Louisville, CO – May 18, 2022 – Head Rush Technologies (Head Rush), a global leader in the engineering, manufacturing, and distribution of recreational climbing equipment, is launching the TRUBLUE iQ+ Auto Belay, the first and only auto belay in the world equipped with catch-and-hold technology.
The TRUBLUE iQ+ marks the largest leap forward in auto belay innovation in over a decade. As opposed to previous auto belays, which immediately lower climbers back to the ground when they fall, the TRUBLUE iQ+ makes it possible for climbers of all abilities to choose whether they want to lower after a fall or if they want the device to catch them so that they can try the move again.
“It’s frustrating to start over every time you fall,” said Luke Smith, Senior Product Development Engineer at Head Rush. “So rather than lowering back down, what climbers will do is call, ‘Take!’ Basically, this gives them time to rest before making another attempt. Climbers do this all the time when they’re climbing with a partner, but until now it hasn’t been possible on an auto belay. That’s what makes the TRUBLUE iQ+ so exciting! Climbers can really push their limits.”
Although it might sound complicated, in practice the TRUBLUE iQ+ is actually very easy to use. At the base of the wall, there is a large button. When a climber presses this button, the catch-and-hold feature becomes activated. If at any point during the climb that climber should fall, the TRUBLUE iQ+ will immediately catch them and allow up to 30 seconds to rest and then resume climbing. When the climber makes it to the top, a second button will lower them back down again.
“One of my favorite things about the iQ+ is that it gives everyone the chance to make it to the top,” said Smith. “It’s not just designed for experienced climbers looking to push their grades. Beginning climbers, who might never have been able to get very high before, can now take as many rests as they need to feel that sense of accomplishment.”
While being able to ‘take’ has always been an option for gym climbers who are used to being belayed by either a trusted climbing partner or trained staff member, Head Rush President and CEO Lea Ann Zuellig is quick to point out that the traditional belay method is not a reality in many modern facilities. Climbing walls in most family entertainment centers, for example, are exclusively accessible via auto belay.
“Twenty years ago, no one would have dreamed that climbing would be as widespread as it is today,” said Zuellig. “But with this latest boom in popularity, everyone wants to try it for themselves. Whether they go to a gym, a fun climb, a camp, or a rec center, the truth is that most of these facilities simply don’t have the staff or the space to accommodate so many new climbers. That’s where auto belays can really make an enormous impact.”
Zuellig points to the launch of the TRUBLUE iQ+ as a significant event in continuing to grow the popularity of the sport. Auto belays are already known to increase membership, retention rates, and user throughput, while helping to reduce traffic jams and overcrowding, particularly during busy times. They also greatly reduce the barrier to entry for new users. The one thing that previous auto belay models couldn’t do was give climbers an authentic belay experience in the same way that a climbing partner could. With the launch of the TRUBLUE iQ+, that is about to change.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this launch,” said Zuellig. “Most of the time, when companies put out a new product, it’s more or less the same as the old one. In this case, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There has never been a device like this before. The TRUBLUE iQ+ will completely change the way that people think about auto belays.”
About Head Rush Technologies
Based in Louisville, Colorado, Head Rush Technologies is an engineering company and manufacturer of climbing, zip line, and free fall equipment that is on a mission to make adventure experiences more enjoyable for users and to increase ROI for operators. Their patented magnetic braking system has led to the development of best-in-class recreational devices found in facilities worldwide, including the TRUBLUE Auto Belay (the Official Auto Belay of Team USA Climbing), zipSTOP Zip Line Brake, and QuickFlight Free Fall devices. More information is available at www.headrushtech.com.
HEAD RUSH TECHNOLOGIES
1699 Cherry Street, Suite C
Louisville, CO 80027
This press release was written by the sponsor and does not represent the views of the Climbing Business Journal editorial team.