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Topic - Noob question - is chalk necessary for all?

Simos on 15 Oct 2013
For some reason since I started climbing I never really felt the need to use chalk so I am wondering whether it would actually improve my climbing if I did? I am asking mainly for indoors climbing and in particular bouldering but an answer covering outdoors would also be appreciated.

The vast majority of people on the wall seem to be really religious in using chalk but if anything, I've always felt that most holds are covered in chalk anyway from other people climbing.

Also as a bonus question - what's with the toothbrush obsession? Does cleaning holds really make a significant difference? I'm assuming maybe for harder routes it does but then again I tend to view holds 'as they come' if that makes sense? (i.e. if it's covered in chalk, it's just part of the conditions).

Thanks for any insight - I do feel like the odd one out at times :)
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