Guest Post by Brandon Villatoro (Travel Experta’s Son)
Climbing without chalk is like ice skating without skates. It is impossible. Climbing is an incredibly intensive sport. You sweat a lot. So imagine trying to grab holds with your hands completely wet, you would slip off immediately.
How is Climbing Chalk Made?
Climbing chalk is a made from magnesium carbonate. It’s basically the same chalk that weight lifters and gymnasts use.
In climbing we put chalk in our chalk bag so we can put it around our waist and climb with it. It’s easy and accessible, and you always have chalk with you.
There are many types of chalks you can use: crushed chalk, blocks, loose chalk and even liquid chalk.
They come in different grades. Some can be gentler to your skin and others more irritable. I recommend, if possible, getting small bags if you can try them first.
Liquid chalk is a bit different than normal chalk. It still is Magnesium carbonate but it also has alcohol. Most people use it as a base of chalk. It is a very loose paste.
This is how it works: You put a little on your hands and rub it in like soap. Your hands start appearing very dry and it stays on for quite a long time.
Living in Guatemala most of our chalk options have been imported from the US, however, we now have a truly awesome, homegrown company started by Luis Girón, called Banana Holds.
His company is taking over the climbing industry of Guatemala, and hopefully of Latin America. He makes climbing holds, training boards like Beastmaster, resoling shoes – no one does that here in Guatemala at all and it is a very needed thing, and now climbing chalk as well.
The chalk is loose chalk. In my opinion, is that it takes a little while for it to actually sink in to your skin and once it sinks in its pretty nice.
And the fact that it’s done in Guatemala, is great to see our Climbing Community growing with products and more climbers.
You can also check out his stuff on instagram – @bananaholds
Recommended reads: Climbing Safety – The Top Safety Precautions in Climbing
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