At last count, I have something like 15 hangboards in my home training rooms. My new Flash board by Tension Climbing is not one of them.
While I could certainly use the Flash board for training at home, it excels—and is in fact exceptional—as a light-weight portable hangboard for use at the crags. Therefore, the Flash board resides in my garage with all my climbing gear…since it’s as important to pack for each day of outdoor climbing day as my shoes, rope, and harness!
As for warming up at the crags, climbing a couple of sub-maximal routes (two or three number grades below limit) is a pretty good place to start. However, pushing yourself on near-limit (or beyond limit!) climbs is best done only after a more targeted and specific warm up on small crimps and pockets. This is where a portable hangboard comes in handy. There are several wooden “crag boards” now on the market to pick from, but the Flash board is the best I’ve used.
A good crag board must have a variety of usable holds and a sturdy, stable suspension system—Flash board has both. What’s more, the Flash board’s suspension system is quite genius as it enables you to easily adjust the hold “positiveness” (incut or slopey) to suit your needs. The edge radiuses are just right—comfortable and useable for crimping and open-handed pockets alike. Just be sure to chalk up before each hang and, as with any wood training board, keep the holds brushed clean.
My sons and I used Flash board extensively this season, and it was especially indispensable during our recent trip to pocketed limestone crags at Ceuse and the Frankenjura. Our typical Flash board warm up consisted of a variety of pull-ups (two-arm, scapular, one-arm), one-arm jug hangs, crimp hang “repeaters”, a few two-arm pocket pull-ups, and finally a couple all-out one-arm open-crimp hangs. Of course, there are many other warm up options. Be creative, have fun, and then send your rig!
Anyway, there’s no need to say much more…other than the Flash board is a must-have for every serious outdoor boulderer or sport climber. It weighs just 1.6 pounds and cost $75. Buy one!
Here’s a nice introduction to the Flashboard, featuring Tension Climbing co-founder, Will Anglin.
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