Your Guide to Finding the Right Stuff
Consider this your one-stop shop for javelin equipment, plus product information and technical guidance to help guide your purchase. Check out our stock of track and field supplies, and use the resources on this page as you work on your throw (or buy for a budding thrower).
Already an expert? Shop Javelins now.
- Get a grip: Athletes hold the javelin in the crease of the hand. There are a number of grips, the simplest is known as The “American” Grip. Pinch the top of the grip with pointer finger and thumb (this gives you control of the throwing angle), wrapping the rest of the fingers around, lower down.
- Approach run: Throwers use the run-up to produce power through speed. They get as close to the line as possible before release. Final distance is measured from the line, regardless of how far back the thrower is when he releases the jav.
- Withdrawal: As the athlete approaches the line, he speeds up, turns his body toward his throwing arm, and draws his shoulder back in anticipation of the throw.
- Cross-over: Thrower leans back, lines the javelin up with his eyebrow, and takes preparatory steps (see ‘Pro Tips’ below) before the toss.
- Delivery: The athlete uses his whole body to thrust the javelin forward. When his arm is at the highest point in the arc, he releases.
- Recovery: Follow-through is essential! Athlete finishes the throw by letting his arm continue forward, diagonally across his body, after releasing the javelin; he lets his momentum carry him forward several steps.
The “body” of the javelin, to which the grip and the head are attached.
The sharp, pointed front end of the javelin.
Wind blowing against the javelin’s direction of travel, slightly decreasing its speed and distance.
The area of the javelin held by an athlete, located over the javelin’s center of gravity and wrapped with cord.
The mark from which the toss is measured.
Area marked off and designated as the landing area for the javelins.
Wind blowing in the same direction as the javelin, slightly increasing the speed and distance of your throw.
Javelin Selection Charts
|Women from H.S. through age 49||4.0 kilo.|
|Women age 50 plus||3.0 kilo.|
|Boys H.S.||12 lbs.|
|Men to age 49||16 lbs.|
|Men 50-59||6.0 kilo.|
|Men 60-69||5.0 kilo.|
|Men 70 plus||4.0 kilo.|
Which Javelin When?
With rubber tip javelins, young athletes safely get the feel of the real implement as they push themselves to master form and technique. Some states require the use of the rubber tip only (AL, ND, NJ, WA). 35M Rubber Tip Javelin
The 600 gram 45M is perfect for the athlete looking to up her game. It’s built to go far—but it needs a thrower with good control and solid technique. For athletes who throw up to 150’. 45M Javelin
Athletes with some experience, and above-average strength and technique, should try the 800 gram 60M. It can be thrown up to 195’. 60M Javelin
Quick Tip: Understanding Product Specs
Javelin ratings are expressed in “meters” and “flex.” The “M” is how it’s balanced and how far the javelin is meant to fly. A 50M javelin will fly 40 –50 meters (131’ – 164’), a 60M javelin will fly 50 – 60 meters (164’ – 197’), etc. The stiffness ratio, or “flex,” is how much the shaft will bend. Higher numbers are for stiffer javelins. More advanced throwers need high flex (4.8 - 6.6).
Blunt tips are mainly for tailwind throws; a sharper, more tapered tip is for a headwind.
Javelin Pro Tips
- Balance the jav. Pay attention to its center of gravity before the approach run, and maintain balance until release to ensure a straight shot.
- In throwing events, the athlete’s arm is never doing all the work! Core and chest muscles are key; engage your whole body.
- Think about pulling the javelin forward, rather than pushing it out, as you throw. This will help you engage the right muscles and keep control of the point.
- Javelin hitting the ground tail-first? Practice keeping the tip pointed lower during your approach. Hold your elbow high and ensure the tail of the jav follows the tip in a straight line as you release at about a 33° angle.
- Follow-through is vital to finish the toss and prevent injury. Momentum will continue to carry you forward after release. Take that into consideration as you approach the line to make sure you don’t overstep and foul out.
Hit Your Stride
The final few steps of the approach run are critical. You should take a “cross-over” stride to prep for release: land on your left foot and turn your body to the right (left shoulder points to the field), then cross your right leg in front of you as you extend the javelin behind. Plant your left foot as you lean back and complete the throw.