The age of the volume

So it has happened. We find ourselves reduced to no more than 3 or 4 actual holds and a handful of volumes. But what glorious amazing movement it has created. Vertical life did an excellent write up of this, discussing how this new change in movement could change the things we see both indoors and out (read it here…..)

Climbers in the IFSC World Cups, seem to have become so strong that if you put a hold on the wall, most will be able to lock it off, or better, one arm chin up on it! So I guess, Enter the Volume….

We are seeing it more and more throughout social media, youtube channels and throughout setting at home and abroad. One of the big inspirations for me was watching the traverse put up at Stunwerk for the German climbing team (see it here…..) Plus all the work Udo Neumann, Jacky Godoffe and the other setters, coaches and visionaries have done to push the sport of climbing to where it is now……

Hold retailers like HRT, 360, Morpho have changed the things we are putting on the wall, with the viral picture of the 360 volume route…. which if you haven’t seen…… oh lordy!

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360 HOLDS volume only climb


But my question is what is next? Who will push it and where will it go? Large volume insets have started sneaking their way into boulder events… is this the way? How will we challenge the worlds best climbers of tomorrow? The further we go down the parkour/gymnastic world, the more we rely on co-ordinated movement both with our hands and with our entire bodies. Udo’s video on campusing with swinging legs comes to mind after watching Jan Hojer (and others) campus in Vail this year….

I have had a number of conversations with climbers and setters as our world becomes more digitalised and interactive. Could we see climbing surfaces alter and change as climbers move and progress up the wall? You pull on a hold harder and harder and your foot holds move further and further away….. Or maybe as you cross over, one hold appears and another vanishes??…….

Well, who knows! But for now….. we find ourselves in the age of the volume…..