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Best Beginner Belay device


Original Post
Nate Soy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

I'm about to jump into roped climbing and live 5 minutes from the best crag on island. Am I better off getting the Revo or the GriGri plus? Keep in mind I don't trust my GF belaying me (or anyone else for that matter). Obviously, We will learn proper belay technique.  Which is safer and more idiot proof in case of an accident?(Im leaning toward the Revo after hearing about accidents with the grigri- Ashima's Dad for example)

Adrienne DiRosario · · Troy, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

Here we go....10 pages easy

Nathan Hui · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

You are better off learning why belays fail, and practice/learn what constitutes a perfect belay.  Your best safety is your mind - no device can be made idiot-proof or failure proof.  IMO, the Revo has not been out long enough for anyone to determine whether or not it is safer than a GriGri.

If you actually want safety, get a backup belayer, and learn and practice belaying perfectly.  Do not rely on technology to make up for your failure to learn and mitigate the problem of belaying incorrectly.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535
Nathan Hui wrote:

You are better off learning why belays fail, and practice/learn what constitutes a perfect belay.  Your best safety is your mind - no device can be made idiot-proof or failure proof.  IMO, the Revo has not been out long enough for anyone to determine whether or not it is safer than a GriGri.

If you actually want safety, get a backup belayer, and learn and practice belaying perfectly.  Do not rely on technology to make up for your failure to learn and mitigate the problem of belaying incorrectly.

+1

All belay devices are safe if used correctly. Learn proper technique, understand the system, and make your own informed decisions on which device to use. 

Nate Soy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

Not trying to be a douche but honestly my GF is VERY accident prone. Like we almost get into a car accident 3 times today. Been in 2 major car accidents. She just almost dropped her sushi while I type this. So for people that tend to freeze up when things go bad...for example...When she crashed with me in the car she "panic" let go of both the wheel and the brake when we started heading off the road going about 50mph.

Pete Spri · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 286

lol!  Knowing this I would say do things that have more margin for error than climbing with her!  

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535
Nate Soy wrote:

Not trying to be a douche but honestly my GF is VERY accident prone. Like we almost get into a car accident 3 times today. Been in 2 major car accidents. She just almost dropped her sushi while I type this. So for people that tend to freeze up when things go bad...for example...When she crashed with me in the car she "panic" let go of both the wheel and the brake when we started heading off the road going about 50mph.

If you can't trust your partner with your life, there is no belay device that will fix that. 

Nathan Hui · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Nate Soy wrote:

Not trying to be a douche but honestly my GF is VERY accident prone. Like we almost get into a car accident 3 times today. Been in 2 major car accidents. She just almost dropped her sushi while I type this. So for people that tend to freeze up when things go bad...for example...When she crashed with me in the car she "panic" let go of both the wheel and the brake when we started heading off the road going about 50mph.

In this case, I would strongly recommend a backup belayer until you regain trust in your belayer, or simply not climbing with her.  Yes, this sucks, but it's your life.  Literally, in this case.  If someone cannot belay or be trusted to hold a top rope fall, they have no business managing a belay device.

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

If your GF is that accident prone I just wouldn't trust her period to belay unless you find that she has some kind of medical condition that can be fixed (hopefully without medication that could wear off while you are at the crag).  The most severe accident potential in climbing is very unforgiving, as in you're gonna die unforgiving.  From your description you would be better off doing lead solo than climbing with her (not recommending lead solo btw, you have to be 100% with your systems and your ability to check them yourself before climbing).

Racechinees . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

1. Learn how to belay properly

2. Read the manual (seriously, as an instructor I refer people back to the manual a lot. 'But it catches right?', well the manual has that method/combo marked with a X or death head, so are you telling me you know better than the manufacturer?)

3. Build confidence, with either, have a person overlooking the belayer or have a backup belayer (either have two belayers, one belaying toprope the other one lead. Or a second person also holding the brake side of the rope.  

4. Sometimes, some people just are no good at belaying. That ok, just move on. 

Tony B · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 5

1-     Seek instruction!!!...and maybe even separately at first- a good instructor will not pass you to belay if you truly can’t grasp the basics.  

3-     No piece of climbing gear is idiot proof- well maybe a chalk bag… but you never know. There are lots and lots of ways to die if equipment is not properly used. 


Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800
Nate Soy wrote:

Not trying to be a douche but honestly my GF is VERY accident prone. Like we almost get into a car accident 3 times today. Been in 2 major car accidents. She just almost dropped her sushi while I type this. So for people that tend to freeze up when things go bad...for example...When she crashed with me in the car she "panic" let go of both the wheel and the brake when we started heading off the road going about 50mph.

I have posted on numerous occasions - usually apologetically, as it always comes off harshly - that some folks just shouldn't be in this sport.  It's no joke. Some people are incredibly focused, process visual input extremely fast, and remain calm when the sh:t hits the fan. Others... none of these things. At some point the task of belaying needs to exclude the latter type of people.


Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 661

ATC is the best device for beginners.  I am much more nervous being belayed by a new climber on a gri gri. It's not the catch, it's the lowering...

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 735
Nate Soy wrote:

Not trying to be a douche but honestly my GF is VERY accident prone. Like we almost get into a car accident 3 times today. Been in 2 major car accidents. She just almost dropped her sushi while I type this. So for people that tend to freeze up when things go bad...for example...When she crashed with me in the car she "panic" let go of both the wheel and the brake when we started heading off the road going about 50mph.

Wow! Some people are definitely more clumsy and uncoordinated than others, so maybe your GF isn't cut to be a belayer. Or maybe she just needs a lot more careful and precise teaching and a lot more practice (with backup) than an average person. Device won't matter so much as consistency and lots and lots of practice, including a practice with catching falls. Obviously, with a backup.

Nick B · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 81
  • Given what you described I suggest getting her a Tru blue.  It would be the only safe way to climb with her.  only 2500$......   



All jokes aside, I wouldn't climb with her belaying you based on your description. If your going to do it anyways maybe a wild country Revo.

Evan Jeffrey · · Kansas City, MO · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 20

I feel like beginners should avoid assisted-braking devices for their first device so as not to come to rely on the assistance of a GriGri, etc. but that's the least of your worries if you don't even trust your belayer to begin with. Having her take a belay class might not be a bad idea.

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
Evan Jeffrey wrote:

I feel like beginners should avoid assisted-braking devices for their first device so as not to come to rely on the assistance of a GriGri, etc. but that's the least of your worries if you don't even trust your belayer to begin with. Having her take a belay class might not be a bad idea.

I will dispute that a bit.  If I'm teaching someone to belay in an area with higher rockfall potential I would opt for an assisted locking device and a helmet for them.  That said, I would try my best to avoid that scenario with a noob in the first place.

Evan Jeffrey · · Kansas City, MO · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 20
Christopher Smith wrote:

I will dispute that a bit.  If I'm teaching someone to belay in an area with higher rockfall potential I would opt for an assisted locking device and a helmet for them.  That said, I would try my best to avoid that scenario with a noob in the first place.

Yeah fair enough, I guess I was imagining a more controlled environment where a beginner could learn on a basic tube-style device before moving on to an assisted one but in a scenario like you described yeah you'd for sure want all the extra safety possible.

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 124
Nate Soy wrote:

Not trying to be a douche but honestly my GF is VERY accident prone. Like we almost get into a car accident 3 times today. Been in 2 major car accidents. She just almost dropped her sushi while I type this. So for people that tend to freeze up when things go bad...for example...When she crashed with me in the car she "panic" let go of both the wheel and the brake when we started heading off the road going about 50mph.

TBH I would not let her belay me with any belay device, and I'd be even less likely to get in the car with her behind the wheel.

I get that you like the gal, but part of a healthy relationship is understanding the limitations of the person you're in a relationship with. It doesn't mean you love her less, it's just that (I'm guessing here) you don't want to die.

Kevin Mcbride · · Canmore AB · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 160

If you use an atc you will immediately kill yourself, the climber, and anyone in a 100m radius. Anyone who uses one of the death contraptions is willfully negligent and needs to be educated on the glory and safety of an assisted braking device

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50
Nate Soy wrote:

Obviously, We will learn proper belay technique.  Which is safer and more idiot proof in case of an accident?

If the former proposition is anything more just wishful thinking the latter does matter nothing.

If the former proposition is a wishful thinking there is nothing to help you.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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