The Expo Hall is the center of attention at the CWA Summit each year, and this year was no different. Within the modern David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, over 70 climbing industry brands showcased their latest and greatest products and services at the 2023 CWA Summit. Recyclable holds, swag made from recycled materials, training board systems on a rotating wall, new sleek adjustable boards, fresh fiberglass macros and classy wood volumes—the snazzy new gear and timeless favorites in this special edition Buyer’s Guide are a snapshot of what could be coming to a gym near you this year.
BRANDS INCLUDED BELOW:
– Asana – Benky – BETA – Binary – Bold – Butora – Capitan – Cascade Specialty – Citywall – ClimbLab – DÉLIRE – DNP Imagingcomm – Dollamur – EP Climbing – Essential – Flashed – Grizzly Holds – Harness Marketing – Head Rush – IMPACT – Kilter – Midnight Lightning – Monument Sports Group – Nicros – OnSite – Organic – Rock Gym Pro – So iLL – Strati – Trango – Treadwall – Walltopia –
Asana Climbing is a bouldering padding source for climbers and climbing gyms that also supplies climbing gear, like chalk and chalk buckets. In 2023, they introduced new crash pads, with unique designs and innovative features that make carrying multiple pads easier. Asana is based in Garden City, Idaho.
In addition to climbing gym development, design and construction, Benky Climbing is a distributor of the TwinPoint auto belay, holds and volumes, gym care products, and board frames. Their CWA Summit booth featured the Benkyclimbing system wall frame 2023, which is available for all setups—such as the Kilter board, Moon board, Tension board, Grasshopper board, and spray walls—and has a 10-degree to -70-degree adjustment.
BETA Climbing is a climbing gym management and customer interaction app, with creators based in Malta. Acting as a Point-of-Sale software, waiver repository, route management tool and event booker, the BETA app acts as an engagement platform between climbers and gym management. The app has been recently updated to include competition support, advanced customer intake documents, complex transactional email logic, and Mailchimp integration tools.
Binary Holds is a Calgary-based climbing hold brand and manufacturer. Since the Summit last year, Binary turned heads by announcing it was shifting its production to vacuum thermoforming technology (VTF). Consisting of ABS thermoplastic material that is derived from post-consumer recycling materials, the VTF grips are 100% recyclable themselves and are remarkably light. Binary creates and distributes a wide range of holds, from small crimps to macros.
Bold Climbing is a North American distributor of climbing holds and products, distributing Artline, Blocz, Bluepill, CCE, Chapter, Rockcity and Unit holds, in addition to Static Air and Goodgrip products. At the Summit, Bold exhibited 11 brands in their 80-foot booth, and the Bold team is excited for hundreds of new shapes this year, including new 100% recycled ABS macros, as well as a new website launching next month.
Butora is an international climbing and approach shoe brand, with a variety of shoes designed for different climbing purposes. For commercial gyms, Butora has long provided multiple rental shoe fleet options, including the new Brava Black Markless for kids and the breathable Habara Knit.
Capitan is a CRM system, making it easier to manage a climbing gym with their user-friendly and flexible platform. Recently, Capitan launched Associations, which helps gyms automate discounts to subgroups of customers, such as students, corporate groups and non-profit partners. At the CWA Summit, Capitan went further and launched the ability for organizations to mark which Associations are publicly available for customers to request to join.
Cascade Specialty is a leader in climbing gym flooring. With beginnings in Everett, Washington, Cascade Specialty now provides flooring to indoor climbing gyms throughout North America. They offer open cell foam, carpet bonded foam, vinyl coated fabric, and carpet options.
Headquartered in Slovenia, Citywall made headlines of late in announcing its entry into the North American market. The global climbing wall provider, which aims to provide sustainable climbing walls with a personal touch, also operates as OEM for a number of high-profile hold and volume brands. Citywall also runs their in-house macro and volume brands—Illusion, Climb1 and Infinity—which are online at Climbing Gym Heaven.
ClimbLab creates technology for climbing gym cleanliness, with electrostatic filters to clean air, high-volume low-speed fans for cool air, and a modular system for clean holds. ClimbLab also distributes other commercial climbing gym products, such as pressure washing booths, rinsing tables and storage systems.
Attending the CWA Summit to showcase their walls and mats, DÉLIRE Climbing Walls is a Quebec-based business that strives to thinks outside the box, providing operators with flooring, artificial climbing structures (indoors and outdoors), and adjustable training board frames. DÉLIRE also offers consultation, design and engineering, and installation services to climbing gyms, with 20 years of experience and 150 projects.
DNP Imagingcomm is a subsidiary of Dai Nippon Printing Co., a manufacturer of dye-sublimation media for photo printers, thermal transfer ribbons, and barcode printers. DNP’s Action Capture system gives gyms a way to provide their customers with a memorable and lasting keepsake.
Dollamur Sport Surfaces creates indoor rock, bouldering and sport climbing bonded mats designed to protect climbers. As an international manufacturer of climbing flooring, they showcased their 1 3/8-inch to 2-inch foam cushioning, available in 8 colors. Dollamur is able to provide multiple surfaces throughout a climbing gym, such as carpet bonded foam in addition to standard padding.
In addition to building walls equipped with Mozaik XP Surface Technology, EP Climbing provides industry leaders with remodels, consultations, routesetting, staff training, maintenance and inspections to keep climbing facilities operating safely and successfully. EP also produces holds and wood volumes, with an improved hold material that’s more wear resistant as well as a new Bio Range of volumes. EP recently announced the IFSC Titan Boulder, which will be used at the IFSC World Championships Bern 2023 and the Olympic Games 2024 in Paris.
Essential Climbing is a distributor of Kumiki Climbing, eXpression, Squadra, Lapis and Axis climbing holds. At the CWA Summit, they showcased the Kumiki Wabi Sabi Line with 44 new sets, Vezi Limitless holds with 31 new sets, eXpression holds with expanded Birds and Legend lines, and dual-tex additions to the eXpression Shadows Fiberglass. Essential also brought new Squadra Manta holds and fiberglass macros, in addition to 50 Easy Rider sets made by Axis.
Flashed is a homegrown Calgary-based brand selling products for individuals, like crash pads, chalk, chalk bags and accessories, as well as products for commercial locations, like indoor climbing padding systems. This year in Pittsburgh, they were excited to highlight custom printed belay gates, 10-gallon and 19-gallon setter buckets, chalk, a lobster claw clip, and BeSpoke Prints.
Grizzly Holds, a Canadian climbing hold company that hit the ground running in 2018, made the trek to the CWA Summit to debut their latest new hold sets poured by Aragon: the Carbons and the Groundswells. The Carbons were featured in the CBJ Grip showcase and are currently available to order online or via their order form, and the Groundswells will be available online in the coming weeks.
Harness Marketing is a video marketing agency based in Salt Lake City. At Harness, their goal is to create marketing campaigns that increase sales, educate customers, and bring a human element to brands. Recently, they’ve created video marketing campaigns for Team Origin, 8b+ Chalk, Butora and other industry businesses.
Head Rush Technologies produces and distributes magnetic braking auto belays from their factories in Colorado, France and the UK. At the CWA Summit, Head Rush displayed the TRUBLUE iQ+ Auto Belay with catch-and-hold technology, their Rectangular XL Belay Gate that reduces clipping errors and provides setters with a large surface to cover auto belay route start holds, and the No Delay Belay Service Plan. The TruBlue iQ+ Auto Belay is $4399-4599; the Rectangular XL Belay Gate is $140.
IMPACT Climbing is a Canada-based wall builder that designs and constructs all types of walls, from full climbing gyms to single walls. IMPACT supports gym owners at every step of their project, helping them craft a business plan with a climbing business calculator, providing guidance on the best design for their gym space, and offering advice through the end of construction. They offer free consultations.
Kilter Grips, a climbing hold and training board company, exhibited their adjustable slab training board, 16×12 and 10×12 Kilter Boards, and a variety of holds from Kilter and Urban Plastix at the CWA Summit. Their Summit booth was accompanied by the new Kilter x Treadwall rotating wall and the Urban Plastix x Nectar rotating walls. Kilter is based in Colorado, with holds distributed internationally.
Midnight Lightning, a Squamish-based chalk product brand, manufactures their line of products to be eco-conscious. At the Summit, they displayed their low-impact, low-energy production Seawater Sourced chunky and powder chalk. Midnight Lightning also brought their Chalktopus, a cute octopus-looking product that fits inside a chalk bag, similar to a chalk sock. They also manufacture other chalk-related products, such as brushes, liquid chalk and refillable chalk balls.
Monument Sports Group
Monument Sports Group provides professional insurance services for sporting and recreational facilities and events. As the provider of general liability and other CWA insurance programs, Monument helps climbing gyms understand the unique risks that come with the industry, while negotiating the best pricing for climbing facilities.
Nicros Climbing, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, manufactures a range of climbing holds and walls. Additionally, Nicros also provides wall and auto belay safety inspections, wall repairs, instructor and routesetter training, and consultations. The Nicros CWA sale will extend through July 1, and discounted Auto Belay Safety System preorders are available through June 19.
OnSite, headquartered in Quebec, focuses on providing high-quality climbing walls and products from concept to creation. After featuring their VR technology last year, OnSite used a novel strategy for their booth space at this year’s Summit by forgoing a booth entirely. Instead they conveyed their values and services (humorously) through a huge 30’x30’ floor banner that no attendee could miss. They also got creative in letting their work at ASCEND Point Breeze—the location of the after party—do the talking.
Organic Climbing is a USA-based brand, designing and selling crash pads, chalk bags and buckets, routesetter gear, everyday bags and packs, and apparel. This year at the Summit, they were especially excited about their Deluxe Chalk Bucket with Magnetic Closure made from 100% recycled polyester, setter buckets and belts, and Small Batch mini rolldown backpacks constructed from recycled materials.
Rock Gym Pro
Rock Gym Pro is a longstanding, all-in-one CRM/POS software that enables gyms to integrate digital waivers, manage memberships, check in customers, book events online, and create advanced reports. In Pittsburgh, they were excited to promote RGP Stripe Custom with ACH, designed to consolidate all payments to one processor, reducing transaction fees for gym owners. RGP is providing consultations on the RGP Stripe Custom ACH Integration.
So iLL is a North American climbing shoe, hold, apparel and training company. At the CWA Summit, they showcased their new climbing shoe line after years of design and testing. They also shared a sneak peek of their LED System Board, with translucent holds shaped by Jason Kehl.
Strati Climbing produces climbing floors for commercial gyms, home walls, recreational facilities, colleges and universities. Strati also offers re-covering services, with cordura/ballistic, vinyl or carpet-over-vinyl options. In addition, the Albuquerque-based flooring company also produces rubber fitness flooring as roles and tiles, training area mats, and padding for posts, railings and walls.
Founded in 1991, Trango is a company of climbers who design products for the climbing experience. Trango distributes gear like training equipment, shoes, and their new crash pads, in addition to a wide variety of grips now under the Trango Holds name, following the Trango-eGrips merger last year. Trango now distributes Tenaya products, as well.
Treadwall Fitness, based just outside of Boston, produces rotating climbing walls and training equipment. They recently announced the Treadwall Flow, a combination of their Treadwall and Kilter holds. Other products available are the Boulderboard Training Stations, Laddermill Ascenders, and Ledgewall Climbing Panels.
Walltopia is a Bulgarian climbing wall company that also creates and distributes training boards, flooring, hardware, AI belay control, holds and volumes, safety devices, gym software, and active entertainment products. At the CWA Summit, Walltopia exhibited their adjustable angle board, which is compatible with the Kilter board, Tension Board, Moon board, and Grasshopper board. Walltopia also displayed their Climbmat flooring, Logcraft wooden volumes, and Unsteppable wall panels.
Climbing Business Journal is an independent news outlet dedicated to covering the indoor climbing industry. Here you will find the latest coverage of climbing industry news, gym developments, industry best practices, risk management, climbing competitions, youth coaching and routesetting. Have an article idea? CBJ loves to hear from readers like you!