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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Credits: Cover picture IFSC