We're getting closer to competition time on Saturday — how are you igniting your competitive spirit? Are you a natural-born competitor, who can immediately hone their focus to a razor edge, or do you need a little bit of inspiration to ignite the fire within? Regardless of whether you win or lose (or even how you play the game), here are some tips to up your competition game, whether you've been competing forever, or this is your first time.
QUESTION: How many guys do you know that have a yellow mohawk? ANSWER: NOT ENOUGH. Phil rocks the yellow 'hawk and he does it well, and somehow maintains its perfect spike while routesetting all-day. And he's a darn good routesetter too, setting a lot of problems with tough cruxes that make you think — but once you figure them out you're like, "Oh duh!" So here's some more info on the man behind the "PS" initials!
Not every gear post can be about the latest and greatest shiny new climbing object that may or may not give you that extra boost to climb harder, faster, lighter, stronger, or dumber. Sometimes you have to realize that some shoes have stuck around the product line for awhile for a reason. So today we visit the Instinct S from Scarpa, with the same last as the now famous Instinct VS, but with a slightly more sensitive feel, and a noticeable lack of a velcro strap — which was intentional because the "S" in "VS" stands for slipper and adding a velcro strap would ruin that line of thought (they may have had other reasons).
Climbing holds are a many and varied thing. You got your standard slopers, crimps, jugs, gastons and even your thumb-derclings. Remember that climbing is always fun and every hold is special in its own way, but some holds just make you cringe. They're the most brutal holds to grace our gym's walls, and every time you see them set on your new proj, you gotta dig deep and muster the courage to face these merciless creations. But avoiding them will not make you a better climber, so it's better to just face these (and your fears!) head on LIKE A BOSS.
Maybe one of the must overlooked pieces of gear while climbing in the gym is the beloved rope - diaper ... aka harness, for the uninformed. In my time as the gym's Retail Manager I have noticed that we tend to buy 10 different pairs of shoes before we even think about maybe replacing our harness. So with that in mind, maybe we should put a little more thought into that piece of gear that saves your life every time you fail at climbing — or succeed and now need down.
Jarrett's been working at Summit Dallas before it was even Summit Dallas! Lucky for us he stuck around after Summit bought Dallas Rocks and turned it into Summit Dallas. He is a super enthusiastic guy, that can always be spotted doing something active - he runs and parkours before his shifts, and can often be seen bouncing a soccer ball behind the desk. Even on his off-days, his favorite thing to do is play basketball video games, because even in his leisure time he's gotta be competing or participating in something.
Buying climbing gear is not normally a casual ordeal. There's a reason stores like REI don't have a drive-through — there is a lot of time, and especially $$money$$ that goes into getting gear, so climbers will definitely use their acquired gear to an inch of its expiration date. But when that old gear eventually does wear out, disposing of it feels like just casually throwing $20s into the garbage disposal. But old, worn climbing gear is not safe, so there's gotta be a way to retire old gear that doesn't put you in mortal danger or consist of just throwing it in a Dumpster, right?
Rock climbing is great for shoulder strength ... but not so much for shoulder flexibility. We probably all know at least one person that can't even lift their arms all the way above their heads ... or maybe you are that person. Anyways, we sat down with Summit yoga instructor Bailey Parrish and had her run through some really quick shoulder stretches, perfect for climbers looking to open their shoulders to improve their climbing, or even if you're just looking to get your arms all the way above your head, because that's great, too.
Ever have that feeling that you and your shoes are not one? Like, maybe you think your toe should go one place while the shoe tends to go somewhere else? Maybe you get in a disagreement, words are exchanged, feelings are hurt, routes are left unsent and now it's just awkward in the gym ... Well these are not that kind of shoes!
We're steadily making our way through all the routesetters! This week we talked to Denis Firstov, another one of the tall guys on our routesetting team (and always with a pretty great haircut!) Denis is a pretty busy guy, balancing full-time routesetting with coaching ClimbFit, being enlisted in the National Guard as well as traveling quite a bit in pursuit of adventure, but I snagged him for a few minutes for this post.
Climbing is an amazing sport, with a variety of disciplines and a multitude of gear options. There are probably like, a billion pieces of climbing gear on the market, and probably a billion more being introduced every year. As to be expected, a lot of companies are coming up with some pretty ridiculous products in a an effort to do something new. There is a very fine line between innovation and complication, and some companies are just missing the mark when it comes to new gear that we actually need ... Innovations either need fill a void or fix a problem, but imma be real ... a lot of these are itches that probably just didn't need to be scratched.
As adults, we can't just join a competitive climbing team, with a Mister Miyagi to teach us the ways of Kung Fu climbing. We gotta work extra hard, and find motivation in the people we surround ourselves with. Luckily here at Summit Gyms, our ClimbFit classes are the perfect mix of working hard, climbing a lot, and hanging with some really cool, like-minded people all in pursuit of the same goal — have fun and get better.