the whetstone hangboard review

The Whetstone Hangboard: A Beginner’s Best Friend

If you’re embarking on your climbing journey, you’ve likely heard about the importance of hangboard training. Hangboards are essential tools for climbers of all levels, helping to improve finger strength, endurance, and overall climbing performance. In this article, we’ll delve into the Whetstone Hangboard, described by Tension as “an ideal first hangboard for climbers beginning their training journey.” We’ll explore its features, pros, cons, and how it compares to other hangboards on the market.

Why Hangboards Matter

Before we dive into the specifics of the Whetstone Hangboard, let’s understand why hangboards are crucial for climbers. Hangboard training is highly efficient and aids in building finger strength, a vital aspect of climbing. Climbers often rely on their finger strength to grip holds and make progress on challenging routes. A hangboard offers a controlled environment for targeted finger and grip training.

Whetstone Hangboard Overview

The Whetstone Hangboard is designed with beginners and intermediate climbers in mind. Its thoughtful layout includes asymmetric holds and a range of edge sizes, from 20 to 40 millimeters. These features make it suitable for climbers engaging in their first structured hangboard training or those looking to improve their general fitness and weighted hangs.


1. Skin and Tendon-Friendly

The Whetstone is gentle on your skin and tendons, ensuring a comfortable training experience.

2. Ergonomic Jug Design

The “ergo bumps” on the upper jug distribute the load across all your fingers, enhancing comfort during workouts.

3. Comfortable Two-Finger Pockets

The 40mm two-finger pockets provide comfort to your tendons, making them ideal for training.

4. In-cut Center Edge

The 40mm in-cut center edge is perfect for entry-level one-arm hangs, promoting gradual progress.

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5. Ideal Edge Radii

The 20mm and 25mm edges have the right radius for maximum comfort during training.

6. Challenging Top Jug

The top jug is demanding yet comfortable, engaging the flexors during pulling and core exercises.


1. One-arm Hang Limitation

The absence of a 35mm edge can hinder one-arm hang progressions, making it a substantial leap from 40mm to 30mm.

2. Challenging Top Jug for Beginners

Beginners may find the smaller top jug more challenging for core work and pull-ups.

3. Lack of Texture on Edges

Some climbers may prefer more texture on the edges for better grip, which the Whetstone lacks.

4. Interference of Lower Edges

The board’s minimal overhang can interfere with thumb placement when hanging from the upper edges.

Our Thoughts on the Whetstone Hangboard

Despite a few minor weaknesses, the Whetstone Hangboard stands out as an excellent choice for less experienced hangboard users. It caters to beginners and intermediate climbers looking to enhance their finger strength and climbing performance. However, for advanced climbers or those focused on one-arm hang progressions, pairing the Whetstone with its sibling, the Honestone, is recommended for optimal results.


  • Size Reviewed: 26” x 6”
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Price: $163
  • Brand: Tension

The Reviewer’s Experience

The reviewer, with over 15 years of climbing experience, emphasizes the importance of hangboard training for climbing performance. Hangboards provide efficient workouts and help maintain finger strength over time.

Basics and First Impressions

The Whetstone Hangboard offers a well-thought-out design for beginners. It features an upper jug, a slightly in-cut 40mm center edge for one-arm hangs, roomy 40mm two-finger pockets, and flat edges at 40mm, 30mm, 25mm, and 20mm. What sets this hangboard apart are four key features:

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1. Ergo Bumps

The upper jug rail’s “ergo bumps” ensure a rounded, ergonomic finger position, enhancing comfort during workouts.

2. Spacious Pockets

The 40mm two-finger pockets, though roomier, provide a challenging workout, making them ideal for training.

3. Wood Texture

The Whetstone’s well-machined and smoothly sanded texture minimizes skin friction, promoting effective training without skin irritation.

4. In-cut Center Edge

Designed for one-arm hangs, the 40mm center edge features a slight in-cut, offering a strong training tool.

Hangboard Features That Matter

The Jugs

Jugs are often overlooked, but they play a crucial role in hangboard training. The Whetstone’s jugs strike a balance between comfort and challenge, making them suitable for various exercises.

Paired Edges for Two-Arm Work

For exercises involving long durations, fatigue, or added weight, comfort is key. The 20mm and 25mm edges on the Whetstone provide the ideal combination of comfort and challenge.

Edges for One-Arm Work

The Whetstone excels in this category with its 10° in-cut 40mm center edge, perfect for one-arm progressions. However, the 30mm and 40mm edges may require caution due to their slot-like shape.

Small Edges

While the Whetstone primarily targets beginners, more experienced climbers may seek smaller edges. In such cases, pairing the Whetstone with the Honestone or opting for the Grindstone is advisable.

Who Should Choose the Whetstone Hangboard?

The Whetstone Hangboard is an excellent choice for climbers at the beginner and intermediate levels. Its design, comfort, and thoughtful features make it an ideal tool for improving finger strength and overall climbing performance. However, climbers with more experience and specific training goals may find it beneficial to explore other options like the Tension Honestone or Grindstone.

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In Conclusion

The Whetstone Hangboard by Tension offers a well-rounded training experience for climbers starting their hangboard journey. Its user-friendly design, comfortable features, and thoughtful layout make it a top choice for those looking to enhance their climbing skills. While it may not meet the needs of advanced climbers on its own, when paired with the Honestone, it becomes a valuable addition to any climber’s training arsenal.


1. How often should I use the Whetstone Hangboard? It’s recommended to start with 2-3 sessions per week and gradually increase frequency as your strength and endurance improve.

2. Can I use the Whetstone Hangboard for one-arm hang training? While the Whetstone is suitable for one-arm hangs, the absence of a 35mm edge may pose a challenge for some climbers. Consider your skill level and preferences when choosing your hangboard.

3. Are there specific exercises I should do with the Whetstone Hangboard? The Whetstone accommodates a variety of exercises, including repeaters, one-arm max hangs, weighted pull-ups, and more. Tailor your workouts to your goals and climbing style.

4. Can I mount the Whetstone Hangboard in a doorway? Yes, you can mount the Whetstone Hangboard in a doorway using a suitable mount. Ensure it is securely installed before use.

5. How does the Whetstone compare to other hangboards on the market? The Whetstone excels as a beginner-friendly hangboard. However, for advanced climbers or those seeking more edge size options, exploring other models like the Tension Honestone or Grindstone may be beneficial.

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