d get from the 7. Here’s a waterproof one that’s decent, but it’s about $100-$200.