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This review appeared in Rock and Ice issue 249 (April 2018).
When I first felt the Concept Climbing Solution hangboard, I thought I had been sent a manufacturing dud—the holds were asymmetrical. The outer pockets in a given row had different depths, same with the inner pockets. Only after going back and forth did I realize the “screw up” was on purpose. A left outer hold matched a right inner hold, and vice versa, on every row. While most hangboards require wider or narrower hand positions for different holds, the Solution maintains a constant distance between paired holds so your shoulders and wrists are always the same distance apart.
Machine routed from a single piece of plantation-grown mahogany, this Australian-made woody is beautiful and body friendly. The fine and uniform grain of the hardwood paired with the board’s gently rounded edges make it easy on the skin, yet it doesn’t feel overly slick. I’ve used many plastic hangboards over the years—never with much consistency since I find hangboarding miserable—but the Solution’s texture is so tolerable, even for worn fingertips, that I actually use it.
From jugs to monos, the Solution has enough variety of hand positions, 15 in all, to please both the beginner and experienced climber. It has one set of incut jugs, three sets of slopers (30, 37.5 and 42.5 degree), four sets of edges (.27, .39, .71 and 1.1 inches), three sets of two-finger pockets (.75, .94 and 1.38 inches), two sets of mono pockets (.83 and .98 inches), a one-arm edge of .87 inches, and a one arm two-finger pocket of 1.38 inches.
My only qualm with the hold design—besides having no desire to pull on monos—is that you need gecko feet to stick the 42.5 degree slopers. I can’t hold them for a second, but maybe I just need to get stronger. Mounting is easy, same as any hangboard, although you will need plywood backing to attach it to drywall since the board’s screw holes are only 12 inches apart and won’t span the standard 16 or 24 inches between wall studs.
Price is a mark against the Solution. At $167.36 plus $29.55 for international shipping, the Solution is one of the priciest hangboards out there. But the Solution’s high-quality wood, design and craftsmanship make hangboarding a little less torturous, and that alone makes it worth the price.
• Skin-friendly texture and rounded edges
• Asymmetrical design for comfortable shoulder and wrist alignment
• 15 different holds, compact size
• No pinches