A few month’s back my girlfriend introduced me to rock climbing at a local gym. We signed up for a four-month contract, and started right away with all the bouldering and top-roping my heart could desire.
During that time I’ve learned so much about footwork and body positioning. Essentially, the balance of my body in relation to it’s base of support. Initially, I did suffer from a rather bad elbow pains, which I believe was due to weak tendons which have since strengthed! Hopefully I never suffer tendonitis.
Around a month and a half in I bought my first pair of rock climbing shoes from REI. For me that was a pair of Evolv’s Defy shoes. At a low cost, they felt and have served me well. Shoe’s seemed to make a huge impact in my technique. The rental pairs had a lot of variance between the pairs I was given and often even had issues with slipping on positive-edge holds.
My next purchase was a more comfortable harness, which in all honesty could have been a delayed purchase as I think I spend much more time bouldering than doing top-rope routes. Regardless, if you have a gut and some spare money, a harness is a comfortable improvement over the straps they rent to you at the gym.
After trying on some pairs I decided that I really liked the feeling of Black Mountain’s Momentum SA harness. The front has some great buckles that adjust with a downward pull. The waistband is a bit hard to pull back but we’d rather have sturdy than slippery, right?!
After that I grabbed a chalk bag from Black Diamond that has a nice little zipper on the back-side. Not much else to say about chalk bags. I think the chalks I’ll buy and use will be a much more interesting to research.