This story originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of our print edition.
With edges, pockets, pinches, slopers, and jugs galore, this is the big mamma-jamma of the hangboard world. “I feel like I could train on this forever,” one tester said. That’s thanks to the slight curve of the overall shape, which reduces stress on shoulder, wrist, elbow, and finger joints. Instead of a harsh, straight-down pulling motion, it creates a more neutral orientation for when the hands and arms are spread wide, making your fingers rotate ever-so-slightly outward into a more natural and ergonomic position. Testers with tweaky shoulders and wrists gravitated to this board every time, and the fine-grained surface texture was just grippy enough without tearing up irritated skin. However, the large amount of hold variety without any subtle adjustment features meant this was one of the biggest boards in the review and required a lot of space (and a lot of screws) to mount. The pinches on the side of this board tapered at the top and flared at the bottom, with very narrow and much wider options, meaning you can train a certain size of pinch or pick the best grip based on your hand size. A slightly positive but soft edge on the pinches was great for targeting this hold type for entire sessions. Testers loved the jug and sloper holds. Also, the sub-$100 price is really nice.
Several sizes of every hold type imaginable make the training possibilities endless on the Contact board, but keep in mind you will need a fair amount of space to mount it. Consider this board if you have wrist or shoulder problems.
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