Types of rock climbing grips?

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Rock climbing grips, also known as holds, come in various shapes, sizes, and materials for use on indoor or outdoor climbing walls. They have a hole for securing to the wall and can be made of wood, resin, fiberglass, or real rock. Wooden holds tend to chip, while resin and fiberglass are more durable. Grip shapes include jibs, slopers, jugs, mini-jugs, and pockets, each with unique features and challenges.

Rock climbing grips are more commonly known as holds and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials for use on an indoor or outdoor artificial climbing wall. Rock climbing grips almost always have a hole in the center of the grip through which a bolt can be placed so that the grip can be secured to the climbing wall. The most common types of rock climbing grips include pitchers, flares, pockets, flakes or bumps, and pinches. Each grip is different in size and shape and can be made from a variety of materials including wood, resin, fiberglass or even real rock.

Early versions of rock climbing grips were made of real stone that was drilled out so they could be attached to the wall. These rock climbing grips provided a great gripping surface, but tended to be heavy and often dulled after repeated or excessive use. Next came wooden grips, which are still sometimes used on climbing walls today, although they tend to chip after repeated use. Wooden holds are easy to manipulate into a variety of shapes and are comfortable in climbers’ hands, but are used less often because they are not exceptionally durable.

Resin and fiberglass are commonly used today, and each material has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Durability is a common struggle among all rock climbing grips and these materials are no exception. However, they tend to last longer than other materials and are easy to mold into distinct shapes. They can chip and are susceptible to breaking when mounted on a wall, as overtightening the bold can lead to excessive pressure on somewhat brittle materials.

The shapes of rock climbing grips vary greatly. The smallest grips are jibs or nubs, which are exceptionally small and usually cannot be bolted to the wall due to their size. Instead, they are usually attached with screws. Slopers are large, globular-shaped grips with no pockets; when a climber grabs this hold, the hand is open, so the strength of the hand is responsible for the hold. Jugs are large grips that have pockets, holes, slots, and other features on which the climber can positively grip. Mini-jugs are essentially the same thing but on a smaller scale. Pockets are smaller than pitchers but also feature holes and positive grips. Usually, however, they allow a climber to grip the hold with only one or two fingers, so these holds require significant hand strength.

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