Team Member: Francis

I got into climbing when I was a teenager, over 30 years ago. Though I'm from Belgium, my first real outdoor climb was in Fontainebleau. It got me hooked on bouldering right away. The best part? Spending a week cycling through the forest as a teenager, camping out, and finding cool spots to boulder. It was simple, but it's those simple times that stick with you, you know?

I started CHALK REBELS because I was tired of the poor-quality liquid chalk out there. In the lockdown, I began experimenting in my kitchen and created our unique formula. We added Upsalite® later, and in 2023, we introduced two kinds of chalk powder. We tackled the liquid chalk first, the tricky part, and did the powders later. Like mom said: “Do the hard things first”.

From day one, giving back to nature mattered to me. Climbing naturally makes you care for the environment. Gotta protect those beautiful playgrounds for future generations, right? That’s why we joined 1% for the Planet early on. Our goal? Create the best product so you use less. It’s all about responsible chalk use – less chalk, more grip. Simple and effective.

I've been into barefoot climbing for about a year now. Ditched the shoes – too painful. Barefoot's more comfortable and challenges my technique. Now, I'm redoing some of my climbs barefoot, currently at Font 7B, slowly crawling up the scale. Climbing to me, is all about fun and games, always finding new games to play, even after decades.

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