Plastic Weekly

Plastic Weekly brings you conversations and interviews about the world of indoor and competitive climbing. Visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Presented and produced by Tyler Norton.
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Plastic Weekly



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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 14, 2017

I'm joined by Shaun Hunter and Brandon Barraclough to talk about Moonboard Masters, aesthetics in competition setting, the Freedom Climber, the CEC's new High Performance Director, a gym flooring manifesto, climbing while old, and Sharma getting that Polo money.

Dec 7, 2017

In the second part of my interview with Jeremy Dowsett, we talk about how us non-journalists handle questions of journalistic ethics, why Jeremy felt compelled to travel around the country to film competitions, and why Climbing Hold Review is becoming Outdoor Gear Review.

Nov 30, 2017

Jim Karn of Metolius talks to us about their foray into making climbing holds with aluminum. We talk about the advantages and limits of the material, and Jim reveals how he'll judge the product's success.

Nov 23, 2017

First Dissent is what I'm calling episodes where I just talk for a's funnier when you say it out loud.

As livestreams become standard fare for mid-tier and top-tier competitions, it's time to identify the shortcomings of current streams and figure out what's required to bring our broadcasts to the next level.

Read the full episode at

Nov 16, 2017

Industry legend Louie Anderson spends an hour helping to flesh out the evolution of climbing walls in North America. Features talk of Louie's start in the biz, the influence of landscape architects in the early days, setting 20ft comp routes with Tony Yaniro, and what gyms he considers to be our guiding light into the future.

Nov 9, 2017

Climbing Hold Review has been reviewing the best and worst of climbing holds for an entire decade. As they transition their focus to outdoor gear in general, I talk to Jeremy Dowsett about the website he created. Plus: getting sued for reviews, hold makers that he really misses, and what company he thinks doesn't live up to all the hype.

Nov 2, 2017

Tyler talks with Kellen Tapley and Max Summerlee about whatever they feel like: in this instance, Asana's new multi-tex holds, and belay gear culture in Ontario.

Production is abysmal in this hastily-thrown together episode, but I'll be back to normal next week. Thanks for your patience.

Oct 26, 2017

Wood has been making a comeback over the last few years, championed by companies like Beastmaker in Europe and Tension here in North America. Will Anglin is one of the boys behind Tension, and he talks with me about his own personal history with wood grips, the unique struggles of working with wood, and the benefits you can only get from a well-sanded grain.

Oct 19, 2017

Yasser El-Sheikh is a long-time sport climber who became a plastic surgeon that specializes in hand, wrist, and nerve surgery. This past summer, he organized North America's first climbing medicine symposium in Toronto, Ontario. He shares his history attending symposia in Europe, what it took to create this event, and what's going on in the climbing medicine scene.

Oct 12, 2017

He discovered climbing as a teenager in the secluded Canadian province of Newfoundland, and it sent him on a whirlwind journey across Canada and abroad to finally land him setting the 2016 Imst Lead World Cup in Austria. Kaleb walks us through the journey, and shares the setting knowledge he gained along the way.

Oct 5, 2017

Legendary hold shaper Ian Powell answers my questions about the past, present, and future of plastic climbing holds: the transition from polyester to polyurethane, the economy of holds, helping Europe catch up to North American quality, and how 3D printing could be used to improve holds today.

UPDATE: This episode was edited at 6:30pm EDT, at Ian Powell's request, to remove a hypothetical anecdote that Ian worried might be detrimental to Kilter Grips. Plastic Weekly has no obligation to edit an interview that was recorded knowingly and willfully, but in the interest of keeping a good relationship with a respected, experienced, and influential industry leader like Ian, about 40 seconds of audio was removed. It's a good thing I like him. The edit does not remove or change any information.

Sep 28, 2017

I sit down with Maxwell Summerlee, Hannah Mandrish, and Shaun Hunter for a monthly session of Industry Banter. We talk about the Canadian team at World Youth Championships, backfill, autobelays, backfilled autobelays, gym-hopping in Toronto, and food service in gyms.

To volunteer at the Pan-Am Youth Championships, visit

Sep 21, 2017

Nicole Brown (CEO of LEF Climbing, Mosaic Climbing, SheSets), Jackie Hueftle (Owner, Kilter Grips; Head Routesetter, The Spot Bouldering Gym), Danielle Goodspeed (Owner and Head Routesetter, Crimper's Climbing Gym), and Christine Deyo (Head Routesetter, Austin Bouldering Project) discuss the SheSets Symposium, what makes a perfect boulder, fostering female talent, and managing diverse crews.

Sep 14, 2017

This episode is the first instalment of ONE OF US, a monthly series that features industry professionals talking about their back story and their experiences in the world of plastic.

Shaun Hunter is a Toronto native who has lived the gym rat life 24/7 since he was introduced to it at 19, eventually training to be a member of Canada's national bouldering team while also being a Head Routesetter and Head Coach for a successful Toronto gym. After spending all of his 20s in the gym, he's starting consider what's next, and whether or not he can let go of what he loves most.

Sep 7, 2017

After quitting my job and spending the summer avoiding everything related to climbing,  I'm back and ready to make Plastic Weekly a real thing! To get me back up to speed, Malek Taleb (Manager of the Canadian Bouldering Team and owner of Boiler Room Climbing) briefs me on the World Cup circuit, the new Innsbruck gym, and whatever else I missed.


May 25, 2017

In our most exhilarating taping yet, we dodge sprinklers and water bottle spills to record a group conversation with Malek Taleb (Manager for the Canadian Open Team), Matt Johnson (Head Coach at Bloc Shop), and Kaleb Thomas (Chief Setter at Canadian Difficulty Nationals 2017) Alannah Yip's first finals, Sean McColl's lacklustre season so far, a Chief Routesetter's debrief from nationals, and whether or not Montreal is Canada's best place to train. All recorded outside the brand new Bloc Shop 2 in Montreal.

May 11, 2017

In the first instalment of the Making Better Setters series, I talk to Canadian pro routesetter Dustin Curtis about becoming better teachers, learning something from everyone around you, and bothering the people at USA Climbing until they let you come to one of their clinics. #setterlife

Additional resources are available at

May 4, 2017

As youth climbing grows, so does the need for competitions that cater to different skill levels. In this episode, I compare notes with Canon Huse on how we've developed new competition ideas in Ontario and Texas.

Additional resources can be found at


Apr 27, 2017

How does one of the world's best gyms get built in an unknown rural Canadian town? Chair of The Boulders Climbing Gym Society Kimanda Jarzebiak tells us the story of this not-for-profit, community-driven supergym in Central Saanich, British Columbia.

Additional resources can be found at

Apr 20, 2017

Tour de Bloc has been Canada's favourite bouldering series for 14 years, and countries around the world are looking to it as an example of a national series that brings together recreational and pro athletes of all ages. Tour founder Luigi Montilla talks about the creation and continued operation of the TdB, and he touches on what the future may hold.

Additional resources can be found at

Apr 16, 2017

Eddie Fowke (The Circuit Climbing Magazine), Ángel Palacio (OnBouldering) and Graeme Alderson (The Climbing Works) contribute to an episode about the growing pains associated with a sport that has more athletes, wants more viewers, and needs more money. All interviews were recorded in Meiringen, Switzerland at the Haslital Mountain Festival and Boulder World Cup on April 8-9, 2017.

Additional music provided by BIT.

Additional resources can be found at

Mar 23, 2017

I've decided to make Plastic Weekly my top priority, so I've sorted out some changes to my work life to make more time for it. In a few weeks, I'll be back with better episodes than ever and a consistent focus on bringing you interesting content from the smartest people in the industry. Talk to you soon.

Mar 16, 2017

Life is a little busy right now, and unfortunately the pod is taking a hit. Plastic Weekly will be back soon.

Mar 12, 2017

The 2017 IFSC Plenary Assembly just wrapped up in Quebec City, and Plastic Weekly was there to ask the big questions. We cover the big 5 topics that matter to Canada and the USA: new elected officials, Olympic formats and qualifications, new events announced, HUGE CHANGES to bouldering, lead, and speed, plus your chance to CHANGE BOULDERING FOREVER!

Clickbait-y enough for you guys?

Additional resources at

Mar 9, 2017

Canadian National Team Manager Malek Taleb gives a recap of Canadian Open Bouldering Nationals, American Speed Champion John Brosler updates us on the state of speed climbing in the USA, and IFSC Executive Board member Maria Izquierdo gives us a sneak peek into the goings on at this weekend's IFSC Plenary Assembly in Quebec City (spoiler alert: she tells you how you can qualify for the Olympics, probably!)

Filler music by Mirth Naarc.

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