Dynos are the coolest moves in climbing : see why !

dynos climbing bouldering

A ‘dyno’ is when the climber makes a dynamic movement that uses momentum to get to the next hold. It’s not a controlled reach or a stretch. And once you go for it, you’re committed. Dynos are the coolest moves in climbing. See why !

To stick a big or difficult move successfully requires power, precision, control and incredible core strength. Not to mention the ability to throw caution to the wind and, you know, jump. One of the biggest challenges is holding on after you’ve made contact.

While a climber may get to the next hold, the extra momentum created by the climber’s mass moving in another direction means they need to grip with even greater strength. And what happens when you don’t jump high enough ? Far enough ? Or simply can’t hold on? You fall – easy as that. 

While dynos certainly occur in outdoor climbing, the most spectacular ones seem to be those designed into artificial courses during climbing competition.With a well-padded mat to fall on, climbers can really go for it.

And they do. Meaning there are lots of ‘aerial dynos’, where the climber leaves the wall completely while transitioning from one hold to the next.

When to use dynos?

Some climbers, usually those who have done a lot of trad climbing, move in a very static way while many younger climbers, who learnt to climb indoors, have a much looser, dynamic style. Well executed dynamic movement (aka dynos) can be very efficient.

It requires less energy and power than static reaches. Because it’s equivalent to pedaling down one hill so you can coast up the next. Some problems are only possible by slapping, jumping or dynoing. However there are a few situations in which dynamic moves should be avoided:

  • When facing a dangerous fall, the extra effort required to do a move statically is often justified by the control gained.
  • When the target hold can only be held in a very precise manner, for example cracks, clusters of crystals, small pockets or narrow slots.
  • On rough rock catching sharp holds at speed can be very hard on the skin.

See also advices from Lynn Hill

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