The 2014 Grip List

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Photo: Rock Candy
Rock Candy

4. Rock Candy

Rock Candy was once a small company with a big heart. Now they are a much larger company with an even bigger heart.

It was owner Nathan Yokum’s own original shapes that first set Candy apart. His Sea Sponges and Corpolites were, and still are, some of the most original shapes to hit the scene in a very long time. Now Rock Candy has tapped into the legendary shaping geniuses of Louie Anderson and Tony Renaldo to add diversity to the line. Some of the new shapes may look familiar to seasoned hold buyers, with many in the Crispy’s series looking like vintage Anderson from the days of yore.

Rock Candy is the only company on our list to add volumes to their line which is a welcome addition for aging climbing walls. Volumes are all the rage with routesetters but most are made of wood and are very heavy to work with. Anderson was set to the task of shaping some enormous fiberglass bolt-on volumes. What was born is a creative take on the geodesic volume hosting 31 t-nuts within its 21 lb frame. Despite it’s impressive appeal, with a retail price of $579 we don’t expect to see these mushrooming across gyms anytime soon.

Since 2006 Rock Candy has consistently proven that they are one of the more professional grip makers on the scene with many setters telling us that their order comes in quicker than other brands. Also since their beginnings Rock Candy has smartly directed their marketing towards the end user of the product: routesetters. With “Support your local routesetter” T-shirts, a cleverly designed setting bag and numerous setting accessories, Yokum shows he’s in touch with his customers.

Breathing Ohio air and dare we say it, loving to pull on plastic, Rock Candy has steadily been pushing the old guard out of the way.