Monday, August 12, 2013

About the Surface Texture of Gstring Climbing Grips

We're back! We've been in and out for a good part of the summer with climbing, vacation travel, and the wedding of my youngest son, etc. Now it's time to start the blog back up with some new articles. The first has to do with the StikGrip surface used on Gstrings.

During the past couple months we've been testing the next version of the Gstring Climbing Grips at a local climbing shop and a gym. On these prototypes (previously we used the working name of 'Black Widow,' but  now we're calling them the Gstring Pros) we used a much courser texture of StikGrip, similar to what can be purchased in the store. Many who tried them raved at how grippy they were.

However since then we've changed our minds about the value of that much texture. With the coarse StikGrip surface they're so 'sticky' that in the sloper or pinch position one can almost adjust them to a vertical position and still hold on fairly easily. In the crimp position with the coarse StikGrip it can quickly tear up fingertips during a training session. And in some grip positions the 3D-Sling cord rubs on the coarse StikGrip surface and wears more quickly.

So our current thinking is that for general all round use and training the standard medium grit is still probably the best for most users. For those who have been training for a while and are getting stronger, the 'fine' StikGrip offers more of a challenge and a harder workout than either the 'standard' or 'coarse'. For a few badasses, taking the StikGrip off completely and using them bareback will offer the ultimate in difficulty. Gstrings are currently being used this way in Korea for pinch grip competitions by arm wrestlers and martial artists.

So...who might want to use and benefit from the course StikGrip? Probably only those who want to toughen up their finger tips and hands. If you're training for climbing on extremely sharp granite or sandstone, it could help toughen up your skin, but at the same time limit the degree of difficulty because they are so 'sticky'.

If you want to use the coarse StikGrip because it makes the positions easier, we suggest that instead you adjust the Gstrings to a more relaxed (easier) angle instead of going with the courser StikGrip. A future blog will deal with other ways to make the Gstrings easier - especially for beginning climbers who may want to train but haven't built up tendon strength yet and should probably work on endurance more than strength.

Lastly, we're nearing completion of testing and sourcing materials for the production of the Gstring Pros. We hope to have a limited number of sets available in time for the holidays. They won't offer any major new grips positions but will offer stronger materials, a bit wider grip at the top, and a new Ripcord quick adjustment system that allows you to change positions easily without taking them down from their mounts. They're aimed more at heavy duty gym use and for those who just 'need' to have the ultimate in Gstrings! :-) We'll compare and contrast the differences in a future blog post closer to the time of their release.