While the 2014 Grip List highlights the top ten climbing companies of the year, we just had to say a little something about these other brands.
PUR – While not officially open for business, PUR already has 300 holds in its starting line-up and two of the best shapers on the planet, Louie Anderson and Barcalona-based Ferran Guerrero (among others). Expect to see this company on next year’s official list and climbing walls across the country. (Correction: A previous version of this article stated a connection to the Hollick Foundation. PUR is no longer affiliated with that organization.)
Kingdom Climbing – Kingdom is the brainchild of Mark Bradley, Mike Nicholson and professional artist Mike Stella. Bradley, who in 2007 created Halo Holds, received a lot of love from setters but the brand bowed out only a few years later. The Kingdom team is now stronger and has a very good shot at blowing the roof off of gyms. Nicholson tells CBJ that “the industry needs to be pushed forward to the next stage.” That next stage could be full of really big holds and holds that “hide a certain greatness in how they look and climb.” We like the sound of that! If Kingdom’s foam shapes are any indicator of things to come, then we can expect to see some truly original grips.
Escape – Coming straight out of Minneapolis, Escape climbing holds is trying to break into the very competitive hold market by keeping it small. Owner and lone shaper Ryan Angelo tells us, “My goal is to have a very refined line of holds. I won’t ever have a huge selection because I retire/replace sets that I don’t like or don’t receive good reviews from routesetters.” From what setters are saying Angelo will not have to replace much. Escape has been in production for two years and as gyms seek to diversify their hold inventory setters are finding they like what Escape is adding to the mix. 2014 could be the break out year for this small but promising company.