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Metolius Super Chalk Review

This chalk is the most cost effective way to keep your hands dry.
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $14 List | $8.93 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Coats hands well, least expensive "climbing specific" chalk
Cons:  Low friction, doesn't last as long as other chalks.
Manufacturer:   Metolius
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 29, 2019
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RANKED
#4 of 8
  • Friction & Overall Feel - 25% 6
  • Coverage - 25% 8
  • Mess - 25% 6
  • Value - 25% 10

Our Verdict

Metolius Super Chalk may be the best deal on the chalk market. It's 20 cents cheaper per ounce than then Black Diamond's loose chalk, plus it has a "safe drying agent" to make your hands extra dry. Our testers came to this chalk with a lot of bias, claiming that from previous experience, it was the slipperiest feeling chalk. However, in our blind testing on the hangboard, not a single tester could correctly pick Super Chalk out of the lineup. What's a discerning climber to do? Super Chalk is the most chalk for your dollar, and if you don't believe the hype (we remain skeptical), it's a great choice. Metolius says straight up on their

website that climbing harder because of expensive chalk is merely the placebo effect. Just putting that out there… Super Chalk is cheap, it works, and at a mere $0.80/oz, it takes home our Best Buy Award.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $8.93 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$2.45 at Backcountry$9.95 at Backcountry$14.25 at Backcountry
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$3.75 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
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Pros Coats hands well, least expensive "climbing specific" chalkWidely available, good texture and friction, nice priceExcellent value, good friction and coverageGreat Coverage, Excellent friction, almost no dustConsistent texture bag after bag, great friction
Cons Low friction, doesn't last as long as other chalks.Easy to spill, creates a lot of dustUnusable if you have cuts and abrasions on your handsNot a great valueExpensive
Bottom Line This chalk is the most cost effective way to keep your hands dry.No bells and whistles with White Gold. This magnesium carbonite keeps your hands dry without costing an arm and a leg.This liquid chalk lets you apply a solid base layer of chalk on your hands without creating a cloud of dust.When you need all the friction you can get, this chalk cream delivers.Friction Labs obviously goes the extra mile to ensure a consistent and quality product.
Rating Categories Metolius Super Chalk Black Diamond White Gold Mammut Liquid Chalk Friction Labs Secret Stuff Friction Labs Gorilla Grip
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Specs Metolius Super Chalk Black Diamond... Mammut Liquid Chalk Friction Labs... Friction Labs...
Resealable Packaging? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Price Per oz $0.80/oz $1.03/oz $1.94/oz $7.60/oz $2.50/oz
Type Loose Loose Liquid Liquid Loose
Drying Additive Yes No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Super Chalk and Black Diamond White Gold appear very similar. Both are loose chalks that come in a hodgepodge of chunk sizes with plenty of fine dust in the bottom of the bag. Our testers describe Super Chalk as being finer and dustier than White Gold, but again, they couldn't identify it in a blind test. Pair Super Chalk with a Metolius Refillable Chalk Sock and you've got a good system for reducing mess and spillage, making Super Chalk an even better bargain.

Performance Comparison


Our testers swear that this chalk has the silkiest feel of all the loose chalks  but none of them could identify which chalk was Super Chalk in our blind comparison.
Our testers swear that this chalk has the silkiest feel of all the loose chalks, but none of them could identify which chalk was Super Chalk in our blind comparison.

Friction & Overall Feel


We don't think the added drying agent makes a big difference in terms of feel or performance, nor did we experience any extra discomfort from it. Liquid chalks were the only chalk products that made us think that our hands may be getting too dry.


Our testers agreed that this chalk felt the finest and tend to cake up on our hands the most. For a consistently chunky texture than feels noticeably harder and crunchier than Super Chalk, you can check out Friction Labs Gorilla Grip, but it'll cost you about three times as much.

As long as we gave these sloper holds a generous brushing between sets  the chalk performed well  keeping our hands dry and perspiration free.
As long as we gave these sloper holds a generous brushing between sets, the chalk performed well, keeping our hands dry and perspiration free.

Coverage


Super Chalk provides coverage (how much chalk sticks to your hands after chalking up) comparable to BD White Gold or a finely crushed block of Frank Endo. Gorilla Grip seems to leave less chalk stuck on your hands, but it doesn't cake up as much. Some of our testers preferred the thinner layer left by the Gorilla Grip.


How does this affect your overall performance at the crag? More chalk stuck on your sweaty palms can add the necessary confidence to try as hard as possible. Conversely, too much chalk caked on the holds can make them feel slippery. Set yourself up for success and brush those holds. Below, check out the coverage before and after our sloper test.


Mess


Loose chalk is notoriously messy, falling out of chalk bags and onto gym floors across the nation, aerosolizing and floating into our sensitive respiratory systems, especially when people blow excess chalk off their hands (it's a thing). Like the BD White Gold, Super Chalk comes in a big resealable bag, and you should use a scooper of some sort when loading up your chalk bag, or you'll end up with chalk all over yourself.

A bag of this chalk includes everything from hefty chunks to a fine powder.
A bag of this chalk includes everything from hefty chunks to a fine powder.

Value


Eighty cents an ounce is a screaming deal, especially compared to the boutique chalks from Friction Labs that go for $2.50/oz. In terms of bang for your buck, this chalk is by far the winner.


Best Applications


If you can't climb unless your hands are constantly covered in a heaping helping of magnesium carbonate, Super Chalk is your best bet. If you're like some of our testers and don't like the texture of Super Chalk, BD White Gold only costs a little bit more.

The large resealable bag is more convenient for storage than the paper wrapping of block chalks.
The large resealable bag is more convenient for storage than the paper wrapping of block chalks.

Conclusion


We had a few testers that said Metolius Super Chalk is the only chalk they don't like because it feels silkier and more slippery than other chalks. Again, none of them could successfully confirm which chalk they were using in our blind testing, which would support Metolius's claim about the Placebo Affect. This chalk is cheap and works.

The Placebo Effect in action  perhaps. Well chalked hands equal confidence high off the deck.
The Placebo Effect in action, perhaps. Well chalked hands equal confidence high off the deck.


Matt Bento