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Crack Hangboard


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pforien · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 5

Anyone using or having used a crack hangboard? (I don't have the space for a crack machine) Was it useful? Did you see any good results? I recently got hooked on crack climbing but unfortunately, do not live close to any good crack climbs. Thanks for the help. Cheers!

will ar · · San Antonio, TX · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 270

I have a crack built into my home wall and used to have an adjustable crack machine, but have never used a crack hangboard. I doubt it would be of much value though. Doing well on cracks often depends on endurance (not trained well on a hangboard) and technique (also not trained well on a hangboard). You might be able to work on your technique for good hands or fists on a hangboard style setup, but I don't think there would much carryover in the other sizes.

Most people I know that climb harder cracks (say 12s and 13s) do a lot of sport climbing to stay in shape. What's your current ability on cracks? If you're in the 8 or 9 range a crack hangboard might have some benefit, but you'd probably progress pretty quickly to a point of diminishing returns. If you want to feel solid on more challenging cracks I think a better long term plan may be to climb hard in a gym when you can't make it outside, but spend as much time getting mileage on cracks when you can get on real rock.

pforien · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 5

Thanks, Will. That's super helpful. I sport climb in the 11+ range but I'm fairly new to crack climbing. I thought a crack hangboard would help with hand strength/conditioning by hanging off different jams. But I think you're right and I am going to mainly focus on improving my sport climbing abilities and practice crack climbing whenever I have the opportunity to go outdoor. Cheers 

Bobby Mustard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 3,270

On the subject, Anyone had any success with a ringlock or thumbstack hangboard or trainer? 

A Johnson · · Atascadero · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 230

I've built an adjustable crack hangboard and found that it really helped me (not a crack climber) get used to the proper hand flexing for the ideal situation. Obviously the crack hangboard is easier on your hands and sized however you like it. If you don't climb cracks often then it can help you gain a little confidence and comfort with how it works. Fun project to build too.

Alex Kowalcyk · · Blaine, WA · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 65

Make sure to do pinch holds on the hangboard to exercise your thumbs which get tired during handcracks.

pforien · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 5

Thanks guys!

Nimetz · · Durango, CO · Joined May 2014 · Points: 35

.5 trainer

pforien · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 5

Looks awesome!

Zack s · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

What do you guys think about this? 

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 513
Zack s wrote:

What do you guys think about this?

Looks like it might be a bit shallow in the wider sections. Is that painted and textured wood or real rock?

Brian Boyd · · Kowloon, Hong Kong · Joined Oct 2005 · Points: 3,540

A poor substitute for a full-on crack machine, but all I can fit in my apartment.

Zack s · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

It’s concrete, and it’s about 4 1/2” deep but I like it because I can use my whole body vs just hanging 

DANC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 10
Brian Boyd wrote:

A poor substitute for a full-on crack machine, but all I can fit in my apartment.

This is the best! Could even be adjustable.

DANC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 10
Zack s wrote:

What do you guys think about this?

Creative!

Dennis · · Boston, MA · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 555

I think there's no substitute for actual crack climbing to develop technique and efficiency. Also agree with Will above about sport climbing for staying in shape, especially for finger cracks. However, I've had success increasing endurance and strength of the hand muscles (thenar and hypothenar eminences) most important for hand cracks using a crack hangboard. This one was built for $25 in about 20 minutes. The shims allow for some adjustability as well. 

It all hinges on how you use it to train. With some creative sling placement, this can be hung at an angle and several overhung jams can be made with feet on the floor or a crate. Do this with a timer for 5 minutes and you'll feel a deep burn reminiscent of any long hand crack. I like to keep the width at thin hands as perfect hands is too easy and doesn't give me the aforementioned pump. Also try hand over hand jam placements. 

Or if used as in the photos below, I do pullups and core exercises off the jams. 

Happy training!

 

Gabe Cisneros · · Baltimore, md · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 15

Brian Boyd · · Kowloon, Hong Kong · Joined Oct 2005 · Points: 3,540

As an alternative to making the crack board adjustable, you can build it to have different widths.  This layout allows me to practice different types of jams -- from thin hands to cupped.  

Step 1: Start with a eight foot 2x10.  Cut two 3' sections of the 2x10; these will be the front and back panels of the board.  Using the remaining section of the 2x10, I cut two spacer pieces for the ends.  You will want to adjust these to the size of your own hands.  Incredible Hand Crack is perfect hands for me, and my spacers were cut at 1 inch and 5/8.  The spacers will determine the thinnest section of the crack.

Next, you will mark off six different positions on the board: two for thin hands, two for full, or standard hands, and two for wide hands.  You will need to mark off an inch and a half at either end for the spacers.  The remainder of the board will be divided into six evenly sized sections; these are roughly five and a half inches for each section.  When you are done, it should look like this:

 

Step 2: Section Markings

Those lines you just drew are going to disappear pretty soon.  Once the board is hung, it is also handy to have a visual reference for the boundaries of each section.  Using an angle grinder, I burned small grooves on the bottom of both boards to mark the different sections:


Step 3: Adjusting Width

You will want to trim out sections of each 2x10x3' to create the varying crack widths.  Using the thin hand segments as a baseline, you will slightly trim the two sections marked for Full Hands.  The two sections marked for Wide Hands should be more deeply trimmed than the Full Hands sections.  Belt sander (extra coarse) works best, router is overkill.  

You want to routinely flip the two 3' sections together to see if you've trimmed out enough material.  The Full Hands sections should be what you consider a 'bomber' size, Thin Hands should only take part of your hand, and Wide should be slightly cupped.  Try and make sure that both sections of a given size are comparable too.  Angle grinder can be used to add some texture.

When you are happy with the sizes, I made a last pass with the belt sander using a fine belt, then hand sand with a flexible block.  When finished, the boards have an irregular surface, but everything smoothed out so there is no potential for splinters.  The differences in size are difficult to photograph, but here are mine after they've been cleaned up:

 


Zack s · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0
DANC wrote:

Creative!

Thanks! I was really just trying to get a few different sizes to test out the concrete and I like the way it feels so I want to build a crack column or something taller in my garage haha 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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