Ep.9 - Ian Powell (Part 2) Episode ArtOn the history and future of the shaping industry, why he wants to strangle routesetters, and the rise of Kilter Grips!

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This is part 2 of a 2 part series on Ian Powell and his company Kilter Grips. If you haven’t yet, take the time to listen to part one of the series. Ian’s rich, enigmatic narrative is worth the listen and it will catch you up to this episode.

Accompanied by his sales, marketing, and publicity manager, Jackie Hueftle, Ian Powell delves back into the history of starting eGrips with little to no money, and elaborates on his visions for the future of the hold shaping industry. Jackie does her best to keep him on track…no promises.

Ian has been a part of the climbing industry as a hold shaper since the early 90’s. He was a driving force during an era of impressive growth for the climbing industry, a time when a boom of young, artistic climbers around the country began to shape holds like never before. This renaissance of hold shaping was the boom that brought the climbing industry holds that gym climbers are still fiending for 20 years later.

Ian Powell began shaping for Straight Up holds with buddy Ty Foose. Eventually, Ian began eGrips and called on Ty to help him get the company up to speed. Wait…why am I telling you this? Just listen to the episode. Ian’s more fun to listen to anyway.

Show Notes on episode with Ian Powell:

  • Wherein Ian finally gets into the history of eGrips
  • The introduction of polyurethane holds
  • The hold shaping renaissance of the 90’s (featuring such classic shapers as: Ty Foose, Clark Shelk, Rob Mulligan, Louie Anderson, Mike Call, Mark Russo, Boone Speed, Tony Yaniro, and Ian Glass)
  • The hopes and dreams for the future of the hold shaping industry
  • Why he sometimes wants to strangle routesetters
  • And the future of hold shaping (featuring the new prodigies: Jason Kehl, Peter Juhl, Will Anglin)
  • Design philosophy and economics
  • And how Kilter is trying to innovate as a new company in a flooded market

Related Links and Sponsors with Ian Powell:


Photo Gallery:

*Quick note: in this this new episode of Chalk Talk, I mention that you can see photos of Ian’s sculpture artwork on the website. However, Ian didn’t like the selection that I put on the site and is currently scanning new photos and sending them to me. Stand by…*

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