by Christopher Schafenacker
The holidays are here which means if you have a climber in your life, it’s once again time to familiarize yourself with the niche vocabulary that describes the many small trinkets all climbers desire.
Stick clip? Boars hair brush? Finger tape? Quickdraw? GriGri? Yes, those are all real things, and, yes, your climber would be excited to find any one of them in their stocking. The issue is if you’ve been at this for a few years or your climber is a true fanatic, they probably not only already have one of all of the above, but are extremely particular about the characteristics they look for in each item.
You would think that a person as monomaniacal as most climbers would be easy to find a gift for and yet the opposite is often true. Climbers may only want one thing—more climbing—but figuring out how to manifest this in gift form is not so easy.
In past years we’ve offered a whole raft of ideas. This year we’ll focus on just three, all of which depart from the norm and may just be that thing your climber dreams of but still doesn’t have.
1. The Crash Couch
The crash couch belongs to that class of objects which you can’t believe nobody had thought of sooner. This flat-packing, easy-to-assemble couch frame works with any tri-fold crash pad, allowing you to set up a comfy hang anywhere you go bouldering (or camping).
What’s more, if comfort weren’t enough, you can kick back knowing that studies show a reclined seated position to be the best for recovery between burns. The hunched-over posture most adopt while sitting around the forest floor contracts the abs and reduces core strength. With a crash couch, you gain the back support needed to maximize recovery while resting.
2. The Pinch Block
If your climber’s serious, they probably already have a hangboard (and have insisted on bolting it into a wall somewhere in your home). After all, grip training is a cornerstone of improving as a climber. They probably have nuanced opinions about half-crimp and full-crimp protocols and have committed that Dave MacLeod video about the three-finger drag to memory. However, like so many other climbers, they likely ignore pinch training.
Few hangboards provide an ergonomic way to strengthen this crucial grip and many people errantly assume it’s not that important to train, anyway. This Christmas, save your climber from falling into this trap by getting them a pinch block.
3. The Rocket Wall
Gear is great but if you truly want to make your climber’s Christmas (and you have the budget), you'll get them climbing, itself. Gifting them a Rocket Wall does just that. With a free-standing home woody, they can have a climbing gym in their garage or basement without having to tear down any walls. Moreover, should you ever move, your climber’s Rocket Wall can move with you which means never again do they have to worry about not being able to climb
Featured Climbing Training Gear
Maverick: The on-the-go, bring it anywhere hangboard. On a family road trip to keep your fingers in shape. We like to bring this to the crag with us to keep our fingers warm—without losing skin on mediocre warm-ups—at that steep, thuggy sport crag.
The Rocket Wall: Available in 6’ and 8’ widths, it’s been tough for us to keep up with the demand for this innovative home climbing wall solution. Slightly overhanging, the Rocket Wall is big enough to set routes on, or to build a systems board.
The Rock-Stah: Our handcrafted version of a traditional hangboard, with curving crimp rails to help alleviate unnecessary strain on your pulleys. Because ain’t no one got time for a finger injury…
The Rocketeer Wall: our free-standing adjustable solution for those who can’t mount a hangboard anywhere in their home or apartment—or who are limited on space. The Rocketeer gives climbers the additional option to set specific climbing holds. Recreate the crux holds of your proj and get ready to send, bruh.