Olympic Javelin Specifications
In rules set by the International Association of Athletics Federations, male athletes must use Javelins weighing 800 grams with a length measuring at least 260cm. Female competitors must use javelins weighing 600 grams and measuring at least 220cm in length.
Javelins for Younger Athletes
As children progress toward becoming senior athletes, different javelin weights are available to fit their level of development. At ages 11 and 12, boys and girls are both required to use a 400 gram javelin. At 13 and 14, boys and girls progress to a 600 gram javelin, competition weight for senior female athletes. At 15 and 16, males are required use a javelin weighing 700 grams.
The shaft of the javelin is of hollow construction to increase the surface area and promote the greatest flight time. The majority of competitive athletes use wooden javelins, more specifically, birch wood. Less commonly, javelins are found with a metal or carbon fiber shaft. These types of javelin can withstand more wear and tear, and are commonly found at training grounds.
Around the center of the javelin is a wrapped binding to allow athletes to better grip the shaft. Usually this binding is made of tightly wrapped threads or leather, but training javelins occasionally have cloth or rubber bindings.