Awesome Woodys Cliff Board Mini Review
Cons: Not best for daily use, slots used for pull-ups and lock-offs not very comfortable
Manufacturer: Awesome Woodys
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cliff Board Mini is approximately the size of most standard-sized keyboards and is smaller than some laptops. It will easily fit in most backpacks or laptop bags, and we found it easy to hang off anything that you could hang a rope over or clip a carabiner too. While this board won't likely be the only hangboard you own, it's a sweet addition for any avid climber who wants to continue training while on any work or trip away from home. It's surprisingly stable and the little it does shift only increases the training intensity. It has become our favorite hangboard for traveling because of its compact size and ability to hang nearly anywhere.
Edges and Pockets
The Cliff Board Mini is the most compact, travel-oriented model in our review and is likely the most popular in Awesome Woody's hanging fingerboard line-up. Its primary training design is based around four board-wide edge widths (13.5 inches wide), and while it only offers two sets of pockets and a stand-alone two-finger pocket, it is designed with the idea of utilizing the long edges for one, two, three, and four-finger hangs. This performed pretty darn well considering its size without sacrificing too much.
The four main edge widths all have comfortable rounded edges and are comprised of a large top rail that essentially acts as a jug because the top has no back wall so your fingers can wrap around over the top. This top edge is 30 mm deep (nearly 1.5 inches) but feels bigger. The second edge down is 18 mm (slightly under 0.75 inches) in depth with a rounded edge and a flat top. The third and lowest edge on this side is 15 mm (around 0.625 inches). There is a fourth edge on the backside of the board directly below the cutouts (holes) that create warm-up jugs and a good pull-up edge. This back edge is 10 mm (a hair under 0.5 inches) and will easily be one of the most used edges on the board.
The only thing slightly annoying about the 4th and smallest 10mm edge is how close to the jug-holes are. We found ourselves catching on them and gaining benefit from the holes, resulting in a poorer workout. That aside, we like the selection of edges and believe that most people can get a pretty good work out on this board as it offers a solid progression of holds.
As we mentioned, this board is more oriented toward utilizing the edges with progressively fewer fingers. However, there are two sets of pockets and one individual, stand-alone pocket on one side of the board. The pockets consist of a symmetric pair of 3-finger, 1.25 inch deep pockets and as well as a pair of 1-finger pockets of the same depth. Lastly, the stand-alone 2-finger pocket in the middle of the board is 1 inch in depth. We found ourselves using this edge the least.
Slopers and Jugs
The Cliff Board features three slots/holes big enough to fit all four of your fingers through the main board. These provide a decent surface to do warm-up hangs or work on your pull-ups though aren't as comfortable as the jugs on many other models. We found these fine for warming up but weren't our favorite for lots of weighted pull-ups.
The third slot is of similar size in the center of the board. It's designed for one-armed pull-ups and lock-off training. The reason for its location is to better center and balance the board because if you tried to do a one-armed pull-up or lock-off on either side, the board would tilt sideways or flip over.
There aren't any true slopers on this board, though by adjusting the location of its hanging cords you can offset the angle of the entire board to create sloping edges. While we liked a lot of things about this model, the slopers weren't necessarily one of them. This is mostly due to the hanging, slightly rotating nature of this board. The slopers felt more awkward, and our review team would utilize them less with this board than with other models.
The texture of this board is awesome and easily among our review team's favorite of any model we tested. We found its edges and pockets smooth and easy on the fingertips. The texture of this board is smoother than all of the polyester resin models we tested, which is generally a good thing. Though less grippy, the smoother texture is easier on your skin and facilitates a better workout because it takes more effort to hang onto than a more textured model.
The only thing we don't love is the 4-finger slots designed for pull-ups and lock-offs. Because the hole is located just barely above the edges, they are the least comfortable jugs we tested.
The model doesn't offer any pinches, while you can hang it at an angle to work on very large pinches by gripping two sets of edges, our review team found this to be awkward and difficult. Not having very good pinches is generally a theme among compact boards.
This board is certainly the narrowest model we tested which is fine for travel or bringing to warm-up at the crag, but if you are going to log serious time on a board as a primary training tool, we recommend getting a wider board. This is particularly true if you are over 5'6" or have a history of shoulder or elbow problems. Awesome Woody's makes the Cliff Board Wide Boy which is essentially the same board from an edge number and depth perspective but is nearly 10 inches wider. The Cliff Board Wide also offers a few more pockets squeezed into its longer length, but its obvious disadvantage is it doesn't fit into a backpack as easily and takes up noticeably more room.
Ease of Mounting
The Cliff Board Mini is obviously super easy to mount as it requires no screws or drilling to use. It can be hung off anything you can sling a rope over or attach a carabiner too. Its design auto equalizes well and can be strung up almost anywhere.
The price of the Cliff Board Mini is pretty much in line with other compact wood boards on the market. The Cliff Board Mini's obvious and fairly unique advantage is that is super portable and can be hung nearly anywhere.
Awesome Woody's Cliff Board Mini is not a great standalone hangboard. For a training accessory that can be brought with you and hung-up nearly anywhere, though, this model is tough to beat. The Mini is so small and light it will fit in nearly any bag that could fit a laptop. While training, it's surprisingly stable, and its hanging options are countless, letting you stick to your training regiment regardless of location. Compact size aside, we love this model's limited, but well-thought-out, selection of edges and pockets. There aren't tons, but just enough to make sure you can get an effective workout. From warming up at a crag to family visits on Thanksgiving, this hangboard is a fantastic substitute when away from home.
— Ian Nicholson