Beastmaker 1000 Review
Cons: Expensive, middle and shallowest depth 3-fingered pockets too close together, too much chalk creates a gummy feeling
Our Analysis and Test Results
Easily one of our review team's favorite all-around boards. Perfect for 5.10 to mid 5.13 climbers, the 1000 offers a great variety of edges and pockets while still coming in with the review's smallest dimensions for a mounted board. It doesn't provide quite as systematic a layout nor is it quite as easy to log progress as other models, but it certainly has the variety of grips to help make you stronger.
Edges and Pockets
Don't let its small size fool you. It's packed full of holds. It sports only a slightly above-average number of holds, but it offers the perfect combination for most of our testers. Quality of holds over quantity, the 1000 series is our testing team's preference in this regard.Edges
This model has three sets of four-finger edges and one standalone edge in the center of the board. The depths of these three sets of edges are 1 3/4", 3/4", and 1/2". If you are going to have three edges, this is pretty much the perfect combination in our opinion. The 1 3/4" edge (nearly two pads) is great for warming up or for folks newer to fingerboard training to start gaining some strength. The 3/4" (full pad) is challenging and where many newer climbers will log a lot of time. The half-inch (half pad) is a great "suffer edge," meaning most climbers might be able to cling to it early in their workouts but will struggle later on or when weight is added. It's ideal for making gains. The stand-alone, 2-inch deep four-finger edge in the center of the board is perfect for lock-off training or one-armed pull-ups.Pockets
This model has three sets of three-finger pockets and two sets of 2-finger pockets. The deepest 3-finger pocket (1 3/4") is great for people transitioning to using pockets utilizing less than all four of their fingers.
Both of the smaller pairs of 3-finger pockets (1 1/8" and 3/4") present our only real complaint with this board. Both sets are simply are too close together to be comfortable to use for a majority of users. Not only is their position so close together making it slightly harder on your shoulders, but it is also straight-up uncomfortable. For some, it borders on painful as your index fingers and thumbs get pressed tightly together when you are working on the three-finger groups middle-finger to pinky. The result is you'll rarely want to use either pair of these edges at least in that combination (it's not nearly as bad index finger to ring finger). It's too bad because the combination of edge depths is perfect for most climbers' training progression and they build nicely on one other. Overall, this short downfall in this one hand position is the model's only trade-off for its small size. Otherwise, the design nails pocket progression and edges within a very compact space.
This model's two 2-finger pocket depths are quite nice. The 2-inch depth provides a nice stepping stone to two-finger pocket training, and the 1 inch depth pockets offer something more challenging for more advanced climbers. For folks who might not quite be redpointing 5.12 yet, you likely won't be using these holds a lot with the exception of negative weight (a pulley system taking weight off of you) but we also think a lot of folks find them inspirational and gives them a goal to work toward, even if it is hanging off a two-finger pocket in your garage.
Slopers and Jugs
This model features a nice pair of slopers that our crew found above-average for thier angle and size. The two slopers are 30 degrees and 40 degrees. For most users, the 30 gets a nice pump and can be used for warming up while the 40 degrees sloped edge is on the vicious side, especially with weight. Our testers found these a nice addition to the board, providing good "cross-training" for your fingers to break up the pure edges as well as increasing whole-hand strength.
The Beastmaker 1000 receives some of the highest accolades for texture among all the boards we tested. When we say the best texture, we mean less harmful on our hands, skin, and fingertips. The smooth wooden holds wrecked our hands noticeably less than other models, especially when using a fingerboard more than two times per week or with more than 15 pounds of weight added to body weight.
Like all wooden hangboards, but particularly with the Beastmaker, excessive chalk will make the holds feel super greasy over time compared with resin or polyurethane models. A little chalk, especially early on, can feel good and actually increase friction, but copious chalk use can lead to "gumming" up the holds. The good news is you can clean excessive chalk off with a towel and some water so it's not that big of a deal but its best to keep the chalk use to a minimum with this board and clean it off before it gets too bad.
The Beastmaker offers no real pinch training. You can fake it by engaging your thumb on the edges below the slopers, but that just makes those holds easier. While this model has a lot going for it, good pinches are not its forte. For most folks, this shouldn't be a dealbreaker as good edge and pocket options are far more foundational and important to fingerboard training and improving strength. Only a handful of models have decent pinches.
Ease of Mounting
This is one of the most compact boards on the market. It is worth noting that the hanging Awesome Woody Cliff Board Mini is technically smaller, but you don't drill it into anything (it hangs from a cord). The compact size means the Beastmaker can fit in far more locations than most hangboards. Whether that is above doorways with shorter-than-average 7-foot ceilings, inside closets, basement entrances, or countless other random places where most other models aren't an option due to their height.
If you have roommates or a significant other who aren't necessarily climbers or not excited to have a hangboard as a showpiece in the house, this board is also one of the best. It not only squeezes into tiny spaces keeping it out of sight most of the time, but its wood finish makes it a little less of an eye-sore than its multi-color polyester resin counterparts.
This board is one of the more expensive hangboards currently on the market. But for the money, you certainly get one of the nicer hangboards with plenty of advantages that set it apart. All Beastmakers are still 100% handmade in the UK with electricity they claim is from 100% from renewable sources (which Beastmaker notes is mostly wind farms). All their boards are sanded manually and each pocket sanded by hand. It shows in its excellent texture. While this model is expensive, our review team thinks it's easily justified in the craftsmanship and the level of detail that each board is constructed with.
1000 versus 2000
We want to briefly compare the primary difference between the 1000 and 2000 series Beastmakers. Many people who are considering one will often be considering both even though they are geared for fairly different users with not much overlap. The 2000 series version has far more 2-finger pockets, a plethora of mono-pockets, no-jugs, and no-symmetric 3-finger pockets (because they are mostly designed to be used one-armed). It does have two four-finger edges, but those are mostly for warming up. To put it simply, the Beastmaker 1000 is best for folks who climb from 5.10 to mid 5.13, whereas the Beastmaker 2000 is best for folks already redpointing 5.13a.
Easily one of our all-time favorite models, the Beastmaker 1000 packs in a ton of grips into the most compact dimensions in our review. Not only that, but we feel this model makes the most out of every one of its holds and all of our testers noted the solid progression of holds despite its below-average size. It also has particularly good texture and looks that are easy on the eyes. If you want the best while skipping a resin model, this Editors' Choice winner is our first recommendation.
— Ian Nicholson