This week, for our Move of the Moment, we'll be looking at the ubiquitous Deadpoint. The move is most easily described as creating a moment of "zero gravity", a point between moving up and moving down in space. The foundation of moving efficiently through a climb, the deadpoint is also a great entry into the world of all-points-off dynos (huge jumps!) You'll likely find you've been integrating deadpoints into your climbing without knowing it, but once you're aware of this movement and how to execute it, you'll want to use it even more!
We've got Phil, one of our tremendous route setters, giving us a demonstration today. You'll notice a slightly different format, as we attempt to break down a movement that is incredibly fluid - it involves no static movement at all!
In our first collection of images, we have a great demonstration of the "clap". Learning to clap whilst on the wall is a great way of consciously introducing the deadpoint into your climbing "toolkit", and also perfect for playing around with different ways of deadpointing.
Initially, Phil leans his body back to enable him to move forward towards the wall quickly. Phil has slightly bent knees here to enable a further push upwards, but is primarily aiming for a back-and-forth movement in this case. As he pulls himself towards the wall, with a slight push up on his legs, he creates a moment in time where his body is no longer moving forwards, but hasn't yet begun to move backwards. Whilst he is still moving towards the wall, Phil takes both hands off his handhold (his momentum carries on moving him towards the wall), and performs a single clap. He then grabs the handhold before his body begins moving away from the wall, and stops the movement.
You can experiment with this movement further, by trying to clap as many times as possible (my personal best is 6 claps) before catching the handhold again, or clapping behind your back, and even by only allowing yourself to move certain parts of your body (try just your head, just your hips, one leg etc).
This is not only great fun (challenge your friends to see who can do the best deadpoint!) But a great way to warm up the body and mind for deadpointing during a climb. Once you've mastered the clap, we can apply the same principle to a climb, as seen below.
In images 1-3, we can see Phil setting up for a big deadpoint. Phil is aiming to move his left hand to the large red hold at the top of the image, which would mean his lower hand ends up around waist height - that's a hard place to lock-off! Phil initially moves his body away from the wall, creating space to move his body weight quickly towards the wall, and towards the hold. We can see his right hand and right leg working hard to hold as much body weight as possible, and his left arm and leg contribute to most of the movement.
As Phil reaches the apex of the swinging motion, displayed in images 4 and 5, he lets go of the left hand whilst still moving forwards (towards the wall), and allows his right foot to come completely off the wall (this is important, if you don't let this foot come off the wall, you'll come to a sudden stop!) As you can see from the blue arrow, showing his direction of momentum, he is moving upwards towards the end of the motion - this is generated by pushing hard on his left leg. Instead of slamming into the wall, Phil then creates a moment where his momentum is directly opposing gravity, and he is in the "dead" point of the movement. He seizes this opportunity to seize the next hold, and begins to slow down the inevitable return to gravity.
As Phil finishes the movement, his body begins to swing backwards away from the wall and slightly towards the ground. Since he has a firm grip on the next hold, he's able to control this movement and come to a rest. We can see in image 6, the green right-hand hold Phil started from is now around waist level, and yet Phil has barely had to pull on it!
This move can be used for tiny movements as well as huge movements, and everything in between. Try it out for yourself, and see where you can use it in the Hut!
Want to learn more about this move and others? Why not book on to one of our improver courses: