By: Jens Larssen  | Date: 2009-05-28  | Category: Interviews    | Comment  
 8a.nu
All pictures by Björn Strömberg
Adam is moving up the quickdraw. He only used 3 qd's for the first 6 bolts.
The future climbing scene for Adam
Adam Ondra is unique in climbing and probably a sport athlete uniquem. The 16-year-old has never had a trainer and still he is the #1 climber in the world. He does not follow any specific training program and before his last Boulder World Cup, he had one rest day after having done six straight days of endurance climbing at Kalymnos. He has never had an injury besides little pain in one finger for one week earlier this year, after intensively trying a mono crux.

During the last year, Adam redpointed 58 routes 8c to 9a+ and onsighted 47 routes 8b to 8c, included some 20 down grades. He also take an brave an active stand against "Poorly/Mainly Chipped" routes.

1998 (5): Started to climb with his parents
2001 (8): Onsights an 7b+ and his sister understands his uniqueness.
2002 (9): Onsights his first 7c+, JSFK in Misja Pec: First interview on 8a ("8a.nu would like to state that we would not have publish the interview if it had turned out that it was performance who where the driving force for him or his parents. Luckily and as a good role model it seems to be the opposite.")

2003 (10): Stops training gymnastic but continous stretching 3 hours per week
2004 (11): Redpoints his first 8c, Mascherina in Sperlonga
2005 (12): Onsights five 8b

Christine Ondra, his eight years older sister
"He is passionate about climbing every day. Earlier he was just trying to do as many easier onsights as possible during the climbing day but know he is more into the hardest challenges."

Tomas Mrazek - three times world champion
"He is much stronger than me. Once I worked several hard boulders at my penthouse gym and efter long training I did them I invited Adam who did most of them directly ;-)"

Adam Ondra's best advice
"Climb fast and never say take. Just climb, go for the onsight, go for your instinct, have fun."

Why he does you not warm up properly?
My father he is strongest on his first try without any warming up. I prefer to do one route for warming up.

Your English has improved a lot since we met last year?
I guess I have made the same improvement in my native language ;-)

It seems like your teachers do not see you as much as they should do?
The school is kind of easy, the teachers has to focus on the older students who have important exams ;-)

Which kind of climbing do you prefer the most?
I prefer technical climbing on small holds like in Voralpen. To just hand around on big holds on big overhangs gets boring after a while. It is often just the same moves.

How come you suggest so many down grades?
It is easy to understand that there has been some grading inflation while you compare the new grades in Spain and France to the old school routes in Frankenjura and the ones that Huber put up. It is difficult to understand what you should do with the inflation. A couple of months ago, it just clicked to me that my first 8c+ is a very hard 9a, once you compare it to modern grades in Spain and France.

He is a semi-vegetarian and to all of you that think he is to skinny, he is eating a lot and during the last two years he has grown some 20 cm.

A speculation by Jens Larssen - What makes Adam Ondra unique?
Adam Ondra has a unique new style for climbing that is different from other top-climbers and might be a possible explanation why he has reached a new level.

1. Technical - He combines speed and precision like how Jorg Verhoeven climbed to win WC 2008. He moves his hands and feet quicker, although with a minimal lock-off, to ensure exact positioning of finger angle and feet for each move. It is like a ticking-clock technique with minimal rest in between.
2. Tactical/Route-reading - He reads outdoor onsights like an indoor competition climber, including foot holds and clips etc. "I always try to have a sequence for the four next moves."
2. Flexibility - Doing knee-drops, highstep and splits as guru Dani Andrada but Adam gets his hip closer to the rock.
3. Screaming - It is like the guttural sound of Sharma. Maybe screaming increases our strength beyond our 100 %.
4. Clipping - Constantly moves quickdraws to next bolt or just skip them. "I prefer to put (short) draws on as I climb."
5. No Trainer/Plan/Anxiety - "I just love climbing and I do not feel any pressure. There is always endless of new challenges and impossible moves to try." Adam has never had any trainer or plan although he says he might do some special training before he goes to the worlds in China.
6. Breathing - As soon as he starts climbing he is like a loud pair of bellows.
7. Short arms - Adam is 181 cm but he has a negative ape-index that makes it easier for him to bend his arms.
8. Resting - He rests some 60 - 90 minutes between each attempt.

8a.nu