“The Climbing Business Journal presents the first annual Grip List.
This year we experienced an unprecedented amount of new hold companies bursting upon the scene, established companies expanding their lines and old brands coming out of retirement. A quick scan through the popular Routesetters Anonymous Facebook page will dizzy you with the number of new brands. But what holds are routesetters actually psyched about? What are they buying or would buy if they had the money? What are the most exciting hold companies right now?
We decided to find out. First, we talked with pro-setters, head setters, national setters and any setter that was so psyched about a company they emailed us to to rave about its virtues. Next, we put a call out to setters across the country to tell us what hold companies they are excited about, what they’re buying and which brands look like they have the best shot at making it in the rough and tumble world of grip making. Lastly, we went into gyms and actually got our hands wrapped around some of the holds to get a sense for how they felt.
What emerged is a list of America’s hottest holds for 2014. These are the brands that are rocking the world of indoor climbing and are giving setters sweaty palms.
Escape (Honorable Mention) – Coming straight out of Minneapolis, Escape climbing holds is trying to break into the very competitive hold market by keeping it small. Owner and lone shaper Ryan Angelo tells us, “My goal is to have a very refined line of holds. I won’t ever have a huge selection because I retire/replace sets that I don’t like or don’t receive good reviews from routesetters.” From what setters are saying Angelo will not have to replace much. Escape has been in production for two years and as gyms seek to diversify their hold inventory setters are finding they like what Escape is adding to the mix. 2014 could be the break out year for this small but promising company.”
Always something new in the shop…follow us on Instagram. http://instagram.com/escapeclimbing
Purchase a bag or bucket and help support the Save Sandstone project. All the chalk bags and buckets were donated by Organic Climbing and 100% of the profit goes to the Save Sandstone project
About The Project:
The Minnesota Climbers Association and Access Fund are excited to announce that the bouldering area in Sandstone, MN is about to be acquired and conserved for climbing access. Almost 10 years ago the MCA worked with private landowners to gain access to the high-quality bouldering area. This past fall, the MCA got word that the landowners were looking to sell the property, putting public access at imminent risk. The landowners generously agreed to give local climbers the first opportunity to purchase the land. With support from MCA and Access Fund, the PTCM has agreed to purchase the property to be integrated into state park and trails.
However, PTCM needs help to fundraise for the acquisition costs of $30,000 by December 31, 2013. This will also fund future trailhead improvements.
Being a relevant hold company requires constant R&D when it comes to plastic. After 5 months of tweaking and testing we have switched to a new Urethane! Not only is our new mix more durable, but it is also more eco friendly. All urethane climbing holds on the market are petroleum based. Our new urethane consists of over 15% bio-based material…which simply means we are using some oil from plants instead of petroleum. We have also integrated 10% recycled material into our urethane formula. This means we are offering a urethane that is over 25% recycled/renewable resource based. We are not claiming to save the world at Escape Climbing, but the idea is to decrease our consumption of petroleum with every hold purchased.
LEED Credit for your climbing gym:
Our holds can help your facility achieve LEED credit with our 10% postconsumer material under the category ”Materials and Resources” (MR 3 Sustainable Purchasing - Facility Alterations and Additions). Your facility will need to achieve over 50% of total purchasing (by cost) as defined sustainable to secure this 1 point. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Fine-tune your training | Escape Climbing Power Balls
The Climbing Magazine review:
Pull-ups are the standard climber’s exercise, but a plain, straight bar dosen’t do much to simulate a real climbing situation. Add the Power Balls to training regiment, and those 40 boring pull-ups might turn into four targeted and climbing-specific workouts. We tested them as a supplement to regular hangboard training, and found great results for lock-offs, slopers, pinches, open-handed exercises, and core workouts. “The repetition needed to really work my forearms usually ends up hurting my fingers, wrists or elbows, but the rotating movement of these is really friendly to all my joints. And I only need a few goes before my forearms are so pumped I can’t lift my water bottle.” one female tester said. With a slight shift in the urethane mixture of the original Power Balls, this version is even friendlier on the skin: “Super-fantastic grip without being hard on my hands.”
You can purchase the Power Balls here.
Richard (co-owner at Escape Climbing) joined up with GearJunkie for a 17 hour day of bouldering and filming. Richard is part of the “Off the Map” video series. This episode follows Richard and other local Minnesota rock climbers as they crush the great planes boulders. It is a glimpse into the obscure and overlooked granite bouldering that Minnesota has to offer.
Escape Climbing hit the road with our rock climbing holds. After fourteen hours we just landed in Boulder Colorado for the annual Climbing Wall Association Summit. It is a who’s who of the rock climbing gym industry where members get together to network, collaborate, and share ideas. Escape is a CWA member and is also exhibiting to show off our new line of climbing holds and get people psyched on our product.