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Splinter
A (very) short film focusing on the famous home training board of Malcolm Smith

Format DVD Category Non-Fiction
Title Splinter  Mins
Starring Malcolm Smith  RRP  
Director Slackjaw  Reviews
Edition   Ave Rating **** (4.00 of 5)

Reviews  

User Comments
Nottobetaken
16/02/2006
****
Brought out as a short film in its own right - but later added to the end of the Blood Sweat & Bagels DVD as an extra.
This 4 minute film (yes - that's 4 whole minutes) is strictly for training/bouldering addicts only - though others may like it from a more amusement type of level. The film attempts to capture an insight into Scottish climber Malcolm Smith's home training board, offering a brief voice-over by the man in question - before cutting to the chase and catching on film one of the hardest pieces of climbing in the world - that being - the HPWSS (or the Hubble Problem With Sit-Start).

Smith famously came 'out of nowhere' at the age of 18 and upped his climbing level from grade 31 to 34 with one ascent - the much coveted 2nd ascent of Ben Moon's route Hubble (8c+/34) at Raven Tor in the Peak District. The ascent at the time was the biggest news in climbing - with people wondering how such a young 'nobody' could suddenly come from nowhere and make the second ascent of the world's hardest route. Just to confirm that he was on the right track with his training - he returned 6 months later and ran 3 laps of the same climb, this time doing the crux statically.

The key to Smith's success was his personal training philosophy and self-taught programs - but more importantly the model of the routes crux which he had designed on his home board. According to Smith, his model was a whole grade harder than the route - a fact confirmed during the film when he states that he has only ever been able to repeat the problem 2 times in its 10 year existence (despite being one of the top boulderers in the world). Incredibly, he does it again - just as Ben Pritchard is setting up the camera!

The film is shot in black and white, and Smith's accent is hard to follow - but given the length of the flick, that shouldn't matter. Good for a bit of psyche before your own training session - or just for a laugh. Either way: If you're not into it at all - then at least you can just press STOP once the credits roll up at the finish of Blood, Sweat etc.

See the slackjaw site for details: http://www.slackjaw.co.uk/ 

 

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