Thursday, November 12, 2009
We find new companies from time to time, a while back we found out that Uncarved Block were still kicking about making holds, now we've found that New Zealand has a hold company that's called Uprising, as we don't know anything them we decided to have a little chat with Sefton to see what's up with them and their holds
Name and job
Sefton - Director/Developer of Uprising
How long has Uprising been around?
Uprising has been in the mix for about two years now.
How hard was it to start a climbing company? Did it take long?
I guess I find the process of designing and creating holds and training devices really exciting, so it was easy from a motivational perspective. Always trying to find a new way to improve is really important to me.
Why the name?
I was looking at the cover of one of my favourite Marley L.P.'s and thought "Damn, that'd be a great name for a hold company". Guess I was kinda obliged to do it after that he he.
Where are you based?
Christchurch, New Zealand. It's the closest main city to Castle Hill and has a great climbing scene.
How many people work on making the holds?
I carve the shapes, but the holds are poured by a team of sedate but hardworking capuchin monkeys, led by Minty (pictured).
What's your process for shaping a new hold? Do you say grasp a door handle and find inspiration?
I tend to just throw some headphones on and go for it. I seldom have the exact shape a want in my head, it usually takes a few random swipes before I start to see the hold.
We love the look of your training shapes especially the Sky Hooks look interesting, how long did it take to come up with the shape for those?
Thanks! The Skyhooks were weird. I just woke up at 3am one night picturing these portable training devices that could flip up to have a bunch of different grips. I made them the next day. The cool thing with the training devices is that people always come up to me showing different ways they have discovered to train with them.
How about the Extensor? Is that an existing device or did you take a forearm bar and then refine it?
It started off as a forearm bar with climbing hold texture, then I realised that a shorter cylinder held with the fingertips was perfect for strengthening the wrist stabilisers on the side of the forearms (like the muscles you use for a gaston away from your body). Forearms are really complex machines with so many different muscles (about 18 each) so it is really important to balance them out to prevent injury. Great for increasing blood flow pre-exercise too.
The market is getting flooded with new company's, how do you feel about the competition out there?
The are some great companies out there. When climbers are motivated and creative it really shows in the holds. Other companies make holds that are so bad it defies belief.
Are there any particular hold company's product that you like?
Most of the big names have a some really good shapes in their catalogue, however I think that in a few years time the way holds are made will be completely different from the traditional methods.
What holds from your line would you suggest for (and why?):
1. A home wall
The Jugular and Anger Management Sets are great for a vertical wall for beginners and kids, and for overhanging home woodies especially if combined with the Rufus and Striata sets for some warm up jug hauling. Of course a Revolution Board is necessary for the best workout possible. ;-)
2. Gym looking to spice up their walls?
The 30-Hold Set has been a big hit in climbing gyms, especially with route setters who like making technical, subtle sequences which climb like rock and require the foot confidence of an outdoor climber. They are all dual-textured and are great value for money.
As you're in NZ, where would suggest someone that's visiting for a few weeks go and climb?
We are lucky enough to have one of the most amazing bouldering destinations in the world at our doorstep - the Castle Hill / Flock Hill basin. It is definitely world class and worth going the distance to experience. There are also 100's of crags in the South Island to explore from sunny limestone clip-ups in Golden Bay to epic alpine granite in the Southern Alps.
How often do you add shapes to your current line up?
I try to release new sets every couple of months. If I go too long without carving I start getting itchy fingers!
Any holds you're particularly proud of?
Well, to get a set of 5 holds I will usually carve around 50 and choose the 5 I like the best so I'm pretty proud of them all. Any hold that lets you feel the subtlety and enjoyment of moving over rock is great in my books.
Any shout outs?
To all the climbers in the Northern Hemisphere freezing their asses off right now - remember it's summer over here. Tempted?