Get To Know Our Co-founder Jack

Jack Tho cofounder of Redpoint Sports in England Meet our co-founder, Jack, who designed rock climbing gear to help his wife push her grades without having to give up on comfort. 

Why did you start Redpoint Climbing?

My wife started rock climbing, I watched her progress on to more challenging climbs but could not find climbing shoes that performed well and were still comfortable. I realised that as the bouldering community grows in Australia, she’s not going to be the only one needing this type of climbing shoes. At some point in their lives, every climber needs a pair of good value, comfortable and durable all-round climbing shoes that they can wear all day outdoors or many times a week at indoor climbing gyms. That’s what we set out to develop.

What is your background?

I’ve been teaching science for the last 12 years and I have a keen interest in biology and chemistry. Having access to science labs has been great for product development!

How long have you been climbing for?

I have been bouldering and sports climbing for about 9 years.

How did you get into climbing?

Some friends of mine had started indoor bouldering on the weekends and invited me down. I got hooked on it immediately and found myself sneaking in extra climbing sessions as my weekend fix wasn't enough. Not long after, I saw videos of sport climbing and knew I wanted to experience the adrenaline of pulling off bouldering moves way up high on the crag. Since moving to Melbourne, I have been slowly getting into trad climbing and have been hooked on the amazing quality of climbing out in Djurite (Arapiles).

What do you love most about climbing?

Rock climbing is an awesome sport that combines physical strength and problem solving. Every climb is a puzzle for me - I enjoy routes that require creative thinking and interesting movements. I also love long endurance climbs that mentally and physically push me to the point of melting forearms (maybe I'm a glutton for punishment). On top of all that, I love the social aspect and community that forms around climbing. I met some of my best friends through climbing - you tend to get along with people you trust with your life.

What's your favourite rock climbing move?

There's something beautiful, technical, and photogenic about a good reverse flag when climbing overhangs, it's just so satisfying! Closely following that would be... anything that gets me a no handed rest.

Where's your favourite climbing destination?

Kalymnos, a beautiful island in Greece with the most amazing limestone formations and sport climbing routes. I really miss climbing on tufa and stalactites there. To top it off, the food on the island is amazing.

Why do you prefer liquid chalk over loose chalk?

I find loose chalk a bit messy when bouldering. Half the time, more of it ends up on the holds and in the air instead of absorbing the moisture from my fingers. Liquid chalk gives me the thin and consistent layer I need across my hands whilst loose chalk tends to deposit too much excess chalk dust on slopers and thin crimps, which also reduces the friction on holds. Liquid chalk provides a consistent base layer when I climb routes, it means that I don't have to chalk up as much which saves on forearm and finger pump. I developed my liquid chalk formula in 2019 because I wanted to make high quality liquid chalk more accessible in Australia.

What is your future vision for Redpoint Climbing?

We will continue to refine the Ascend climbing shoe as well as develop more advanced models. I'd love to develop a more aggressive yet comfortable shoe for intermediate bouldering and sport routes. Eventually, we want to spread our message of fun and accessible climbing globally.

What advice do you have for first time boulderers?

Climb as often as you can and visit different gyms to experience different types of routes. Watch others climb to get inspiration for solving a problem. The climbing community is very helpful and friendly, so be open and expect some excellent conversations.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Norway! The landscapes there deserve an award. Just like that quote from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Did you ever go to a place - I think it was called Norway? That was one of mine. Won an award, you know. Lovely crinkly edges."

When are you launching in Seattle?

Glad to know we've got fans out there. Stay tuned ;)