I see many kinds of chalk at your shop, what is the difference?
Chalk is one of the essentials of climbing. Let's face it, we sweat and here in Singapore, we sweat a lot.
At the shop, we carry Tokyo Powder Industries (TPI) chalk. TPI, as the name suggests, is made in the heart of the bustling metropolis, Tokyo, Japan by a chalk maestro and route setter extraordinaire, Mitsuo Yamamoto. As with anything made in Japan, Mitsuo and the team doesn't hold back and we dare say, the best chalk in the world.
The finely ground powder of magnesium carbonate dries up your sweaty mitts and lets you send your latest projects. Magnesium carbonate is a water hungry chemical compound that will scour your palm off all those grimy sweat drops (yeah, science rules, guys). Just so you know, TPI chalk is so fine, it’s gonna blow your mind.
On top of that, TPI is made by Japanese maestros with 17-steps of secret and magical manufacturing process. (We are kidding about the 17-steps thingy, but it really is the best of the line).
TPI comes in 4 different model: Pure, Speed, Effect and Black. Let's go through each of them and understand what they actually are:
The Pure is the basic type of chalk by Tokyo Powder Industries. No frills, 100% pure fine chalk, for the serious sends.
The Speed and Effect are the popular scented variety. Using the secret blending methods, TPI team added scents to the Pure and created the Speed and the Effect.
The Speed has been blended with a hint of peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass and the scent is said to help climbers concentrate better, especially important for those hard projects. It is also nifty to have in the outdoors because its scent can act as a natural, fragrant insect repellent. Just don't start spraying it everywhere, please.
The Effect, on the other hand, has a blend of geranium and bergamot. FYI, geranium is a fragrant flower and bergamot is a type of citrus fruit. The Effect purportedly has the calming effect (pun intended) and can improve your blood circulation.
The Black is almost like the Pure but it’s all amped up with super high drying power.Warning! Only use this when your hands are super sweaty. That’s right, the Black is made for those among us who are so psyched for their climbs that their sweat glands become hyperactive. The Black has additional proprietary drying agent blended in them, allowing them to help the sweatier among us to keep dry and climbing hard.
Lastly, we carry the Boost. Boost is a type of chalk additive meant to be applied on your hands right before you chalk your hands. How it works is it is a primer that allows the fine chalk particles to stick to your hands for a very long time. If you are dying to stick to those slopers? Give the Boost a try.
Having said that, some pointers for the use of TPI chalk:
- Keep your chalk in the chalk ball and chalk bag especially when climbing in indoor gyms so that you don't drop loose chalk around the gym.
- Wash your hands thoroughly to strip your pores from the fine chalk particles. Keeping them chalked up too long may dehydrate your skin and cause split skin.
Below are some opinions of our Onsight Athletes on the TPI chalk:
Adil: Speed helps me keep my mind clear before I get on the wall. I just find its scent really mellow which helps me find my zen, especially when my emotions run a bit too high from frustration. Ever since I started using Speed, I've never looked back.
Miguel: I've recently switched from a mixture of Pure and Black to using strictly Black. Black keeps my hands super dry on even the most warm and humid days during training. As a climber with extra sweaty palms, most chalks would just turn to greasy slime in no time. That's why Black has become invaluable to me as a climber.
Ashraf: I have been using Tokyo Powder ever since it was brought in to Singapore at Onsight, and I fell in love with it the moment I felt it with my bare hands. The texture was so fine and smooth that I thought I wasn't using any chalk at all. My favourite has always been Effect and I love that it has a fragrant smell as well. I have used other brands of chalk but to my skin and hands, TPI has always been the best in terms of keeping my hands dry and providing it with the optimum friction for my climbs, so I don't have to worry about my hands not being dry when I climb.
Janna: Personally, I prefer using the Pure chalk as strong scents can sometimes make me feel a little giddy. The reason why I came to love using TPI chalk is because the chalk is extremely fine and it gets to the corners of the fingers unlike many other chalk, which is useful in some cases e.g. When smearing the volume with different parts of the palm. Additionally, the fine chalk also stays on the fingers for a longer time than a regular chalk
Bronson: Tokyo Powder Industries is my favourite brand of chalk because of its silky fine texture and nice scent. Personally, I prefer a mix of Black and Speed because it gives a nice peppermint and lemongrass scent yet keep my hands dry for longer. The scent from the chalk makes me feel energetic and keeps me alert during the climb.
Farid: Ever since I started climbing, I always have sweaty palms. It's so sweaty that sometimes I'll leave a handprint on the handhold. When I got my hands on the Black, it felt so good. Black is so made for climbers who have sweaty palms to push their limit and keep on sticking to the holds that they keep slipping off of.
Deryl: Due to the humidity in Singapore, we need lots of chalk. Before using TPI, I would resort to packing the chalk I bought into ziplock bags and crushing them so that they turned out finer. Funny? Yes, quite. Thank God I no longer have to do that. As it is fine (pun intended), TPI chalk dries sweat quickly and sticks easily to your skin. Besides being fine, it also comes in 4 different kinds to cater to your preferences. I personally like the Black and Effect because of its super-drying property and scent respectively. Why care about scent? I mean, if you're dipping your sweaty hands into a bucket of chalk, you could use a bit of perfume right?
Iris: I love to mix my chalk. I fell in love with Effect because of its fine texture as well as its scent. When Black was first brought into SG, I switched to Black. Black kept my hands dry over a longer period of time during my climbs and this feature kept me going back to it. Over time, I realised I was missing my Effects’ scent. Which then brought me to ask myself, why don’t I mix the best of both world?! So now, I am using a mix of both Effect and Black.