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.

Behold, the power of chalk. Photograph by Nick Lanphier

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.

Gorilla Grip and Valley Giants pair well together, like good wine and cheese

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.

2 thoughts

  1. Hello! I thought that I will find here only beautiful photos from climbing, but I found here really interesting article about cilmbing stuff! I’m not a climber, but I’m reading about it since july and I like articles about climbing. Do you think I should use chalk on small indoor climbing wall? Regards!

  2. Just wanted to let you know that thanks to your review, I picked up some Friction Labs chalk and have nothing else sense then. Also converted my son in-law, ha ha.

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