Grip List 2021: Blocz

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Blocz' stackable Hexatite wood volumes at Mandala Boulderhalle Dresden in Germany. Winning the award for the first time last year, Blocz defended its Wood Volumes title in 2021. (All images courtesy of Blocz)
Grip List 2021: Blocz
Blocz’s volumes in action—including the new Hexamites (right)—used in both comp and commercial setting. Winning the award for the first time last year, Blocz defended its Favorite Wood Volumes title in 2021. (All images courtesy of Blocz)

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BLOCZ Awards 2021

  • 1st Place – Favorite Wood Volumes

Honorable Mentions 2021

  • 3rd Place – Favorite Homewall Volumes

Volumes continue to be one of setters’ first and most essential tools for both commercial and competition setting. In a crowded field that is constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity and insight, Blocz—a volumes manufacturer based out of Germany—nabbed the 1st place in the Favorite Wood Volumes vote for the second year in a row.

With distribution all over the world, Blocz is a frequent presence on homewalls, in commercial setting closets, and on competition sets. “Blocz’s mission has always been to produce high-quality volumes that we like to use in our own gyms,” says Kyle McCoy, who co-runs Blocz Distribution, the company which distributes Blocz in North America, with his wife Juliane. “Before anything gets released to the public, it is extensively tested to ensure it meets all our quality standards.” Blocz has also been a USAC partner and providing volumes for USAC and IFSC events for years and, as such, is at the forefront of the elite competition scene.

 

As for why setters love their products, Blocz is known for nailing the fundamental aspects of volumes—like texture, angle, and durability. “The best texture that isn’t too aggressive on the skin,” says Alex Olander, Head Routesetter at the Gravity Vault Flemington. “Their texture is unbeatable,” agrees Adam Hathaway, Head Routesetter at Climb Cincy. “Their durability is outstanding, and their low-profile is a must. No one else does low-profile like Blocz.”

Blocz puts out new shapes and designs every year. The designs are the products of two creatives: Robert Leistner, German national setter and one of the main shapers, and André Zwingenberger, who is behind many of Blocz’s technical developments. Some of their newest lines include the Hexamites/Hexatites, stackable shapes that can be used to form giant stalactites, and the Asymmetric Soccer Balls, which are a different take on an old favorite, designed to create more angles and versatility for setters.

Hexatites and Asymmetric Soccer Ball
The new stackable Hexatites and Asymmetric Soccer Ball from Blocz, which come in multiple sizes and switch up wall terrain in a myriad of ways.

“Besides coming out with new shapes, Blocz has also improved the dual texture,” says Kyle. “While the last gen version was already great, this new version is so shiny that you can use it as a mirror – not even kidding!”

As the pandemic continued into 2022, Blocz made use of the difficult industry slump. “We were able to use the year productively to actively think about new ideas and developments, e.g., sustainable materials,” says Kyle. “We expanded our offers for longer terms without a down payment and allowed late payments or paying in installments, all without interest or late fees.”

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Jonathan has been climbing for ten years and routesetting for half as long. He is a former magazine editor, and his writing spans from marketing content and journalism to speculative fiction. When he's not writing or bolting plastic to plywood, he's probably outside somewhere, hiking, climbing, or surfing poorly. He’s been known, on occasion, to drop everything and travel the world for months at a time.