Editors' Choice 2019: Friction Labs Bam Bam Climbing Chalk Review
Our top climbing gear picks of 2019.
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Coming from the days of block chalk (I’m a child of the 1980s), I often find myself gravitating more toward thick, chunky chalk even when it comes in bag form. The fine, powdery stuff befuddles me, plus I do a lot of bolting and first-ascent work, so it’s nice to have chunks to mark bolt placements and holds. Friction Labs’ Bam Bam, their chunkiest blend (“grape to golf ball sized”), has become a go-to in all my chalkbags, from my gym bag to my cragging bag to my multi-pitch bag. It’s a dense, high-performing blend, and you don’t need much. Bam Bam more than proved its worth on a recent high-heat, high-humidity trip to Cayman Brac. On one route, a sea-cliff 5.12a soaked in slime, I was able to dry the holds for a redpoint burn after oozing off the crux. Bam Bam is high-test stuff, perfect for sweaty-palmed serial chalkers.
$25 (10oz), frictionlabs.com
See more of our top climbing gear picks in the Gear Guide 2019: Editors’ Choice Awards, and listen to our latest podcast for an interview with Black Diamond’s climbing category director Kolin Powick.