25 Years of Innovation

 

I shaped my first climbing hold in 1990.  At the time I had only been climbing for a year or two and was working as a Route Setter at one of the first climbing gyms in the USA, CityRock Gym.  Back then, fewer than 1500 different individual commercial climbing holds were available, so the options on what types of routes I could set were limited.  I had fallen in love with the movement of the sport and it's endless possible variations, but the shapes I wanted to use simply did not exist, so I decided to try to make them myself.

 

My first several holds were carved out of scrap pieces of exotic hardwoods using some borrowed handtools (thanks Dave and Jim!).  Those early attempts turned out well enough that I was able to sell some some additional sets to climbing gyms in California, Nevada, and Colorado.  Many of those first wooden holds are still being climbed on today.  

 

In short time, I was introduced to carving foam by John Yablonski and Ian Powell (again, eternal gratitude).  The first hard cast shape I ever designed was an incut two finger pocket that was produced by Straight Up.  Since that first experiment, I have hand carved more than 5,000 different prototype shapes for mass production and well over 100,000 square feet of artificial climbing surfaces.

 

Now widely used on 6 continents, my designs have been featured in countless climbing competitions, including numerous IFSC World Cup Competitions and USA Climbing National Championships.  Even so, after 25 years of creating things for people to climb on, the possibilities are endless still. So I keep carving...

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