We check out the latest gadget telescopic Beta Project Brush from Beta Climbing Designs
Made in Sheffield, the Project Brush Stick is designed to be the perfect all-rounder, featuring an articulated head, extendable shaft, and a modular head that is compatible with a wide variety of brushes.
I can definitely remember my first clip stick experience – it was fashioning a Quick Draw onto a long and thin stick with a piece of finger tape and then spent the next 20 minutes waving it under the first bolt on Tequila Mockingbird at Chee Tor in the Peak District. Thank goodness for progress then and these days a Beta Climbing Designs clipstick is a constant companion on any sport climbing day out.
The clip stick always had a handy brush addition which fitted a Metolius brush and fixed via the Velcro strap that cam with it. There were a few biggest with the design: the brush was captured at a fixed angle and the Velcro fixing always cam loose and flapped around when using the clipstick.
These biggest have been firmly banished with the arrival of the new Beta Project Brush a dedicated telescopic brush purely for use when bouldering. The Beta Project Brush is a great addition to any boulderers equipment, it draws on manufacturing and design experience gained with the clipstick with a three section telescopic pole and the familiar blue plastic brush holder.
The twist lock poles on the Project Brush will be familiar to anyone that has used a clipstick before, the steel poles extend from 1m to a fantastic 2.5m so even those highball slopers can be reached with ease. As always, you will need to make sure the twist is firmly locked into position or you will get that frustrating slide back that you can get using the clipstick at maximum length. The pole is finished with a sturdy rubber handle to help keep the brush where you want it to be.
And onto the hear section. This is an injection mounded unit that fastened on with two rivets so no chance of it moving about. The default position is vertical and the unit is locked into this position, you can gain another 2cm of height by unlocking the head and pulling it up before locking again. The head unit can be rotated through 200 degrees although the useable rotation is through 90 degress. This locks into place using a knurled thumbwheel. Once locked into place the head unit was solid in use and never moved. The top section of the head can be removed fully, so I don’t know if Beta Climbing Designs have plans for interchangeable heads, but it is future proof.
The whole unit is finished of with a beautiful, wooden Lapis brush. I’m a huge fan of Lapis brushes and have recently replaced with brush collection (what do you mean you don’t have a brush ‘collection’, all serious boulders should a brush collection!) with wooden Lapis brushes. This is held in place with a rubber O ring at the bottom and the familiar Velcro strap at the top. This hold the brush tightly in place and I never had any problem with the brush moving or falling out over the test period – something I have had with the old clipstick brush section. It also means that it’s easy to take the brush out and use it to clean holds within reach.
The head unit does have a slight curve in the slot so it will only fit brushes with a curved handle. I suspect it’s been designed to be used with lapis brushes so I suppose it’s a bit of a trade off: the ability to use the brush normally by taking it out or using a flatter brush (which opens your options) but have it screwed into place like a deWoodstok. With my love of Lapis brushes I’m happy to use the Beta Project Brush (which is longer than the deWoodstok). Maybe we could see a modular design emerging with interchangeable heads for clipstick or Project Brush mode.
Finally – the selfie/camera attachement. I am a fan of selfies with mates when out climbing. I journal a lot and I love to upload a photo to my journal to help remind me who I was with and what a great time I was having. A phone attachment is also useful for taking video of your awesome send. It is important to note that the phone cradle does not come as standard with the unit. The main issue with the attachement was that I couldn’t get my cradle to tighten square with the handle and for the attachment to work accurately another thumbwheel needs to be added with a slightly longer 6mm bolt, all easy enough to sort out.