Owner / Shaper / Setter
Manu shaped his first holds about 20 years ago. Starting a company had not crossed his mind. He had just started climbing and his exceptional coordination skills would soon turned him towards competitions. He liked dreaming up lines and developed a passion for exploring movement which combined with his physical abilities lead him naturally to international level setting. He was only 12 when he began experimenting with polyester resin in his father’s workshop to make holds. The goal was simple: make training holds; he had grown bored of drilling rocks and sculpting wood. The shapes were functional, bowls and dishes served as molds, salt to create texture. As he was setting for more competitions, Manu began taking sets of holds with him. It was 2005, he had left his childhood region of Jura to settle in Bienne where he continued to improve mixtures in his basement workshop. To carry his holds from one competition to another, he needed a mix that was lighter and stronger. The idea was to create a different type of holds, among which there could be more “flat” holds. This is when the name and Flathold as a brand began to take shape. Manu draws a lot of his inspiration from his work as a route setter. The goal being to create shapes that inspire more and more specific movement. With Manu, there is this idea of movement perfected by the hold. What results, among other things is a certain purity, a particular scarcity of excess. Manu is a little like his holds; edgy or fleeting with no deception. “To push route setting”, in his own words, means to develop techniques, shapes, textures, a material; contribute as much as possible to the evolution of the discipline.