TRUBLUE is thrilled to announce that we've been selected to sponsor Emma Hunt. Emma is one of the fastest climbers on the planet, an extraordinary person, and a USA Climbing teammate. In this conversation, we learn about Emma, how she trains, and what she likes to do when she's not climbing.
You're one of the fastest speed climbers in the world! How did you get into speed climbing and what do you like about it?
I started speed my first year of FYB when I was 14 years old. Before that, I did not have an opportunity to do speed. When I finally got the chance to try it I was just so excited. From that moment on I was hooked. From the outside looking in, speed seems pretty straightforward. However, it actually focuses on fine detail and precision. I think this is one of the reasons I'm drawn to speed, and it's just fun to go fast.
How does speed climbing differ from sport and bouldering?
In speed climbing, staying in a straight line and square with the wall is very important to get to the top faster and more efficiently. This is one of the main ways speed differs from sport and bouldering. In sport and bouldering, getting to the top might require taking an indirect route.
Do these differences change the way you train? How so?
For the most part, the fundamentals for training are the same for me – basic endurance, power, and technique. When training sport and bouldering, one of the main things I work on is learning different types of climbing moves to be able to use in a variety of different ways. But with speed, we train the same moves over and over again to do them perfectly on command. There are times when a speed athlete will change their beta or tweak a move or two but for the most part it is repetition.
What's your favorite training tool for speed climbing?
It is simply the wall. Oh, and having a Ping Pong table nearby doesn't hurt.
How do you use TRUBLUE Auto Belays when training?
The auto belay is one of the most important parts of Speed Training and is used every single time I train for speed. For athletes, safety is one of the most important things when training. I feel safest when on TRUBLUE Auto Belays. They keep up with my faster runs and when I am practicing specific dynamic movements. They also help make training easier because they don't pull me up the wall or get in the way when I am working on technique. So basically, I use them for all parts of my speed training.
What climbing achievements are you most proud of?
One of my proudest climbing achievements was running my first 7 on a TRUBLUE Auto Belay at the US Team Trials. Running a 7 second time was a goal of mine for several years. It was such an amazing experience to finally achieve it in a competition setting.
Do you have any advice for climbers looking to get into speed climbing?
When your first getting speed, make sure to try different beta. Everybody's body's and strengths are different, so finding a beta that works for you is super helpful. Once you find your specific beta, work on building your muscle memory so you eventually you won't have to look at your feet when your climbing.
What competitions are you currently training for?
The 2021 World Cup Circuit just finished, so the next competition I will be training for is the US National Championships in November!
What do you like to do when you're not climbing?
When I'm not climbing, I really enjoy baking! I love trying new recipes and learning different baking techniques. My family and I love to watch the Great British Baking show together. Currently, I have been really into baking bread and eating it. I am also a huge animal lover and spend a lot of time hanging with my pets – my dog, Flynn, and cat, Nala.
Where can people follow you?
My Instagram is @climbing_emma
Photo: Carson Chang