Vertical Jump Records

So you want to know what the world record for vertical jump is? It would seem like this would be a simple matter. Yet, there is surprisingly no consensus for who holds this title or what the record is.

In athletics like the high jump, the rules were carefully calculated and are highly regulated. A person runs and jumps over a bar which is set at a certain height. If the bar is cleared, then the person achieved that height. It doesn’t really matter what technique the high jumper used or the jumper’s height. By the way, the world record for the high jump is held by Javier Sotomayor from Cuba. He was able to clear 8 feet and 0.45 inches!

With vertical jump though, there isn’t any sports league or athletic federation which has set rules and is regulating them. This leaves a lot of room for interpretation as to what qualifies as a good jump.

For example:

  • Do you measure how high the person jumped? Or do you measure how much higher than their standing arm length they were able to jump? In the first scenario, tall people obviously have an advantage – even if they can’t really jump so high!
  • Do you calculate a running jump, or is the vertical jump calculated from a stand-still?
  • Do you allow the jumpers to swing their arms or not?

Because of these issues, it is impossible to say who holds the vertical jump record and what that record is. With this said, here are some pretty impressive jumpers:


Kevin Bania: Cross Fit trainer Kevin Bania got a lot of attention when a YouTube video came out showing him doing a 64.44 inch box jump. Oh, and he is only 5’10”! This should be a world record, but it is not official in any way.


Kadour Ziani: This French guy (born 1973) is generally thought to hold the record for highest vertical jump. He recorded a 60” vertical – and he’s just 5’11. The guy can literally kick the rim! He got a lot of attention on the 1996 Nike Thunder Tour but there isn’t really info as to what he is up to now.

JJ Watt: A YouTube video shows NFL player JJ Watt doing a vertical box jump of 59.5 inches. Yet, the NBA only lists his vertical jump as 37 inches. This just goes to show how little consistency there is in the vertical jump recording process.

Justin “Jus Fly” Darlington: Justin is one of the creators of the Vert Shock and obviously knows what he is talking about. He’s got a 53” dunk and can do some amazing tricks in the process.

Leonel Marshall Jr.: Olympic volleyball player Leonel Marshall Jr. is known for his amazing vertical jump. He has a 50 inch vertical jump and has gotten to 73” in attack.

DJ Stephens: According to Yahoo Sports, DJ Stephens of the University of Memphis recorded the highest ever vertical jump by the NBA draft ever. At 46 inches, he was able to break the former record which was held by Kenny Gregory of 45.5 inches. Obviously, a lot of people can jump higher than this – but this is the NBA recorded best vertical jumps.

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