The Secret Formula for Outstanding Friction? Think Rhino.

Rhino Skin Solutions Review

The Rhino Skin range now available at Indy.

I never fully understood how much our skin types vary.

I mean, I knew I had mates with ‘good skin’ and those with ‘bad skin’ but there’s so much more to it than that.

I know climbers with skin that’s thick, but too dry. Soft sweaty skin, that wears through too fast. Skin that doesn’t grow back quickly. Skin that seems to regenerate overnight. Skin that rips and splits on crimps, skin that peels away and so on.

There’s no doubt skin plays a factor in climbing performance, especially at our limit.

I was swapping goes with my friend on Andromeda at Manor crag, thinking I had good skin, but as they kept climbing and making link attempts, my skin would get trashed and painful. I’d have to stop climbing, taking solace in the rest of my food, and offering up a supporting role.

My fingertips would be weeping as much as my ego.

As I was reaching for my mangled tube of Antihydral, before a recent trip to Font, where skin preservation makes the difference between success and failure in a bouldering paradise. I remembered a climbing partner had mentioned the results he’d had with something called Rhino skin. I headed to Llanberis to pick some up.

I was in Bas Curvier, on my fourth day on, and I realised I’d found the ultimate solution. Rhino Skin. My soft and sweaty fingertips were transformed into dry, thick-skinned gecko pads. I climbed as hard on the last day as the first and came back with skin to spare.

That was Rhino Performance and Rhino Repair and I’ve been using them regularly ever since – in fact I’m nearly through my second tube of each. I have since tried their full range, and we have put together a summary for you, to keep you crushing this winter.

Rhino Performance

The most popular in the range and the one that will suit most climbers. An application three times a week is enough to keep the skin on your hands less sweaty and more durable.
I vary its use; if I’m climbing outside more, I will use it more, both for boulders and routes, chalking up significantly less than before.
If indoor climbing, I take care not to overuse it (more than three times a week) as the finer textured holds indoors will spit off hands or fingers that are too dry, especially on volume friction holds. If that’s the case, I will use some of the Rhino Spit (see later).
Rhino Performance helps replenish and regenerate skin as well, so it’s ideal for building a good skin base to your fingers. It is best applied at night and can be applied to the whole palm of the hand, fingers and tips which gives a good base of tough skin. I will apply a smaller amount about three times to my fingertips and massage it in well.

Rhino Dry

This is for when you need a quick skin fix or if your skin is super sweaty and soft. It falls in between Tip Juice and Performance in strength.
A good spray the night before and hey presto, dryer skin. Regular use will help those who are the worst afflicted. I use it as a booster if I’m going outside after mostly climbing indoors. It’s also great if I’ve been surfing a lot and my skin is softening up a bit too much. It still has some skin nourishing ingredients but is primarily a drying agent. This is like a weaker version of Antihydral but with some good stuff in it too. Dry is best applied at night, but I’ve found it good to use before climbing too.

Rhino Tip Juice

For those with the sweatiest of fingers of all, or for those who need to sort their skin out fast, this is the max strength Rhino skin formula.
It contains no skin nourishing ingredients just full-bore drying agents for those that need dryer skin fast, or wish to move away from Antihydral. I know friends who have used this to great effect before a trip away, or a day out when their skin has been soft and not ready for hard climbing outside. This isn’t quite as strong or nasty as Antihydral and is arguably safer to use with less chance of skin tearing or overuse. Best applied at night to just your fingertips, although Tip Juice can also have an effect albeit reduced if put on in the morning.

Rhino Spit

If I’m honest I thought this was a bit of a joke when I first came across it.
Then I was setting a relatively easy but very slopey friction problem and I kept getting spat off. I had brilliantly dry skin for all of the outdoor climbing I’d been doing, but couldn’t for the life of me hold these big yellow slopers I was setting with. On Olly’s advice (a dry skin sufferer) after a quick spray of this stuff, I pulled on in my trainers, gobsmacked at the difference it made. Slopers that I couldn’t even hang before felt easy to hold. My neck was thoroughly wound in and now I always keep a bottle in my climbing bag.

It is particularly useful on smoother rock types such as limestone where the advantage it gives, can feel like cheating (it’s not!). Likewise, if you’re stuck on that indoor sloper nemesis, then this could be all you need to burn your mates off, or for the aggregate tick.

Word has it that this is Shauna Coxey’s go to, as she suffers with particularly dry skin both outdoors and in.
A spray or two before chalking up is all that’s needed and it’s all natural so all good.

Rhino Split

A high-quality skin repair bees wax balm; all natural, packed with essential oils and added vitamin E – this is the ultimate skin regenerator.
It comes in a handy size tube that can be kept in the chalk bag for those splits and nicks, or for a post-climb, worn-down tips treatment. Get it on straight away so it can work its magic. For those with already dry skin this will help nourish your skin making it thicker, yet more supple and less likely to split. In my opinion, it works better than my old go-to tin of Climb On due to the added Vitamin E.

Rhino Repair

Does exactly what it says on the tin, I mean tube.
Repair comes as a nongreasy lotion that you can apply to the whole hand or just the tips after climbing, as many times as you like. Ultimately it works similarly to Split but with added magnesium and without the added Vitamin E.
It’s full of essential oils and it’s an all-natural lotion for worked skin and hands. I’m on my second tube and tend to use it all over my fingers as well as repeatedly on the tips after climbing or in the evening. It genuinely seems to soothe aching joints when massaged in, particularly my finger joints. Repair can also be used as a massage lotion too for aching muscles.

All the above products are available on the counter at Indy. Feel free to chat to staff about which might work best for your needs.

Mention this review when you buy, and we’ll even knock 10% off your purchase cost!

Remember, the skin on your fingers is the main contact you have when climbing. Show it some love and get it into the condition it needs to be in to get the most out of your climbing.

Follow the link to see what Shauna Coxey has to say about Rhino Skin and her preferences:

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