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Wave Bolts are the strongest, easiest to use, and best value glue-in rock climbing anchor available, offering tremendous shear and pullout resistance and ease-of-use not found in other designs. Wave Bolts combine the strength of glue-ins with the convenience of mechanical bolts. Even in vertical placements the Wave Bolt will not slide out of the hole prior to the glue hardening. Just place the Wave Bolt and move on!
Route developers and climbers are reaching a consensus that glue-in bolts are superior to mechanical bolts, and should be used for new development and replacement of old, unsafe bolts. However, many developers are still reluctant to actually use glue-ins because of their previous difficulty of use. The groundbreaking Wave Bolt combines the strength, ease of use, and cost effectiveness to solve the problems of all other bolts, glue-in or mechanical. Wave Bolts are the obvious choice for developers and climbers wanting the safest, easiest, and longest lasting anchors.
There is no doubt that a well placed, shiny Wave Bolt looks great and inspires confidence while climbing, but many route developers, local climbing organizations, and land managers have requested Wave Bolts with lower visual impact. The new matte finish is the solution.
Both the matte and polished finish Wave Bolts are produced from high strength and high corrosion resistant 316 stainless steel. Matte finish Wave Bolts undergo an additional passivation process to add even more corrosion resistance. Polished finish Wave Bolts undergo an electropolishing process to add the additional corrosion resistance and to leave the bolts nice and shiny.
The Wave Bolt’s unique design make it an extremely strong climbing anchor bolt. Since adhesive doesn't form a significant bond with stainless steel, to resist pull-out failure, other glue-in designs rely on the glue hardening around the exterior contours of the rod, which are often minimal. The Wave Bolt’s design, however, allows the glue to encase the exterior and interior of the bolt, truly locking the bolt within the glue, resulting in significantly higher pull test results than other designs. Compare the Wave Bolt’s design to that of other glue-ins and you will see the difference.
Wave Bolts were subjected to a real-world test with a hydraulic pulling rig and digital load cell in the Corbin Sandstone of the Red River Gorge. The results were amazing:
Shear Pull: no failure (breakage or pull out) at 9100lbs, at which point the test had to stop to avoid damage to the testing equipment. This is substantially higher than the UIAA requirement for climbing anchors, and substantially above the failure point of similarly-tested glue-ins from other brands.
Tension Pull: rock failure (blowout) reached at 8000lbs but no bolt failure (breakage or pullout).
Wave Bolts are hands down the easiest glue-in bolt to use. Previously a significant problem with glue-ins was that they would slide out of the hole before the adhesive set. This caused much trouble for developers, leading some to simply not use them on steep routes...exactly where mechanical bolts can be most problematic. To get around this problem, developers would have to place a temporary mechanical bolt, then sit and hold the glue-in in place until the adhesive hardened enough to move on.
The Wave Bolt’s tapered design completely solves this problem because the bolt holds itself in place, even in a dead vertical hole. Developers can now set a Wave Bolt and immediately move on to the next placement. In fact, in one test a Wave Bolt held over 1000 pounds in a straight out pull WITHOUT adhesive! Some developers on steep routes report gluing a hole, placing a Wave Bolt, and clipping into it immediately to “stay in”. Another advantage is that Wave Bolts are sized in inches rather than millimeters - no more having to purchase expensive, hard to find metric drill bits! We recommend using a 1/2 inch or a 9/16 inch SDS style bit, depending on the rock density and how "tight" you want the Wave Bolt to fit in the hole.
Wave Bolts are the premier rock climbing anchor available, offering route developers who want to use the best gear an incredible value. Made of marine grade and high strength 316 stainless steel (SS), Wave Bolts provide excellent corrosion resistance at a lower cost than most SS mechanical bolt and hanger combinations...they're even less expensive than some plated steel combinations. Plus, in good rock and with proper use Wave Bolts will never have to be replaced in the future!
To answer this, we must first compare Wave Bolts against mechanical bolts (e.g. a “Rawl” or “Powers” bolt). The answer to this is simple: Wave Bolts are safer and last a lot longer than mechanical bolts. Mechanical bolts rely on friction to keep them from pulling out. The less friction, the less resistance to “tension” (a straight-out pull). Unfortunately, there are several ways friction is reduced with mechanical bolts: a poorly drilled hole, a loosened nut (ever come across a “spinner”?), and repeated loadings from falls are just a few. Common mechanical bolts also have less “shear” strength (resistance to a perpendicular pull) than Wave Bolts because their diameter is less. For example, a supposed big, bomber half-inch mechanical sleeve bolt actually has only a 3/8th inch bolt inside the sleeve. On the other hand, once the adhesive has cured Wave Bolts do not rely on friction to stay in the rock. Instead, the adhesive hardens around and in the contours of the bolt and bonds with the rock. This chemical bond is essentially permanent, and much more resistant to failure than the friction bond of mechanical bolts. Moreover, because there is no mechanical action, there is no chance a Wave Bolt will loosen over time.
For these reasons, there really is no justifiable reason to install mechanical bolts. Wave Bolts' unique design gives significant advantages making them hands-down the best glue-in bolt available, combining ease of use, ultra-high tension and shear resistance, and cost effectiveness not found in other designs.
Use either a 1/2 inch or a 9/16 inch bit, depending on how tight you want the Wave Bolt to fit in the hole.
Wave Bolts were designed to be placed in a half-inch hole. The end of the tapered bolt shaft is half of an inch in diameter, but the beginning is slightly larger than that. Therefore, as the Wave Bolts is sunk into the hole the "legs" of the bolt compress slightly to the diameter of the hole (similar to how a piton deforms a bit when pounded into a crack). This creates the outward force which holds the Wave Bolt in place while the adhesive cures.
In very hard rock placing a Wave Bolt in a perfectly drilled half-inch hole may require more force to fully set the bolt. In these settings, we recommend either using a 1/2 inch bit but "overdrilling" the hole, or using a 9/16 inch bit.
It is true that other designs of glue-in bolt available suffer from a serious shortcoming, leading to them being difficult to use: they slide out of the hole before the adhesive sets. Not only is this annoying – developers have to resort to either sitting there and holding the bolt in place, or putting tape or epoxy on the bolt to hold it – it also made the process of route development harder and longer than compared to when mechanical bolts are used. Unfortunately, this has led many developers to not use glue-ins, even though they understand them to be superior to mechanical bolts.
Wave Bolts however are just as easy to use as mechanical bolts. Exactly like a mechanical, just drill and clean the hole, insert adhesive and the Wave Bolt, and move on the next placement. Wave Bolts even allow the option to clip back in immediately after placing it, just like with a mechanical bolt*. Wave Bolts are the only glue-in bolt available with which you can do this. Because of their unique design, Wave Bolts will not slide out of the hole before the adhesive sets. Some pull tests have shown Wave Bolts to resist just over 1000lbs of straight-out pull WITHOUT any adhesive at all! The only difference between using a Wave Bolt and a mechanical bolt is that you need to insert adhesive into the hole before placing a Wave Bolt. This small additional step takes only a few seconds, and is far outweighed by the immense gains in safety, longevity, and cost effectiveness compared to a mechanical bolt.
*While still on rappel, or otherwise anchored. NEVER use a Wave Bolt as an anchor before the adhesive is fully cured.
Because no climber should ever have to worry about a bolt failing! Climbing is more enjoyable, and you can concentrate on sending your route, when you are not worried about your gear. The fact is most climbers simply take for granted that the hardware they climb on won’t fail. Ever been on a route and come across a “spinner?” Did that make you feel good? Ever come across a rusty bolt and/or hanger? Although bolt failure is rare, it can and does happen. An unfortunate example from the New River Gorge of a brand new mechanical bolt failure, leading to the climber decking, proves the point.
An anchor station can be created with Wave Bolts just like it can with any other type of bolt. Two common set ups are 1) two Wave Bolts placed about 8-10 inches apart in the same horizontal plane, each with two 3/8th or ½ inch quicklinks attached; 2) one Wave Bolt placed higher than the other, with the high bolt having a quicklink, section of chain, and another quicklink, and the low bolt having two quicklinks; the lowest two quicklinks should hang at the same height so the bolts are equalized.
Many people ask about combining the stainless steel (SS) Wave Bolts with standard zinc-plated steel (PS) quicklinks. It has become common in climbing to be concerned about “not mixing metals.” This catch phrase is getting at what is known as galvanic corrosion, or corrosion that can occur when two dissimilar metals come in contact under certain conditions. The severe rusting that occurs on mechanical bolt and hanger combinations is an example of this, and absolutely can lead to a very unsafe bolt/anchor. However, “not mixing metals” may be a bit oversimplified. Galvanic corrosion can only happen when two dissimilar metals are in contact (and placed under the necessary conditions); a PS bolt and PS hanger, or a SS bolt and SS hanger cannot galvanically corrode. Since SS mechanical bolts are prohibitively expensive, when dissimilar metals are used it is almost always a PS mechanical bolt and a SS hanger. This is quite dangerous, because corrosion can occur on the bolt inside the rock where it is impossible to see. Over time, this can lead to a severely weakened bolt.
So yes in a perfect world a route developer would use a SS quicklink with a Wave Bolt. However, SS quicklinks are about three times the cost of PS ones. So the relevant question is: if a developer chooses to not use SS quicklinks, how much of a concern is galvanic corrosion? The good news is that the concern is substantially less than with a PS mechanical bolt and SS hanger combination. Plated steel is much more anodic than the Wave Bolt’s 316 stainless steel, therefore any corrosion that may occur will primarily affect the quicklink, not the Wave Bolt. Since the quicklink is easy to inspect and replace if necessary, the potentially harmful effects of galvanic corrosion in this combination are minimal.
Yes, but as with any glue-in it is more involved than with a mechanical bolt. The easiest way to remove one is to not remove one. This means thinking ahead and using good judgment when placing a Wave Bolt. It may also mean equipping the route with “leaver biners” or quicklinks on crux bolts to let climbers lower off a route before the anchors without running their rope directly through the Wave Bolt.
If you must remove the Wave Bolt, the easiest way is to cut or grind off the head of the bolt, then use a core bit to drill around the shaft of the bolt still in the rock. Once you have drilled the length of the shaft, you will be able to knock the bolt out. PLEASE then fill the old hole with putty or something similar so that an old, nasty, empty hole is not left in the rock.
Absolutely! In fact, we strongly recommend removing the old mechanical bolt and using the same hole to retro-fit a Wave Bolt. Doing so reduces the number of holes drilled in the rock and removes unsightly old bolts, thereby dramatically reducing the impact of climbing on the natural environment.
Once an old mechanical bolt is removed, clean the hole well and place a Wave Bolt just like you would in a new hole. Since Wave Bolts do not rely on friction for their strength, imperfections in the hole caused by the mechanical bolt are not a concern.
The strength of any glue-in bolt is ultimately a factor of what adhesive is used. Therefore we recommend only the highest quality adhesives. Specifically, we recommend ITW A7 and Hilti HY150MAX for fast working and cure-time applications, and Hilti RE500 and Hilti 500SD for applications where fast cure and working times are not needed.
We strongly advise against using any type of adhesive you have to mix yourself, as variations in your mix lead to significant differences in the overall strength of the adhesive.
High strength 316 stainless steel, available in matte or polished finishes, 100% made in the USA