The Most Difficult Vault in Gymnastics, Ranked

Choose the vault you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 16, 2024 06:27
Gymnastics is a sport that marries grace with strength, and nowhere is this more evident than in the execution of a vault. Each vault combines speed, power, and precision, and the degree of difficulty can greatly vary from one to the next. By ranking these challenges, we can better appreciate the nuances that set apart the simpler maneuvers from the most technically demanding ones. A dynamic ranking based on user votes helps to capture real-time opinions and shines a light on community preferences. This interactive process allows fans and practitioners alike to voice their opinions, contributing to a continually updated list that reflects the most respected and challenging vaults as seen through the eyes of the gymnastics community.

What Is the Most Difficult Vault in Gymnastics?

  1. 1


    The Produnova, also known as the vault of death, is considered the most difficult vault in women's gymnastics.
    • Difficulty Score: 7.0
    • Inventor: Yelena Produnova
    • First Performed: 1999
  2. 2

    Tsukahara Double Back

    A vault featuring a half-on entry into a double back somersault off.
    • Difficulty Score: 5.6
    • Inventor: Mitsuo Tsukahara
    • First Performed: Not specified
  3. 3

    Yurchenko Double Pike

    A Yurchenko vault with a round-off onto the board, back handspring onto the vault, then a double pike off.
    • Difficulty Score: 6.6
    • Inventor: Not specified
    • First Performed: Simone Biles, 2021
  4. 4


    A Yurchenko vault with 2.5 twists off the vaulting table.
    • Difficulty Score: 5.8
    • Inventor: Simona Amanar
    • First Performed: 2000
  5. 5


    A Yurchenko half-on vault with 1.5 twists off.
    • Difficulty Score: 6.0
    • Inventor: Cheng Fei
    • First Performed: 2005
  6. 6

    Handspring Double Front

    A vault that involves a handspring onto the vault table followed by a double front somersault off.
    • Difficulty Score: 7.0
    • Also Known As: Roche
    • First Performed: Not specified
  7. 7

    Yurchenko 2.5 Twist

    A Yurchenko vault with a round-off onto the board, back handspring onto the vault, then 2.5 twists off.
    • Difficulty Score: 5.8
    • Common Name: Amanar
    • Popularized: Simona Amanar
  8. 8

    Kasamatsu Full

    A vault that begins with a round-off onto the board, followed by a half twist onto the vaulting table, then a full twist off in the layout position.
    • Difficulty Score: 5.2
    • Inventor: Shigeru Kasamatsu
    • First Performed: Not specified
  9. 9


    A handspring forward onto the vault with 1.5 twists off.
    • Difficulty Score: 5.8
    • Also Known As: Handspring 1.5
    • First Performed: Not specified
  10. 10


    The Biles is a vault performed by Simone Biles, featuring a half-on entry, with two twists off.
    • Difficulty Score: 6.4
    • Inventor: Simone Biles
    • First Performed: 2018

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult vault in gymnastics. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or vault is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 178 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each vault once every 24 hours. The rank of each vault is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Difficult Vault in Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a sport that combines strength, grace, and precision. One of the most challenging events in gymnastics is the vault. This event requires a blend of speed, power, and technique. Athletes must sprint down a runway, launch off a springboard, and perform acrobatic moves before landing.

The vault consists of several key phases. First, the run-up. Gymnasts need to build speed to generate the necessary momentum. The faster the run, the more power they can harness. This phase is crucial as it sets the stage for the entire vault.

Next, the takeoff. Gymnasts hit the springboard with both feet. Timing and positioning are vital here. A well-timed takeoff can mean the difference between a clean vault and a failed attempt. The springboard propels the gymnast into the air, giving them the height needed for the next phase.

The third phase is the pre-flight. This is the moment between leaving the springboard and contacting the vault table. During this brief period, gymnasts must position their bodies correctly to ensure a successful push-off from the table.

The fourth phase is the push-off. Gymnasts place their hands on the vault table and push off with great force. This push-off is where the gymnast gains the height and rotation needed for the acrobatic elements of the vault. The strength and technique used here are critical.

The next phase is the post-flight. In this phase, gymnasts perform flips and twists in the air. The complexity of these moves varies, but they all require precise control and timing. Gymnasts must execute these moves flawlessly while maintaining body tension.

Finally, the landing. After completing the aerial maneuvers, gymnasts must land on their feet. The landing must be controlled and stable. A perfect landing requires the gymnast to absorb the impact and maintain balance.

The difficulty of a vault is determined by several factors. The speed of the run-up, the height of the takeoff, the complexity of the aerial moves, and the control of the landing all contribute to the overall challenge. Judges score the vault based on execution, difficulty, and landing.

Training for the vault involves rigorous practice. Gymnasts spend countless hours perfecting each phase. They work on building speed, strength, and technique. Coaches play a crucial role in guiding and refining their athletes' skills.

Safety is also a major concern in vault training. Gymnasts use padded mats and foam pits to practice their moves safely. Proper equipment and supervision are essential to prevent injuries.

In conclusion, the vault is one of the most demanding events in gymnastics. It requires a unique combination of speed, power, and precision. Each phase of the vault presents its own challenges, and gymnasts must master them all to succeed. The dedication and skill required to perform a difficult vault are a testament to the athletes' hard work and determination.

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