Ty Foose shaping a climbing hold

In the early 1990's, Ty's climbing obsession led to a routesetting obsession, which left him dissatisfied with the available climbing hold options. He took matters into his own hands and shaped his first hold, a wooden pocket. Shaping ignited a creative fire that has been burning for over 20 years. Now an industry icon, Ty tackles the intricate details that no other shaper is crazy enough to take on. Shaping setter-centric holds with his hallmark artistic detail has landed his shapes in World Cup competitions and home gyms alike. If you've climbed on an artificial surface, chances are that you've touched a piece of Ty's work.

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Ryan Spence shaping a climbing hold

Ryan has a passion for classic holds and shaping history. He started shaping in 1992 and after nearly ten years developing his shaping and mold making skills in relative isolation he began apprenticing with Ian and Ty. His first e-Grips shapes launched in 2002 and has created the Remarkable Rocks, Turtle and Peabody styles for eGrips.

Over the past 20 years, Ryan has worked in all aspects of the climbing industry. He currently manages the development, design and construction of climbing wall projects for Elevate Climbing Walls and is a USAC certified setter. He is also a world renowned expert on diving history and has one of the largest collections of Jacques Cousteau equipment in the world.

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Trevor Turmelle shaping a climbing hold

"Since Ty and Ian are the geniuses of e-grips, Chris is the idea guy, and Ryan is the explorer, then I am the water boy cheerleader. It took me no less than one full decade of shaping under Ty’s constant attention to get to the point in my career where I get to work under the banner of the best hold company in America. I feel grateful every day. In 2005, I accidentally moved two doors down from Ty in Hueco Tanks, Texas. It turns out that being one of the few survivors in that part of the world in July pays off. I found myself wearing a World War II relic gas mask, standing in a small, gutted travel trailer, with the Ty Foose and countless beers. Just like Breaking Bad, it was all down hill from there. Today, I strive for utility when I shape. I work to make holds that are practical, holds that are comfortable, and holds that everyone wants to set with and climb on."

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Roy Quanstrom shaping a climbing hold"As a route setter, when I go into shaping a line, I think about the climbers experience, but more subversively I think about the experience of the route setter. Many times I've set a route that needs to get turned way up or way down difficulty wise. I think the strongest and most useful holds are the ones that can go from 5.10 to 5.14 with minimal changes. I think about this every time I'm in the studio. How can I make a line of holds where the setter doesn't even need to think about the level? My ambition is to instill confidence that the route will end up getting to where it needs to be, without having to make a complete overhaul of the work that's put into it. With my holds, I'm attempting to gain the trust of the route setter, both that they can present the desired challenge, and the holds will be able to hit whatever difficulty the setting team needs it to be."

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Scott Ossim holding a climbing hold he shaped

Scott Ossim draws inspiration from years of experience in the climbing industry, working with gyms around the world and helping them to outfit their walls with shapes that keep climbers coming back for more. Scott envisioned a line of shapes that setters could use to create unique “monostylistic” routes, meaning a route set with (almost) entirely one style of holds. These routes tend to have great flow, as they emulate real rock climbing situations where the style of hold is often consistent through the routes. Like climbing on pockets in the Red River Gorge.

Apart from the great movement and flow of monostylistic routes, they tend to catch people’s attention from across the room. I love when climbers spot a route as soon as they enter a gym and say, “I want to try THAT one!”

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Ian Powell

Ian cultivated his shaping craft not long after he began climbing and after moving to Boulder, Colorado, he honed his skills designing for the classic original hold brand Straight Up. With a fine art background, his own personal philosophy of movement, and a distinct shaping style, Ian is truly a genius with foam. Each of his creations is a unique product of self-expression through climbing. Needless to say, Ian has had an inspiring, intriguing, illustrious and incendiary career in the climbing world.

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