New climbing holds in Hachioji: Dangerous & unfair?

The international climbing association IFSC presented climbing holds in a video today that could be used for the first time in an official competition. But the handles are not well received by many. Why?

Competitive sport is becoming increasingly complex. While in the past – to put it simply – pure strength or endurance was tested using boulders and routes, today the wheat is separated from the chaff using triple dynos, jump & run movements and the like. The grips are getting bigger, rounder and crazier.

New: «Invisible» surface texture

For a few years now, so-called dual-texture holds have joined the classic rough climbing holds and kicks. These are handles that consist of a smooth and rough surface. Now, grip manufacturer 360 Holds is going one step further. 360 Holds has developed holds where the different texture is hardly noticeable.

Rectangle_Knatsch in Magic Wood

The handles are well received by route setters

The route setters in Hachioji are very pleased with this new product, where the holds are almost certainly a first time on a IFSC-Competition will be applied. It is not surprising that route setters are happy about this innovation. Because for years they have had increasing difficulties in separating the strong field of participants in the competitions on the pure "power component".

A handle that you can hardly tell where you can hold it or where you mercilessly slip away is of course very convenient. The athletes, physiotherapists and trainers are probably less pleased.

Yannick Flohé is critical

The German professional climber is one who immediately expressed criticism Yannick Flohe. He obviously doesn't like the new type of grip.

«This has nothing to do with the further development of the sport, as some 'creative' route setters think. If you want to push the limit of bouldering, then you should first start building difficult boulders."

Yannick Flohe

In the course of the chat, Flohé continues to write to us: “At the moment, the physical level that is sufficient to get to the semifinals is pitifully low. Building difficult boulders just means more work and you have to find testers who boulder difficult. » According to Flohé, route setters could certainly "sort out" via the physical component.

Not all competitive athletes have tested grips beforehand

There is also another component in the story: injustice. Apparently, selected athletes were able to test the grips before the World Cup. So you already know where the grips have friction and where they don't. The Japanese competition team, for example, has already trained on the handles and gained experience with the handles accordingly, as can be seen in Figure 2 of . The German national coach Ingo Filzwieser also criticizes this aspect.

"It's very unfair if one team was able to train on the holds before the first World Cup and everyone else wasn't. That really shouldn't be happening. New grips should be new for everyone!"

Ingo Filzwieser, national coach Germany

A heated debate has erupted as a result of the IFSC video. The grip manufacturer 360 Holds felt compelled to comment and, among other things, picked up on the fact that the Japanese team was already able to train on the grips.

"So far, climbers and route setters from 15 countries have tested the holds, including Japan."

360 holds

The manufacturer writes that the grips have already been used by athletes and route setters from 15 countries in the run-up to the Hachioji- World Cup tested. It is not known which countries and athletes these are. Upon request, 360 Holds promised a response, which had not arrived as of press time. We will update here as soon as we have the information from 360 Holds. One thing is certain, the starting position is not the same for all participants in the competition.

Is the risk of injury increasing for athletes?

Another point that is being discussed in connection with the new grips is the aspect of the risk of injury. As route setter Olga Niemiec explains in the video, the texture is not very visible, especially when climbing. The risk of unexpected lubrication is high.

"When it comes to dynamic elements, especially in the step area, the grips are rather tricky in my opinion, because the different texture is difficult to see."

Kevin Hemund, Switzerland Eilte national coach

If such moves are used in dynamic moves, it could end badly. So it is to be hoped that the route setters will use the holds with caution.

That might interest you

Do you like our climbing magazine? When we launched LACRUX, we decided not to introduce a payment barrier. It will stay that way, because we want to provide as many like-minded people with news from the climbing scene.

In order to be more independent of advertising revenue in the future and to provide you with even more and better content, we need your support.

Therefore: Help and support our magazine with a small contribution. Naturally you benefit multiple times. How? You will find out here.

Don't miss anything - receive our newsletter

* Indicates required
Interests

+ + +
Credits: Cover picture IFSC

News

Black Diamond recalls Neve Strap crampons

Black Diamond Equipment is recalling the Neve Strap crampons (green version 2024) and the corresponding accessories/spare parts. 

Melissa Le Nevé is the first woman to climb The Dagger (8B+)

One and a half years after the ascent, Melissa Le Nevé announced the first women's ascent of the 8B+ boulder The Dagger.

Crème de la crème is fighting for the Swiss championship title in bouldering

This Saturday the best climbers in Switzerland will fight for the bouldering championship title in the Quadrel Boulder.

Female power in Annot: Soline Kentzel climbs trad test piece Le Voyage (E10, 7a)

The young Frenchwoman Soline Kentzel secured the fourth women's ascent of the tough trad route Le Voyage (E10, 7a).

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter now and stay up to date.

Black Diamond recalls Neve Strap crampons

Black Diamond Equipment is recalling the Neve Strap crampons (green version 2024) and the corresponding accessories/spare parts. 

Melissa Le Nevé is the first woman to climb The Dagger (8B+)

One and a half years after the ascent, Melissa Le Nevé announced the first women's ascent of the 8B+ boulder The Dagger.

Crème de la crème is fighting for the Swiss championship title in bouldering

This Saturday the best climbers in Switzerland will fight for the bouldering championship title in the Quadrel Boulder.

Comment on the article

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

×Display 350x90_Knatsch in Magic Wood