10 years ago we had a play around with some aluminium on one of our CNC machines to see whether it was a viable option for handholds. Aluminium is a great material - it's fairly light, very tough and machines well. It's also possible to machine any texture into the surface.
We managed to find a nice texture that felt fairly grippy while being pretty skin friendly. The problem was that due to the cost of the material and the length of machine time required to make them they ended up having to be fairly expensive. People weren't interested. You have to remember that at the time the indoor/wood training revolution which now has us fully in its grip, hadn't really started.
Fast forward 10 years...
Climbing has become much more popular. Training boards have really caught on (quite rightly) and wooden holds have become common place. People now understand that training on wood has many benefits over resin. However it does have some downfalls...
The surface hardness of wood isn't ever going to be as good as resin. Therefore using wooden holds as footholds can limit their lifespan, not to mention, make your lovely wooden holds look a bit of a mess.
Using specific holds for footholds is the best way of protecting your handholds, but often you're forced to freestyle - either using some wooden ones, or using some resin ones. Generally these haven't actually been designed for the purpose.
The Chrome Domes are our latest adventure in the world of training products. We don't think a mere foothold has ever had this much thought and development thrown at it!
- machined from solid aluminium
- rounded and smooth with a flat, textured area to stand on. You have to stand accurately on the correct part.
- totally unbreakable
- won't trash your shoes as the texture isn't too aggressive
- stand out from other holds and footholds so you don't mistakenly stand on something you shouldn't
They have a waffle texture on the flat surface which provides positive grip without trashing your shoes. The corners have been rounded off to the point that they are unusable. The only way you can get any purchase out of these footholds it to press really hard directly onto the flat surface of them. No drop knees are going to help you here!
We have long been believers in training body tension on steep boards. The trick seems to be to use sloping footholds which you cannot claw in on, without a positive edge. That way you learn to push through the feet, rather than dangling off your feet. Another advantage of this is that you can climb in soft comfy shoes, and not rely on your expensive, mega aggressive down-turned shoes to get up the board.
These are great for adding a bit of variation to an existing board and for preserving your lovely wooden handholds by stopping you from standing on them. But most importantly, these are perfect for developing killer body tension!
Yes, they are fairly expensive, but bear in mind they will never wear out. And they look pretty smart too...
We are incredible excited about these - we reckon you will be too...
Check them out in our shop: https://www.beastmaker.co.uk/collections/chrome-domes/products/chrome-domes