Where to Buy Rock Climbing Holds
Rock climbing holds are the soul of your home rock climbing wall. No other element makes as much difference towards the quality of your routes, problems, and fun. Buy the wrong rock climbing holds and you’ll be setting routes of remorse for your friends and family to suffer through. Quality holds are expensive, so take it slow and get a sense of what you like before dropping too much cash. Below are a few tips on buying holds, plus a list of reputable rock climbing hold companies.
Rock Climbing Hold buying tips
- Pay attention at the local gym. Get familiar with the rock climbing hold brands they trust and take notice of what holds you like. Stay curious like a cat.
- Amazon has a category dedicated to climbing holds. There aren’t a ton of top brands, but brands like Atomik and Metolious sometimes have great deals hidden here. Plus, if you have Prime some of the time you score with the free shipping. Just be sure to do the math. Here is a link to check out what is available today: Amazon.com’s Climbing Hold Selection.
- Buy small quantities or ask for samples before going big. If you’re impatient and outfitting an entire wall all at once, be smart about it. An inexpensive rock climbing hold kit could be the low-end of what the brand has to offer.
- Shipping will kill you faster than a first-time belayer, so don’t turn your back on it. Put extra stuff in your shopping cart and see what the shipping does. Take stuff out of the cart and observe the same. Good holds have some heft, so be thinking about the total price of the getting the holds to your door, not just the initial climbing hold price.
- Any warranty on those holds? The reputable and established rock climbing hold companies will probably offer you something—hold-sculptor-guy working out of his garage might not. In general most holds do their breaking when you are dropping them in a route setting bucket, which is probably your own fault, but it is not unheard of to have one snap while torquing it to the wall. Find out what is covered and what isn’t—especially if you are buying something of substantial size or cost.
- If the holds are inexpensive or are coming from a company that seems to deal a lot in playground holds, be very wary. Cheap holds feel a lot like the material Legos are made out of—maybe with some sand mixed in if you are lucky.
- Used holds from a gym can be good, but this is generally not a reliable source if you have any urgency. There is usually a reason they are selling them, so ask a lot of questions and know what you are getting. I’ve done pretty well at this, scoring some large holds that were slightly chipped on the edges. Easily fixed with a dremel.
- Variety is crucial. I have small kids and have bought way too many jugs, especially for the steep overhang wall. Too many of any one type of rock climbing hold and you’ll be bored fast. Sometimes turning a hold upside down can recategorize it, so experiment. Pinches, slopers, ledges, jugs, rails, etc. Try everything.
- Inexpensive screw-on foot chips are awesome for low on the wall. This can help save the bulk of your budget for more substantial bolt-on handholds.
- Don’t be impatient, let your hold inventory grow slowly over time. Getting new holds every once in a while is fun and can breath new life into the home rock climbing wall crag.
Reputable Rock Climbing Hold Brands
Other rock climbing hold companies that should make this list? Help me out. Please send me some info or leave a comment below for consideration.
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