If your name’s Alex Honnold, you probably don’t need a crash mat. Could climb all day. Climb all night. Climb until the inevitable heat death of our solar system, and still not need a mat to soften a fall that will never come. My name is not Alex Honnold. And when I’m bouldering, I fall. I fall a lot.
On a trip to Dartmoor earlier in the year, I tested out the Ocun Paddy Dominator to its fullest. At Bonehill Rocks, the “spiritual home of Dartmoor bouldering”, I fell on the crash mat multiple times and came away unscathed every single time. Although thanks to the area’s notorious granite texture, I couldn’t say the same for my hands; hands that have only just about recovered from the trauma of it all.
The Paddy Dominator, with its patented FTS Absorption Block, is suitable for high ball problems. It sucks all the energy out of those big falls, even if you land near its edges. Something that once you’ve experienced the first time can make your future climbs a whole lot more reassuring; knowing you’ve got this friendly beast looking after you down below.
The clever design of the 110mm absorption block means that not only is it effective in its primary purpose of preventing injuries, it also weighs about 20% less than a mat of its size should. Something that’s definitely useful, let me say, when you’re hauling it across vast swathes of Dartmoor terrain.
Speaking of carrying it about, thanks to its highly breathable and nicely squidgy WeBee carrying straps, the Ocun Paddy Dominator is actually far more comfortable to transport than you might expect. There’s no denying you’ll be aware of it when you’ve got it on your back, or when you’re trying to get it on public transport at Earls Court at the same time as a load of Chelsea and Liverpool fans (like I did), but it’s surprisingly portable for an item of its size. The general usability and versatility of the product is underlined by it’s fold-in-half nature, and two-way opening system.
Very good mat, this. Especially if you're not Alex Honnold.