Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

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Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Dec 1, 2011 12:10 pm

I am considering taking advantage of the IMO 20% off sale and buying a Petzl Pantin. I am very comfortable and efficient with my frog system, but I find that on long drops I use my arms a bit too much. I have my chest harness plenty tight, and my footloop is proper length, but I find that I use arm strength to pull myself not upwards, but towards the rope. This is a factor of having short legs and a long torso, so most of my weight is above the waist. For example, I am 6'0", and my wife is 5'2", but our waistlines are at the same height when we stand side by side.

I do not notice any problems on drops under 200', but in the 250'-300' range I find that my forearms get "over-pumped" and are very large and rigid for up to 15 minutes after reaching the top. I used to just find this annoying, but have become more concerned about it since my brother was diagnosed with venous thoracic outlet syndrome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoracic_outlet_syndrome, a constriction of the thoracic outlet that causes blood to pool in the arms. Repetitive lifting/pulling motions of the arms are known to aggravate this condition.

Anyway, sorry for the life story, but I think that the pantin might be the solution to my issues on longer drops. I have never even tried one, so my question to the grand old Cavechat South Park Town Hall meeting is this:

Should I buy a left foot or right foot pantin?

I use a left hand ascension for my foot ascender. I normally frog two-footed, but when against a wall I tend to switch out which foot is in the loop, with perhaps a slight preference for left foot in, right foot against the wall.
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby MUD » Dec 1, 2011 12:29 pm

I use a right because that's my dominant leg. Its stronger and more coordinated than my left. Might be something to consider but I suppose you could "train" a non-dominant leg? :shrug:
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby paul » Dec 1, 2011 12:43 pm

I bought my Pantin several years ago and there was only the Right-hand (or foot?) version then. I am right-handed and my right leg is also my most dominant. I would srill buy the Right-handed version if I were to replace it.

Since using a Pantin effectively involves making movements like cycling a bicycle backwards while prusiking and also a deft kick backwards when you want to remove it, I would recommend getting a Pantin with the same "handedness" as your dominant leg as this makes it easier to use, in my opinion anyway.
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby Extremeophile » Dec 1, 2011 5:02 pm

I'd also vote for right.

If you have only one foot in the footloop, then it seems best to use a left-handed ascender for your left foot and right-handed ascender for the right foot. This minimizes entaglement with the rope, especially at anchors and when crossing rebelays. So if you currently use the left Ascension, and favor putting your left foot in the footloop, then it seems logical to put the Pantin on the right.

I'm not sure I buy the dominant foot theory. You don't need much dexterity or foot control with either foot to Frog IMHO.
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby gdstorrick » Dec 1, 2011 6:52 pm

Post deleted.
Last edited by gdstorrick on Jul 8, 2012 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Dec 1, 2011 7:23 pm

gdstorrick wrote:I would say "no."

Of course, your needs and preferences may not match mine. I just don't need one.

Do you climb left-footed or right-footed? Which leg is stronger? Is the Frog really the best system for you?

Gary
:bat2:


Hi Gary,

If you actually read my original post, I explain the reasons why I think I "need" one. I also answer your other questions. That's the beauty of reading the question before you answer it.

As far as the frog being the best system, I believe it is for most of the caving I do. I do a lot of "wear your vertigear all day" type caving, with traverse lines and rebelays, etc. I would rather modify the frog for the few really big pits that I do than to build an entirely new system. So, I ask you again...

RIGHT OR FRIGGIN LEFT?!?!?!?

Sounds like the rights have it, so far....
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby chh » Dec 1, 2011 7:47 pm

My right leg is a little stronger and more accurate than my left. However, I think you could learn to use either foot equally well with a pantin.
I feel your pain also with the long torso. In climbing, we simply call the rigid, swollen forearms getting "pumped". You're just pumped dude! :big grin:
Other than repetitive motion, you may also be over gripping the ascender. Try gripping your upper ascender with only the strength that you need to and not more. This is a little harder than it at first seems. Also take time ever 20 strokes or so to "shake out". Drop your arms and shake them. Also stretching your forearms before climbing is a good idea. Try switching how you hold the upper ascender with your hands every so often. Also staying well hydrated will help, obviously.

Anyway, if I had to choose I'd take a right foot but YMMV.
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby driggs » Dec 1, 2011 8:06 pm

Anonymous_Coward wrote:Should I buy a left foot or right foot pantin?


YES! :banana:

Ok, seriously... YES.

The question of which foot to strap a foot ascender on is insignificant (and perhaps arbitrary) compared to the question of whether you should use one. It sounds like your frogging form would greatly benefit from a foot ascender, and the fact that you consider 300 feet "frogging distance" means you're exactly the type of person who will benefit the most from the efficiency boost.

A foot ascender will help to bring your body closer to parallel with the rope, which will put more leg muscle into moving you vertically, while reducing the strain on your arms. It should offset the weight such that you'll easily be able to take one hand off your upper ascender to shake it out while climbing, so you can alternate and keep the disgusting blood pools from settling in your arms.

You're also likely to absolutely hate it the first time you climb with a foot ascender. Almost everyone does. Once you un-learn your inefficient frog posture - and it won't take long - you will love it. Because so many people try it and never give it a second chance, you may even be able to pick up a like-new Pantin for dirt cheap from a non-believer.

And FWIW, Pantin + loose chest harness made Apricot Pit an absolute breeze for this first-timer.

Buy it. Love it. Your formerly-blood-engorged arms will thank you for it.
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 1, 2011 8:08 pm

driggs wrote:Because so many people try it and never give it a second chance, you may even be able to pick up a like-new Pantin for dirt cheap from a non-believer.


I know, I know. I'm gonna give it another try soon.
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby LukeM » Dec 1, 2011 10:41 pm

I definitely hated the Pantin the few times I tried it. Felt like the thing was trying to twist my foot off. Alas, this thread isn't about whether or not to get it. Like Jeff, I should probably give it another shot.
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby paul » Dec 2, 2011 7:25 am

chh wrote:...Other than repetitive motion, you may also be over gripping the ascender. Try gripping your upper ascender with only the strength that you need to and not more...


It is also worth consdiering how you grip the ascender. I was taught (and indeed have seen it recommended in various articles on frogging) not to grip the handle but to clasp both hands together behind the ascender.

This improves technique so that your arms tend to only hold your body inwards towards the rope while your much stronger leg muscles so more of the work. You shold not need to pull your body upwards using your arms, only to keep your body in close to the rope.

Using a Pantin also helps greatly as it makes your body assume a more upright position. I've broken a strap on mine while going up a 100 foot plus pitch and could really notice the difference without the Pantin, not to mention the remaining pitches before reaching the surface!

Also, for this reason, it is often recommended to get an ascender without a handle (like the Petzl Basic) if you only use the ascender while prusiking. This not only saves weight and size but promotes a better prusiking technique.
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby Stridergdm » Dec 2, 2011 11:15 am

I'd say one of each. Try both. Whichever you like, keep.

Whichever you don't like, you can give to me fora Christmas present.

Works for me.
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 2, 2011 11:38 am

Do you kick a football or soccer ball with your right foot? If so, buy a right-footed Pantin. If not, buy a left-footer.
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Dec 2, 2011 12:03 pm

Okay guys I'm sold. I will buy a right one from Nina today.

Thanks for all the great advice. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Re: Buying a pantin - Should I get right or left?

Postby DeanWiseman » Dec 2, 2011 12:25 pm

LukeM wrote:I definitely hated the Pantin the few times I tried it. Felt like the thing was trying to twist my foot off. Alas, this thread isn't about whether or not to get it. Like Jeff, I should probably give it another shot.


I definitely consider mine an essential piece of gear when I'm frogging, and more often than not, I'll use it with my Mitchell, too...

...and it's right-handed.


Also to address Luke's issue, are you using a high-ankle boot?


-Dean
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