The Rock Prodigy takes hangboards to the next level by simply chopping one in half. It doesn’t sound like a cutting-edge breakthrough but it’s the first design inspired by the realization that people come in all shapes and sizes from ballerina to linebacker. The two-piece construction allows the boards to be spaced at the perfect width to match your personal body size, reducing joint strain and greatly reducing the potential for injury.
The Rock Prodigy was designed by brothers Mike and Mark Anderson, training gurus that recently published “The Rock Climber’s Training Manual,” a book that documents the wealth of training knowledge they gleaned on their way to climbing 5.14+. As with most hangboard designs, the crux is packing in as many grip positions as possible within a small amount of space and they managed to fit more than 30 unique grips on this one.
The top has a comfortable jug, a heinous sloper, and a less heinous sloper; but what really sets this board apart are the pinch grips. Unlike most pinches that are oriented vertically and put your hand in a position like pulling a book from a shelf, these pinches are oriented horizontally so you grab them above your head as if you were going to grip a pull-up bar. This design reduces stress on the wrists and puts maximal load on the thumb flexors. There are three different pinch sizes from tiny (imagine squeezing a sheet of plywood), to medium (a fat climbing guidebook), to large (tufa grande)!
As with any hangboard, the meat-and-potatoes is in the edges and pockets and the Rock Prodigy offers limitless possibility due to the variable-depth edge rails that taper from one end to the other. The top rail, for example, starts on the left at a pad-and-a-half depth but as you slide your fingers to the right, the depth gradually decreases to a ¾ pad edge. This allows for fine-tuned adjustment and there are even “position index bumps” at the back of the rail so you can quickly find your spot just like locating the “J” on your keyboard. The second rail tapers from a pad edge to a half-pad sloper and below that is a ¼ pad tweaker for some real Dura Dura training. Two varying depth three-finger pockets and three different two-finger pockets round out an ergonomic and tendon-friendly little package to get swole on.