Well, training boards arent a new thing. At Rockcity we installed our first metal frame, 8ft x 12ft 40 degree overhanging board with a 12″ kickboard back in 1995. Like many that have followed they have been a pretty static lump of goodness.
We are very excited to be working with Kilter on the ultimate free standing climbing training board design. This free standing board is an absolute monster and has pushed our design team and our frame designing to the limits.
Lets talk about what Kilter have done. Ian Powell has always been an innovator. Ian had ideas and hold technology light years ahead of what we are only just realising today. Where other training board brands have fallen down is on hold shape. Ian has thrown away more shapes that didnt cut the mustard than other brands have had to choose from. In fact we would go one further. The shapes Ian threw away are better than most of the shapes on other training boards on the market today.
The Kilter Board uses LED to light up the trail. Nothing new here then, LED has already been done? Actually ‘Yes’. Two great innovations Kilter have brought to the table, the first and most obvious is the duel material climbing holds, with the clear back that ‘glows’. Unlike other uses of LED built into training boards is that they are in the board and not the hold. You can see the lights on the way up but once you get above the hold the LED is ‘eclipsed’ by the hold. Also the use of a neutral background (our default colour is black) with the white holds and coloured LED mean you can see more clearly than previous attempts at the LED training board combo. Its obvious really when you think about it and maybe it took a commercial climbing gym hold manufacturer to spot it, but we all like clean, easy to follow coloured lines in the routes and blocs in our gyms, so taking this clarity to the training board is such a simple but effective gain.
Now as a climbing hold producer, obsessed by design, materials, technology ourselves, we appreciate the difficulty (and extra cost) in casting two different pours into one mould. This is no mean feat and the guys at Aragon Elastomers have done more than the competition in this respect.
The second breakthrough in LED brought to you by Kilter is the addition of specific foot hold only holds that are lit in a different colour. Like rock, the tiny micro holds, too small for the hand are often abundant for the feet. Kilter have noted this and built it in. We think this is really going to improve climbing technique as well as just pure power and finger strength
At Rockcity we love the opportunity to work on cool things, and what better than working with Ian and Jackie on the ultimate adjustable, robotic, futuristic training machine. It’s been great working with people who understand what they are doing too, setters, engineers, creative types and you can really feel the passion in their work.
We took our existing free standing board design and then after working out the angles Ian wanted we set about finding the modifications and power units to make it happen. With 2ft more kickboard and 4ft more width the standard freestanding board has just got serious. This thing is huge!
Plus this thing is adjustable, at the flick of a switch. Not just in the ‘strip it down and rebuild it in another angle’ adjustable. We are talking two powerful rams to move the huge drawbridge like panel up and down, between 30 degrees overhanging and a whopping 70 degrees!
We were told by Jackie and Ian, try to do a 3ft kickboard, or as close as you can, its really important. We didn’t get this at first and it was only our blind faith in the Kilter people that we went ahead. Good job really because it became obvious when we dropped the overhang past the standard 40-45 degrees that are popular and down and down through 60 degrees and to 70 degrees. Basically you cant stand up under it if you only had the 12″ kickboard. Damn, these guys were good.