Taking Flight, or, How to Dyno

By Henry Fitts

Hips swinging, legs kicking, and bodies flying. “Dynos” have always been dramatic eye-catchers. Dyno as in dynamic. Dynamic motion is the only option for bridging the gap between holds when a static motion is not possible or in some cases just not favorable. Regardless of climbing experience it is always important to climb smart and try hard! That being said, self-preservation is key. Know yourself, know your surroundings, and be mindful of your fellow climbers in the area when you are preparing for flight.

How to Dyno:

Coordinating your body in motion is key. Maximize the potential power from each limb: leave no power source un-tapped. Remember, not every Dyno requires the same technique but here are a few pointers that should help you asses what you need to do to get there. 

Build momentum early! This can be done by getting your hips and shoulders swinging while you are on the take-off point. Be sure that your swing either puts you closer to the destination hold or in many cases puts your weight over a directional foot hold. This a key step and paves the way for a successful dynamic movement.

Start down low. When entering your final swing before you jump it is important to dip down low and put your weight under the start holds. This allows you to maximize your pull from your arms and push out from your legs. Ever tried a box jump without squatting all the way down?

Following through.  Engage your legs until they are straight and your toes are pointed. Legs are far stronger than your arms. That said, following through with your arms is equally as important. Pulling up on a hold comes naturally, but following through before letting go takes practice. Find that sweet spot.

Get on the right flight! Visualize what a successful move will look like. Study your destination hold and flight path. Imagine how your body will travel through the air and most importantly what the swing will be like when you stick the move. If the destination hold is a better grip in one direction be sure to plan your move so that you end up with your weight behind it. A few test jumps touching the destination hold can be helpful in coordinating all the elements.

Control the swing. Don’t “Biff” it. The sooner you can control the swing the better. It can be very hard to control this from a single point of contact on the wall so keep a tight core, look for a place to flag your foot or use the palm of one of your hand on the wall. As always, hold on tighter!

Moves like this require more finger strength than you think, not only to hold the weight of your body but to control the momentum of the swing. Do be a frequent flyer on the campus-board and hang-boards in the workout pagoda upstairs. Don’t skip a leg day either, you’ll need all the power you can get out of those suckers. Head to the bouldering wall and take a stab at the challenging pink Slab-Dyno next to the window or make your own on the new “book wall”. If you really want to fly, hop on the yellow lead-climb on the left side of the main wall. Keep practicing and be ready for the Dyno competition at the upcoming equinox party!

Lastly, to get you even more psyched, here are some pics from last year’s Dyno comp. We hope you’ll join the fun on March 20!

Climb smart, try hard!