By Morgan Cvetkovic-Jones
What are the secrets to climbing well? While we debate that controversial question, it’s worth stressing that there isn’t a simple, quick-fix way to achieve rock climbing mastery, and sadly a shiny new pair of performance climbing shoes won’t provide instant perfection either (they’ll look great though!).
That said, some relatively inexpensive bits of kit can make a difference and help you progress to the next level. The following five suggestions are well worth considering for a very modest investment. Click the headers to be redirected to the relevant product collections...
Friction is paramount when it comes to climbing problems at your limit, whether that’s a 6A down your local climbing gym or an internationally renowned 8B, friction will always play a part in determining your success. A brush won’t make you a better climber or even increase the friction, but brushing holds before using them - removing dirt, chalk and rubber - will undoubtably maximise everything the holds have to offer and hopefully give you that all important climbing edge towards success.
How can words on a page make you a better climber? Well a good climbing book might just teach you a thing or two about climbing well and give you an idea of what it really takes to improve. Books from movement and training masters like Dave Macleod, Jerry Moffatt and John Kettle can teach you about new climbing philosophies, whether this is focussed on technique and moving more efficiently or training and maximising physical gains – a simple book holds the power to transform your climbing.
Seemingly unrelated to climbing but, hold the phone. If you climb alone or simply want to review your own climbing and technique, then a phone tripod is the best way to do this. Filming your climbs or attempts on a project can give you an insight into how you move on the wall, enabling you to make the subtle changes required to send the problem – all for around £10. Going hand in hand with a book, the phone tripod will let you see if those new technique drills are working!
Ultimately, it’s our skin that keeps us in contact with the rock, so it makes sense that the better your skin quality, the more likely you are to stay on the wall. Whether your fingertips sweat profusely or crinkle and crack like chapped lips, there’s a product out there to remedy your skin situation. Products like Rhino Skin Solutions and Climb On work wonders and can make all the difference.
Staying injury free is one of the most fundamental facets of maintaining your climbing progression. Resistance bands, sometimes known by one of the early brand names of Theraband, are the perfect tool to warm up and warm down proficiently before and after your climbing session. Additionally, resistance bands can be used as a rehabilitation and strengthening device in between sessions, efficiently targeting the niche parts of your climbing body.