Four Types of Climbing Chalk

chalk-bag-by-elPadawanSome climbers don’t like to use chalk because it damages the rock face and they feel like it’s “cheating.” Some gyms and outdoor climbing areas ban the use of chalk to protect the health of climbers and to protect their facilities.

However, using the right kind of chalk can help keep impact minimal and still give you a great grip. Check out these different basic types of chalk to see which to use when.

Block

The most popular type of chalk is block chalk because it’s often the cheapest option and the easiest to manage. Blocks of compressed magnesium carbonate are the most popular but calcium carbonate is also another popular choice. Climbers break apart blocks to create the texture they want for a really customized climbing experience. Not all climbers like the crunchy feeling of block chalk, however, or that they have to take time to prep chalk on long climbs. Blocks are easier to manage than loose chalk, however, and they don’t explode everywhere.

Powdered

Loose chalk is another popular option because it’s ready to go right out of the bag. Simply pour it into your chalk bag and dip your hands in—that’s it. There are countless powdered textures, ranging from super fine to more granular. Depending on what you prefer, there’s probably loose, powdered chalk out there to suit you. Keep in mind, however, that powdered chalk can be super messy if it spills and can get in the air. Many gyms ban fine ground chalk because it can get into lungs as well as the ventilation system. Most of us have been in a gym setting where the air was filled with chalk — and you know that’s not good for you.

Balls

It’s easy to regulate chalk usage through a chalk ball, but they can be a bit difficult to use if you’re not accustomed to them. The ball is usually made of a mesh fabric and contains a bunch of chalk. Simply give the ball a squeeze or two and rub it on your hands and that’s enough chalk for your climb. It’s perfect for gym use because it keeps particle in the air low and is often the only type of chalk gyms will allow. However, if you’re not skilled at applying chalk on the go from a chalk ball, it might not be the best choice for a long climb.

Liquid

The most innovative chalk solution is liquid chalk. Chalk is dissolved into a solution with alcohol and quickly dries on your hands to leave a seamless coating of chalk. Some formulas have extra additives to aid in drying and longevity and others have additives to prevent staph infections for gym climbing and weightlifting formulas. This is the best chalk for competitive climbers doing fast or short routes because it has real staying power and doesn’t require dipping throughout a route when you’re in a time crunch.

The best way to find the chalk you like best is by trying lots of different types so come on in and see what we have in our store—we probably have something new you’ve never tried before!

5 Comments

  1. […] If you’ve ever been to a climbing wall, you might see small bags on the back of harnesses of the regulars at the wall.  These contain climbing chalk, used to dry out your hands and help maintain a better grip, as tough routes can be sweaty work.  Here’s a good article for beginners looking to take their game to the next step, and what kind of chalk is right for you. […]

  2. […] Chalk is another useful tool in the climber’s arsenal. Old school climbers will tell you that you don’t need it, but it helps absorbs sweat and oils from your hands and increases friction with the rock. […]

  3. […] However, using the right kind of chalk can help keep impact minimal and still give you a great grip. Check out these different basic types of chalk to see which to use when. Read more… […]

  4. […] However, using the right kind of chalk can help keep impact minimal and still give you a great grip. Check out these different basic types of chalk to see which to use when. Read more… […]

  5. […] However, using the right kind of chalk can help keep impact minimal and still give you a great grip. Check out these different basic types of chalk to see which to use when. Read more… […]

Leave a Reply

Follow us on Instagram

Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.

unclesamsafari

Follow
Load More