Hands-on Gear Review

Metolius Super Chalk Review

Metolius Super Chalk
Best Buy Award
Price:  $5 List | $2.49 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.
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Metolius

Our Verdict

Metolius Super Chalk is a good climbing chalk at a reasonable price. It is currently the best selling climbing chalk in America according to MetoliusClimbing.com. We found it to be quite effective at absorbing our nasty palm sweat, and it gave our hands a nice even ghostly white coat. We also like the fact that you can buy Superchalk in a massive five-pound bag, which brings the price per gram way down. We did find the friction of the chalk to be slightly lower than Black Diamond White Gold, and we had to chalk up significantly more often than with White Gold in our head-to-head comparisons. Due to the thick coat that Super Chalk leaves on your hands, expect to leave visible white marks on the rock. If youre climbing on some sensitive stone where white blemishes might mar the natural beauty of the rock, we suggest using the Metolius Eco Ball as a non-marking substitute. If you are looking for the best deal on chalk, go with Gym Chalk, which scored about as high as Super Chalk but is half the price. It's nice that you can get Super Chalk in five-pound bags.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Climbing Chalk Review

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Robert Beno

Last Updated:
Tuesday
August 17, 2010

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Metolius Super Chalk is specifically designed with a climbers needs in mind. It was probably the first ever "climbing specific" chalk made (before that climbers pretty much just used gymnastic chalk). When tested, we found the absorption of Super Chalk to be among its top attributes. Super Chalk evenly coats your hands and instantly absorbs any moistness you have going on. We also found that Metolius Super Chalk was the cheapest climbing specific loose chalk, per gram, that we tested (but Endo Chalk was the cheapest overall). With an available five-pound bag you can save some coin by buying in bulk. By comparison, the Black Diamond White Gold doesn't come in large bulk discount sizes. Because Super Chalk is probably the best selling chalk in America it is easy to find in stores and online.

Dislikes


While we enjoyed the absorption of Super Chalk, we did notice that we had to chalk up significantly more often than with other loose chalks we tested. We also found that Super Chalk had a slightly slippery consistency to it and seemed to add little to the friction of our fingers.

Best Applications


This bag comes in all shapes and sizes and is fit for all applications.

Robert Beno


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Most recent review: April 6, 2011
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (3.4)

56% of 9 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
9 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (3)
4 star: 11%  (1)
3 star: 22%  (2)
2 star: 22%  (2)
1 star: 11%  (1)

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   Apr 6, 2011 - 07:31pm
weschrist · Climber · left sac

I only buy Metolius Super Chalk and can totally feel a difference when I use friend's chalk. Bought a 5lb bag a while ago and it is lasting for ever. Best chalk out there for sure. The only improvement I can suggest is adding a pinch of novocaine for pain management!!!



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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   Aug 27, 2010 - 04:23am
I'm hurtin . . . · Climber · midwest

I bought a bag of this stuff when I ran out of what I thought was Super Chalk. Right away it felt different, and not in a good way. It didn't stick to my fingers at all, and actually seemed to serve as a lubricant between my fingers and the rock. When I checked to see what I'd been using before, turned out it was White Gold, which I find works just as well as the 2oz blocks of mag. carbonate.

I've got a full 1lb bag of super chalk I'll give to anyone who will pay the shipping!



Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.


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   Aug 21, 2010 - 04:31am
Tfish · Climber · La Crescenta, CA

It always feels clumpy and gross. Once you use bison competition chalk, you'll never go back.



Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.


Aug 20, 2010 - 08:47pm
 
G_Gnome · Climber · In the mountains... somewhere...

Until a couple months ago it was my favorite. Then it went BAD!!! Feels all grainy and won't cake up at all. Now switched back to Endo block.



Climber

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   Aug 20, 2010 - 03:53pm
phillygoat · Climber · portland,

As this is some of the most easily available chalk in the area, it was my default chalk for years. I then received some Franklin block-chalk for free and IMMEDIATELY noticed that my fingers would not become painfully dried out. I tried Super Chalk one more time to make sure I wasn't imagining things, and it really does leave a subtle, burning sensation on the skin.

I believe the drying agents exacerbate the normal skin damage of climbing. It's most noticeable while climbing consecutive days. I know it's silly to be so opinionated about something like chalk. However, less finger/skin pain = more climbing. Again, I didn't recognize the problem until I switched to non-drying agent chalk.



Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.

goofing off at pine creek

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   Aug 20, 2010 - 03:08pm
jfailing · Climber · Lone Pine

I used to be all about the Super Chalk, but have recently gone back to the Frank Endo blocks. It's weird, I think that it's possible to have "bad batches" of superchalk. My friend got a bag recently and it felt like sugar.

Bottom line, this is chalk. There is other chalk that is cheaper and just as good.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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   Aug 20, 2010 - 05:03am
Hummerchine · Climber · East Wenatchee, WA

I think this stuff is awesome, used it for years, best chalk available…by a hair!

HOWEVER, it dries the crap out of my skin, turns it to sandpaper. So I've gone back to classic Endo block. The difference turns out to be negligible.



Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.


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   Aug 19, 2010 - 07:03pm
weschrist · Climber · left sac

Best white powder money can buy in California.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Climber

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   Jun 14, 2010 - 08:04pm
AK707 · Climber · Davis, CA

I have always used this chalk, and have been happy with its performance. I have really sweaty palms, and this chalk does the job well without drying out my hands



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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   Jun 13, 2010 - 05:44am
Cpt0bvi0u5 · Climber · Merced CA

This is the climbing chalk that I have always used. Does the job great and is affordable. Nothing beats it.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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