Head Rush Technologies (Head Rush), a leading manufacturer of adventure and recreation equipment, continues its storied success in the auto belay market with the release of the TRUBLUE® iQ and the iQ+ with Catch-and-Hold technology. The TRUBLUE iQ is currently available, and the iQ+ with Catch-and-Hold belay will be available in 2022.
The new TRUBLUE iQ series comes with a suite of bells and whistles, including a built-in back bumper and the same magnetic braking technology used in all TRUBLUEs. Compared to the original TRUBLUE, the iQ and iQ+ are smaller, lighter, and more durable.
The iQ+, with Catch-and-Hold belay, is a first-of-its-kind auto belay. Climbers can activate Catch-and-Hold by pressing an “on” button at the bottom of the route; and at the top, an “off” button to be lowered to the ground without pause. When the technology is not activated, the iQ+ functions like a normal auto belay device.
“When developing a new auto belay, we didn’t just want to make it lighter, more durable and improve the climbing experience. Rather, we wanted to take auto belaying to the next level,” says Rich Reynolds, VP of Engineering at Head Rush.
It will be possible to upgrade iQ devices to iQ+ for a fee, once available. The original TRUBLUEs, for their part, are being discontinued and will be sold to depletion. According to the TRUBLUE announcement, Head Rush “will continue to service first-generation models and offer replacement parts.”
Key Features include:
• A Future-Proof Platform: Designed on an Internet of Things compatible platform, TRUBLUE iQ+ is a smart auto belay. With built-in connectivity, it is ready for future feature releases from data downloads to service reminders — all straight from your device.
• Catch-and-Hold Belay: TRUBLUE iQ+ is the world’s first catch-and-hold auto belay. TRUBLUE is no longer just a life-safety device. It’s a climbing partner, allowing climbers to rest and project routes anytime. Experience what it’s like to climb the crux with catch-and-hold belay.
• Built-in Durability: Handmade in the USA and designed for heavy use, the iQ series is more durable (and lighter) than ever before. From improved, wider webbing, to a built-in back bumper and replaceable mount guard, the iQ and iQ+ are made to last both indoors and out.
• Magnetic Braking: TRUBLUEs work as reliably as your compass points north. That’s because TRUBLUE is the only auto belay that uses friction-free magnetic braking, which responds to every climber individually, providing consistent, smooth descents regardless of weight.
Catch-and-Hold Belay is activated and deactivated using two touch-sensitive on/off buttons. Here’s how a climber uses Catch-and-Hold belay:
1. Before climbing, assess your harness. Make sure you’re double-backed and ready to climb. Unlatch the webbing from the belay gate, and lock into your belay loop. Pull down some of the auto belay webbing, ensuring the webbing retracts. Don’t climb if the webbing doesn’t retract. Finally, double check that the carabiner gate is locked.
2. Touch the TRUBLUE button near the start holds to activate Catch-and-Hold belay. You’ll notice a pulsing blue light. This means catch-and-hold mode is ready. If not activated, TRUBLUE iQ+ functions as a normal auto belay.
3. Climb on! During your climb, if you fall, Catch-and-Hold will activate. Look down at the on button, and the light will be solid blue while holding you, then begin to flash rapidly when time is running low. Each auto belay can be programmed by the gym to hold the climber for 15, 20, or 30 seconds. Continue climbing any time before the device releases, and the Catch-and-Hold mode will be reset. You can do this — fall, hang and resume climbing — an unlimited number of times so long as the hang time does not exceed the preset time programmed by the gym. If you wish to lower to the ground, simply wait for Catch-and-Hold to release.
4. You made it to the top of the route! Let go of the wall and catch-and-hold will hold you in place until the timer runs out—or press the touch-sensitive off button to be lowered down immediately.
Head Rush Technologies developed the original TRUBLUE in 2010. They set themselves apart with their magnetic braking, which provides superior reliability and a consistent, smooth descent regardless of the climber’s weight.
Paraclimbing champion and North Face athlete Maureen Beck sums up the benefits for equity in the sport “The TRUBLUE iQ+ is an amazing tool for paraclimbers because athletes with different abilities climb at different speeds. Being able to take breaks on an auto belay is going to be so helpful, especially for blind climbers who are always stopping to hunt for holds. Right now, if they let go, they have to start all over again, and they’re kind of at a loss. But with the TRUBLUE iQ+, they can stop, feel for a hold and continue on their way, which is huge. And to be able to do that without a belayer gives our disabled athletes even more independence to be just a climber.”
Catch-and-hold belay is the first feature release for TRUBLUE Auto Belays. Now that the foundation is complete, the TRUBLUE engineering team is back at work to design new feature releases from data downloads to service reminders to photo and video capabilities — all straight from your device.
Based in Louisville, Colorado, Head Rush Technologies is an engineering company that is on a mission to make adventure experiences more enjoyable for the user and to increase ROI for operators. Their patented magnetic braking system has led to the development of best-in-class recreational devices found in facilities worldwide, including the TRUBLUE Auto Belay (the #1 Auto Belay in the world), zipSTOP Zip Line Brake, QuickFlight and FlightLine Free Fall Devices. More information is available at www.headrushtech.com.
Safety is a very important part of the Clip ‘n Climb experience. That is why we are equipping all the centres with TRUBLUE Auto Belay devices. Contact our team to get more details on how to set up your Clip ‘n Climb facility.