A Fylde coast plastics company has found a unusual way of proving the strength of its new coat hooks – by building a climbing wall full of them.
Spectrum Plastics has helped to build the world’s first indoor climbing wall at the Glasgow Climbing Centre made entirely from Toughook coat hooks.
Tony Hopkinson, the managing director of Spectrum Plastics, designed the Toughook from his injection moulding factory on Poulton Industrial Estate.
He said: “When I designed the Toughook I knew the design was strong. I tested the hook in my factory and couldn’t break it no matter what I tried. After holding on to the hooks and hanging off them myself, I thought they would be strong enough to build a climbing wall from.”
When the manager of Glasgow Climbing Centre Rob Watts got in touch with Tony about buying some Toughooks for his changing rooms, Tony had a bright idea. He asked Rob if he would be interested in a challenge.
Rob said: “Tony asked me if we thought we’d be able to make a climbing route out of Toughooks. I was quite sceptical that a coat hook could be used for climbing.
When I designed the Toughook I knew the design was strong. I tested the hook in my factory and couldn’t break it no matter what I tried. After holding on to the hooks and hanging off them myself, I thought they would be strong enough to build a climbing wall from
“It’s not just about being strong. A climbing hold has to take the entire weight of the person climbing sometimes, they need to be not just strong, but secure and sturdy.”
The Toughook was designed as a safer alternative to metal hooks typically found in changing rooms, schools and nurseries.
The plastic material and design mean that the hook is not only far safer at eye-level but is virtually unbreakable, something Tony was keen to put to the test.
After receiving their box of Toughooks, the route-setting team at Glasgow Climbing Centre got to work constructing the coat hook climbing wall.
Choosing a section of their bouldering room, they placed Toughooks not only in a vertical rise, but along an overhead section.
Tony added: “We thought the hooks would be strong, but we weren’t prepared for quite how much we could throw at them. I was able to climb the entire route and perform some pretty advanced moves, and not a single Toughook broke.”