As Whipper gets closer to launching the Whipper Volume Catalogue in 2024, a lot of work has gone into the research and development of coating and texturing practices here at Whipper HQ. With this R&D, it has brought about opportunity to make some serious headway in our mission for sustainability and prolonging the lifespan and accessibility of quality climbing products in Australia.
The technologies, processes and methods that we've developed will help us in providing an array of services to the broad spectrum of Australian indoor climbing operators in conjunction with our own product lines.
What got us here...
Over years and years of working in the indoor climbing industry, one thing has become abundantly clear; getting climbing products to Australia is hard... Really hard! It takes forever. It costs a small fortune. When shipments arrive and individual items are damaged or defected, or when their qualities diminish over time, replenishing specific items becomes incredibly difficult and time consuming if you're needing to source them from overseas manufacturers.
One step we're taking towards improved accessibility is housing international hold brands locally in Australia, minimising the unpredictable and tedious wait-times from overseas suppliers. At Whipper, we're stocking several world class brands in our warehouse which you're able to inspect in person, and have shipped across the country at a moments notice, but this effort only tackles part of the overall issue. Australian climbing needs to not only be more accessible, but also more sustainable.
Climbing ethics strongly promote the ideas of sustainability and longevity, from how we equip routes, to how we treat the local crags and climbing areas. The indoor climbing industry would be remiss not to practice these virtues in business as we do at the crag. This is something we at Whipper feel quite strongly is going to be crucial going forward in our mission for sustainability, and it's something we've already begun practicing as we develop out in-house manufacturing capabilities.
What we’re doing...
At Whipper we're currently in the midst of an exciting prototype phase. Our in-house manufacturing capabilities are being utilised to refurbish old climbing volumes as well as polyurethane holds which have gone past their prime. Through a partnership with Urban Climb, we're currently trialling a refurbishment service to be able to re-texture and re-supply climbing gyms with brand new products, made from old ones.
Our desire is to bring these holds and volumes back to a state that is comparable to a brand new product, and as avid climbers and route setters ourselves, we know that is a very high standard to reach. Nevertheless, we are determined to perfect this process if we are to achieve a more sustainable and recyclable industry.
Where we hope to go...
The ultimate dream is being able to provide the full circle; In-house manufacturing, wooden and plastic production on Australian shores, brand representation and collaboration, supply of both build material and climbing products without
Once materials wear out, as all things do, a mindful approach to recycling. Refurbishing and reusing all these products so we can maximise the lifespan and reduce the footprint of everything we make. We still have a way to go, but the future looks promising and we’re very excited to do our part.