Analysis of Contest Results 2014

Analysis of the hangtimes of the Zlagboard Contests

by Andreas Niederstätter

This is a short overview of the performances at the Zlagboard contests in the summer of 2014. The contests include the data of Outdoor in Friedrichshafen, Poolder MOVE in Ortisei, Boulder World Championship in Munich, Rockmaster in Arco an Lead-, Para- and Speed World Championship in Gijon.

1074 people, 864 male and 210 female, participated. In case a person participated more than once, the personal best was used. Every participant had to hang on a 20mm edge for as long as possible. For the analysis I rounded every time to seconds. Then I counted how many participants reached a certain time, hanging on the same edge.

analysis1-899b9f656e8b3beb99012dfdef9a9fbbImage 1: Hang times of 1074 contestants at Zlagboard contests in summer 2014, the best hang times were accomplished by Ramón J. Puigblanque, Alexander Megos and Stefano Ghisolfi. The best female athlete was Rita Marsanova, who reached a time of nearly 107 seconds. The median of all times is 45,36 seconds.

Image 1 shows the impressing distance in terms of hang-time of Ramón J. Puigblanque from the rest of the climbers. His time is more than three and a half the median of all times. Rita Marsanova has the best time of the women and she is 7th in the Zlagboard World ranking. Only 5 males have reached a time over 2 minutes, four of them are well-known world class route climbers: Ramón J. Puigblanque, Alexander Megos, Stefano Ghisolfi and Dmitry Fakiryanov. Vadim Timonov is a well-known boulderer in the World Cup and reached a time over 2 minutes too. This indicates that the Zlagboard is a good method to measure endurance of grip strength.

The median of all times is approximately 45 seconds. Notably is the first peak between zero and ten seconds. These times probably represent people who don’t climb, however, wanted to try out the Zlagboard. The second significant peak is found between 55 and 65 seconds. After this peak the times decrease. Beside the fitness level, this might be caused by the mental barrier of one minute. It seems, that many climbers wanted to break this barrier and tried to keep hanging on the Zlagboard until they reached this limit.

Hang times of the female contestants

Image 2: Hang times of the female contestants at the contest with the names of the tree best female participants. Rita Marsonova has reached a time a little below three times the median.

We have measured the hang times of 210 women, which is a small proportion of the population. Similar to the results above, many women seem to reach a time around 60 seconds. Between 60 and 90 seconds, the times decrease comparable to the hang times of the men, however, a much equal distribution is obvious. Only a few female participants could hang longer than 90 seconds on the ledge of the Zlagboard.

Hang times of the male contestants

Because of the high number of male participants, the distribution in Image 3 looks similar to the one in Image 1. Once again I want to point out the distance of climbers like Puigblanque, Megos and Ghisolfi from the rest of the climbers. Only few were able to reach a time higher than 90 seconds. Even some world-class climbers could not get beyond 90 seconds.

Image 3: Hang times of the male participants at the Zlagboard contests


From the Image 1-3 we can deduce, that the Zlagboard is a reliable and fast method to check individual “resistance” (endurance of finger strength), especially on crimps.

It would be interesting to analyse body height as an influencing factor. With this data the correlation between resistance on edges and body height could be investigated. Similar investigations could observe the efficiency of different crimping positions too. The Zlagboard is a easy tool to extract such data.