Pusher: Don't Call it Comeback.

posted by dpm on 05/21/2010

In 2004 three companies, Pusher, Cordless and S7 sat under one roof. They were arguably three of the most recognized brands in the industry, but the empire fell. Six years later, one of the brands is making a comeback. Pusher now has a Facebook profile, making their comeback almost official. We caught up with owner and founder Clark Shelk to find out about what Pusher is, get the skinny on what happened to the brand, and find out what we should expect from Pusher in the future.
 
 
“The answer to the first question is fairly simple. Pusher is a small brand that got started in1993 and is dedicated to designing and manufacturing high quality, innovative climbing holds and climbing gear.

The answer to the second question is a little more involved. Maybe you’ve heard the stories, rumors and random gossip. But we figured that we should lay it out in the open and tell you the real story, however ugly it might be. We owe you guys at least that much.

In the late 90s and early 00s, Pusher was one of the very few companies to wholeheartedly embrace and support the bouldering and indoor climbing movements and we were growing quickly. There was an incredible amount of development, energy and innovation coming out of our shop, but the rapid expansion unfortunately meant some less-than-intelligent investments.

By early 2004, Pusher was facing dire financial problems and was forced to close shop until those bills were satisfied and reintroduction was possible. We were in a near-bankruptcy situation at that time, so placing Pusher in a kind of “dormancy” was really the best, if not the only option.

How much money was it? Let’s put it this way: the amount of money we owed could have purchased some nice beachfront property in Costa Rica, seriously. That would have been a much less stressful option, although it would not have been the right thing to do.

Instead, we spent the next five years chipping away at those bills and debts when we had a little extra money. It was not easy. It took a long time, a lot of hard work and sacrifice. More than we can explain here. But we finally got it all dealt with last year.

For all of you who have been desperately missing Pusher holds and gear for the last half-dozen years, we’re sorry for the incredibly long wait. Shit happens, as they say. But we hope to make up for all the lost time with some very good news: the product is now better than ever.

All Pusher holds are now made of special, unique polyurethane. It’s lighter weight and way tougher than our old polyester mix. This new blend is only available from Pusher and it contains 56% recycled and sustainable (sucrose-based) materials. That means we’re offering the most environmentally friendly climbing holds ever made. All of it made right here in the US of A.

We’ve brought back about half of the total Pusher line into this new collection. Some of the original holds didn’t make the cut because they had some inherent structural flaws or they were just played-out, obsolete shapes from the late 90s. But the best of the best are still here. If you don’t see some of your old favorites in this new line up, please be patient. There’s more to come.

We believe that indoor sessions should burn your muscles, not your skin. So we shape our holds from less-porous foam, which gives the hold surface a distinctly non-aggressive texture, while still providing excellent friction.

We are also introducing a lean and detailed line of soft goods; some of them are redesigns, some are new designs you’ve never seen before, none of them copies. The Spot is back with better foam, a better pack system and new dimensions that allow a greater carrying capacity.

Our Zone Crash Pad is one of the most well thought-out pads ever made, addressing some aspects that other companies have ignored. It’s filled with the highest quality, longest lasting foam available. We are continuing our tradition of developing not just new products, but also new concepts like The Sack.

Since we’re currently getting everything prepared again, we don’t have a full color, glossy catalog to display our wares, but it’s coming very soon. In the meantime, please check out the website for all the photos and more product details. If you would like place an order or just give us a shout, feel free to write us an e-mail. We would love to hear from you.
 
The last few years didn’t kill us, it only made us stronger.”

You can visit Pusher @ http://www.pushergear.com .The site launches June 1st, 2010 or “become a fan” and check out some of their product on their Facebook page.