Learn how to grip slopers with confidence Blog Feature

By: Jack Simonson

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Learn how to grip slopers with confidence

We recently asked you what kinds of things really spook you on a route and the most popular response we got? SLOPERS.

And trust us, we get it. That’s why we’re here to go over what you need to know to move slopers from most feared feature to something you can climb on with confidence! 😊

In this article, we're going to focus specifically on how to grab on different kinds of sloper holds. However, another major thing to keep in mind with slopers is your body positioning. In most situations you'll want to keep your body on the opposite side of the hold where your hand is.

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First establish your feet on the wall and grab the hold where it feels the best. Imagine your hand is on the North Pole. You’ll want your body to be as far south as possible. This will allow you to exert the maximum amount of force on the hold without your hand slipping off. 

Now, we'll go over the different kinds of slopers and the best way to grab (and move past them.

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Full-hand sloper

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It's right in the name--the key to successfully using this kind of sloper is to use an open-handed grip. So, grab this hold by firmly bringing your fingers together and trust the friction and the body positioning. When you grab this hold, you're looking to cover the maximum amount of surface area to get maximum friction.

Sloper pinch 

EL CAP Sloper Blog_pinch sloper open hand 2019 036If the sloper is oriented horizontally, you'll probably end up hanging on it like a sloper, so use an open hand grip

This kind of sloper may have a bit of an edge on it. You can use this hold two ways:

  1. By treating it as a full-hand sloper, as shown in the photo above. You'll use the same open-handed grip to hang onto this hold.
  2. You can use the edges and grab it much like you'd grab a pinch, like the photo shows below.


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If this sloper pinch is oriented vertically or on the side, you’ll want to pinch it by engaging your thumb on the side

No-shadow slopers

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Use an open-handed crimp grip to create tension with your fingers

No-shadow slopers don't give your hand as much surface area. Instead, trust your fingers and use an open-handed crimp grip with these holds. You'll want to engage with your grip and really rely on friction and body tension to stay on the wall.

Full hand wrap slopers

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You can't miss these slopers--these holds are big, and by big, I mean huge. The benefit to the size of the hold is that you have a couple of ways to grab onto it.

You could use the standard, open-handed grip as you would for the full-hand sloper or the sloper pinch. Another option would be to wrap the hold with the backside of your hand and engage your wrist and your forearm.


For a quick guide, watch this summary video:


Climb on!