Heck yeah, wood feet!
I'll be honest. When we first discussed making wood feet, it was a bit of a joke. We weren't sure they would be fun to climb on and we weren't sure we could find the proper type of wood that would be durable enough, machine well, and also be cost effective.
The first couple tries didn't work out very well...but then we landed on these:
I put the prototypes on the blackboard at Earth Treks in Golden, CO. I wasn't expecting much, but was immediately blown away by two things:
- I put them on the wall with an 18V impact driver and they didn't crack! I was careful, for sure, but I've tried another companies' wooden feet and cracked them just by using a hand-wrench. I was very surprised. This actually prompted me to do a little test where I threaded an aluminum block and actually tried to break the foot with the impact driver. I did succeed, BUT it took more torque than I was expecting. For the sake of being extra careful I would recommend installing them with a hand-wrench, but you can use an impact driver with caution.
- I could actually PULL on the feet. We ended up using poplar for just this reason. Poplar is one of the tackiest woods we work with (if it were stronger we'd probably use it for more of our holds). You actually get quite a lot of friction on these feet. We even used the sloper feet in a 70-degree roof. They were difficult, but they definitely worked!
The sloper foot is primarily a push-foot, but with good foot pressure on a lower angle wall, you can pull on them too. The in-cut foot serves well as a pull-foot and a push-foot on all angles, roofs included.
Maybe I'm a crazy person, but I'm psyched on things that make my training a little more demanding in productive ways. Actually, no...thats what training is for, right!? I fell in love with the wood feet for the same reason that I love training on wood holds. They take more attention. You have to be more aware of each foot placement, how much pressure you use, the direction of the pressure, overall core tension... it's AWESOME.
Give 'em a shot...You'll be glad you did!