Develop - what's new from the Alpkit Design Team
Ben’s Boulder Bucket
24, Mar, 2014
Our factory lynchpin combines business with pleasure developing a new boulder bucket.
We’ve know Ben since he was a member of junior climbing team at the Nottingham Climbing Wall. When he finished college he came to us and started to work in our warehouse for the summer, saving up some pennies for trips to far off lands. He wasn’t 100% sure what his next life move would be and I don’t think he quite knew where the act of sewing a few bar-tacks would lead him. It’s been over 2 years since he was first asked to help out in the factory and now he is it’s lynchpin. It has been amazing to see his passion grow as he has developed his skills on the machines. His attention to detail ensures our customers get the very best products he can make and he thrives on the buzz of using the products he makes as well as seeing others using them. However he’ll admit designing products, seeing the process of how something new can be made gives him a headache.
When Ben isn’t pushing the pedals of the machines he’s climbing or bouldering and he is as fastidious about this as the products he makes. His kit has to be right and spends a long time choosing, so it was for this reason I was keen to make him an integral part of the design of our boulder bucket. We helped along the way to clean up some of the manufacturing processes but the look and function of the bucket was all down to Ben.
We had some pretty radical ideas floating around in our samples room that Ben could have picked up and run with but he didn’t want anything too complicated. A simple, quick and effective closure that would minimise chalk loss when closed and in use, a nice big space in which he could chalk up both hands and discreet easy storage for brushes, topos etc. He wasn’t happy with the fleece we had been using in our chalk bags so we went on the hunt for a new fabric and what we found works perfectly. Light and not too fluffy it holds just the right amount of chalk. Ben paid a lot of attention to what seems a very simple velcro roll top closure; it has the stiffness to remain open, snaps closed if knocked or blown over, can be picked up quickly and moved or thrown down, then when finished with can be rolled tight to stop any chalk leaking into your bag or pad.
We know we haven’t created the cheapest boulder bucket out there, that wasn’t the point, I wanted a boulder bucket that had functionality and personality built into from the start and I feel Ben’s boulder bucket has just that. We’ll make them in small batches as and when someone wants to buy one. It is a pproduct developed and manufactured with a real passion.