Obe Carrion: Into Design

Photo by Tiffany Hensley
The one and only Obe Carrion. Photo by: Tiffany Hensley


I’ve always been interested in design, and like everyone else, I’ve always wanted to contribute my interpretation of products with my own style, flair, and attitude to the climbing industry.

Now, I find myself with a great opportunity in front of me, unlike the opportunities of the past… My life has always been about climbing – and it’s still apart of my heart and soul! 

Obe and Joe HoClimbing has allowed me to travel around the world. Experiences in my life have allowed me to have open eyes, so I see lots of inspiration, and finding the design for a climbing shoe feels natural.

I started with only hand sketches, fueled with the objective of making the best shoe I could. I started looking at the finest materials regardless of their cost and innovative construction. I also wanted a dope silhouette! 

What I’m seeing is that I’m bringing into this design process a culmination of everything I’ve seen and experienced and been influenced by up to this point. My final designs are a vision, or perhaps an interpretation. How I’m arriving to these designs, is puzzling too…I don’t know exactly what to expect. Ideas just come at unpredictable times.  

Being able to working with Ernie, (an amazingly talented graphic artist) is whats making it possible to be as creative as I want to be with out limitations. He is able to take my sketches, ideas and visually brings them to life. Tying this all together with Young Chu, producer and designer of more that half of the climbing shoes from the 90’s to early 2000’s, in detail to see which ideas are possible from his perspective of production. 

Obe Carrion

Looking to the future, you will see very different designs coming from Mad Rock.

Designs that will continue to challenge, motivate and inspire our industry.