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.
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.
"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."
With over 30 years of his life dedicated to the climbing industry, Kevin is fulfilling a lifelong bucket list item with the introduction of his first line of holds to the extensive Trango Holds catalogue.
After competing professionally for over a decade and honing his skills as a routesetter and coach, it only seemed natural to try his hand at hold shaping. When asked about his career in the world of climbing and route setting, Kevin describes hold shaping as “an artistic outlet that allows me to combine the form and function of route setting with the functional, interactive art of hold design!”
Kevin was given his first chunks of foam by legendary shaper Ian Powell in 1994 when Ian was working with the Straight Up hold company. “I remember thinking that shaping would be such a cool endeavor, and after trying to mimic a shape already in production, I realized just how much of an art form hold shaping really is…My first shapes were not even remotely worthy of being molded and climbed on.”
Around 2003, Kevin started to carve his first foam shapes for production, and now, almost two decades later, Kevin has been churning out hold lines for a number of the largest hold companies in the US. “I am one of the biggest hold junkies around.” For anyone who knows Kevin, this may seem like an understatement. As a designer, innovator, and climber, Kevin’s greatest desire is to share a lasting impression with the climbing world through his art and his love of the sport!
"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."
Emerging from a dingy, RadWall era gym, complete with shredded tires for floors, T Wrenches and buckets full of water and vinegar; Alton Richardson has witnessed the modern climbing gym revolution and evolution with a keen eye. Bringing 10+ years of commercial and competition routesetting experience in both outdated and modern gyms and a portfolio of content work from some of the biggest brands in climbing, Alton has a varied skill set, unlike most. Having been around some of the industries most influential shapers has helped craft Alton’s “taste” when it comes to holds and his obsession with movement and grips has taken him all around the country and overseas in search of high quality rock.