FrictionLabs chalk: Costing more per gram than a city banker’s recreational habits, is this dust more magical than anything Philip Pulman dreamt up or simply the Emperor’s new chalk?!


What’s purer than pure.. err ground Unicorn horn? With it being by far the most pricey chalk pound for pound, is Friction Labs worth selling organs for?


Hyperbole and faux science aside, it is without doubt a step up in performance in terms of keeping fingers drier for longer. I won’t let any other chalk near my main chalk bucket as contaminating it with sub-standard fare would undermine its effectiveness.


I’ve found that it prevents my tips sweating out as fast and that less re-chalking is required. This has been a legitimate game changer for wrestling up marginal greasy volumes and slopers indoors as well as on pumpy outdoor climbs where there is no opportunity to chalk up mid climb (i.e. Parisella’s Cave).


If you don’t possess your own money tree, I would recommend having a separate chalk bag with cheaper chalk for warming up purposes and saving the good stuff for redpointing projects. It is available in 3 flavours; Unicorn (Fine), Gorilla (Medium) and Bam Bam (Chunky), so just pick whichever grain size floats your boat. Fortunately, it is available in a sample size to give it a test before having to commit to a big bag!


If the price is still just a bit too high, I would recommend giving the Beta Bloc double density chalk bloc a go. It has a very good value per gram and is probably the next best thing I have used after Friction Labs.


- Rich