India's first ever Psicobloc champions share their thoughts!

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

Gateway of Karnataka, Mangalore organised India’s first ever Psicobloc competition last week. Those who already know what it is, days will never be the same for them. Let us first tell you what is Psicobloc? Psicobloc is a competition that involves solo climbing over a deep body of water. Exciting? Yes! So, it was a 2 days event, organised in Varanashi Organic Farms followed up with other exciting workshops.


Inspire Crew caught up with the winners of this electrifying sport who talk about what it's like to attend and become the first ever psicobloc winners in India.


PRATEEKSHA ARUN

Congratulations! Tell us about how the event unveiled along with your feeling on winning.

I first heard about psicobloc on Instagram and was literally waiting for someone to host a comp like that in India. I was super excited when I found out Let's play climbing and fit-rock arena were conducting it in Varanashi farms and wouldn't have missed it for the world. It was an awesome experience. Something totally new and fun. I'm super glad to have participated.

The competition was well organised, with a clinic in the beginning to make sure people knew how to swim before actually competing and a diving workshop to ensure the competitors dived properly without hurting themselves. Qualifiers and knockouts were pretty easy routes so as to cater to the amateurs in the comp. They changed the route for finals to make it more exciting and it definitely was. I went on to win by 0.5 seconds over my friend Jayati. We both won Go Pros.


And what about the jump in water after you finished climbing. Is it scary?

I personally had never dived from such a height but I had so much fun. I've known how to swim since I was little so the water wasn't a problem. It is definitely a scary thought to jump from that height although it'd be cooler to make a taller wall next time.


What is psicobloc? Tell me about how big it is if you talk at a global level.

Psicobloc originally is another name for deep water soloing. It's basically climbing on a rock or wall face without a rope and water below you. So if you fall, you fall into the water. It started out on the coasts where people like Chris Sharma would just climb and jump into the sea. This later turned into an annual competition in the US which then went global. The comp in the US is much bigger than ours here. But ours is just beginning so we'll get there eventually.


Who is your favorite climber?

I have to say Ashima Shiraishi does exceedingly well at Psicoblocs considering she's so young. She moves with such confidence it's beautiful to watch.

How was the response from the audience and athletes at the event?

The crowd was amazing. There was a bigger turnout than I had expected with a lot of newcomers which was really cool. They cheered their hearts out so shout-out to them.

All of the winners are from Bangalore and we train together so it was pretty fun to win together.


How would you compare this experience to the National Sports Climbing championship?

For me especially, this was a more chilled out competition compared to Nationals. The open nationals and national championship come with a certain pressure to perform so we can make the teams that compete outside India. This was a competition for me to relax and have fun which is exactly what I did. I've always wanted to do deep water soloing and this comp let me try it. I was very happy.

JAYATI GADAMSETTY


Introduce yourself and tell us about your climbing journey. I started my climbing journey in 2012. I remember, I placed 7th in Nationals which was held in Delhi in the same year for Sub-junior girls category. Since then I have been participating in every championships and always secured 1st or 2nd finish podium for myself. I also represented India twice at the Asian Youth Championship held in Malaysia in 2015 and Iran in 2016 for Youth C category. In 2018 I got 1st in bouldering and 2nd in speed at the Nationals held in Bangalore. And I'm currently the Bouldering National Champion in Junior girls category. I am 16 years old now.


Congratulations! How does it feel to be at the Psicobloc podium? It feels very very nice to win at the ever Psicobloc in India. I'm really grateful to have had the opportunity to take part in an event of this sort.


And what about jumping in the water after you finished climbing? Jumping in water from the top isn't scary at all, in fact it is really exciting and addicting, like once you do it you want to keep doing it.


Who is your favourite climber? My favourite climbers are Nonaka Miho and Jongwon Chon.


How was the response from the audience and other athletes? Everyone loved it! The competition was organised so beautifully, honestly speaking there's not even one thing I could complain about.  


How would you compare this experience to National Sports Climbing championship? Nationals are a more serious events where our performance is judged and National rankings are given where as psicobloc is much relaxed and a fun event.

DEEPU GOWDA

 

Introduce yourself and tell us about your climbing journey. Born and brought up in Bangalore, I liked climbing since I was too young. At the age of 12, I started my journey. It feels good to continue with the sports. I have many other goals to push myself in climbing.

Congratulations! How does it feel to be at the Psicobloc podium? I was super stoked when the event was announced. It feels great to see something new in climbing. Psicobloc India was a big opportunity for me to start adventure filled, adrenaline pumping event. It feels great to learn something which I have never tried and also overcome my fear.


How scary is it really to jump off the top? One of the greatest fear is to jump off from the top. I am a beginner in swimming. But it was an absolute safe event with the rescue team doing their best job. A huge thanks for the organising team to bring up this huge event.


Who is your favourite climber?

Alexander Megos and Tomoa Narasaki.


How was the response from the audience and other athletes? Audience were super stoked and also they were full on excited about the competition. The Athletes had no clue about the competition style and the audience were super encouraging to each and every athlete present for the competition.

How would you compare this experience to National Sports Climbing championship?

This is the fun task event which makes people overcome their fear. But in national sports climbing championship its all about serious competition.


DEEKSHITH


Introduce yourself and your climbing journey. I have been climbing since 8 years. I started my climbing journey in 2011 and was selected for nationals in the same year. I also love to go outdoor and climb.


Congratulations! How does it feel to be at the psicobloc podium? I feel great to be part of the 1st ever psicobloc comp and winning or losing doesn't matter because I went there for having fun.


How scary is it really to jump off the top?

It wasn't that scary actually because we take lead falls which is kinda similar.


Who is your favorite climber?

Indian ( Prateeksha Arun) & International (Tomoa Narasaki)


How was the response from the audience and other athletes?

There were amazing and talented people around trying to teach their stuff to the other people present there. And as a climber I was really stoked to see what I could pull out through this event and was satisfied looking at my final run with my friend Deepu.


How would you compare this experience to National Sports Climbing championship?

In nationals we have more pressure then having fun. It's very obvious.



Picture courtesy: Shutter Spark Studios; Adaikappan and Harsha Tej


To read our coverage on 24th National Sports Climbing Championship, visit this link!


Share, like and comment.


#psicoblocindia #psicobloc #prateekshaarun #24thnationalsportsclimbingchampionship #deepugowda #deekshith #jayatigadamsetty #southclimbers #indianclimbers #indianclimbingteam #goproindia #climbing #rockclimbing #inspirecrewblog #womenclimbersindia #womenwhoclimb #sheclimb #projectwildwomen

 

INSPIRE CREW

empowering women through extreme and outdoor sports

  • White YouTube Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Twitter Icon

All Rights Reserved © Inspire Crew 2019