I didn’t use chalk when I first started climbing. I honestly never even gave it much thought in the beginning. I mean, could it really make that much of a difference?
Friction Labs made me a believer. I know most of you have already read the reviews and have seen the statistics, but these guys are the real deal. Friction Labs devote themselves to making a good product and building a business around a community of climbers and climber needs.
They cooked up a blend that that comes in three options to choose from, based on how you like the texture of your chalk: “Bam Bam” (super chunky), “Gorilla Grip” (chunky), or “Unicorn Dust” (ultra fine). You can also purchase sample packs if you don’t know which one you’ll like the best. The blend is the same. (I went for the Gorilla Grip because I find breaking up bits of chalk in my fingers oddly pleasurable.)
The chalk itself is quite smooth and light, and it won’t dry out like other brands I’ve experimented with in the past. IT STICKS TO YOUR HANDS! Unlike the cheap stuff, it adheres to my hands much longer which means no double dipping. Some people have mentioned the price to be higher than other brands of chalk (and let’s be honest, if you’re dirtbagging it, cost is everything). But honestly, if you’re using less in a single session, overall, you’re saving. In general, I am a big believer in getting what pay for. If you pay for peanuts, ya gonna get monkeys.
No, I don’t think that a product is going to magically boost performance level and you probably won’t suddenly start sending 5.14 (but who knows?) But across the board, it’s the best chalk I’ve used so far. Looking at my dirtbag budget with a fine tooth comb, I’ll be sure to find a way to spend the extra bucks for the good stuff when the time rolls around. And hey, who knows, maybe by then Shooter will be belaying 5.14s.
Disclosure: Friction Labs has provided the gear for this review because they’re rad fellas. As rad as they are, I kept all of my opinions honest.
Cover photograph courtesy of Nick Lanphier.