Remember your first time in a climbing wall? Finding a certain route so challening that you became fixated on it. So fixated in fact, you had failed to notice the flaps of skin, now dangling like crayon sharpenings from your shredded fingers. Fixated to the point, you lay awake in bed that evening thinking, "I should have just stood up and grabbed it"; whilst kicking your significant other as you subconsciously renact the moves.
Unless you are super human (or a Child) I feel its fairly safe to say, the majority of us sucked the first time we went climbing. Even if we didn't, we felt we did because that one route, had that one hold, you just couldn't fathom how any one besides a spider monkey could hold onto.
But thats what took us back the following week. That's what still takes us back months, years and for some a lifetime later. Its physical, its addictive and its challenging. But that feeling when you get to the top of a personally challenging route. Well - its fucking awesome isn't it?
After i'd temporarily shaken the initial fixation, I started to notice my surroundings more and more, and also the people in it. This left me with many questions. Mainly I wanted to know what made the strong climbers strong. I wanted to know why this old guy, who looked like skin and bones, was warming up on the things I was projecting. Why the guy who's mother sat quietly knitting in the corner, was able to hold on to the edges I was struggling to stand on. And how my friends girlfriend was able to completely cut loose on a sloper, that I couldn't even climb up too. I soon realised this wasn't the gym, in this world it wasn't about who had the best one-rep-max or could sport the tightest tank top. It was all about the individual and seemingly how much they wanted it. In climbing it doesn't matter who you are or what you look like. No one cares for that, all they care for is your beta and advice when you can do something they can't. And thats the beautiful thing about climbing. As much as its an individual sport everyone seems so willing to help others reach their personal goals, and they're so psyched when they watch you achieve them.
For all of us who climb, we all share one similarity; a self proclaimed weakness. For me amongst many things, it was my open hand strength. I'd early on discovered the fingerboard. I'd early on tweaked my fingers trying to rush what I shouldn't have tried to rush! However with some hard work, persistence and a lot of time spent hanging around. My finger strength started to increase. This gain however, only made me realise, I needed something to help me specifically train my weakness.
It was around this time I started to really research climbing training aids. This is probably where my interest was initially aroused. I found that not only did I want to train on all these holds I was viewing online, I wanted to have a go and make myself some too! And it was sat round a campfire, on a freezing trip to North Wales that I first decided to take action. A small wooden log similar to training aids I had viewed online, grabbed my attention from the firewood pile. Shortly before I grabbed it, and saving its already ended life, stuffed it in the back of my van. (Talk about a modern day up-cycling hero)
Cue the Bison Grips Pinch.
On my return, armed with my Grandads old lathe and no prior knowledge of how to use it, I set about turning the first pinch. After having a good hack at the saved log, covering myself in man glitter (known commonly as sawdust) and desperately trying to remember DT lessons from school. It was born. Somehow, fingers still in tact it had happened. It wasn't pretty, it didn't look great it certainly didn't hang straight. But I had created a hangable pinch, which I can confirm after training with it for the first time, pumped the living shit out of me - Perfect!
Just like my climbing journey, Bison Grips has been a game or persistence, patience and many failed attempts. But now, I just want to make more training aids for the Bison Grips range and help people strengthen their weaknesses. This is just the start, there are more products to come and many lessons to learn. But as our products grow we will continue to share them with you, and share our knowledge.Including tips on how to get the most out of them, how to correctly train on them and everything in between.
Stay psyched and stay hydrated.