Climbing hold


A climbing grip is a shaped grip that is usually attached to a climbing wall so that climbers can hold or step on it. On most walls, climbing paths are arranged, called specially trained passageways. Climbing catches in a large array of shapes and sizes to provide different levels to challenge a climber. Climbing holds are either fastened to a wall through hex-head bolts and existing T-nuts or screwed into them with several small screws. In extreme cases, concrete anchors may be used (if laid under a bridge, for example).

Early materials


The initial climb was done with real rocks that were cast in concrete blocks; Later they were rocks with holes in which they were drilled so that they could be attached to a wall. While the feeling of these holds is realistic, rock holds are heavy and can be polished with heavy use. Rock hold is also difficult to construct.


Wood was another early hold-making material, mainly because it was inexpensive and easy to make in various sizes. It is still used today in various forms for homemade and commercially manufactured hand holds. Wood grips are usually smooth and pleasant to hold, although they are difficult to wash and splashes can become a problem with age. Wolfgang Gulich created the first campus board with wooded woods to help train for his 9a route Action Direct. In recent years wood hold has resurfaced, with many companies offering wood hold. These are commonly used for steep training boards, although some climbing walls use wooden holds with their resin hangs.

polyester resin

In the early days, most of the companies being manufactured used a resin mixture. Early blends of polyester resin had problems with wear and tear, which often peeled off and broke. The broken or broken edges of a resin grip can often provide an unintentional place to grab which can be sharp or otherwise dangerous to climbers. Because resin holds are not flexible, they can crack if they are being tightened to a wall that is not completely flat.

Modern polyester blends have largely overcome these problems. A final problem is the weight of the resin. As the holding size has grown and increased, in many cases resin has become an impractical material to use. However, the weight of the hold can be dramatically reduced by using a process called hollow-backing. Modern production methods such as hollow-backing are placing polyester as the preferred option for many climbing walls and production companies.

Other material

The purpose of holding mechanized natural stone is to give climbers the feel of a real stone. Due to processing costs, they are more expensive than resin hold and require extra care when installing. They are specified to be more environmentally friendly, and to bring a sense of outdoor climbing to indoor climbing walls.

A rubber-like backing can be placed on each grip in an attempt to prevent it from being placed on hold. The technique has had mixed success, as the rubber eventually starts peeling away from the backing wall, providing a similar unintended handhold as can be the glued resin. The softer mixture is more durable than a brittle resin, but with uneven climbing walls and overcoming these develop slow cracks that ultimately make the grip useless.

“Synthetic rock” (resin / rock powder mixture) is another novelty combined with slippery hard plastic. The texture of these holds is similar to that of the outer rock, which allows them to hold shapes that would be dangerous with more slippery material.

Corn and soy based resins are being developed for use in climbing hold. Target is an “environmentally friendly” hold material that is also lightweight and durable.

Modern Materials

Polyurethane Resin

Currently, large quantities of commercial hold are made from polyurethane (often called PU or urethane in the United States) or a polyurethane mixture. PU is lighter, more flexible, and less prone to chipping and breakage than polyester or natural materials. Like polyester (PE), PU mixtures can vary, and different mixtures have different textures and strengths. It is very simple to make a quality polyester recipe, but much harder to make a high quality polyurethane. If the polyurethane is too soft, it will break apart when the grip is tightened, or the bolt can be pulled through the grip, or the grip will flex to the wall or can be quickly polished (slow) is.

If polyurethane is too hard, it will be brittle (like polyester) and can chip edges or when it is hardened (even with polyester). Some climbers believe that polyurethane can be heated by intensive use, although some moments are not conducted and some brushing usually solves the problem. PU hold is generally much lighter than polyester because PU tolerates a much thinner wall so it can be hollowed out and strength maintained while PEs need to be solid or have very thick walls. Or there is a greater risk of their breakdown. Polyurethane is the leading grip material in the United States. However, there is an Atlantic divide, with most of Europe preferring polyester blends. There are several reasons, mostly that PU is generally a new material and Europe has only recently been exposed to quality PU mixes. Additionally, PU is generally more expensive than PE.


In an effort to improve climbing durability, several materials have been used. Thin, hollow fiberglass is extremely light and strong. A desirable texture is overlaid on fiberglass using various methods. The initial Fiberglas edge has a texture made of sand, which progresses to sand embedded in various types of resin. Modern companies have developed techniques for applying polyester resin over fiberglass, which gives a grip that has all the benefits of both resin types without the downside. The main issue with this design is that complexity in manufacturing means that some companies have the capacity to produce them and the cost of these holds is also relatively high. Texture longevity is also an issue.

T-nuts can be embedded in fiberglass, so the extra hold can be carried over to the main hold.

Hold Types


The word “jug-handle” is derived from “jug”, the climbing world has double meanings. This means size-based jaggery is traditionally a large hold. Most arms should have a place to hold both hands. The second meaning of jaggery refers to the positivity or degree of brevity of a grip. A grip called a jug should be easy enough to use, which means that it is either a very positive grip or it is a flat grip on a lower than vertical wall (slab). Because they are easy to use, molasses is often found on initial routes, warm-up problems, and steep walls. Molasses is also commonly used as a way of placing or clipping on routes.

Mini bowls

Mini-jaggery are sustainable which are positive but smaller than traditional jaggery. They are usually intended to be held with only one hand. They are useful because they are easier to carry in buckets than larger arms and they use less material for construction (so they are more cost effective) than larger holds.


Sloppers are least positive. They typically slope away from the wall with a smooth surface, so climbers are required, an open to pull against the grip and inward, for maximum friction and to achieve maximum effectiveness of the grip. To use the hand grip. These holds are generally considered more difficult and are usually reserved for advanced routes.


Pockets have a small opening, which allows them to be held with only one to three fingers. The pocket may be shallow or deep. A fingered pocket is called mannose, and is considered extremely stressful on tendons. Finger strength must be trained to use the pocket effectively. Although mannos are the most dangerous, all pockets only load one to two fingers, so climbers must be careful to avoid injuring their tendons. If there is a sharp radius at the edge of the pocket, it will feel more positive, but also more uncomfortable. A smooth radius on a pocket is usually the most comfortable to climb.


Pinches are those that have two opposing faces that have to be held (usually with the entire hand, fingers on one side and thumb on the other). Technically, any grip in which the use of the thumb in opposition improves the positivity of the grip is a pinch. Pinches require significant hand strength to use, and are typically used on more challenging routes and boulder problems.

The edges

The size and angle of the edges vary. The best way to hold a razor blade varies in all ways, from an open hand grip, to a flex grip and a closed hand grip (commonly called crimping). Crimp (which involves placing your thumb over your pointer finger) is often used as a way to refer to an edge as “crimp”, and there are many ways to better describe an edge. – Microcimper (youngest), Sloppy Rim, Big Crimper, Bad Crimper, Good Crimper, Fred Nicole Crimper (microcrimper), Juggy Crimper.

The photo on the right shows a person using a flex grip on one edge. Although the edge is being called “crimp” in this case, the climber is not really getting caught.


Volumes are very large types of hold that can be attached to any type of hold. The volume is attached to the wall, and has pre-placed T-nuts to which other holds can be attached. There were volumes once made of wood, but now they are also made by many climbing companies in a wide variety of materials (including fiberglass, coated wood, resin, urethane, and molded plastic). Volumes are especially prevalent in Europe and on the World Cup circuit, where sometimes entire routes will be constructed in vast quantities. To mimic these textured World Cup versions, sandpaper can be placed on homemade wooden versions to create the texture and allow climbers to use the volume’s features.

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