Boone + Bailey Speed, FrictionLabs
In January 2020, with gyms popping up everywhere and climbing's Olympic debut just months away, the sport had no rival in terms of rising popularity. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on things, temporarily closing indoor climbing gyms and sending Americans flocking to outdoor recreation retailers to empty inventories of kayaks, bicycles, and practically every piece of gear needed for a socially distant outdoors experience. The hands-on, shared surfaces nature of rock climbing seemed a death sentence for the emerging activity (though a number of outdoor climbing spots have seen a surge of activity, indoor climbers account for 52% of the American climbing population).
Six months later, Colorado-based FrictionLabs is here to save the day with the world's first hygienic chalk.
When the pandemic arrived, FrictionLabs—one of our favorite grip providers—took to the drawing boards to develop the unique liquid chalk product, which is now available. The company has been offering liquid chalk for some time, though the new hygienic version of their Secret Stuff liquid chalk uses an 80% alcohol base–the concentration that is the recommended by WHO, CDC, as well as the FDA for alcohol-based sanitizer.
This stuff is a no brainer for those looking to get back to the crag or indoor climbing gym. Don't forget to mask-up!