search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
ART OF THE OUTDOORS


The very first Beastmaker prototypes were handmade out of wood. But once we had a decent idea of what various hold profiles felt like to train on, I drew them up on a CAD program and finalised the designs from there. At this point Dan and I teamed up with a friend of mine. Dave is a genius with machines and engineering and was also pretty into climbing so he joined us and sorted out the machining side of things.


The Beastmakers are now cut on CNC routers. The first couple of machines that we had were built specifically for the job by Dave (we were on a pretty tight budget!) but these days we use standard CNC machines, tweaked and modified a bit so they do what we want.


We use sustainably produced wood, minimise plastic in our packaging, power our workshops with renewable energy and recycle all of our wood waste. We are also involved with a tree planting scheme, run by the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust. As well as basic carbon offsetting, this aims to reforest parts of the Yorkshire Dales to improve habitats and reduce downstream flood risk.


Currently Beastmaker has four directors, and we employ a few others. All four of us can survive on Beastmaker work alone, but we all have a bit of time to do other bits of work as well, which we appreciate.


While Beastmaker definitely has its roots here in Sheffield, over the years the Beastmaker Team has spread across the country! We have three workshops in different locations. We all do slightly different jobs, and depending on the time of year and how busy we are, we all do between three to four days work on Beastmaker per week.


Making a living out of manufacturing climbing products is not easy, but it’s definitely possible. We are lucky that we started so long ago. Climbing has increased in popularity over the last decade; we were able to start small and grow with the market, scaling up production accordingly. It’s become quite a competitive field now.


To anyone hoping to produce climbing-related equipment, I’d say: really look at the market in detail and try to find the gaps. Making something because you can won’t necessarily yield results, if the product isn’t in some way unique or interesting, or doesn’t have a good story to go with it. We enjoy fiddling around with new ideas, from climbing holds to apps, but it’s quite rare that we think an idea is good enough to turn it into reality.


However, we’ve noticed over the last decade that climbers are becoming much more willing to spend money on climbing paraphernalia. There are also way more climbers now than there used to be. Also, climbers generally seem very keen to support small businesses. It’s a friendly scene! I wouldn’t say that I’m naturally that gifted as a climber, but I really enjoy training for it. Fingerboarding has been a constant in my training for 15 years, and without it I don’t think I’d be anywhere near as strong as I am now.


Finger strength is the one thing that you just can’t get away with. If you’re going to train anything at all then make sure it’s your fingers. Doing a small amount of finger strength training consistently every week will make a huge difference to your climbing.


There are two main variables to a fingerboard exercise: to make it harder, you can reduce the hold size or increase the load. However, you can also train with fewer fingers, which helps you avoid hitting a training plateau: using fewer fingers is a different stimulus on your body, so you can keep moving forwards with your training.


20 | CLIMB. WALK. JOIN.


“WHEN WE STARTED BEASTMAKER, TRAINING METHODS HAD KIND OF STAGNATED IN THE LATE 90S AND TRAINING WASN’T CONSIDERED COOL. THE CLIMBING WORKS HAD JUST OPENED IN SHEFFIELD; IT WAS BASICALLY THE BEGINNING OF THE BOULDERING BOOM”


P Dan and Ned checking out some wood in the Frankenjura.


Normally, I train three or four days a week and climb outside twice a week. But during lockdown I trained five days a week. We have a pretty decent setup in the cellar, with a couple of boards and some fingerboards. I did miss being outside, though. I’ve been climbing in the Peak for 20 years so I am starting to run out of things to climb here! If I was only to train for local goals then I’d not have much motivation left to do it. However I really enjoy the process and the act of training, for its own sake.


Goals aren’t too important for me, but structure is everything. It’s far more important to me than tunnel vision towards a goal. This means I find it easy to stay motivated to train even if I don’t have a goal outdoors.


The BIFF (Beastmaker International Footless Festival) is an entirely footless climbing comp that we’ve been running since 2014. The original idea was to introduce a bit of fun into the world of competition climbing. A daft comp with even dafter challenges, it’s accessible to all levels of climber, while also giving the training beasts an opportunity to show off. We usually run the event over the winter. For the last few years we have done a few qualifying events in the autumn, so keep your eyes peeled!


Interview: Sarah Stirling


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76