Floor Chalk

Climbing chalk is important.  Climbers rely on friction between their hands and the surface they are trying not to fall from.  Climbing is hard, and climbers sweat.  Having the right chalk can mean the difference between hitting the highpoint and hitting the ground.  Climbing chalk comes in a wide variety of different forms including liquid chalk, loose chalk (also comes in several different varieties), chalk blocks, chalk balls, chalk cream, scented chalk, eco chalk, and colored chalk, to name a few.  Then there are the different suppliers from the best (Chalk Cartel) to the not so best (Crayola), and everything in between.

Aside from the extra friction and hand drying agents, chalk also provides a magnesium carbonate security blanket.  Climbers are nothing if not habitual.  Before every send you can watch the ceremony of plopping hands into a chalk bag or chalk bucket.  Hands in, hands out, rub, clap, blow, climb on!  Watch sport climbers just before and just after every fall.  Hands in, hands out, rub, clap, blow, climb on! 

I’d say half of the time I chalk up it’s for the mental security rather than the actual need of chalk.

Chalk is by far the most common climbing purchase.  Most climbing gear lasts for a decent period of time.  Shoes, ropes, harnesses, chalk bags all have a relatively long shelf life, but climber’s blast through chalk like it was TP after a night at White Castle.  And that can get expensive.  Some high-end chalks can run up to $25 per bag, but who has that kind of money lying around?

You know what is lying around?  Piles of chalk!  Floor Chalk!

We’ve all been there.  Out of chalk, on our knees, patting the pile of fresh white sprinkle from the floor, just to coat our hands for one more send.  Grabbing that chunk, that fell from your rivals’ bag as they bite the dust on that overhanging crux.  Pulling out what you pray are beard hairs from the mini-mound of powder that you were able scoop into the palm of your hand.

Floor chalk is a cheap free alternative when you are trying to save money for that road trip to The Red, or trying to pay off the parking tickets from that time you thought #Vanlife meant you could overnight it in the parking lot at Red Rocks. 

Floor Chalk is priced to move, but is it worth it?

It depends!

If it’s a day when you’re low on chalk, and strapped for cash, then by all means hit the floor and start pattin’.  If you’ve made arrangements with the climbing gym floor staff to have them empty the vacuum into your chalk bag at the end of their shift, then I might vote NO.

No matter how much money you save, the dead skin to chalk ratio in floor chalk will never be low enough to justify the savings.  No matter how much money you save, the ‘beard hair vs. pubic hair’ conundrum will never be evidenced enough to justify the savings.  No matter how much money you save, the vomit inducing modified chalk ceremony of ‘hands in, hands out, remove random toenail clipping, rub, clap, blow, climb on!’ will never be justified by the savings.

If you’re a climber that’s living the floor chalk life, or if you are thinking of trying floor chalk for the first time, then I wish you well.  Just remember that despite the cost, everything has a price in one way or another.

Recommendation: All Skill Levels

Specs: MgCO3, Skin, Body Hair, Dust, Toe Nails

MSPR = $0.00

*For more from Carrot and theDIHEDRAL crew check out theDIHEDRAL Podcast found on most podcast sites including iTunes and Spotify. Feel free to subscribe and comment, if you enjoy what you hear!

**For our favorite chalk, check out the good stuff from our friends at Chalk Cartel.

13 Replies to “Floor Chalk”

  1. I’m not a climber, but I found your post interesting. As an occasional road cyclist, that’s how I am about gel packets. The seemingly mundane things we use for function end up being our security blanket. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have such respect for road cyclists, I am very much interested in giving it a go. I don’t even know what gel packs are, but if they serve the purpose of security blanket, then I’ll make sure to load up! Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Now I really know I am not a climber, for the thought of putting my hands in chalk dust makes me pull such a face I look like I’ve pushed my chin into my neck and tried to add the corners of my mouth there too! I also made a sort of “hhhhgh!” gutteral sound, not that I can spell gutteral, guteral, guttaral, gutterall, nope, can’t spell it! Can make the noise of it, so that counts right? 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Chalk!! Yess!!! You can’t climb without chalk.. and yeess, I think I may have pat the floor a few times.. possibly.. idk remember for sure if I have! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never used chalk to climb before as I don’t sweat a lot. (It’s a weird problem). Climbers with chalk on their hands look cool. I’m still alive and I climbed for ten years so I guess that went well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the idea that chalk looks cool. I never thought about that before, but I think you are right. I’m going to see about wearing chalk as an accessory…haha!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In assorted colours, it goes in your hair. ♥️🧡 Recently, I had to get my heel and ankle taped. Some of my colleagues said it was my superhero costume.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. While I’m not a die hard climber, I’ve done some climbing recreationally for the past couple of years. The most recent time, on a backpacking trip of all times, was the first time I actually used chalk and I have to admit it was an interesting feeling. If I do get into climbing more seriously someday, I’ll have to keep this in mind!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha…it’s worth thinking about!!! I’m pumped you had such an epic backpacking trip, and I hope climbing keeps calling your name! Thanks for the thoughts Emmi!

      Liked by 1 person

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