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triskadekaphilia
Oct 29, 2004


I just bought some La Sportiva Cobras size 38.5 off backcountry, because I have nowhere to try them on locally. I'm a women's 9.5-10 typically, so that's putting me down 2-2.5 sizes from my street shoes, but the reviews all range from saying to get them from 2 sizes down to 4 (which sounds really extreme to me, but I am far from an advanced climber so...).

I have Five Ten Rogues right now that I think are equivalent to a women's 9, and I never liked the way the fit/they didn't stretch like I thought they would. Am I going to be miserable in the Cobras? How painfully tight should they be when I first put them on, so I know if I need to go up or down with a return? I really like the idea of the slip-ons, because my gym is almost exclusively bouldering and I moved to FL so it's not like I'm going to be climbing trad, or outdoors period, anytime soon again.

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Reformed Tomboy
Feb 2, 2005

chu~~

triskadekaphilia posted:

I just bought some La Sportiva Cobras size 38.5 off backcountry, because I have nowhere to try them on locally. I'm a women's 9.5-10 typically, so that's putting me down 2-2.5 sizes from my street shoes, but the reviews all range from saying to get them from 2 sizes down to 4 (which sounds really extreme to me, but I am far from an advanced climber so...).

I have Five Ten Rogues right now that I think are equivalent to a women's 9, and I never liked the way the fit/they didn't stretch like I thought they would. Am I going to be miserable in the Cobras? How painfully tight should they be when I first put them on, so I know if I need to go up or down with a return? I really like the idea of the slip-ons, because my gym is almost exclusively bouldering and I moved to FL so it's not like I'm going to be climbing trad, or outdoors period, anytime soon again.

My guess is that the reason the Rogue's didn't stretch out as much as you thought they would is because the tops are synthetic, not leather (synthetic stretches less and differently than leather does). The part around your foot is leather, but not the tops. Expect the Cobra's to break in very well and stretch out nearly a full size. This is because they are fully leather and unlined. That is probably why people are saying 4 sizes down, because after they break in they'll be closer to only 3 sizes down.

As for fitting, they should be very tight and slightly uncomfortable, but not painful. You basically want them to feel on the verge of pain, but without pain. This ensures the fit will still be good after they stretch, but not cause injury before hand. The un-comfort will lessen as they stretch out. Just make sure your toes are not too pinched as the toe box (and anywhere that is covered in rubber) won't stretch.

Booyah-
Dec 21, 2004



triskadekaphilia posted:

I just bought some La Sportiva Cobras size 38.5 off backcountry, because I have nowhere to try them on locally. I'm a women's 9.5-10 typically, so that's putting me down 2-2.5 sizes from my street shoes, but the reviews all range from saying to get them from 2 sizes down to 4 (which sounds really extreme to me, but I am far from an advanced climber so...).

I have Five Ten Rogues right now that I think are equivalent to a women's 9, and I never liked the way the fit/they didn't stretch like I thought they would. Am I going to be miserable in the Cobras? How painfully tight should they be when I first put them on, so I know if I need to go up or down with a return? I really like the idea of the slip-ons, because my gym is almost exclusively bouldering and I moved to FL so it's not like I'm going to be climbing trad, or outdoors period, anytime soon again.

I have Sportiva Pythons, which are very similar to the Cobra, just with an extra velcro strap up top. Mine are Euro 43 and my street shoe size is around 45. Mine fit well and stretched out a little, but are quite aggressive and painful to walk around on for too long.

When you get them, try them on over carpet and see how painful it is to stand up. If it's intolerable then my advice is you'd be better off going a half size up than waiting for months to see if they get better.

magicalmako
Feb 13, 2005


This not being able to climb because of bruised soft tissue in my shoulder is really lame.

Caf
May 21, 2004

I'm King James! The Lion King!

henne posted:

Eat well coming into the comp. Don't warm up too hard, you probably have more climbing time then you can use if you climb like its a workout. Get an idea of the whole comp's point system or whatever and figure out how hard you want to climb and which routes are in that range. Take your time climbing, read the routes heavily as you wait your turn in the stack. Climb efficiently and rest between attempts,and take time to eat and drink throughout the day. Don't get too attached to one problem because it is so close and ignore potentially higher point values. If you can find a route that has a crux that is just your "style" it may be worth more points and more fun to climb. Have fun with it, it's still just climbing which is all because it's so fun.

Thanks for this.

The comp wasn't point based, it was strictly elimination. Finish five problems in the first round (probably V0-V1) to make it to round two. Finish five problems in the second round (V0-V3) to make it to the elimination round. We got three falls to start the elimination round and three more after completing the third problem.

I made it to the elimination round (which was my goal) but due to the unluck of the random draw ended up being the second climber. The first problem was easy but the climber ahead of me had trouble on the second so when I sent it on my attempt I became first in line for the rest. Wasted one fall each on problems three and four (it really was tough going first without the benefit of learning from someone else's attempt). I fell three times on the crux of problem five and when I nailed it on my last try the entire gym started yelling and it felt awesome. Finally eliminated at the crux of problem six but man, that was so much fun.

I can't wait to do it again.

asur
Dec 28, 2012


Caf posted:

Thanks for this.

The comp wasn't point based, it was strictly elimination. Finish five problems in the first round (probably V0-V1) to make it to round two. Finish five problems in the second round (V0-V3) to make it to the elimination round. We got three falls to start the elimination round and three more after completing the third problem.

I made it to the elimination round (which was my goal) but due to the unluck of the random draw ended up being the second climber. The first problem was easy but the climber ahead of me had trouble on the second so when I sent it on my attempt I became first in line for the rest. Wasted one fall each on problems three and four (it really was tough going first without the benefit of learning from someone else's attempt). I fell three times on the crux of problem five and when I nailed it on my last try the entire gym started yelling and it felt awesome. Finally eliminated at the crux of problem six but man, that was so much fun.

I can't wait to do it again.

I've never been to a bouldering competition and only watched the Bouldering World Cup, but at least in that they gave all the climbers time at the start to see the problem and then moved them to an area where they couldn't see the problem or the current person's attempts. Is this unusual or only applicable to top level events? Seeing another person attempt a problem when you have limited attempts seems like it would give you a huge advantage such that unless there is a large skill gap the people going first are almost guaranteed to not win.

Caf
May 21, 2004

I'm King James! The Lion King!

I assume it works that way for serious business climbing where the number of entrants is already very limited. This was open to anyone (there were ~100 climbers) and focused way more on just having fun and socializing.

Sigmund Fraud
Jul 31, 2005



I've just been to one bouldering competition. It was a social thing where you had three hours to finish as many boulder problems you could of 40 brand new ones. They ranged from blue to green taped (Swedish grades) - about Font 4 to 8A (V0- to V11). Prices were raffled off to all participants. Best bouldering session of the year!

triskadekaphilia posted:

I just bought some La Sportiva Cobras size 38.5 off backcountry, because I have nowhere to try them on locally. I'm a women's 9.5-10 typically, so that's putting me down 2-2.5 sizes from my street shoes, but the reviews all range from saying to get them from 2 sizes down to 4 (which sounds really extreme to me, but I am far from an advanced climber so...).

I have Five Ten Rogues right now that I think are equivalent to a women's 9, and I never liked the way the fit/they didn't stretch like I thought they would. Am I going to be miserable in the Cobras? How painfully tight should they be when I first put them on, so I know if I need to go up or down with a return? I really like the idea of the slip-ons, because my gym is almost exclusively bouldering and I moved to FL so it's not like I'm going to be climbing trad, or outdoors period, anytime soon again.

I have them. I'm a guy with EU size 40 for my street shoes. Python sizes have been 37, 36.5 and 36 (3-4 sizes smaller). All three sizes fit well and not too painful. Other climbing shoes have been 1-2 sizes smaller and felt similarly tight. It'll be less if you have wide feet :)

The toe box is somewhat moderately downturned to allow for overhanging climbs and recessed holes, while being somewhat worse at slab climbing although the flexibility somewhat alleviates that. The rubber is very sticky compared to newbie shoes so you will stick to worse smears. A downside to sticky rubber is that you will wear them much more quickly if you have bad footwork. Practice silent feet and they will last you much longer!

Sigmund Fraud fucked around with this message at 09:04 on Dec 16, 2013

Nifty
Aug 31, 2004



Anecdote: I broke my foot climbing last week! Everyone, when you are climbing at gyms with moveable crash pads, PLEASE make sure you move the crash pad to exactly where it needs to be. I just got back from getting surgery to put three screws in my foot, and there is a possibility of arthritis after breaking my specific bone (though thankfully doctor said I should be okay).

My friend just found this article, which is also basically verbatim what happened to me. Recommended reading:

http://touchstoneclimbing.com/news

triskadekaphilia
Oct 29, 2004


^^^^ I've never broken anything climbing, but I have fallen on crash pads at just the right angle to roll my ankle and am way more careful about positioning (or even using them at all when the floor is padded anyways) now. Hope you heal quickly/cleanly.

Sigmund Fraud posted:

I've just been to one bouldering competition. It was a social thing where you had three hours to finish as many boulder problems you could of 40 brand new ones. They ranged from blue to green taped (Swedish grades) - about Font 4 to 8A (V0- to V11). Prices were raffled off to all participants. Best bouldering session of the year!


I have them. I'm a guy with EU size 40 for my street shoes. Python sizes have been 37, 36.5 and 36 (3-4 sizes smaller). All three sizes fit well and not too painful. Other climbing shoes have been 1-2 sizes smaller and felt similarly tight. It'll be less if you have wide feet :)

The toe box is somewhat moderately downturned to allow for overhanging climbs and recessed holes, while being somewhat worse at slab climbing although the flexibility somewhat alleviates that. The rubber is very sticky compared to newbie shoes so you will stick to worse smears. A downside to sticky rubber is that you will wear them much more quickly if you have bad footwork. Practice silent feet and they will last you much longer!


Caddrel posted:

I have Sportiva Pythons, which are very similar to the Cobra, just with an extra velcro strap up top. Mine are Euro 43 and my street shoe size is around 45. Mine fit well and stretched out a little, but are quite aggressive and painful to walk around on for too long.

When you get them, try them on over carpet and see how painful it is to stand up. If it's intolerable then my advice is you'd be better off going a half size up than waiting for months to see if they get better.


Reformed Tomboy posted:

My guess is that the reason the Rogue's didn't stretch out as much as you thought they would is because the tops are synthetic, not leather (synthetic stretches less and differently than leather does). The part around your foot is leather, but not the tops. Expect the Cobra's to break in very well and stretch out nearly a full size. This is because they are fully leather and unlined. That is probably why people are saying 4 sizes down, because after they break in they'll be closer to only 3 sizes down.

As for fitting, they should be very tight and slightly uncomfortable, but not painful. You basically want them to feel on the verge of pain, but without pain. This ensures the fit will still be good after they stretch, but not cause injury before hand. The un-comfort will lessen as they stretch out. Just make sure your toes are not too pinched as the toe box (and anywhere that is covered in rubber) won't stretch.

Thanks for the advice! I got them in and tried them on... they are super super tight, and it hurts to walk in them (which I expected and doesn't matter since they are for climbing...), but standing on carpet they are bearable and it does feel like they will stretch to where I want them. I think I have slightly wide feet for a girl, but have never had any trouble in guys shoes, so I'm guessing size wise they are probably right where I want them. I'm just a big baby who wears flip flops 95% of the time and isn't used to things on her feet.

Even just putting them on they feel like they are going to have more give eventually than my rogues on the top, which is what bothered me. Could be all in my head, but I guess I'll find out. Either way, they sure are pretty.

triskadekaphilia fucked around with this message at 20:10 on Dec 18, 2013

jackchaos
Aug 6, 2008


I set at a gym and have seen so many rolled ankles from bad pad placement. That unless I'm on the 17 foot wall I will opt out of a pad.

French Canadian
Feb 23, 2004

Fluffy cat sensory experience


My non-scientific observation suggests that gyms with pads that need to be moved around create more diligent outdoor boulderers, such that they are used to spotting and getting pads in the right place. At my gym, which has a fully padded floor, people rarely spot you unless you ask. I definitely noticed a paradigm shift when said gym opened shop, because a majority of us moved from an older gym with pads, and afterwards it was pretty obvious that we got a little lazy about spotting and pad placement when climbing outdoors.

modig
Aug 20, 2002


French Canadian posted:

My non-scientific observation suggests that gyms with pads that need to be moved around create more diligent outdoor boulderers, such that they are used to spotting and getting pads in the right place. At my gym, which has a fully padded floor, people rarely spot you unless you ask. I definitely noticed a paradigm shift when said gym opened shop, because a majority of us moved from an older gym with pads, and afterwards it was pretty obvious that we got a little lazy about spotting and pad placement when climbing outdoors.

This is probably true, but I love the fully padded floors. So easy to just climb anything.

Dumbdog
Sep 13, 2011


What are everyone's aims for the new year then? Id really like to get more 7B+s done and maybe break into 7C. Also trips to the lake district and north wales as often as possible would be good.

Endjinneer
Aug 17, 2005


Fallen Rib

Dumbdog posted:

What are everyone's aims for the new year then? Id really like to get more 7B+s done and maybe break into 7C. Also trips to the lake district and north wales as often as possible would be good.

New year's resolutions time already? Mine are, in rough chronological order:
Lead 6c indoors consistently
Climb all the V3-V5 circuit at the wall
Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis (Winter)
Point Five Gully, Ben Nevis
Frensis Direct, Brimham (First E number)
Great Western, Almscliff
A Dream Of White Horses
Traverse of the Cuillins
Traverse of La Meije

tynam
May 14, 2007


Question - when did you all start training on hangboards? (If at all?)

I'm about 3 months into climbing now and am completely addicted to it, going to my local gym 3+ times a week, or as often as my hands can hold up. I've got to a point where I'm at a physical roadblock - I just can't do crimping problems, and all the unfinished problems and routes require them.

Is 3 months enough time for me not to gently caress up my fingers? I've heard it's bad to do finger training as a beginner, but it's hard to see any way around it for me now. I plan on open-handed and half-crimps to build up my finger strength first, but if the consensus is "it's a bad idea," what are my alternatives?

Papercut
Aug 24, 2005

The quickest substitution in the history of the NBA

With only 3 months climbing, I would suggest that it's more likely your footwork and body positioning that is preventing you from doing crimpy problems. I would do lots of footwork exercises and stem or drop knee problems to learn how to use everything below the waste to take weight off of your fingers. Unless you're using a hangboard for times when you can't get to the gym or outside, just going climbing is going to be a way more effective form of training.

Baldbeard
Mar 26, 2011



tynam posted:

Question - when did you all start training on hangboards? (If at all?)

I'm about 3 months into climbing now and am completely addicted to it, going to my local gym 3+ times a week, or as often as my hands can hold up. I've got to a point where I'm at a physical roadblock - I just can't do crimping problems, and all the unfinished problems and routes require them.

Is 3 months enough time for me not to gently caress up my fingers? I've heard it's bad to do finger training as a beginner, but it's hard to see any way around it for me now. I plan on open-handed and half-crimps to build up my finger strength first, but if the consensus is "it's a bad idea," what are my alternatives?

I would wait at least another few months and see if you see natural improvement from regular climbing. Footwork is immensely important, and general forearm/hand strength is just as important as ™FingerStrength™ when it comes to crimps. Especially seeing as how you are going 3+ times a week or "as often as my hands can hold up", a fingerboard or overdoing it on crimps sounds like a terrible idea.

tynam
May 14, 2007


Thanks for the advice. The problem I'm having is that I've never actually done any kind of crimpy holds before, and I can't even get on one to start. For example, a V3 with a low crimp grip start - just to get on I need to somehow hold a really freakin thin edge.

I really understand how important footwork is, especially since my goal is ultimately sport/lead climbing and I want to be as economic with my climbing as possible. It's just that in my current schedule of bouldering, I want to see if I can get to a point where I can even attempt crimpy holds.

I just got a tip from another friend to just do easy climbs, but only using the top two digits of my fingers for all the holds. Going to try this out tonight, might not need the hangboard after all.

DannyTanner
Jan 9, 2010



Dumbdog posted:

What are everyone's aims for the new year then? Id really like to get more 7B+s done and maybe break into 7C. Also trips to the lake district and north wales as often as possible would be good.
Climb outside! Bought myself a rope for Christmas. :getin:

Baldbeard
Mar 26, 2011



tynam posted:

Thanks for the advice. The problem I'm having is that I've never actually done any kind of crimpy holds before, and I can't even get on one to start. For example, a V3 with a low crimp grip start - just to get on I need to somehow hold a really freakin thin edge.

I really understand how important footwork is, especially since my goal is ultimately sport/lead climbing and I want to be as economic with my climbing as possible. It's just that in my current schedule of bouldering, I want to see if I can get to a point where I can even attempt crimpy holds.

I just got a tip from another friend to just do easy climbs, but only using the top two digits of my fingers for all the holds. Going to try this out tonight, might not need the hangboard after all.

V3 in particular is a pretty big benchmark. It's usually the point where setters start phasing out jugs completely and working in crimps, slopers, and bigger movements as the meat and potatoes of a route. It's also the point where balance starts to become more important than brute strength. Literally every climber starts hitting a lot of crimps for the first time and thinks their fingers aren't strong enough. It's like how everyone learning how to play guitar thinks their fingers are too big/small when they start learning advanced cords.

If your gym sets anything like mine, by the time you can comfortably complete most V3s, you will probably be able to do a lot of V2s with 1 hand tied behind your back. In other words, don't fret the crimps. It takes a while.

Reformed Tomboy
Feb 2, 2005

chu~~

tynam posted:

Question - when did you all start training on hangboards? (If at all?)

I'd hang on a hang board at 3 months, but not attempt to do any 'proper' exercises on it.

tynam posted:

snip - I want to see if I can get to a point where I can even attempt crimpy holds.

Ask your gym to put up a crimp ladder - V1, all crimps, straight up a wall. It helps beginners learn how to grab crimps without also having to focus on other stuff as when working on a real problem. My gym had one up for like 4 weeks, and every time I'd just work it until my arms gave out. I was really sad when they took it down... I should see if they'll do it again.

Papercut
Aug 24, 2005

The quickest substitution in the history of the NBA

tynam posted:

For example, a V3 with a low crimp grip start - just to get on I need to somehow hold a really freakin thin edge.

This is still usually an example of a footwork problem. I see beginners all the time on starts like this with their hips square to the wall, locked off with hands and feet directly in front of them. Usually they should be in something closer to a ninja pose (one leg bent under your body with a straight leg braced way out to the side).

tynam
May 14, 2007


Papercut posted:

This is still usually an example of a footwork problem. I see beginners all the time on starts like this with their hips square to the wall, locked off with hands and feet directly in front of them. Usually they should be in something closer to a ninja pose (one leg bent under your body with a straight leg braced way out to the side).

Haha I know what you're talking about, most of the sit starts or low starts barely have any footholds, it's all edging/smearing the wall like hell. I'll try to take a pic of it today if I remember.

I can actually do the other V3s that don't involve crimps. Blargh.

Reformed Tomboy posted:

Ask your gym to put up a crimp ladder - V1, all crimps, straight up a wall. It helps beginners learn how to grab crimps without also having to focus on other stuff as when working on a real problem. My gym had one up for like 4 weeks, and every time I'd just work it until my arms gave out. I was really sad when they took it down... I should see if they'll do it again.

This is a fantastic idea, thanks! Definitely going to ask, the staff/setters at the gym are all pretty cool people.

Caf
May 21, 2004

I'm King James! The Lion King!

Dumbdog posted:

What are everyone's aims for the new year then?

In 2014 I will:

Send my first V5
Try lead climbing
Climb outside!

modig
Aug 20, 2002


I'm going into the year injured, so my goal is just to be able to climb in the gym regularly at some point. But I want to give an idea for a fun and totally doable goal that I did two years ago:

Climb outside every month of the year.

Teeter
Jul 21, 2005

Hey guys! I'm having a good time, what about you?

Papercut posted:

This is still usually an example of a footwork problem. I see beginners all the time on starts like this with their hips square to the wall, locked off with hands and feet directly in front of them. Usually they should be in something closer to a ninja pose (one leg bent under your body with a straight leg braced way out to the side).

Here's a visual guide to what Papercut described, provided by The Self Coached Climber (a fantastic book if you're good at learning this way):






Keeping your body balanced and your center of gravity in the right position is crucial for things like crimps and slopers. It allows you to use gravity against the rock, providing tension without needing to use any muscle.

George H.W. Cunt
Oct 6, 2010



I just joined the gym so my goals are to finally get into all this nonsense. I am on the cusp of an easier 5.10 and can probably knock out a V0-1 depending. So I guess I'd like to do some lead climbing eventually and get halfway decent at bouldering.

weekly font
Dec 1, 2004


Everytime I try to fly I fall
Without my wings
I feel so small
Guess I need you baby...





After not being able to climb more than 2 or 3 times in December due to illness/finals/holidays I have regressed to the point where V2s are really hard again. :smith:

jackchaos
Aug 6, 2008


2014 first v10 and first big wall route, here's going porta ledge or go home.

pokchu
Aug 22, 2007
D:

2014: Some solid attempts on V12, and learning how to set around V10 consistently.

Regarding V3 chat: quite a few gyms set everything up to V2-3 as open feet to stress the importance of proper footwork. That is to say, problems with harder holds than usual problems of that grade, but the opportunity to learn optimal foot placement to counteract it. Try working on something harder, but allowing yourself the same freedom of footwork. As an aside, jumping on things that are outside of your range is one of the best ways to get better as well as to build strength and confidence. Many climbers (and not just new ones) make the mistake of only trying what they think they can send. Instead, if something looks fun and interesting, try it, regardless of grade. If one move in particular looks really cool, climb up to it on easier holds and just try that one move. One thing you could potentially as of your gym in that vein is to hold off on grading new problems for a few days after they are set. It removes that mental grade barrier and lets you give it everything you've got without a preconceived notion of difficulty or likelihood of failure. Personally, that was a huge thing that helped me get better mentally and physically.

guppy
Sep 21, 2004

sting like a byob

weekly font posted:

After not being able to climb more than 2 or 3 times in December due to illness/finals/holidays I have regressed to the point where V2s are really hard again. :smith:

Yeah, between minor injuries to myself, major ones to my friends, and the holiday season I've climbed like twice in three weeks. I'm ready to go back but I am sure I will be much worse than I was, and I still have to sort out regular climbing partners while my usual ones are recovering. :(

Niyqor
Dec 1, 2003

Paid for by the meat council of America

pokchu posted:

One thing you could potentially as of your gym in that vein is to hold off on grading new problems for a few days after they are set. It removes that mental grade barrier and lets you give it everything you've got without a preconceived notion of difficulty or likelihood of failure.

The bouldering area where I climb is just so poorly labeled that it is hard to tell a problem's rating. Once I got used to that I kind of started to like it.

Kefit
May 16, 2006
layl


My goal was to send a V4 before the end of 2013. That didn't happen, though I did get a V3+ a couple of weeks ago.

Oh well. I guess that just means I'll have to send a few V5s before the end of 2014!

spwrozek
Sep 4, 2006

Sail when it's windy



My goal is more multi pitch. Maybe even go the gym a few times in the winter. Also want to send 2 boulder problems that I didn't finish the few times I tried them (a v1 and v3).

TotallyUnoriginal
Oct 15, 2004

Damnit bob

My goal? Let my goddamn fingers heal :negative:

Injuries have destroyed 2013 in terms of climbing progression, ugh!

Iriquois
Jun 6, 2013


I've just started bouldering again after deciding that normal gyms are boring and full of crappy people.

I can do most of the V1-V2 routes at my climbing gym so my main aim for the next year is to move up the grades, but I have no idea how long it will take or how big the skill/strength gap is between V grades.

I'm a lanky bastard with not a huge amount of upper body strength but my issues seem to stem from my overall technique which is pretty sloppy at current, so improving that would be a bonus.

Headhunter
Jun 3, 2003
One - You lock the target

My goal for 2014 is to be able to consistently complete problems in the V3-5 range. I've done quite a few V3s and one V4 which is pretty good considering I've only been climbing 5 months but this year I want to try and make sure I don't completely plateau.

SlimPickens
Nov 8, 2010


Any Los Angeles goons in need or want of a climbing partner for the next month? I'm spending all of January in Orange County and would like to get on some rock while I'm there.

Or if anybody has climbed there and has suggestions that would be awesome too.

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Tarnien
Jul 4, 2003
Champion of the World!!!

2014: Shooting for 200+ days of climbing (about 4 per week). Never go longer than 4 days in a row without climbing (regardless of circumstances). Generic grade+1 goals.

Just re-hung my hangboard after 6 months in storage. Time to train again.

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