Just inked a shaping deal with Asana.

A contract a few years in the making but one worth waiting for. Jamey from Asana asked me to do a whole new line of holds for them and to get them all done and in production to debut at the OR trade show in SLC. I am excited and hope to come up with some fun and exciting new stuff to expand their line and hold offerings.

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Clif Bar Did It Again!

Crank up your taste buds and get ready because Clif Bar has done it again!

I present to you the “Fruit & Nut” and “Dark Chocolate” series in the new Trail Mix Bar line.

Clif Bar is always blazing the way with innovative products and this line is truly mind blowing, wait taste bud exploding is a better way to express how good these are.

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Say hello to the newest additions to the Clif Bar family.

“Fruit & Nut” Trail Mix Bar series:

• Wild Blueberry Almond

• Cranberry Almond

• Coconut Almond Peanut

“Dark Chocolate” Trail Mix Bar series:

• Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt (Its a big title bursting with BIG flavor!)

• Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond

Many of the folks at Clif Bar know I’ve always had a deep affinity for one of the classic flavors available moons ago called “Wild Berry.” Sadly is was discontinued around 1998 and every year new stuff comes out hopes I hoped they would re-release it or bring something out comparable… Well I am here to tell everyone they did it! I present to you the “Wild Blueberry Almond” Mojo Bar. This bar is dreamy, and full of berry bursting flavor, a fantastic crunchy texture provided by the Almonds and a softness that is chewy and so fun to eat. My hopes and wishes have been answered so thank you Clif Bar for that.

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The rest of the “Fruit & Nut” line is equally as amazing. The “Cranberry Almond” is full of rich flavors and a cranberry tart that leaves you wanting more. The Almonds are nice and big and when you see this package and for that matter all of the Mojo Bar packages, the quality of the ingredients and consistency of the product shows.

There is also a “Dark Chocolate” series of bars to satisfy those folks who like Chocolate but want a healthier way to enjoy it. Clif Bar did it right as they always do. I am excited to see this new wave of Mojo Bars getting out into the retail world and into the tummies of active people all around the world.

Oh as a side note: If you have a hard time finding the “Wild Blueberry Almond” flavor in your local stores it is because I am keeping them all to myself. Just saying!

Now go out and enjoy this upcoming summer weather and be sure to have plenty of the new Mojo Trail Mix Bars in your bags or pockets.

 

 

The Brush Game Has Been Changed!

Throw away all your chalk brushes because the game has been changed and the WolfPack has been unleashed.

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I was shown the Lycan brush last year at the Outdoor Retailer or OR as we all call it and my mind was truly blown. I also met and was introduced to the owner, designer and mastermind of WolfPack Climbing, Jon David.

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Jon David (In photo above) is an energetic, young and a very inspired entrepreneur with a penchant for finding voids in our industry that with some tweaking can offer a higher level of performance, appeal or just straight functionality. At the time Jon was just in prototype stages but his concept and idea was solid and I was sold immediately.

Over the course of the Winter of 2013 Jon was able to arrive at a bomber design result that doesn’t break easy and affords a robust functionality for a climber specific brush. This is not some pre-made store bought option, this brush was designed from the ground up by a climber for climbers.

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The Lycan brush features a 100% boars hair and the way it removes chalk is unlike any other brush I have ever used before. The brush also has a higher number of bristles then other boars hair brushes on the market. The hairs themselves are longer, allowing them to be sunk deeper into the ferrules giving more surface to stay in the handle. Speaking of the handle, it has a built in fingernail file or gobi sanding strip which you don’t see in other brushes on the market. The handle is textured for better grip when your hands are sweaty after blasting off the lip of a highball and landing in a pear cactus. (This blogs author has firsthand knowledge of said experience) From a form standpoint the handle is also ergonomic and curved in a way to aid in getting into crimps and pockets. The bright orange color helps it stand out against most ground surfaces so you don’t lose it easy and the added bonus is it is assembled here in the USA.

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The Lycan brush is starting to get momentum on the West coast and after a couple of visits there myself I have seen it in most of the gyms and some retail shops, so the word is getting out. I have been working hard to get the product into all of my Mad Rock accounts on the East Coast and the response has been awesome. The new retail packaging is great  for seeing all of the brush and comes with pre cut post hole for display hanging. The Lycan brush is distributed by Mad Rock and can be purchased through any of their retail accounts, website etc.

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Trust me when I say once you get your hands on one of these and observe the higher level of performance this brush offers, you will find yourself going to this brush over and over. So warn those other brushes you have in your bags their days are limited, because the WolfPack has been unleashed and the game is about to be changed!

I’m Building Things.

So I have switched gears the past few weeks to build stuff for my new iteration of Kinetic opening this Summer 2014.

My shaping studio is temporarily torn down and the old gym is also gone so I’m using the space to make training equipment in the meantime as we wait for the wall to be built in its new location.

Below are some Plyo Boxes I named “Low Ball” & “High Ball” to go with the size and height. Thought that was a funny pun and people would get a chuckle out of that. Also below are some Fitness Ball stands I made and smaller Plyo Boxes for our youth training programs. These smaller boxes can also double as foundational blocks to make the bigger ones even taller.

Fitness will be a huge part of our gyms offerings so I plan to build more custom equipment to offer our customers and clients. Plus it’s a lot of darn fun to make things and get sawdust in your ears.

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Kinetic is coming back this Spring!

Yep, Kinetic is returning to Central Ohio in Spring of 2014. Excited to share this news with everyone. More info to come soon but the team is excited about all the great programs, walls, fitness equipment and of course more climbing holds then you can shake a stick at. Columbus, Ohio… Get Ready!

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2014 RockCandy Catalog

The crew at RockCandy have released another well designed and easy to navigate catalog showcasing their holds line. Great photos of the holds with easy to understand names, sizes and who shaped the holds.

My Tunnel Rat series addition (expansion) got a nice big fat spread in my favorite color of their color offerings (red/orange). Psyched!

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Performance Packed, Priced Right!

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I just spent a month on the road doing a slew of shoe demos in my territory in the east so I thought it would be good to post something about the new M5 (5th generation version of the Mugen) on my blog.

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I have been using the M5 for about 7 months now both indoors and out. This shoe offers an amazing array of performance, comfort and quality of manufacturing all wrapped into a nifty retail price of $105.00 USD. The overall response I got on my demo tour was the fit was comfortable without sacrificing performance, and the price… many people couldn’t believe the retail to be that low for something that looks and performs at such a high level. Thats part of the Mad Rock philosophy, quality products at a reasonable price.

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Last year when I was at Mad Rock HQ the owner of Mad Rock, Young Chu sat down with me going over all the various performance and design aspects of the M5. Being a designer myself it was awesome being able to talk to someone who spoke the same language and shared a similar vision of a design methodology when it comes to the pragmatics and performance of a climbing shoe.

One of the big selling points for me beyond the awesome overall fit due in part to the arch flex technology which is the anchor of the Shark model in the Mad Rock line is the molded heel cup. This heel cup allows for the shape of the heel space to be more natural and anthropometric reducing that “bubble” that occurs in traditional pulled heel rubber pieces assembled by layering a rand with a sole. The molded cup also cuts down on dead space and allows you to have rubber all around for heel hooking at any angle of foot placement.

Another key feature I am a big fan of is the die-cut Velcro straps. If you look at other shoe companies Velcro many of them use a strip cut approach but in many of the Mad Rock shoes Young decided to used a curved cut (die cut) Velcro shape to better accommodate the curve at the top of your foot and reducing pinching points that occur with straight Velcro. Its those small details that really impressive me about Mad Rock by the way. This shoe is not short at all on those types of details.

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One of the last things I should mention is the slightly concave nature of the sole in the toe box area. It’s impressive to see a traditional sheet rubber sole (the sole of the M5 is not moulded like the Shark) have a concave shape and perform like it has a super turned down shape. I used the M5 on steep routes in the Red River Gorge and all over steep features bouldering and then I pulled it out at the New River Gorge and it ruled on those technical and footwork intensive routes the vertical nature of the New affords.

So if you like a shoe that performs on a variety of terrain (I’ve used it on granite, sandstone, gritstone and lots of gym plastic) you will find the M5 a great addition to your climbing shoe quiver and it will also leave some hard earned bucks in your pocket for those extra late night trips to the local taco establishment since the price is oh so awesome.

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Designing Setting Carts

With the harsh Winter upon us in the midwest I decided to spend some time designing something useful and take a break from the world of foam.

I’ve been in over 80 gyms now doing all sorts of recon, one thing I have noticed is the multitude of various ways gyms operate and handle setting tools/hardware access. I have seen so many iterations of carts, wagons, buckets that I thought it might be fun to take the tools and hardware I use and create a more efficient system for when I set.

Below are two carts I came up with. The main cart houses all the drivers/drills, bolts, t-wrenches, bits, tap and power charging station (with built in cord). The second is a route taping cart with a formica top surface for laying tape down and cutting. It also has markers, scissors and goof off to clean duct tape adhesive off the scissors. I wanted carts that would speed up my efficiency and cut down on searching for specific bolt sizes, bit types and having to travel back and forth for fresh batteries. The tape cart is a huge help to bring the taping closer to the walls to save time.

These may not be perfect but for me they are a start to adding more functionality to my setting and also give me the portability I so badly needed.

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