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What’s your favorite chalk?


Jon Frisby · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 120

I've tried all of these, and like them in descending order from: FL/Chalk Cartel/Flashed > Camp/BD/Metolius Blocks > Evolv/Endo > Chalkness Monster/Bison >>>>>: Metolius Super Chalk (drying agent splits the shit out of my skin). I only buy BD chalk but am psyched to get a sample from FL or Chalk Cartel  

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,249
Sam Deshler wrote: The difference between Metolious and Friction Labs is like night and day for me.  My hands are on the damper side.  With FL I don't have to chalk up nearly as much and that often makes a huge difference when cruxin' nawmean.

Yep, Metolius used to be my go to chalk, it can't even come close to comparing to Friction Labs.

Stephen C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

My favorite combo is Rhino Performance spray plus Black Diamond White Gold. I've used Friction Labs a lot in the past and have done comparisons with other chalks and the only difference I ever noticed is FL might stick to my skin slightly better. I didn't notice any difference in performance when climbing routes and boulders.

Harold Sutton · · Syracuse NY · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 1

Friction Labs is the best, it really did last longer and stayed on my hands longer.   But it comes at a high cost.

If I were just bouldering or doing limit climbing it would be my go to. However I have been doing much more alpine trips where my chalk may get dumped out or totally soaked from weather.  My Go to chalk for every day fun is Metolius, I just recently got a 15Oz bag for around $10. 

Floyd Eggers · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 341

LMAO this is the exact same thing as people arguing over which whey protein works the best. Its all the same and its all based on "proprietary" (aka inconsistent) mixtures. Plus, some probably comes from North Korean prison mines...

Jaren Watson · · Boise, ID · Joined May 2010 · Points: 1,848
Floyd Eggers wrote:Plus, some probably comes from North Korean prison mines...

Whey protein or chalk?

Floyd Eggers · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 341
Jaren Watson wrote:

Whey protein or chalk?

Probably both.. But the chalk specifically 

Jon Frisby · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 120
Floyd Eggers wrote: LMAO this is the exact same thing as people arguing over which whey protein works the best. Its all the same and its all based on "proprietary" (aka inconsistent) mixtures. Plus, some probably comes from North Korean prison mines...

this isn't true about protein nor about chalk. All of them are magnesium carbonate with some filler. But the filler varies and some folks (Metolius) are like the dude who puts PCP in the coke

Christian Prellwitz · · Telluride, CO · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 2,091

As someone who has an association with and produces media for several of these companies, I am fortunate to get chalk for free a lot of the time. So, without considerations of cost, I would put Chalk Cartel first and Friction Labs not too far behind. I personally find Chalk Cartel to have the best feel and I have definitely noticed a difference in its ability to keep my hands consistently drier. Friction Labs does a good job of that too. That being said, if cost is inhibitory, Frank Endo and Black Diamond block chalks are pretty well priced and still very good quality. In fact, I often mix in a block of these with my Chalk Cartel because I like having larger chunks. (Chalk Cartel is similar in chunkiness to Gorilla Grip from FL.) Chalk Cartel is about $1.70/oz and Black Diamond is about $1.00/oz. Frank Endo is usually a bit cheaper. Friction Labs is definitely a bit pricier at about $2.50/oz. So, Chalk Cartel is a nice happy medium of premium chalk meeting a decent price point.

Personally, I think Metolius chalk isn't very good, particularly the 'Super Chalk'.

However, proper skin care and use of products like Rhino Skin or Antihydral is also an important part of managing skin wetness/dryness and splits.

Paul Hutton · · Kansas City, MO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 740
Harumpfster Boondoggle wrote:

Absolutely goddamned right.

And it is awesome too. :P

Time for me to refill my bag, actually. Ibex session tonight, boi. 

Funkyseinfeldbassline · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 30

Endo

Doug Chism · · Arlington VA · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

Bison comp chalk.

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

I have never even heard of most of this stuff..... I buy whatever they have at EMS which lately has only been the Petzl stuff. used to get the bison blocks and liked that. tasted pretty good.

Aweffwef Fewfae · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0
Aaron Nash wrote: Just buy whatever is cheapest. Blocks, bags, whatever. It's chalk ffs.

Agreed. Is there any actual test data out there that shows that this "unicorn dust" or whatever actually yields more friction? I'm curious

yes there was. no there isn't. kind of, the results are summarized but no methods or results.

https://web.archive.org/web/20141024084045/frictionlabs.com:80/chalk-m…
not only was the 'science part' removed, the link to the paper is dead too.

the drying agent is 'magnesium carbonate', which we all call chalk. if you buy it from a chemistry store like fisher scientific, it'll be 99% MgCO3. this is not a viable market, unfortunately. it is far easier to mine what is mostly MgCO3 and simply package it without purification. this is because the purification will add cost and facilities, etc. as a result, most of the brands you buy will have a contract with a specific mining operation. that specific mine will have different compositions and it will rarely, if ever, have pure MgCO3. this is why unicorn dust purportedly had 85% where other brands had 68% or some such. however, this may change literally day to day depending on the consistency of that specific mine.

https://www.fishersci.com/shop/products/magnesium-carbonate-basic-100g/5090113933#?keyword=MAGNESIUM+CARBONATE+BASIC-100G
500 g of MgCO3 costs 100$.
i recommend against using this even if money was no object. many of the purification techniques in chemistry include heavy metals and may contain residual. trace exposures to humans can have devastating consequences.

here's a (maybe) double blind:
https://www.99boulders.com/best-climbing-chalk
not a prj obviously. methodology is gravely missing. for example, if they were done same day, wouldn't fatigue and time of day be a factor? if they were done on separate days, humidity would. same holds, cleanliness of holds, etc. was the hold tied to a weight+chalk and the duration measured? angle of hold?

if i had to guess, FL might use some basic purification that is certified as safe for human consumption. as a result, you'll see that reflected in the price. but it's kind of a moot point since most climbers find chalk to be tedious. many pro climbers have switched to antihydral to stop sweating in the first place. there is a medical procedure that permanently microwaves the pores in your hands shut. both of which are treatments for hyperhidrosis.
Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 175

For those who use liquid chalk I am genuinely wondering why? Frank Endo for me btw.

Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 175
Jon Frisby wrote:

this isn't true about protein nor about chalk. All of them are magnesium carbonate with some filler. But the filler varies and some folks (Metolius) are like the dude who puts PCP in the coke

Frank Endo says theirs is nothing but magnesium carbonate.

Professor Snax · · Atlanta · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 15

Block chalk. Whatever is cheapest and in bulk. 

Tim Lutz · · Colo-Rado Springs · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 5

Chalk Cartel

https://www.chalkcartel.com/​​​

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

I like to chalk it up to experience.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
Hobo Greg wrote: For those who use liquid chalk I am genuinely wondering why? Frank Endo for me btw.

HB:  I use Mammut liquid chalk as a base at the start of a climb. It removes the sunscreen and other slippery greasy stuff on my hands. It also helps the powdered chalk stick better. YMMV

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
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