As climbing in our country grows we are seeing more and more facility managers, setters and even everyday woody warriors, looking overseas to find and ship the latest and greatest holds, hang-boards and wood grips from Europe and America.
As a setter and a coach myself, I definitely won’t lie, I get pretty excited when I open up the browser and check out some of the amazing things that are happening around the world, like 360 volumes, HRT dual texture holds and psico bloc deep water solo comps.
But what about what is happening at home?
I’ve said it before, that when a climber heads overseas, to Europe and beyond (Get Strong Mantra) they immerse themselves in a world that is totally void of the distractions that living at home hold. Anyone who has ever been on a work trip will understand, you step out the door and onto the plane and you’re working. Even if you don’t want to be, you can’t help but think about what you need to do when you get there, make notes on presentations and get everything done you need to before you head home. It’s the same when you go on an extended climbing trip, you’re usually sitting on the plane thinking with the guide book in your lap.
The focus in much of the climbing world is centred around somewhere outside our boundaries, but it feels like this is beginning to change. Over the past 2 or 3 years, the number of quality hold shapers and pourers have increased. Small, single man manufacturing spots have popped up and begun to deliver quality volumes with durable texture like Victoria’s Infinite climbing (see header). Pourers have shifted to polyurethane to build lighter stronger shapes, like WA’s Galaxy holds. CNC cutting wizards have begun to surface like Concept Climbing, able to produce quality timber training equipment like campus rungs, hangboards and a multitude of other devices designed to get you strong.
The key component now, if we want to see these and others like them flourish, is to support them. The reasons to support them are varied, but I can’t think of anything more important (or selfish) than because it will begin to provide us, in the great down under, with world class, Euro style holds, at home.
Less shipping, easier shopping. Who doesn’t like the sound of that!?
Again, my bias will show here, but providing this support to the people who support our industry, will in turn help it grow. That growth will then put us in a better position to develop and encourage new climbers, plus support and extend our Aussie team elite. We will be able to offer that which they can really only find overseas at the moment, and then who knows? Maybe an Australian World Cup or two?
If you would like more information on any of the shapers or makers mentioned in this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us!
So I thought I would revisit the gecko king holds before moving on to others as I have received a lot of feedback in regards to my positive review a few months ago….. and well….. maybe you were right.
I have been setting at a new gym in Melbourne that received a large shipment of climbing holds for their bouldering wall, all of which were all Gecko King.
I have done a few re-sets with the hold brand now and have some small issues with shallow shapes and small uncomfortable pockets, however everything has a use and to be honest, still, I personally don’t mind a lot of the shapes. There are very few large holds, but that could potentially be the hold sets that were ordered………
Much of the negative feedback I got was due to holds breaking. I thought, sure, polyester holds crack sometimes, especially on uneven surfaces. It has happened to me before…. (thank god for safety glasses)…. but then I saw this………………..
That, my friends, is a cracked footer. Cracked mind you after ONE re-set. This hold is barely months old and was set on a completely flat timber wall and it is not the only one! I found several! So many that I thought maybe I was winding them up too tight. So I eased off and made sure to put screws in…. and then the screw went all the way through and snapped off the tip of a hold!………….. Gecko King, you fail the test of time.
New rating – 5/10 what once was good, but now is broken……. That’s one point every 3 broken holds!