Our journey started back in 1989 in a plywood bouldering gym we built with some friends in an old auto body shop in Salt Lake City. SLC didn't have much of a climbing history at the time but it had a friendly local community and a cache of steep limestone in nearby American Fork Canyon. The Body Shop community mixed trad and sport climbers, boulderers, pre-teens and mountain guns...we welcomed everybody. And we got to know plastic.
"Man, if we made holds..."
Fast-forward to '94, when a chemistry experiment led by the late Dave Bell produced an early sample of holds, mostly to save money for The Body Shop. Those early grips were pretty standard, but one stood out...The Butt. Boom! The first oversized plastic hold that wasn't actually a hold was born. Dave then got Rob Gilbert, Boone Speed and Mike 'MC' Call involved and together they turned the volume way up.
Remember, BITD holds were sharp and pretty dumb actually. None were bigger than a CD and if you didn't want to tweak on the heinous little designated pocket, you'd just grab the outside edge of the hold. The whole bloody thing! Trying to set good problems, especially for competition was a nightmare.
The Pusher boys saw it differently. They introduced traits easily taken for granted today like "friendly" shapes, and texture. Other firsts included XXL holds...predecessors to today's volumes, like The Boss, the boys' oversized homage to Fontainebleau, and The Big Stone, the first ever "broken texture" hold...closely resembling granite. And finally there was that bar-raising "No Filler Guarantee". True, there's a lot less crappy plastic out there today, but we still honor our original pledge... that if you don't like a hold we send you, for whatever reason, send it back and we'll replace it with one that you dig.
Which brings us up to date... now, almost 30 years of evolution and thousands of shapes later, we're back from sabbatical...still at it, all of it...climbing, shaping and pushing chemistry forward.
We sincerely appreciate your interest in our passion.
Lets enjoy this together.
The above Boone Speed photo is one of the most iconic pictures ever associated with the brand. Matt Lund, Mike Call, Ian Glas and Chris Sharma circa 1997 assessing an unclimbed face during development of Ibex, Utah.