Beastmaker formed out of the ether in Sheffield UK. We should warn you that if you buy a board from us, you are directly helping an active part of the UK climbing scene both outdoors and in.
We are, at heart, essentially keen climbers who wanted to train our finger strength more efficiently. In first year at university time was short for training, at the same time Ned and Dan were becoming obsessed with splitting the fingers up, isolating them and training them independently, Initial gains were great (if a little hasty sometimes leading to tweaks). Resin fingerboards were too rough for our 1hr30min sessions and blood blisters were common on one arm deadhangs. As a result the first "beastmaker" was shaped in 2007 and whilst being far from perfect it got sanded and altered over the next 6 months until it became a joy to train on.
The difference was genuinely remarkable and training when getting in from a short but rough gritstone session was possible. Word began to get around and after initially making a few for friends of ours we fired down to Leicester where Ned grew up to meet childhood friend David Bowering along with Elsie Butler to work on an even better quality solution CAD CAM (computer aided design, computer aided manufacture) was the idea and over the next 3 months Dave went all dexter and made a ridiculously dangerous but impressive CNC from scratch with the odd donor part from an old A level project machine.
The lack of safety guards around it and the ridiculous spray arcs of sawdust lead Dave and Elsie to soon create a better machine which took another 8 months of design and manufacture. This machine is still the one we use today, it is perfectly designed for the job and it is certainly the hardest working member of beastmaker.
The beastmaker design has been tinkered and tailored for over 2 years since we hand made the first one, it looks like it does not because it is supposed to look quirky or cool or different from other fingerboards. It looks like it does because it is the most efficient layout of holds in the given unit of area to ergonomically increase finger strength (only bettered if you put 2 next to each other side by side for ultra wide gripping). We made it to train on and to train hard. If you purchase one of these then it should become obvious that what you have is a road map to increased finger strength, not just a block of wood with any old pocket fired into it because it looks nice or different.
For example; the bottom rung is the smallest we wanted to make it before skin started to really hurt after a long session. Weakening your dermatological layers is not the greatest idea if you want to climb hard outside the day after a training session. And as of yet there are very few people on the planet who can complete a full set of crimped repeaters (6 reps of 7 second hangs) on one arm on them. Hopefully in the future there will be, so we can make a harder board.
A list of known beastmaker users off the top of my head, in no particular order (although they were all beasts already):
Scott Walter, Gabri Moroni, Steve McClure, Sam Edwards, Ben Cossey, Jan Hojer, Tom Bolger, Mike Adams, Niccolo Ceria, Sasha Digulian, Michele Caminati, Ryan Pasquill, James Mchaffie, Neil Mawson, Fabian Christof, Andi Barth, Sharik Walker, Tito Caleyron, Jerome Meyer, Ben Morton, David Mason, Tommy Caldwell, David Jones, Stuart Littlefair (Adam Ondra touched his!) Katy Whittaker, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, Stewart Watson, Ed Hamer, Natalie Berry, Jon Partridge, Rustam Gelmanov, David Barrans, occasionally the Dutch worldcup team, occasionally the French worldcup team.
In 2007 prior to serious beastmakerification and hard work.
Dan= font 8a climber if lucky,
Ned=font 8a climber if lucky and top 5 in national comps
In 2010 post some serious beastmakerification and hard work.
Dan= font 8b+ climber if lucky
Ned = font 8b+ climber if lucky, 3 times national champion and world cup finalist.
It aint no pyramid scheme, it actually happened.
Now in 2014, despite getting old Dan and Ned continue to climb up some things... usually when the wind is in the right direction.