Climbing is relax, stress and struggle at once for me. The effort to be better brings me back to climbing all the time. Even small progress is satisfying, every new shape of the hold is an expectation and waiting for climbers´ responses. Thus, every order of the holds is rewarding and brings the sense I am part of the AIX.
Jirous has been working in AIX for many years. He is the main developer and designer of the climbing holds. He is responsible for the warehouse, brigaders, taking care of social networks and helps in AIX everywhere is needed.
Interview with Jirous
You and AIX, have been together for years. How did you get to AIX?
I met Andrey on the climbing wall first, then we climbed a lot outside too, then naturally it turned out that we started working together.
What are you in charge in AIX?
I do basically everything what is needed, only represent Honzu in is “unreal” for me, but mainly I am designer of new models of the climbing holds.
You are quite a unique company in the fact that you are actually friends from the rocks. Do you still spend time together at the rock?
Since we have a family it is not what it used to be, but we are still very often “holding outside the same rope.”
You are primarily a developer and designer of the AIX climbing holds. Which of the AIX model makes you very happy?
One climbing hold (bottom left) of the Cosmix 6 set. From the climbing side it is not much, but the shape really comes to me. The Guts series has also been successful, and I think it will be appreciated by almost everyone.
Where did the climbing holds move since you have been working for AIX? How do you remember the holds from the time you started there?
My first models were made of clay and they were designed for epoxy mixes. That means that the shapes were robust to avoid to crack. Nowadays I can afford for polyuretan mixture to model thin tongues such as Crux 8 Tanx and I know, they won´t crack.
To what do you pay attention while developing the holds? Which hold are you satisfied with?
Well, the one person, who has to be satisfied is mainly Andrej. He is the one, who says YES to the production of a new model and therefore he is the last output control. And despite that, Andrej tells me his ideas of the future holds, what does he imagine and what do we need to model or change. It is necessary to pay attention to a lot of factors which are based on the standards for climbing holds, for example the position of the mounting holes has its own rules.
If anybody is a experienced competitor, then it is you. I am sure, you enjoy it, but don´t you think you take the competitions also as inspiration or even you come there to watch the trends?
Trends are very important to watch and it is good to hold on them. Of course the competition is the place, where the trends often arise, and they definitely give me a lots of inspiration. But the main place, where do I get the most ideas and inspiration is, however, the rock and the bizarre shapes of nature.
And how do you see the development of the competitions and the climbing style, which is now very popular?
The competitions are changing over time. The small self-cutter are replaced by structures, large holds have been added. Jumping and even running has begun and setters look at the design of the boulder a lot. I am a bit afraid that the competitions are getting closer and closer to the Ninjafactor.
Does the holds production addapt to this trend? And what is the current trend at all?
The holds production and its success has been dependent on the design in the recent years a lot. The holds used at the competition are more likely simply shaped. It depends on the ambition of the individual sets of holds, whether I want to get them to the world championship or to create interesting holds for a commercial climbing wall and their beginning and advanced climbers.
You had some troubles with your hand last year and so climbing had to go for a long time aside. How did you survive that time? Is everything alright now?
Well at the beginning I missed climbing a lot. My son Josifek was a consolation for me – in the sense that I could spend more time with him and my family. Later I changed my priorities and I was fine even without climbing. Now my hand is already healthy and I am looking for to crave to get back to this climbing enthusiasm. I rely on spring and rock, because they are the best for climbing.
We know each other since you were 15. Do you remember when we were going to the first Mejcups with Marcus? That was really unique competition at the beginning…
Mejcup was unique in its atmosphere and evening party in Taverna, I will never forget that time. The stripper with a wreath of sausages, Požárov´s burned chair in the fireplace, to carry the girls in my arms… I did not experience anything like this later in Fleda.
How did go the climbing time with you? What are you happy about? What are you sorry for? And what do you plan next?
I did go to climb rock with my brother Johan since a was a child… and with other climbers as well (Šárka, Hlubočepy, Alkazar, Sušky). The first wall at Ruzyne extended the possibilities of training and since 1993 we started to go through the children competitions Milka cup. Then there was my coach supervisor Pavel Mentlik and first Frankenjura. After that there was a first trip to France and Spain with Marcikovi.
And then there was the Elbe sandstones, beers, straws, BBcs in Jáma and bouldering. Until today I go mostly to Frankenjura and Elbe sandstone, sometimes I go to some bouldering competition. What makes me happy nowadays is mostly rock climbing and after that the evening talks with friends. I am sorry that everything is somehow faster and there is not so much time for rock climbing and all the pleasure around that. And the plan? That would be to enjoy climbing and to connect it properly with my family as well.
When are you going to get married, finally? We want to see Jirous in suit.
Alibisticaly I say that if I am not married I can not get divorced. I don´t understand what is a bunch of people doing these days and I am saying to myself, that we are not involved in there… So the wedding will be.
I can see that you are enjoying to be a father a lot. Did you change your priorities of how do you feel as a daddy Jirous?
Yes, I am again a little bit more the smartest one in the world and I can show the pictures with Josifek. Daddy Jirous has a belly, he is little bit lazier, but happy. So there is nothing to deal with.
Thank you for the interview Sim.