Preparing your skin for outdoor climbing

Hi everyone,

Apart from using skin conditioning products like Rhino or Antihydral, what else are you doing to prepare it for outdoor sessions?

My challenge is that I’m located 4 hours drive from closest bouldering area, so my skin doesn’t get exposed to real rock that often - on average I spend one weekend per month climbing outside and I find that my limiting factor is thin skin.
I was thinking about using holds made from real rock (granite) to condition and thicken skin on my fingertips. I wouldn’t train constantly on them, just use them for low intensity fingerboarding or medium difficulty problems to avoid the opposite (wearing skin off).
Does anyone have experience with such or similar approach?

Interesting question! I can’t help you out, I’m sorry. But bouldering for me requires a 6 hour drive so I also try to make the most out of any trip. I’ve experimented a lot with skin repair, and for me mono with CBD works great! I put it on after a climbing session and before bed, and it will help my skin to regenerate. I’ve tried a whole bunch of different creams, but somehow the ones that had CBD in them worked better for my skin. Just saying this because you could experiment with different creams for regeneration on top of your idea of conditioning the skin!

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Thanks for the tip!
While my main focus is conditioning of skin upfront, I’ll definitely try this as well. So far I was using beeswax-based products and infamous EA 8-hour cream - they seem to do the decent job, but it’s worth seeing if other things like CBD could also help.

Have definitely seen folks do dedicated hangs for skin farming. The 10mm and 7mm tension edges on the older block do a good bit of work towards this if your projects are crimpier.

Aside from that, I think plastic texture mostly differs from rock in that it’s finer grained and the holds differ mostly in that they have more sharp edges. So maybe simulate these things on a wall or hangboard?

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Thanks for your input, I’ll definitely try this. I have some holds with sharper edges that would be suitable for that. For starter, I’ll probably incorporate this in my everyday hangboarding routine for tendon health (few low intensity hangs on different edges).

If you can’t get to rock enough, then I’d definitely go the route of hanging on rougher edges. Something crystally with lots of texture. It’s the pressure and pull on your skin that causes it to grow the way you want (that’s the theory anyway, and it seems likely. Definitely different than just sanding or filing)

This guy has the best I’ve seen. Something like smooth sandstone may not do it, but if you can find rough granite - that likely will.

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This guy, if you aren’t on Instagram:

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Thanks for the advice. I actually already have some of Ian’s holds. They really have a texture that resembles rough granite.
I’ll start using them and let everyone know in few months what are the results.

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