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    Training Board Hold Systems 2024

    Training Board Hold Systems
    Training Boards continue to be a popular investment at climbing gyms around the world, spurring innovation in the market each year as hold system producers try to stay one step ahead of the pack. (All images courtesy of the respective brand)

    [Editor’s Note: This article was first published on November 18, 2021, and was updated on April 12, 2024, to reflect changes in the training boards market.]

    The modern, standardized training board is an invaluable investment for climbing gyms large and small. By committing only a small fraction of a facility’s footprint for training boards, gym operators open up bottomless climbing options for a huge variety of customers. No routesetting is necessary since all systems come with an app packed with thousands of problems, and the only real maintenance required is cleaning the holds. No longer do private trainers or youth team coaches need to wander the gym to find climbs for their clients’ workouts.

    “They create a friendly, or cutthroat, way for people to train together, whether in the same gym at the same time or with partners across the continents,” said Fabrizio Zangrilli, who at one point made use of five different board systems as a gym owner.

    Routesetter Bundle from Chalk Cartel

    The concept of a training board is not new. Practically since the advent of indoor climbing, training aficionados have built “system boards”—often DIY mirrored walls that enable climbers to work on specific goals in a confined space, which are effective complements to a campus board and hangboard. But modern training boards take it to a whole new level, driven largely by technology. Combining LED lights and databases of routes on an app in your pocket―and built on a standardized layout that can be replicated anywhere in the world―the training boards of today can pack a lifetime of climbing into a 10×10-foot space.

    With more hold systems being added to the market each year, in this update we further separated the training boards into their various versions in the table below—for example, Tension 1 and Tension 2—and added new players to the roundup.

    There are several training board hold systems on the market today in North America. A few others are currently in use in other parts of the world, and it seems many new options are in development publicly and in secret.

    In addition to training board hold systems, we cover training board frames in a separate article here, which will soon be receiving an update, as well.

    All details above are accurate as of the publishing date. New options may have been added and prices may have changed since then, and new routes are added every day to the apps.

    MoonBoard
    The MoonBoard, which is widely considered the first training board system on the market.

    MoonBoard

    Legendary climber Ben Moon pioneered the training board concept with the release of his original MoonBoard in 2006, which was based on designs he had used since the late 80s. Since then, his namesake board has been installed in thousands of climbing gyms and homewalls all over the planet, and the MoonBoard boasts a huge following and countless beta videos online.

    Over the years, MoonBoard has released multiple unique hold layouts―2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 (Mini)―with each designed for a 25° or 40° wall and with LED lighting above the holds. The 2016 layout, in particular, is regarded as the first commercial LED board on the market. Most recently, the company released a new 2024 layout as well as four additional hold sets. The holds tend to be small, with the grades starting around V4, which can limit beginners and warm-ups. Moon said the initial idea was to cater to “the needs of a small but dedicated group of climbers who understood that a small, fixed hold training board was an exceptional strength training tool,” and that goal is seen in the designs.

    MoonBoard was voted Favorite Homewall Board System in CBJ’s 2021 Grip List survey and runner-up in 2022 and 2023. They also proudly give 1% of all sales to environmental charities.

    “The holds are perhaps the most realistic to outdoor climbing. I think the OG yellow holds do the best job simulating some of the nasty holds you have to grab outside.”
    ―Eddie Morillas, The Front Climbing Club (all four board systems installed)

    “The small, deep in-cut holds favor a more powerful and tension-based climbing style.”
    ―Matt Waits, High Point Climbing & Fitness (three board systems installed)

    “This board forces the climber to not hesitate and to be very deliberate with their movement. I also like the fact that this board is pretty simple and can fit in pretty small spaces.”
    ―Ken Klein, formerly at Whetstone Climbing (three board systems installed)

    Learn more about the MoonBoard at www.moonboard.com

    Mirrored Tension Board 2
    The Tension Board 2, with its mirrored layout and mix of wooden and plastic holds.

    Tension Board

    The folks at Tension introduced the second commercial LED training board on the market in 2017 with their Tension Board 1. It has a mirrored layout like system boards of the past, but with the modern conveniences of LED lights and a route database app, and the Tension Board 1 was also designed for use on adjustable-angle walls. The symmetry has attracted users who wish to target left and right-side movements equally. And by using 100% wooden holds, it’s an eco-friendly choice and regarded as a relatively skin-friendly board for long sessions.

    In 2022, Tension released the Tension Board 2, a board system that supports adjustable wall angles from 0-65 degrees overhanging and includes wall sizes from 10’Hx8’W to 12’Hx12’W. The TB2 can be installed in a symmetrical (Mirror) and an asymmetrical (Spray) layout, giving users the ability to choose whichever layout they prefer, or switch up the layout later for a fresh feel and database of new climbs. For holds, the TB2 includes a combination of newly designed wooden holds and dual-tex, polyurethane holds that are illuminated from the center of each hold.

    “The hold diversity of the TB2 allows you to target whatever you want out of your session. Crimps, pinches, powerful and static climbing—it’s all there.”
    ―Zach Galla, USA Climbing Athlete

    “The wood holds are friendly on the skin and the symmetry helps identify weaknesses in your climbing. The climbing style leans more toward slower static movement.”
    ―Matt Waits, High Point Climbing and Fitness

    “It’s probably the most appropriately named board. You need to keep it tight and have good technique for this one.”
    ―Eddie Morillas, The Front Climbing Club

    Learn more about the Tension Board at www.tensionclimbing.com

    Kilter Board
    The full-perimeter LED lights in action on the Kilter Board.

    Kilter Board

    Legendary sculptor Ian Powell brought his deep experience in hold shaping to the training board space with his and Jackie Hueftle’s introduction of the Kilter Board in 2018. Comfortable and varied shapes on an adjustable angle frame have made the Kilter Board a popular choice for entry-level and elite climbers alike. And the unique, full-perimeter LED lights which encircle the holds are designed to help make route sequences easier to follow, on and off the wall. Kilter also introduced the first paired manufactured frame: the freestanding, adjustable Lemur x Kilter frame, designed and engineered in partnership with Lemur Design out of Canada.

    Though relatively new to the market at the time, the Kilter Board was voted Favorite Board System by routesetters in CBJ’s 2021 Grip List survey and was the runner-up Favorite Homewall System Board. The accolades have been pouring in since then, with the Kilter Board winning both votes in 2022 and 2023. There are over 1,000 Kilter Boards (and counting) installed around the globe, forming a worldwide network of climbers of all abilities and the largest problem database of any training board on the market.

    “Functional for a wide range of climbing abilities.”
    ―Abbygael Cancian, Rock Mill Climbing

    “The large, friendly hold shapes and fully lit hold design are less intimidating for new climbers and is the best way to introduce them to the world of climbing training.”
    ―Matt Waits, High Point Climbing and Fitness

    “Accessible to beginners at lower angles.”
    ―Eddie Morillas, The Front Climbing Club

    “I feel this is the easiest board to climb on.”
    ―Ken Klein, formerly at Whetstone Climbing

    Learn more about the Kilter Board at www.setttercloset.com

    Grasshopper Board
    The Grasshopper Board, with its bolt-hole LED lighting option.

    Grasshopper Board

    Boone Speed launched his Grasshopper Board in 2020 during the pandemic, with a layout developed by Josh Larson. The company’s modern, adjustable frames pair with the hold systems for a sophisticated aesthetic. On the marketing front, Grasshopper is the Official Adjustable Training Wall of USA Climbing, and it’s not uncommon to see climbing Olympians training on this system on social media.

    The mirrored Grasshopper Board was the first board to have some larger slopers and pinches included in the hold layout, and some say the bolt-hole LED lighting option improves on systems that have lights below the holds. In 2022, Grasshopper expanded its board to include optional 2ft panels on each side, yielding a 12×12 layout, adding several large slopers and pinches to the board. With some of the largest training board holds on the market, these large holds on the exterior of the wall allow climbers to avoid constantly hitting and dodging high-profile grips while working on smaller holds in the middle. 

    “Ergonomic grips…I like having larger and slopier holds.”
    ―Eddie Morillas, The Front Climbing Club

    “The shapes are fun and interesting, with quite a lot of variety of sidepulls, slopers, pinches and underclings.”
    ―Kevin Corrigan, Climbing

    Learn more about the Grasshopper Board at www.grasshopperclimbing.com

    Decoy Board
    The Decoy Board, which has a variety of hold sets consisting of signature Dan Yagmin creations.

    Decoy Board

    In 2022, Decoy founder Dan Yagmin launched the Decoy Board, a symmetrical training board with a variety of holds from signature Decoy hold series, such as the Minimalist, Schist and Rollies. These series provide smooth, rock-like and dual-tex hold options across ten different sets, allowing climbers to expand their board over time. The Decoy Board App offers thousands of climbs at a variety of angles without a kickboard, to simulate outdoor climbing.

    “It can be suitable for entry-level climbers as well as tame the strongest folks from your local crag.”
    ―Paul Jung, Director of Routesetting

    “Being symmetrical has shown me some real weaknesses climbing on different sides. They have the most comfortable holds that are still bad and require tension and technique to climb in.”
    ―Samuel Gardner, VITAL Manhattan

    “The decoy board is easy to interact with in a creative capacity, whether you are a professional setter or a community member trying out LED board climbing for the first time.”
    ―Ewan Bennett, Rock Spot Climbing

    “It offers a distinct climbing experience that truly translates to outdoor climbing.”
    ―Lilian Kral, Boardworks Climbing

    “Its versatility and appeal with our staff and customers has made it a staple for our training areas when looking to build new gyms.”
    ―Danny Howard, Rock Spot Gyms

    Learn more about the Decoy Board at decoy-holds.com/pages/decoy-board

    Woods Board
    The Woods Board, considered to be perhaps the hardest board on the market.

    Woods Board

    The Daniel Woods Light Up Training Board became available in the Winter of 2022, co-designed with Andy Raether, owner of Menagerie/Formik Climbing. With Woods and Raether’s combined climbing and industry experience, the design for the board came together quickly, resulting in a concept that caters to training enthusiasts looking for a hard sesh. The board consists of a densely-packed blend of wooden and dual-tex, plastic holds designed to be “ergonomic, useful and interesting.” The Woods Board app allows users to vie for top ranks on several leaderboards, propose grades, set boulders, and search through problems.

    “Ultimately, the Woods Board aims to combine the core creative spirit of a spray wall with the symmetrical layout and global network of existing training boards.”
    ―Austin Beck-Doss, Gear Junkie

    “The Woods board seems mega. More holds than any other board. It’s made for getting strong. It just seems mega.”
    ―Josh Aiken, Alpine Climbing Gym

    “The reason you will want to climb on this board is because it will make you strong…The grips are hard, the moves are heavy, and progression will come.”
    ―Noah Walker, Gripped

    Learn more about the Woods Board at menagerieclimb.com/pages/woods-board

    CWA Summit Pre-Conferences

    Additional Training Board Hold Systems

    The popularity of training board hold systems means inevitably there will be new entrants into the market as time goes on. Below are several other training board hold options; five are complete training board hold systems, and others are hold sets for DIY boards:

    12Climb: 12Climb, based in Ukraine, has a 3×4-meter board system with light-up holds and a Bluetooth-connected app that’s intentionally built for climbers of lower grades and comes in two versions: the 12C Board, with grades ranging from 5b to 7c; and the 12C Board School, designed for beginning climbers and young children (4a to 6b route grades).

    Nectar: Colorado-based Nectar Climbing’s Nectar Board system is a 10×12-foot wall (coming Spring 2024) that rotates and can be adjusted from 5° to 60° angles. The standardized hold set for the board consists of Urban Plastix holds paired with LED lights (coming Fall/Winter 2024).

    Satellite: The Satellite Board system is distributed worldwide and comes in two sizes: 40° with 304 holds mainly for gyms, and a Mini (30° with 105 holds) for homewalls.

    So iLL: So iLL is in the beta phase of its So iLL Connect Board system, with the beta version soon being delivered to locations around the world. They also make Systems Holds.

    Wataaah: Wataaah’s Dojo board system is available in Europe as well as the U.S. and features 210 dual-tex, screw-on holds (105 unique shapes) with a mirrored layout for 20°-45° boards.

    Atomik: While they don’t make a full board system, Atomik does produce a variety of plastic system holds for DIY board layouts.

    Beastmaker: Beastmaker has four different wooden training board sets that can be used symmetrically or asymmetrically. The sets are designed to cater to various homewall setups and customer preferences, from wall angle to desired grade range.

    Metolius: Metolius offers wooden system holds for DIY board layouts, featuring marks on the perimeter every 10° to assist with positioning.

    Train to Climb: Train to Climb provides a coordination-style wall kit, which uses a symmetrical hold design for practicing a wide range of specific, dynamic movements.

    CWA Summit Pre-Conferences

    More Resources About Training Board Systems

    Here are more articles that provide additional details and perspectives on these invaluable training tools:


    Editor’s Note: Grasshopper, Kilter, Tension and So iLL are financial supporters of CBJ.

    Trango Announces Exclusive Five-Year Safety Gear Provider Partnership With IFSC

    image of climber in comp

    Trango – the designer and manufacturer of premier climbing gear and holds based in Colorado, USA – and the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) are proud to announce the beginning of a five-year partnership that will make Trango the sole provider of safety gear for all IFSC Lead competitions from 2024 to 2028.

    Kicking off with the IFSC World Cup in Wujiang, China, from 12 to 14 April, the 2024 season will see the US-based company provide state-of-the-art safety gear for IFSC Climbing and Paraclimbing World Cups, World Championships, and Youth World Championships, at no cost for the Local Organizing Committees.

    Trango’s industry-leading product will include the Reaction Competition Quickdraws, which feature the aluminum Reaction Bent Gate Carabiners, with a keylock nose to facilitate smooth, fumble-free clipping. The distinctive black and pink carabiners, with their innovative gate design, will be paired with Trango’s Straight Dogbones and Maillons.

    The range of products supplied by Trango will extend to all the Safety Gear needed to run a Lead Competition, including belay devices, harnesses, and ropes.

    “Trango has always been a major supporter of climbing and a player in the international scene,” says Trango President Chris Klinke. “We have supported competitions with gear, holds, athletes, and sponsorship throughout our history. To support the IFSC on a global scale with its safety gear needs is a tremendous opportunity to combine our passion for climbing with our goal of supporting the community.”

    Marco Scolaris, IFSC President, says, “We are very happy to welcome Trango into the IFSC family. Obviously safety in our sport is an absolute priority, and in Trango we have found a reliable partner with great experience. One of our aims with technical sponsorship is to create a path of growth and study so that we can improve the sport, and Trango have bought into this concept ensuring a positive partnership.”

    Along with Wujiang, the IFSC World Cup Series 2024 will include Lead competitions in Innsbruck, Austria; Chamonix, France; Briançon, France; Koper, Slovenia; and Seoul, South Korea.

    image of trango quickdraw

    Here’s a rundown on the Trango Reaction Competition Quickdraws:

    Reaction Bent Gate Aluminum Carabiner
    Black body, pink gate
    Keylock nose, bent gate
    Weight: 48 g
    Dimensions: 100 x 58 mm
    Gate opening: 26 mm
    Basket: 37 mm
    Strength (gate closed, major axis): 23 kN
    Strength (gate open): 7 kN
    Strength (minor axis): 8 kN

    Straight Dogbone
    Cyan webbing, pink stitching
    15, 25, 50, 100 cm lengths
    16 mm wide
    Rubber quickdraw keeper
    22 kN strength

    Black 7.9 mm Maillon w/ snap
    Dimensions: 75 x 38 mm
    Weight: 80 g

    ***

    About Trango
    Founded in Boulder, Colorado in 1991, Trango is an athlete-driven brand, dedicated to challenging the status quo of climbing and to advancing indoor gym technology. At Trango, we create innovative equipment that climbers trust. Our company is passionate about solution-oriented products that help climbers pursue the sport we love. You can count on Trango gear to deliver something extra, something special, that will contribute to your climbing adventure, indoors or out.

    About the IFSC
    The International Federation of Sport Climbing is the international governing body of Sport Climbing. It was founded on 27 January 2007 as a continuation of the International Council for Competition Climbing, which was founded 10 years earlier, in 1997. As a non-profit organization, the objectives of the IFSC are the direction, regulation, promotion and development of Sport Climbing competitions all around the world.

    After a successful debut at Tokyo 2020, Sport Climbing is set to make its second consecutive Olympic appearance at Paris 2024, and has been officially included in the initial program of LA28. In 2018, two Sport Climbing medal events were presented at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.


    CBJ press releases are written by the sponsor and do not represent the views of the Climbing Business Journal editorial team.

    Climb Insider: two webinars coming and World Cups begin

    image of janja in competition

    Just a few thoughts

    A mega year of international comps has begun, with perennial favorites Janja Garnbret and Tomoa Narasaki taking the first World Cup gold medals. Four months from now we’ll see who earned climbing’s second round of Olympic medals. Beyond comps this week we have two pieces for homewallers, two articles on women’s physiological advantages, two new webinars announced, and a bunch of cool new hold shapes.

    See The Freshest Job Posts Here

    Community & Culture

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    Keqiao 2024 World Cup

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    Training Tips

    Head Routesetting at Bridges Rock Gym – Climbing Jobs Weekly 2024 April 11

    bridges rock gym header

    CBJ hosts the most active job board for climbing businesses and organizations. Below are the latest posts from this past week…


    Head Routesetter

    Bridges Rock Gym
    El Cerrito, CA

    “Bridges Rock Gym is looking for a full-time Head Routesetter to manage our Routesetting program across two locations: Bridges Rock Gym in El Cerrito and Mosaic Boulders in Berkeley. You will report directly to the General Manager, and assist them in assuring the quality, currency, and balanced scheduling of our Routesetting program. You will directly supervise our Routesetters, routeset, and help out at the gym in other areas as needed, including front desk, event organization, and occasional maintenance or expansion projects.”

    OnSite

    JOB SEEKER TIPS:

    How to improve your career through networking strategies
    By CareerBuilder

    “Networking strategies are plans and actions that help people meet others and establish relationships within their industries. Networking relationships are often mutually beneficial for all people involved. Even when one professional has more experience, both individuals can let each other know about career opportunities, exchange references and advice, and help each other learn new skills. Networking can also help you develop relationships that last for your career beyond just one job. According to CNBC, about 80% of jobs get filled with help from networking and personal connections.”

    Read the full article here


    LATEST JOB OPENINGS

    See all current jobs // Post your job
    FT = full time
    PT = part time

    RECENT/TOP JOB POSTS AT CBJ LOCATION TYPE
    Head Routesetter at Gecko Phoenix, AZ PT – routesetter
    Head Coach at Bouldering Project Tempe, AZ PT – coach
    Summer Camp Instructor at Bouldering Project Tempe, AZ PT – instructor
    Youth Team Coach at Bouldering Project Tempe, AZ PT – coach, instructor
    Head Routesetter at Bridges El Cerrito, CA FT – manager, routesetter
    Campground Host at Red River Gorge Retreats Red River Gorge, KY FT – manager
    Assistant Director at Sportrock Gaithersburg, MD FT – manager
    Routesetter at Sportrock Gaithersburg, Alexandria, Sterling, MD/VA FT – routesetter
    Team Coach at Gravity Vault Chatham, NJ PT – coach
    Team Coach at Gravity Vault Hoboken, NJ PT – coach
    Team Coach at Gravity Vault Montclair, NJ PT – other
    Instructor at Gravity Vault Upper Saddle River, NJ PT – instructor
    Head Routesetter at VITAL New York City, NY FT – routesetter
    Head Coach & Youth Programs Director at Brimstone Hood River, OR FT – coach
    Camp Counselor at High Point Chattanooga, TN Temp – instructor
    Head Routesetter at Basin Waco, TX FT – routesetter
    Operations Manager at Basin Waco, TX FT – manager
    Assistant Manager at The Front Salt Lake City, UT FT – manager

    Career Centers of Climbing Industry

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    April 29 Webinar: Event Routesetting – Comps, Leagues, Holidays & More

    Event Routesetting - Comps, Leagues, Holidays & More

    Is your routesetting plan ready for your next event?

    How does routesetting for events differ from everyday commercial setting? How do events affect gym rotation and logistics? Every gym and event is different and will require something unique.

    • Is your event a nationally recognized climbing competition?
    • Is it a community event like a bouldering league or member challenge?
    • What about Holidays?
    • Are you just trying to minimize impacts to your community?

    No matter what your event is, we have some take-home information to help. Join us to discuss how to approach event routesetting from an organizational standpoint.

    This webinar is intended for both gym managers and routesetting leaders.

    Ready to learn more? Join us Monday, April 29th at 11:00am MDT for “Event Routesetting – Comps, Leagues, Holidays & More”. Hosts Foxman McCarthy-James and Justin Wright of Vortex Routesetting will lead this webinar as part of the ongoing CBJ Climbing Gym Management Series.

    CBJ Members: RSVP Here for Free Access**

    Not a Member? Purchase Access Here for $59

    Elevate Climbing Walls

    All staff of CBJ members are invited!

    **Live webinars are offered as a FREE member benefit to staff of CBJ member businesses at the Biz level and above (check if your employer is a member here). Each staff member must RSVP, although managers can RSVP for multiple staff.

    On-demand video recordings are available to staff at Plus or Premium member businesses and individual purchasers. Questions about accessing these recordings? Email us at info@climbingbusinessjournal.com.

    See All CBJ Webinar Recordings Here

    Meet your presenters:

    Vortex Routesetting is a data-driven consulting company focused on providing climbing gym owners, managers and routesetters with the best information available to build their programs. From initial hold orders and sets to salaries, workloads and departmental structuring, Vortex specializes in providing you with solutions and resources based on market data.


    Principals Foxman McCarthy-James and Justin Wright are both Head Setters with experience launching and scaling gyms.

    vortexroutesetting.com
    @vortexroutesetting

    Vortex Routesetting

    Central Rock Gym Makes First Acquisition

    image of stone summit atlanta
    Central Rock Gym continues to expand its climbing gym footprint in the Eastern U.S., this time by acquiring the four Stone Summit gyms in Georgia. (Pictured: Stone Summit Atlanta; photo by Stone Summit)

    Stone Summit, a Georgia-based climbing gym chain with four locations around Atlanta, was recently acquired by Central Rock Gym (CRG). Previously owned by Daniel Luke, Daron Pair and Will Pair, the first Stone Summit location—Stone Summit Atlanta—was opened by Daniel and Daron in 2010. Since then, Stone Summit added a second full-service gym and two bouldering gyms in the area prior to the acquisition. According to an FAQ page on the business’s website, “all of Stone Summit staff will continue on with CRG”—including general managers, head setters, setters and desk staff, CBJ has been told—and an email to customers stated that Daniel’s “new role will be as the Director of Operations, Georgia at CRG.”

    “When we began this sale process, it was important to Daniel, Will and me to find a company that would be a good cultural fit for our staff and customers,” Daron informed CBJ. “Central Rock Gym aligned with everything we were looking for in an acquisition. Joe and Ed [Hardy], along with their team, provided a seamless transition throughout the entire process. CRG was a pleasure to work with and we are excited for our staff and customers who are now a part of the CRG family.”

    Routesetter Bundle from Chalk Cartel

    The acquisition is notably CRG’s first in the industry since the business opened its first climbing gym—CRG Worcester—in 2009. All of CRG’s other gyms were self-built projects, and CRG is the only climbing gym business in North America to have opened more than 20+ gyms entirely through self-builds, with four more expected to open in 2024 or 2025. In fact, CRG is the second largest climbing gym chain stateside to have now expanded in part through an acquisition, a list that includes Movement, Bouldering Project, Hangar 18, Rock Spot, VITAL and others.

    “Central Rock Gym has been approached several times for acquisitions in the past. Our general approach is to stay completely focused on our existing communities or to find new markets,” said CRG co-owner Joe Hardy. “Stone Summit, however, felt different from the start because there were so many similarities in how they operate and how they value and grow their communities. After getting to know their team from several visits, we felt we could work with Daron, Will and Daniel for a smooth transition, and try to be the best stewards possible for their staff and community.”

    Hardy said the CRG team is excited to make facility improvements at the former Stone Summit locations in the coming months, such as HVAC work in preparation for the summer. The management team also plans to update the hold inventory at these facilities.

    Elevate Climbing Walls

    Originally developing climbing gyms in the Northeast, CRG completed two Florida gyms last year (Tampa and Orlando), opened a third one just this week (Citrus Park), and has two more gym projects underway in the state (including the recently announced Fort Myers project). The acquisition of the four Stone Summit gyms in Georgia expands CRG’s gym footprint in the Southern U.S. and brings the total number of open or planned CRG gyms to 30 across six states.

    “We continue to be focused on serving our existing communities and building new gyms versus acquisitions,” Hardy reiterated, “but there is always the possibility that we find equally common footing with another operator.”

    Stay tuned to CBJ for the latest news on gym projects and acquisitions around the industry.

    April 24 Webinar: Curating your Product Mix – A Continual Process

    Curating your Product Mix – A Continual Process - Webinar

    Do you have a retail strategy?

    Whether creating a new retail space or rejuvenating an existing space, having a fresh product mix is a fundamental key to success for your retail shop. In this webinar we’ll discuss how to:

    • Determine the best product mix for your business and the customers
    • Keep your selection from getting stale
    • Make the most of relationships with product reps
    • Handle long lead times for certain products
    • And more!

    A key factor in your product mix is understanding that retail selection is a process, something that should be checked on at least a few times a year, and not a once-and-done item to check off your to-do list. After touching on some key points in the presentation, we’ll open up the webinar for questions from the audience. Hope to see you there!

    This session is a great fit for future gym owners curious about including a retail space in their business operations, or existing gym owners and managers looking for some ideas to help bring customer attention to items in their retail shop.

    Ready to learn more? Join us Wednesday, April 24th at 11:00am MDT for “Curating your Product Mix – A Continual Process”. Host Todd McCormick of Keystone Climbing Consultants will lead this webinar as part of the ongoing CBJ Climbing Gym Management Series.

    CBJ Members: RSVP Here for Free Access**

    Not a Member? Purchase Access Here for $59

    Routesetter Bundle from Chalk Cartel

    All staff of CBJ members are invited!

    **Live webinars are offered as a FREE member benefit to staff of CBJ member businesses at the Biz level and above (check if your employer is a member here). Each staff member must RSVP, although managers can RSVP for multiple staff.

    On-demand video recordings are available to staff at Plus or Premium member businesses and individual purchasers. Questions about accessing these recordings? Email us at info@climbingbusinessjournal.com.

    See All CBJ Webinar Recordings Here

    Meet your presenter:

    Todd McCormick founded Keystone in 2020 after years of management, retail, and outdoor guiding experience. He focuses on helping gyms craft efficient systems for retail operations and offers consulting on retail layout for a build, creating a retail space in an existing gym, and everything in between.

    www.keystoneclimbing.com

    Todd McCormick with Keystone Climbing Consultants

    Get Your Hands on Something New From Essential Climbing!

    image of yellow climbing holds

    Introducing the Foxes Dual and the Resets from eXpression Climbing! The Foxes Dual were selected for the IFSC P24 Catalog. All holds are made at Aragon and distributed by Essential Climbing!

    Now through April 24, 2024, get 24% off retail when you buy the full range of Foxes Dual or Resets in one color. Request an order form here.

    Foxes Dual

     

    images of foxes

    Resets

    image of black climbing holds

    Ready to Order?
    Request a gym order form to see what is in stock. Feel free to contact us at info@essentialclimbing.com with any questions.

    Request an Order Form


    CBJ marketplace listings are written by the sponsor and do not represent the views of the Climbing Business Journal editorial team.

    New Climbing Holds & Volumes: April 2024

    The April grip report highlights the newest grips from 13 leading companies. Large sizes, smooth shapes, dual textures—all options are featured here to keep your sets fresh.

    BRANDS INCLUDED BELOW:
    Bat HoldsCommunity Climbing EquipmentEP ClimbingExpression Holds – Hito ClimbingInfinity – MorphoNicrosRustam ClimbingSecret Holds – Simpl Volumes – – Urban Plastix – Vertex

    Retail chalk from Chalk Cartel

    BAT HOLDS

    New from Bat Holds: B5


    COMMUNITY CLIMBING

    New from Community Climbing Equipment: Crescents 15 Screw-on Crimps
    Distribution by: Bold Climbing


    EP CLIMBING

    New from EP Climbing: Barchan FamilyBarchan Jugs, SmallBarchan Slopers, SmallBarchan Smooth, LargeBarchan, Medium


    EXPRESSION

    New from eXpression Holds: Reset Jugs
    Distribution by: Essential Climbing


    HITO

    New from Hito Climbing: Bowl Dual Family


    MORPHO

    New from Morpho: CratersThe ShieldsPinches
    North American Distribution by: Solostile Climbing Lab


    URBAN PLASTIX

    New from Urban Plastix: Ditches S1 – Pinches – UPX85


    INFINITY

    New from Infinity: Rabbit Holes

     


    NICROS

    New from Nicros: Seismic Jugs Assembly


    RUSTAM

    New from Rustam Climbing: Familio Ganymede – 1


    SECRET

    New from Secret Holds: Granite 3xXL Big Crimps
    North American Distribution by: Solostile Climbing Lab


    SIMPL

    New from Simpl. Volumes: Pinches


    VERTEX

    New from Vertex: Mastodont Dual Tex


    Submit your latest shapes and products

    Each month we publish a list of recent hold, volume, and training gear releases. Brands that self-report using this form will be included for free.

    Sending The Route: Workers Unionize At Two ‘Movement’ Climbing Gyms In Chicago

    Historic victory, first climbing gyms in the city to unionize

    image of unionized gym employees

    [Editor’s Note: This press release was updated for a quote correction on April 8.]

    Chicago, IL — [April 5] — Workers at two Movement climbing gyms in Chicago, celebrated a historic victory last night as they became the first in Chicago to unionize. The union locations are in Wrigleyville, which won 12-1, and Lincoln Park, which won 22-1.

    Employees announced their plan to unionize industry giant Movement on February 23rd following a 5 months-long clandestine campaign over grievances standard to the climbing industry like low pay, poor benefits, favoritism, arbitrary scheduling and disciplinary practices. The campaign culminated in a two-day secret ballot election, resulting in an overwhelming victory.

    Affiliated with Workers United, the bargaining unit consists of 47 routesetters, instructors, youth team coaches and front desk staff, nearly a third of which work at both locations. The union overcame electioneering that divided the gyms into two separate elections against the will of the workers. Tactics like this were familiar to organizers, as Chicago joins the growing number of Movement and other gyms nationwide organizing for better working conditions as seen in Philadelphia, New York and Crystal City.

    In a city known for its union history, last night’s victory marks a significant turning point for the climbing community in Chicago, highlighting the transformative power of solidarity and collective action in advancing worker rights and building stronger, more equitable communities.

    From the workers:

    “Our decision to unionize at the Chicago Movement locations was sparked by our collective desire to cultivate a workplace that centers community and gives a voice to its employees by allowing us a seat at the table – through this first step at Movement, we hope to foster more equitable and inclusive practices within the indoor climbing industry at large.” ~ Jiyul

    “My coworkers are some of the most hardworking, knowledgeable, and competent people I know, and get little recognition for it. I support a union because they deserve to have their rights and interests advocated for by the same people who know what goes into the work and see what they do for both the workplace and the wider community day in and day out.” ~ Sadie

    “We all care deeply about this gym and its community, which are both best served by a workforce who is empowered and supported by those above them. Internal avenues have not yielded the transparency and consistency that we’ve asked for, so we’ve turned to unionization to bridge those gaps. I hope that, as a result of this campaign, we will build a workplace that better reflects Movement’s core values: passion, inclusion, partnership, integrity, and innovation.” ~ Em

    “This gym has provided me not only a place to climb, but a community to belong to and meaningful friendships to cherish. The decision to unionize reflects the value of what we’ve built here and ensures it continues to thrive. With a seat at the table, we can make sure the needs of everyone who pours their heart into this gym – both members and staff – are heard and respected.” ~ Amanda

    “The vibrant and inclusive Chicago climbing community deserves to be supported by front desk staff, instructors, coaches, and routesetters who are both treated and compensated fairly. My coworkers and I are thrilled with this historic win and proud to join a wave of workers organizing nationwide. I hope our campaign inspires climbing workers and all workers in historically underrepresented industries to exercise their right to organize and create the change they want to see in their industry.” ~ Rachel Martinez

    “Winning their Union is always great for workers. However, this win is extra special as it is only the beginning of a movement which empowers workers throughout the climbing gym industry of Chicago. Workers United proudly stands in support of our newest members in the climbing gym industry. We look forward to continued growth within the industry across Chicago, the Midwest, and the Rockies. ” ~ Kathy Hanshew, Workers United, International Vice President. Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United, President

    Photos and Interviews are available on request.


    CBJ press releases are written by the sponsor and do not represent the views of the Climbing Business Journal editorial team.