How to Use Chalk Powder

Climber holding chalk bag

We don’t sell chalk powder. The whole purpose of our company is to reduce the use of chalk powder in the climbing world.

Our recommendation is to use chalk cream as a base layer, chalk balls for top-ups & only use chalk powder if you still need more. Not everyone needs chalk powder. This guide will help you decide if you need chalk powder & explain how to use it.

How do you know if you even need loose chalk powder? It depends. Do you have naturally oily or dry skin? Do you sweat a lot or only a little?

  • Oily skin, low sweat: Use liquid chalk as a base layer. It will remove the oil from your skin.
  • Dry skin, low sweat: Congratulations! You probably don’t even need chalk. Cherish your blessing.
  • Dry skin, high sweat: Use liquid chalk as a base layer & chalk balls to top up. Moderate your chalk use.
  • Oily skin, high sweat: Use liquid chalk as a base layer, chalk balls to top up & mix in a little loose chalk.

If you still need chalk powder here are a couple of tips to keep your impact down.

First, don’t apply too much chalk. Too much chalk on your fingers actually reduces friction. If you notice your fingertips are getting dry, just apply a little to your fingertips, no need to cover your whole hand.

After you have applied some chalk, wipe or blow off the excess chalk. You want a thin layer on your fingers, don’t cake your fingers in chalk. Alternatively you can wipe your hands on your pants if you don’t mind them getting dusty or on a rag.

Make sure you brush your holds after you’re done with your climb. This is especially true for tick marks. Don’t leave tick marks on your boulder problems. Just don’t. And clean up your chalk spills. Nobody needs that mess on the ground.

Chalk belongs on your fingers, not the holds. Don’t use chalk to dry out holds. This causes an unsightly bleaching of the rock long-term & simply is not done. If it’s too wet to climb, pick something else to do.

Some holds will never see water, especially under steep overhangs. Keep this in mind when you use chalk on those climbs. It’s totally ok to clean up those types of holds with a little water at the end of the day.

The famous saying about food “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” can be applied to climbing too “Use chalk, not too much, mostly liquid”.

Photo by Derick Anies

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