The Shop

New In The Shop

If you've read any of the recent training posts in the Owner's section of the blog, you may remember some information about the importance of skin care during training. Climbing does a number on your skin, especially if you're pulling down indoors the majority of the time. The same rough texture that your skin seeks out on corners, volumes, and slopers in order to stay on the wall is the same texture that leaves your palms and fingertips looking like you put them through a pasta cutter. 

Todd Torres' mangled digits after dyno attempts on Heresy, 11c, Smith Rock

Todd Torres' mangled digits after dyno attempts on Heresy, 11c, Smith Rock

Training endurance and extended hang times on your favorite training board painfully roll up those calluses creating a perfect opportunity for an unpleasant flapper to occur. At best you can trim the callus off and wait for the sensitive skin beneath to toughen up. At worst? A severe rip in the padding can easily become a season ender. 

Katie Mills showing off the red meat! 

Katie Mills showing off the red meat! 

I've tried all the usual salve-type remedies in the past but really disliked the oily residue that took many hours to absorb. If I applied the salve after climbing then I had an oily grip on everything I touched for the rest of the day. If I applied it at night before bed I often wondered if it even stayed on long enough to have an effect or if it just rubbed off on my sleeping bag or blankets during the night. 

Friction Labs begin distributing a hand cream called NewSkin, an alternative to the oily salve normally found in most climbers' aid kits. NewSkin promotes hydration and regeneration of the epidermal layers through non wax-based natural ingredients. Without the oily coating, NewSkin claims better skin absorption than salves that sit on the surface for longer periods of time. The end result is skin health without the residue. 

As for those calluses and potential flappers, you can pair your NewSkin Container with the Skin File. The curved wood helps work around the natural contours of your fingers and comes with 6 replacement sandpapers; 3 smooth and 3 rough so you can get at those gnarly gnar gnars before they become a problem. Available at AntiGravity Equipment along with other Friction Labs products and all the gear you need to get your send on! 

New In The Shop

I can hardly believe how much the shop has grown in the last 6 months. There is almost no room left in the case for shoes and new models are still on the way. This week we welcome Red Chili to our lineup of performance shoes. They may not have the biggest presence in the US but those that have tried and fit into a pair of Red Chili's will agree that the manufacturing and performance of this brand of climbing shoes is among the world's best. 

You can drop into any climbing shop (including our own) and find some or all of the giants on display, La Sportiva, Five Ten, Scarpa, Evolv, but we purposefully like to take a chance on the underdogs (Boreal, Butora) to bring you something different. Something a little more unique but well-researched for quality and performance. And what is quality? Something by which you can measure other things of similar kind; in this case, something visible and tangible. That is why I decided to bring in the high-performance Atomyc.

The Atomyc's minimal use of material, asymetrical and cambered design give you a precise and sensitive high end performance shoe that fits like an elastic sock and keeps everything together for maximum front-pointing and edging abilities. The ergonomic design hardly requires the single velcro strap but is included for extra control of the overall fit. 

A fair question when considering a new brand of climbing shoe is the quality of the rubber. It's a fair question since the quality is maybe the most important feature next to fit when it comes to sticking those tiny footholds. The Atomyc uses Vibram XS Grip rubber which can be found on similarly designed high-end shoes like the Solutions and Testarosas or Mago's and Furias. This soft and very sticky rubber delivers high sensitivity and suction cup-like ability to wrap around the holds you are standing on. 

If you're looking to set your kicks apart from what everyone else is wearing, drop by the store and get fitted for a pair at a discount. At 149.95, the Atomyc is already below the price tag of it's competitors but even so, it's not exactly spare change for taking a chance on a new brand. That's why you can get the Atomyc at AntiGravity Equipment for 119.95$ (the same price as an entry level to mid-performance shoe), as an incentive to try something different. 

New In The Shop

More new shoes! The Kira and Kronos from Evolv are the newest models to arrive at AntiGravity Equipment. Transitioning climbers will definitely want to stop in and take a look at this technical flat-lasted shoe. Experienced climbers wanting an affordable pair of technical all-arounders can also benefit from the balance of comfort and performance without the high-end price tag. Gals with slim feet will appreciate the secure fit of Kira while the Kronos fits a variety of widths. 

I had a chance to demo the Kronos on a trip to Red Rocks and had a great experience breaking in a brand new shoe on the trip. By day two I was able keep the shoes on while being lowered off single pitch climbs and by the third day of climbing they felt comfortably molded to my feet. The medium rand tension in the heel and comfortable flat-last was a welcome change from the aggressive construction of my down-turned performance shoes. The cinch-pull strap closure is what I wish it would be on my Solutions. The wide strap tightens and feels secure across the dorsal part of my foot letting the rest of the shoe perform well on edges and smears with security. 

Sterling's best selling rope in the Evolution series is back in stock in 60 and 70 meter lengths. The Velocity is the first choice by pro athletes like Chris Sharma for it's durable sheath construction and medium hand. This rope is tailor-made for working projects on lead and top-rope, season after season. The silky smooth sheath finish stands up to the abrasive outdoor environment and runs smoothly over your hardware reducing rope drag.  

The hardware collection at AntiGravity Equipment continues to grow with the addititon of a few new carabiners from CAMP. Check out the new full size HMS 2lock offering peace of mind when used with any of your belay devices. If you're looking for all-purpose carabiners that are also good for racking and anchor building, check out or Oval XL keylock and screwgate carabiners. 

New In The Shop

The Joker Plus arrives at the shop! All the comfort of the popular Joker Lace only in Velcro for a slipper-like feel that's easy to take on and off. This leather shoe has a full liner with padding all the way to the toe box providing a pillow-y comfort for your little piggies. Sculpted heel cups keep your feet in place during climbing and the EVA foam padding in the bottom of the heel cup absorbs shock and keeps your feet cushioned from hard ground (think standing on ledges during multipitch climbs). You'll never have to worry about delamination with the Joker's Integrated Rand System which also allows for varying thickness in the rubber from heel to toe for optimal durability. 

Since we're on the topic of shoes, we are stocked up on Friendly Foot powder. This powder is absolutely the best in getting rid of nasty climbing shoe odors, especially in those made from synthetic materials. By using natural ingredients to balance the pH funk in your rock socks, Friendly Foot powder makes it possible to rejoin your circle of friends, drive your car without sticking your head out the window, and actually bring your climbing shoes back inside your living quarters! Remember, friends don't let friends climb with foot funk. 

Edelrid Gym ropes and the Caddy Rope Bag are in stock. The tried and true 9.8 Boa is available in a 40 meter length so you can comfortably crank out redpoints and onsights in any gym in the Portland Metro area. 

The Caddy Rope Bag is the perfect bag for quickly packing and unpacking your cord. To pack the rope, simply flake it through into the center of the tarp where it opens up to the bag below. Then all you have to do is lift the bag by it's four corners and the rope easily funnels into the bag tangle-free and without the need to coil it. The rope packs small and the generously padded shoulder strap will keep your shoulder comfortable during transport. 

New in the shop

Beal Virus and Trango Lotus ropes

Beal Virus and Trango Lotus ropes

More ropes have arrived in time for the best weather of the season! Drop by AntiGravity Equipment and get set up to crush the local climbing scene this summer.  

From premiere rope manufacturer Beal, we have the Virus. Part of Beal's Active Line, these colorful, eye-catching ropes are perfect for those looking to purchase something that combines long-lasting characteristics of a work-horse with some features of performance lines. It's 10 mm diameter offers good control with any belay device. These ropes are manufactured without the use of chemical treatments; Beal uses only Bluesign certified sources for their nylon construction. Both colors are available in 70 meter lengths perfect for road trips to Smith Rock and beyond. 

Also in is Trango's Lotus rope, 9.9 mm. Another vibrantly colored line designed to take all the abuse of lead fall and top rope situations and still last for seasons to come. The fall rating in combination with it's impact force ratings suggest a rope with good balance of shock absorption and stretchy-ness to provide a cushioned fall that won't have you re-climbing big sections on the rock. Available in 60 meter lengths, perfect for local cragging out at French's Dome, Ozone, or Broughton's. 

Hollowblocks in 13.5" loops are in stock again. Perfect for use in prussik situations (such as a rappel backup), the Sterling Hollow Block grips the rope much better than standard accessory cord and cuts down on bulky fisherman's knots. 

New in the shop

This week we have a new Women's harness from Edelrid. 

The Jayne II harness has a lot of the features of the unisex Zack harness but comes with a few important upgrades. The lower tie-in point on the harness comes with a plastic protector for extra resistance against abrasion, wear and tear. The harness's overall structure is designed for optimal  positioning over the hip bones and the ergonomic shape is tailored for a comfortable fit especially in the lower back. 3 Easy Glider buckles make for a quick adjustment and the movable waist padding ensures a perfectly centered fit every time. 

The Rope Master HC rope bag from Metolius is back in stock as is the popular Boa Eco rope from Edelrid. 

Petzl carabiners and belay devices arrived today as well. The Petzl Reverso with guide mode arrives in a cool new violet color! 

More gear arriving this week so be on the lookout for updates. Thanks! 

New in the shop

New friends from 8b+ are here! 

New friends from 8b+ are here! 

We have two fuzzy new pals in from 8b+ and new brushes as well. 

Moritz and Peppi made it into the shop after being back ordered for a little while. Their fuzzy pals came and went with the quickness and they've been spotted on all kinds of adventures from the Stoneworks all the way to Red Rocks. 

We've also got some sturdy Wuzl brushes. The handle is made from beach wood and the bristles are boar's hair. It's a great accessory to go with your 8b+ chalk bag. 

ecommerce?

Photo by Holly T. 

Photo by Holly T. 

One question I get asked pretty regularly is why I don't sell online. There are a few reasons why I don't have an online store at the moment. One, it takes time. It's no different than running a retail storefront and in many ways it can be even more difficult. Yes, you can reach a much wider audience but the competition is much more fierce and to stay relevant in the digital market you need to invest a lot of time into your online storefront. There's time invested in the layout, time invested in all the data entry like uploading products, specs, descriptions, and photos. Time invested in optimization so you can be seen among the hundreds and hundreds of options available world wide.

There's also the matter of inventory and how competitive your pricing can be. We all love to get a good deal and online shopping is certainly a great way to get the most out of your budget. The reality is that the shop just isn't in the best position right now to compete for deals. That doesn't dishearten me because at the moment the shop is doing fine standing on it's own and that gives me the opportunity to invest in its foundation. Online is great for bargain hunting, but it can be constrained in it's personality. It isn't interested in who you are as a person. It can't ask you what adventures you're taking your newly purchased equipment on and won't be waiting for you to come back and tell it how the trip went. Your options for communicating your questions can be limited and you may often have to wait to hear back a response. Reaching a call center can make it challenging to get properly fitted for a pair of shoes. Online shopping can tell you what others thought of your product choices via reviews but you miss out on the details that come from a person-to-person interaction. A lot can be lost in translation and the subtleties from conversing with someone in person can be of great use to you in a decision. 

Just like home. Photo by Holly T. 

Just like home. Photo by Holly T. 

Fortunately this leaves a great big opening in an area where the shop is able to compete very effectively. Through the shop, not only can I do all of the things described above, I'm limitless in my ability to connect with my community. Stop by the store on a Tuesday and you're sure to have a healthy treat waiting for you at the counter. Drop by on a Thursday and you'll have to elbow your way past the SW/AG crew and see if there's a tasty treat left before your bouldering session downstairs is done. Stop in to buy something and crash on the couch with your friends like you just got home and you're ready to take a load off, I'll even bring you a cold beverage. Ask me a hundred times about any piece of gear on the wall and I'll pay attention to you every time because I'm interested in making sure that you're as happy and comfortable as can be with your purchase. Or, don't buy anything at all and just come in and hang out, interact, make some friends, relax.

The owner having a good laugh with friends at the shop.  Photo by Holly T. 

No doubt as the shop gets better equipped an eCommerce presence will form organically. For now, I'm happy to have a site that informs you about all the great things going on in the store in a way that peaks your interest and invites you to drop by. As things stand now, it's more beneficial for me in every way to have a genuine interaction with 100 people that want to come in and visit than a thousand people whom I know nothing about except where to ship their gear to. Have you ever heard that saying "work like you don't need the money"? Yeah, it's kind of like that. I do believe there's a way to connect with people through the web, I feel like I do that already through our social media outlets. I know that when I'm ready to devote some time to eCommerce, it will be with some innovative ideas on how to establish a genuine relationship with those that aren't able to drop in for a visit.   

 

New in the shop

This week our shipment of Black Diamond Equipment arrived! BD has been busy giving all their products a little makeover going for a darker look this season with vibrant contrasting colors. Feels a little like climbing gear the Dark Knight would have on his utility belt. 

We'll start off with the new MOJI Charging Station. A bigger version of the popular Moji lantern. At 250 lumens of flood lighting, it's perfect for dinner at the campground or situations where you might be off the grid. Run the lantern off it's internal rechargeable battery, or direct AC via the included USB cable. You also have the option of using 4 AA batteries as backup. One of the best and most convenient features of the MOJI Charging Station is the ability to charge handheld items, like a cell phone or digital camera, from it's USB port. The single power switch makes it easy to dim or brighten the light and also includes a strobe light mode for emergencies or impromptu raves! 

BD's Positron quickdraws get a new color design with sharp contrasting black on gold! The Dynex slings are wider than it's previous version and have a cool fade design from the bolt to rope end. Colors and gate design make it easy to distinguish bolt side from rope side and the classic keylock nose make for hassle-free clipping and unclipping. 6 draws to a pack. 

From smallest to largest, the Positron, Nitron, VaporLock and RockLock screwgates all get a nice gun-metal colored body and sharply contrasting colored gates that make for an eye-catching pop on this classic hardware. One of the the features I like about these carabiners is the easy spin-up and spin-down of the barrel for quick one-handed locking and unlocking on all four carabiners.       

Last we have new colors for BD's ATC Guide, the ATC that does it all. Choose from black or dark green. Depending on the color of the device, you'll either get a black or white cable design. This ATC has a high-friction side should you need more control during the belay or rappel. Machined windows lighten the weight, and of course you have the ability to hang the device from the anchor in "guide mode" to belay up to two seconding climbers when multi-pitching. The auto-block release on the opposite end of the device has been enlarged in this version so it now excepts small carabiners. 

New in the shop

This month we got a big order in from Edelrid with all kinds of new products.

The new Boa Eco ropes, of course, made their debut in the store. Unique in their design, these ropes also up the standard in sustainable manufacturing practices. You can read more about them HERE

Also new from Edelrid are the Kid's harnesses. We have the Fraggle II, a full body harness that is designed with plenty of mesh padding for ultimate comfort. No more complaints of harsh webbing pressing against their skin. Vibrant colors on the outside and solid black on the inside make it a breeze to put on properly and it's ergonomic design ensures a secure fit.  

The Finn II is also available for growing kids ready to take the next step. This traditional waist harness is fully adjustable and is constructed using the same comfortable mesh padding used in the Fraggle II. One of the highlights of this harness is it's movable padding (a feature found in adult harnesses), which slides along the nylon webbing in the frame to ensure that the tie-in points are always perfectly centered.   

The Zack unisex harness is available for adults. Speed buckles for the waist and legs make this a quick and fully adjustable harness with no need to worry about doubling back for protection. The 3D mesh padding on the waist is movable, eliminating the off-centered fit often over looked during fitting, to ensure that the harness is always perfectly centered. This gives support and protection to your lower back and ensures that the tie-point is centered with your abdomen. This innovative feature also eliminates offset gear loops so your equipment is exactly where you expect it to be when un-clipping or racking. 


AntiGravity Equipment 2.0

Well, it's been over a year and the shop has survived! December 7th was the 1 year anniversary and the shop made it through with it's head above water. Not that it didn't choke on a few gulps here and there but for the most part I'd say it came out ahead. 

There are definitely some changes in the new year for the shop though. The biggest being the parting of one of its founding members. My friend Cari gave me the news that she didn't have it in her heart to continue with the shop and so in January we began the careful process of transferring the business to a sole proprietorship. 

After finalizing all the details, as of February 1st I began to run the shop officially by myself. It's definitely had it's challenges but it's had some great liberties as well. The biggest challenges revolve around keeping a day job. I still needed to earn an income while maintaining a business open and running with consistency.

It's at times like these that I am so appreciative for having my mother as an example of what to do when the going gets tough. I'm always eternally grateful (and I tell her as much) that she was always so strict with my brother and I about only speaking Spanish in the house when we were growing up. Though I didn't value the rule as much back then, it now allows me to be able to hold a job as a contractor for several agencies providing interpreting and translation services. One of the perks in this line of work is the flexibility to set your own hours and work remotely so it gives me the freedom to continue earning a modest living while working full time at developing the shop. 

So now, a typical day for me is something like 2 to 3 appointments starting around 8 in the morning in which I physically show up at a location to provide interpreting services. Next, I show up at 12pm to open the shop, log in to a phone system to receive conference calls for telephonic interpretations until 2, and work on all aspects of the shop in between until I close it down at 10pm on the weekdays or 8pm on the weekends. Sounds like long days right? Right. But, I love it. I thrive on the multitasking and truth be told, it's time well spent. It's time spent on things I like to be doing anyway. Everyday I get to practice my Spanish while helping people through all things regarding their health. Everyday I get to hang out at the shop, learn about business, talk about gear, and sell some of it too. Almost everyday I get to do something creative through photography, writing, climbing lessons or through artwork. It's also no problem to find the time to train and I get to climb with all my friends at least 2 to 3 times a week. 

Now that's not to say that it's all fun and games. Despite all the pros, my actual free time away from anything work related is reduced to just a half day on Mondays. There's the pressure of keeping a very complicated machine running as smoothly as possible. My calendar is constantly filled in red with appointments to keep, checks to mail out, preseason orders to submit, preseason orders to review, bank accounts to balance, and of course making sure that I find time to sleep and recharge. But, it's during these times that I rely on my family's past experiences as motivation to keep working hard and to enjoy the good and learn from the frustration. It's hard to complain about not having many days off when my mom has worked 6-7 days a week for decades with very little complaining. It's hard to complain about a tight budget when I remember how my grandmother used to squirrel away pesos (literally pennies) at a time until she made her way into a situation where she could live a comfortable lifestyle in the midst of Mexico City's poverty. I also rely on the support of my friends who keep the social calendar full of fun things to do whenever the opportunity presents itself.  

And I know that it won't always be like this. Win, lose, or draw? Only time will reveal that outcome. Until then, I have no problem putting my nose to the grindstone to see where all this will take me. Wherever that may be I need to make sure I can look back on it and say I gave it my best. Here's to another year!