We are delighted to announce that we have got climber/boulderer Tom Newman joining the ranks of climbing Alpkiteer. We've known Tom for a little while and it's great to be able to support his climbing projects through our range of bouldering equipment. Tom first threw on an Alpkit Red T when he stepped in as a last minute addition to our ragtag team for ROCfest 2013, where he promptly finished up in 3rd place.
Tom is active both indoors and out, but admits to being a bit of a loner sometimes due to working weekends, so more often than not has to film himself. Recently though he's managed to grab some people to head out with him. You can check out a video of him making light work of his new 8a at Cratcliffe courtesy of Bystander Films.
Tom has just headed out on a trip to Hueco Tanks for some nice weather bouldering and we packed him off with one of our new mutant Project bouldering pads and prototype boulder bucket. We made sure he couldn't enjoy it too much, so sent him some questions.
AK. When did you first get into climbing?
TN. I first starting climbing aged 7 at Newton Aycliffe Sports Centre, in a little climbing wall next to a swimming pool (it was constantly boiling hot).
AK. Bouldering or leading?
TN. I mainly boulder due to the fact that it is easier to do so in the UK and the majority of my days off are week day's, so it's hard to track down a belay buddy. I also manage a bouldering centre so I naturally lean towards bouldering. My mum has a place out in Spain, so whenever I get chance to go out there, I always take a rope and harness. It would be rude not to considering it's the sport climbing mecca of the globe.
I'm known to dabble in competition climbing as well. It's challenging and I enjoy that, however, it's hard to stay motivated for international competition when the guys we go up against are outlandishly good and strong.
AK. Favourite location and why?
TN. I don't really have a favourite location for climbing. I enjoy all styles from all over the world. I'm currently in Hueco Tanks and this place certainly lives up to expectations. If I were to name a few of my favourite places I have been, it would include Rocklands, Fontainebleau and the UK (I think the UK has some brilliant climbs to be had).
AK. Tick List. (sum up a few of the top routes/results)
TN. If I had to some up some memorable boulder problems it would have to be my most recent two FA's, An Extra Inch of Musclin Man 8a and Whackaboosh 8a. On paper I would say my best climb's are The Ace and Voyager, but personally I feel I have done climb's with a lower grade that have felt much harder to me, but I guess this is why climbing is such a personal sport. Every climb is different for every person most of the time.
AK. Well we're really pleased and excited to be working with you and look forward to what you get up to. Any plans when you get back?
TN. As I mentioned earlier, my days off tend to be week days, so I regularly head out climbing on my own, because of this, a good pad is essential. You've given me a good sized pad that is great for landing on and efficiently designed for packing gear into. It helps with that extra 1% confidence you sometimes need to commit to a move that may be the difference between success and failure when out on your own. On top of this you have a quality range of coloured pads to select from and provided me with a matching bouldering bucket to go with my pad. Even though non of us will ever admit it, we all want to look slightly cool out at the crag. Hopefully in the future I can go on to keep climbing quality hard 5 star boulder problems.
AK. Oh, enjoy Hueco.
We'll keep you posted on what Tom's up to, but you can also keep up to date on his personal blog.