Yes, sometimes you need or want to climb indoors. It’s a great way to build strength quickly, as you can crank out lap after lap on your favorite route or project. The one problem–pulling on plastic does not always translate to or completely prepare you for climbing on rock. Canadian company Select Agents decided to ditch the plastic in favor of natural rock to create a unique set of climbing holds that make for a smoother transition from the gym to the outdoors come spring.
Unlike plastic holds where the manufacturer can produce thousands of replicas, Select Agents produces handcrafted one-of-a-kind holds. They collect the stone, shape each hold, and provide you with all the hardware you need for mounting.
The natural rock holds come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes–everything from large one or two hand slopers to extra small microdot crimpers. Prices range from C$15 up to C$150 each (free shipping within Canada, small fee ROW)–compare that to a few dollars for currently available climbing holds and it’s a bit of an investment. But hopefully one that can make a difference.
And for those with a very specific training project in mind (and cash to burn most likely), you can call up the team at Select Agents to come to your house and custom make you holds using your local stone. All you have to do is provide the space,and the “Secret Services” team will gather rocks, shape your holds to your specification, clean and even set up routes for you.
While you do build up callouses climbing indoors and of course get stronger, Select Agents claims that these natural rock holds will better prepare your fingers for the outdoor climbing season and the movement on these holds is like being out at the cliffs, minus the view. I also imagine dry tooling on these holds would be way more fun than dry tooling on plastic.