/ Wide Boyz Crack machine for London Wall training

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Kemics - on 07 Dec 2013
So I have a garage, access to a wood workshop and unrealistic ambitions :)

I'm thinking of building a finger crack machine to train up for london wall. It's waaay above my current limit (E2/3) but I've got psyched watching wideboyz and thought I might try to replicate their approach to training.

I've only stood under london wall once (in awe)

It seems pretty close to pure face climbing, but I'm thinking of making my crack slightly over hanging (so the real thing feels easier)

So I have a couple of questions im hoping people with either crack machines or who've climbed London wall can help with:

Most important: Width? Am I right in thinking London Wall is mostly peg scars? What width is it? I'm thinking right now it's about 20mm? Is it consistent or does it vary in width. Is it worth making two cracks? (only takes one extra bit of wood)

What type of wood is best to use? keep it natural or use some texture paint (harsh on the skin?) Also what thickness board 2/3 inch?

Are there any specific crux moves, i.e lock off, ring locks, flaring jams?

Is it worth building a floor to roof crack (approx 9ft high garage) and trying lap it by awkwardly down climbing. Or just make a crack hang board. like 2 ft and just hold the static position.

Any advice or thoughts would be massively helpful!
puppythedog on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to Kemics:

We could just have a go and fail and then try again?
1poundSOCKS - on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Sounds like he wants to succeed though.
Jonny2vests - on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to Kemics:

It's thin to comfortable fingers. If you're happy with finger crack technique, then focus on mind bending pump stamina.
Tom Last - on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to Kemics:
Use 3/4" ply. I've got a crack machine which is spaced out with carriage bolts at about 2-3 foot intervals and there's still a tiny amount of flex in that, even with 3/4" ply.
Post edited at 09:58
Kemics - on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to Tom Last:

I was think rather 2 or 3 inches. I can get hold of some big pine boards fairly easily. That way should be zero flex. Though I suppose a tiny amount ensures you'll have flawless technique. I think I'm going to build a double out of 3 boards (2 cracks between them) so I can have a range to practice on (15 mm & 20mm possibly...I'm sitting with a ruler trying to work out how fat my fingers are)

My technique is pretty poor and my endurance is even worse (I don't really have a strength, just varying weaknesses)

Puppy; there's a local classic in avon Arms Race which is a extremely pumpy finger crack, so I'm planning to use as a training/test route. But would also be quite chuffed with the tick in it's own right :)
SteveoS - on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to Kemics:

Why stop at London Wall? Best of luck.
MischaHY - on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to Kemics:

I think possibly building that might be a bit over the top. IMO, train power endurance on anything decently pumpy, then head to millstone and do some laps of easier finger crack routes (E2/3/4) to get a real feel for the rock. Head back the next day or very soon after and crush it. From what I've heard, endurance is the biggest deal on London Wall, although I've not tried it myself yet - saving it for the onsight.
Tom Last - on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to Kemics:



Hi Kemics.

Sorry mate, I don't know what's wrong with my brain at the moment, but for some reason I said 3/4" ply when I meant 4x2 timbers! Basically I'm an idiot ;)
Anyway yes, with the 4x2s, I still get a bit of flex.

It may be worth putting a few different cracks side by side and joining the whole lot together with carriage bolts. That's what I've done anyway. I've got a ring locks crack, a tight hands/wide fingers and a perfect hand crack - so three side by side. The whole thing is pretty wide, but definitely worth it.

The advantage of having the perfect hands (could replace with perfect fists) is that whilst relatively easy, you can train with one hand in the hand crack say while you have the other hand struggling with the ring locks, or hands in ring locks, whilst feet are in the hand crack etc.

Mixes it up a bit and makes it more usable whilst getting used to the more awkward widths.

HTH,
Tom
Kemics - on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to Tom Last:

Aha that does make sense, I was thinking 3/4inch ply would need a bolt every inch to make it useable :)

Thanks for the advice about the hand crack, that's a very good idea. I think iill definitely go with that. I've no idea if I'll be able to pull on a finger lock at all. So having a hand crack will allow me to build up to it if I can't. But still training similar ish skills (that are so hard to train anywhere else)

All I've got to decide now is what width exactly is a thin finger crack and comfy finger crack...
Kemics - on 08 Dec 2013
Would I be right in thinking a thin crack you can fit fingers up to (but not including) 2nd knuckle. And a comfy crack you can get the whole finger in?
rockaddiction - on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to Kemics:

I think you will find the two hardest parts are to first knuckle and most of rest to second knuckle, depending on size of your fingers
TomPR - on 08 Dec 2013
In reply to Kemics:

I'd say your best approach if you want to go for good gains is:

1. Slightly bigger than finger width crack, but put wooden stoppers inside so that your fingers stop sliding down and it acts as a peg scar. Once done, round off with a router bit and sandpaper.

2. Just use one crack - climb up and down.

3. Pine. Don't use coating as it will wreck your skin and training volume will be too low.

4. Train it at 10 deg overhang with poor-ish footholds. It's the lock and confidence with 2 finger front 2 jams that tends to be the limiting factor.

5. Basically, get good at front 2!

6. Don't use a hanging crack hang board. No good unless you're going really really hardcore.

7. Comfort has to the priority with designing the crack as otherwise you'll never hack the training time. It's just too depressing being in pain 100% of the time!

Good luck :-)
Kemics - on 10 Dec 2013
In reply to TomPR:

Awesome, thank you so much for the advice everyone. Really like the idea of creating some constrictions, that's definitely going in. Current design is for a comfy crack at the width of my 2nd knuckle on middle finger (i figure that's about the right width for comfort but I shouldn't slide out?) And then a second super gnarls thin finger beast crack for when (if?) I get strong.

Hopefully should be installed for the new year...photos to come!
French Erick - on 10 Dec 2013
In reply to Kemics:

Don't make them too steep or you'll never use them. I hardly ever use my finger cracks on my machine (did a whole series of width at 30-35 degree) because they're too hard.

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