As a small, family-owned business, we love supporting the other small business in the Australian climbing scene. As part of this effort, we are rolling out a series of Q & As with some of the amazing local producers that we work with and running a little promo. In this installment, we chat with Shaun and Jarrad from Climbing Meta, the legends behind some of Australia’s best climbing accessories and highest levels of stoke.
How did you start climbing? What motivates you to keep climbing?
Jarrad – Before I even knew rock climbing was a thing, you’d find me way up a tree with my younger brother. My first memorable experience on real rock was at the age of 13 when a school mate and I were guided up Muldoon (13), Mount Arapiles. Twenty years on and the bees still love swarming that area, so being allergic and the thought of a sting on that ledge definitely added to the exposure on my first multipitch! What keeps me keen on climbing now is the people, natural environment and the feeling of lightness.
Shaun - Like many, I visited a local gym and got hooked. What keeps me motivated is climbing with mates, trying hard and getting outside whenever possible.
What do you do when you’re not working on Climbing Meta?
We both have families that keep us busy, but our number one agreement on the Climbing meta journey is that climbing comes first. So when not working on Climbing meta, we are training for climbing or outside on the rocks.
Tell us about Climbing Meta and what sets it apart from similar brands?
Climbing meta is 100% Australian owned and operated. We stock our own range of products that we use personally and we work collaboratively with other brands that have an emphasis on climbing training. We also heavily support climbing events around Australia and often throw our hat in the ring to have a climb with the community.
Climbing meta is more than just products, we offer free online training videos for climbers and these all come with a downloadable timer. We want everyone to send their project, so hopefully between the products and the online material this is helpful to climbers! If you’d like to see and use the training material visit www.climbingmeta.com
What gave you the idea to start Climbing Meta?
We wanted to share our passion for climbing with others and no matter the grade, our aim is for climbers to send their projects. It started with the free training routines and online tracker. There really weren't many Australian climbing brands providing this type of regular content, so we started with that and moved into developing our own range of products that supported this training approach. We were also really keen to start backing local athletes and helping them out with some climbing essentials. We have a tight group of friends and ambassadors that use and help to promote our products.
Can you talk about a pivotal moment in the Climbing Meta journey?
Seeing the stoke on a climbers face when they find out Climbing meta is Australian owned, it still surprises us when people use the gear or training content but have no idea about the brand origins. Maybe we should climb less and focus more on marketing the brand! We also love the shoutouts from people on social media telling us how much they genuinely enjoy using our products. That kind of stuff makes you feel pretty good about something you have created and can share with others. The support from local gym owners and retail outlets has also been overwhelming, so we are super grateful for these folk who backed us from the start.
Aside from COVID-19, what do you think is the biggest challenge facing local producers of climbing products?
In a small Australian market it can be challenging to be competitive on price. Climbing is growing rapidly, maybe too fast in the outdoor space, but this growth brings hope to evolving Australian climbing brands. We are keen to continue developing our brand, focusing on quality and working with others that share our vison. It will definitely require a collaborative approach, so we'd like to continue to see that kind of openness for local producers of climbing products.
What would you like to see happen with Climbing Meta in the future?
We have some more big plans in the works and hope to continue to innovate in the climbing training space. We'd love to work with more gyms and suppliers as time goes on. At the end of the day, if we can continue to be a part of the climbing community and get out for a regular climb, then I think we'd be pretty happy with that.
Thanks for having us!
Shaun & Jarrad
We hope you enjoyed getting to know these local legends! Don't forget to check out our promo and support all our awesome local producers.