When we first sat down to decide on a name there were lots of options and ideas, many of them that were better or perhaps made more sense at first glance. In the end though, Working Class embodied much of what we wanted to portray through and build into this new company’s identity. We want this to be a company that is respected by routesetters, climbers, and the rest of the people working day in and day out to make our industry all that it can be. And so Working Class Climbing is who we are…
I’ve been involved in this industry since its earliest days and continue to be. I own a gym, have been setting as long as anyone in our country, am a very prolific hold shaper, build gyms, and am constantly spreading myself too thin in order to be a part of it all. On top of that, I still do what I can to enjoy this thing called climbing that has been a huge part of my life for better than 40 years now. I’m part of the working class as well.
As the company becomes more established, you will notice that the people we use in our product videos and in other aspects of our marketing and promotions are not big name climbers, polished public speakers, or other folks that might be better choices from a sales standpoint – they are the routesetters that put in long hours making sure that we all have a good experience in climbing gyms. These are the people that keep everything rolling along and are often unsung heroes. We hope to change all of that and to shine the light on them a little where we can. They are 100% part of the working class.
Along with the setters, we have gym and home wall owners, and of course the climbers who will be pulling on our products day in and day out in an effort to improve enough to send their projects, whether indoors or outside. These people are all part of the working class that we hope to support and they are the ones that we will answer to in all that we choose to bring to market. We’ve made a couple of conscious decisions in our hold shaping. We promise to do what we can to keep our shapes as economical as possible. This means our holds will not be big unless it makes sense to be big, they will be low profile where possible in order to keep material usage down, and we will hollowback any shapes that make sense. All of this will be done in order to sell the holds for as low of prices as we possibly can, and to keep the overall weight of them down. This means lower shipping costs, but also means less work for the setters that are installing the holds on climbing walls. Theirs is a very demanding job and we want to do what we can to make that job easier and less tiring for them.
Another way that we've chosen to support the working class is to offer "gym" pricing to all of our customers. We first developed our pricing using a traditional hold company model, with a discounted pricing structure for gyms. This is the way it's always been done, but the more we thought about it the more we realized that there was no good reason to not give everyone those same discounted prices. As a result, we've left the prices how they were originally planned for the gym market and eliminated the higher "retail" prices altogether. There are no minimum purchases required to enjoy those prices and everyone can benefit from the same discounts on larger orders that only gyms have enjoyed in the past. We know of no other hold company that has made this their policy and we hope that it helps those with home walls to both enjoy our holds and to make their wall projects more affordable.
When looking at a production company to produce the holds for Working Class, it was very easy to select Catalyst. They have been pouring holds since 2008 and have a great reputation. Their hollowbacks are among the best in the industry, their urethane material is on par with anything else available, they pour all of the industry standard colors, their set screw and bolt holes are all pre-drilled, and they have a very fast turnaround time when processing orders. These are all reason enough for us to have selected them for production, but perhaps more important is the fact that they are all climbers. They understand what a hold should feel like and what expectations setters and climbers will have when they use the holds. Because of this their quality control is the best we’ve seen in the US market. They very much represent the working class as well.
Our team is strong and we promise to do everything possible to stay true to our core ideals and to bring you a great product at a great price. If we ever miss that mark, please let us know – we’ll make it right and together we will all continue to support climbing’s working class, in all its forms.
Sales Representative and Lead Shaper