5 Gifts That Make You Climb Like Chris Sharma

Channel Chris Sharma's Gear to Climb Harder

The winter holidays are coming and you have to figure out what climbing gifts you’re going to ask Santa Claus to bring you on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Yule or the Winter Solstice.

“Okay,” you think, “I want to climb stronger cause I wanna send my project, so I’m going to ask for Chris Sharma’s strength and style.” Then you think, “Oh right, Santa’s not a genie. He can’t make me into Sharma.”

Chris Sharma, of course, is one of the world's best rock climbers. Year after year Chris crushes all the tough routes. Well, since you’re not a climbing mutant like Sharma then ask Santa for the next best thing—the climbing equipment that Chris uses. Here’s a list of top Chris Sharma gift choices. Go ahead, ask Santa for them and maybe then you'll be able to climb like Chris!

The Pontas II climbing shoes, designed for Evolv as the Chris Sharma Signature Series of rock shoes, is a superb all-around technical shoe choice for your climbs at Rifle Mountain Park, the Shawangunks, New River Gorge, and Ceuse in France. The Pontas, named after Pontas Arch, one of Chris’s hard deep water solo climbs at Mallorca in Spain, was a Climbing Magazine Editor’s Choice shoe. The revised Pontas II is now a classic rock shoe.

The Pontas offers precision edging on small holds, has a full mid-sole and extra half mid-sole for support and stiffness, and it fits like a glove in the toe box and heel. The Lace-Up model has a high rand for friction when heel-hooking and foot-scumming, perfect for overhanging routes. The shoes are soled with Evolv’s TRAX XT-5 friction rubber, one of the stickiest rubbers available. Try them and you'll see how Chris climbs the hard stuff.

Another new option in 2015 is the Nexxo. The slipper, part of Sharma's Signature Series, is soft yet powerful and allows for precision footwork on your own toughies. Evolv says, "The Nexxo ushers in a new era of Evolv's Ultra-Performance climbing footwear."  

Hands down, Sterling makes some of the best climbing ropes in the world. They maintain their shape, they last a long time, and they handle well. Jim Ewing with Sterling Ropes says, “Chris is not actually using any special rope. He is not too keen on super skinny ropes and prefers ropes in the 9.7mm to 10mm range. He's been using our Velocity 9.8 for most stuff and the Nano 9.2 for the special sends. In my opinion, the Velocity is the absolute best all-around rope on the market. Its combo of lightweight and durability are the perfect balance. If I had to buy rope, it would be the Velocity. I'm biased, of course, but I really don't see a comparable rope out there.” The Velocity comes in various lengths, with 60-meter and 70-meter cords the most popular buys.

Wear a pair of Sanuk’s Sidewalk Surfer Shoes for an hour and you’ll see why Chris Sharma joined Sanuk’s Climbing Team. These shoes, actually a sandal with a shoe upper, are, as the Sanuk website says, “addictively comfortable.” Or as Chris says, “Since I got on board I’ve hardly taken off my Sidewalk Surfers. They really are the most comfortable things ever!”

Another testimonial is from climber Ian Spencer-Green: “They are the most awesome shoes I have. Wearing them is like walking around barefoot. I’ve done heinous approaches in them and they performed excellent. They were sticky while scrambling across boulders and they DO NOT have a sticky sole!” Wear these surfer shoes and you’ll never wear flip-flops or plastic Crocs again.

Chris Sharma often wears Petzl’s Sama climbing harness, a men’s harness that is ideal for both long routes as well as short hard sport routes. The Sama has snug, comfortable leg loops for hanging belays and repeated falls while not restricting leg movement. It’s also lightweight; has mesh inside the harness to wick moisture away from skin on hot days; has prethreaded buckles making it easy to put on and take off; and has reinforced tie-in points, making it perfect for working tough routes and putting in a lot of air time.

Petzl, a French company, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of climbing goods.Other Petzl harnesses include the Sitta (new for 2016), Hirundos, Aquila, Luna, and Selena.

Since the early1990s, prAna has been the gold standard for climbing clothes. Using the motto “Born From The Experience,” prAna designs functional climbing clothes and accessories from sustainable materials. Chris Sharma, from the time he was an 11-year-old climbing phenomenon, has been sponsored by prAna, wearing their clothes on his climbing adventures. 

If you want to climb like Chris, start dressing like him by wearing prAna favorites including the Ridge Tech T-shirt, Cruz Beanie, Stretch Zion Pant (most popular), Modus Climbing Jeans, Driftwood Crew Pullover, and Geo Chalk Bag. In the 1970s I used to wear painter’s pants and rugby shirts on the rock, but now I outfit myself in prAna’s excellent clothes, some of which I’ve used for 20 years. Good stuff.