Fingerboard: Metolius Wood Grips
Woodgrips Finger Board
It’s been a while since I used a finger board and I am a fir bit stronger now than then. Hopefully this will mean that I can remain injury free, unlike last time…
The other reason I am hopeful of an injury free training regime, is the beautiful feel of this particular board. Whilst most are made from high friction resin with un-sympathetic edges, this one is a piece of art, machined out of wood, polished, varnished, and finished to a very high standard indeed. In fact it’s something that I think actually enhances the wall space on which it resides.
First thing to consider when buying a board is the ease with which it is put up. Well, although it came with all the right screws and fittings I didn’t actually use any of them! I live in Sheffield in a mid terrace house with a stair well running through the middle of the building. The stair foot features two doorways. I have always had a pull up bar or two in this space, braced between the walls and resting on the door jam’s for extra support. I have simply placed the finger board onto the door jam above on of the doors, and moved the pull up bar up 3 or 4 inches so that it is no longer supported by the door jams, but braced extra securely between the wall on one side, and the centre point of the finger board on the other. The board is stiff enough that in use so far it has exhibited no signs of flex or stress from this single point of attachment. I am positive that the manufacturers would not condone such practice, and I issue a health warning to the effect that you do so at your own risk, but it works brilliantly for me. I have included a picture below.
If you choose not to use this method then you have two options. One is to screw the board straight into a wall, the other would be to screw it to a piece of plywood which has been securely fixed to a wall. This latter option may suite those with crumbly walls who need to spread the load a little better. Either way it is a technique purely dependant on your DIY skills. If in doubt have a look on Google for instructions on using rawl plugs to fix things to solid walls.
And so to using it. So far so good. It’s very soft to the touch. The jugs and sloper on the top are particularly comfortable and have encouraged a new found enthusiasm for hanging around whilst doing mid air squats and pointing out my legs at 90 degrees (boy does my stomach ache!). As for the holds, well my one complaint would be that they are a little uniform, only really varying in their depth. I understand that wood is a difficult medium to work with in that you have to drill, saw and sand holds rather than build a mould, but I am sure that a rail or two could have been incorporated into the design. As it is there are 16 pockets ranging in depth from 1.5mm to 4.5mm and from 2 fingers to 4 fingers in width. These pockets have been drilled and then smoothed as opposed to carved. The each have the same uniform rounded edges which helps preserve knuckles when you do ping off. However, they are all the same height meaning that you can’t really crimp in true style as the top of the pocket interferes. That said the variety of pockets, combined with the pull up bar above has lead to some entertaining sessions of catch the hold!
Basically very good for pocket pulling, a nice set of pull up jugs, but not so good for hard core crimping.
At £60 for the compact and £90 for the deluxe (pictured and reviewed) I’d say this was a good price for anybody wishing to put a nice looking training aid in their lounge.