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Super 8
Gear Review

Super 8


Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Super 8

Manufacturer: Black Diamond

Your Opinion: 
 - 13 Votes


Page By: John

Created/Edited: Apr 30, 2002 / Apr 30, 2002

Object ID: 271

Hits: 2900 


Made of 7075-T6 aluminum alloy, the Super 8's design makes for an incredibly strong, lightweight belay/rappel device. A super smooth ride, the Super 8 is great for handling any rope diameter. The Super 8's versatile dual-hole design allows use with single or double ropes.

Similar Products: CMI Rescue 8, DMM Cardiac Arester, DMM Figure 8, SMC Descent Control 8, Trango Figure 8, Trango Magic APD, Trango Rescue 8


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mpbroUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Please take this review with a grain of salt, as I'm no expert climber. My first rappel was from Manure Pile Buttress at Yosemite, with a Swami belt(!) and a figure 8.

I suppose that as a dedicated rappel device, the figure 8 is better than, say, an ATC. But I like the ATC better for belays, and it's not bad in my experience for raps. People who belay with a GriGri need to carry another device for raps, so the figure 8 may be a good choice.

You have a higher probability of burning yourself with a figure 8 than with an ATC,I think.
Posted May 2, 2002 10:59 am

miztflipUntitled Review

Voted 3/5

Easy to use but does not handle two ropes as well as the ATC. Rappelling is no problem with the Super 8 but belays in odd stances are not as solid as with the ATC.
Posted Jun 7, 2002 4:22 pm

cluckUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

I love my Super 8 for rappels, but I don't often use it for belays. It's a bit bulky and heavy to take on long climbs. However, if I know I'm going to be doing a lot of rappels, this comes with me. The rope travel is much smoother than other BRD's providing a smooth rappel which stresses the anchor less. I feel that rapping from an ATC tends bite the rope more and I have to work harder to keep from jerking to a stop.

As a rappel device, this gets 5 stars.

As a belay device, only 3.
Posted Sep 24, 2002 5:56 pm

vertxUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Great for raps. I never belay with it, I prefer the ATC. I do not find any difficulties with a doubel rope rap. Easy to use and set up, even with gloves on.
Posted Sep 30, 2003 12:35 pm

CharlesDUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

The basic 8. Works nicely and reliably as a rappel device, adequately for bellay. Looks cool and manly while hanging around with newbs.

The downside is that muddy or dirty rope cuts into the soft aluminum of the 8 pretty quickly. My 8 has some alarming notches from muddy rope raps in caves. Anodized aluminum is slightly harder and will resist errosion a little longer, at least until you've worn through the anodized outer surface.

There is also a finite chance of the rope riding up over the larger ring on rappel and fashioning into a lark's head knot. 8s with ears prevent this, but tend to be larger and heavier. I've never actually seen it happen.
Posted May 2, 2005 3:49 pm

travisgollaherUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

This was the first rappel device that I ever owned. Probaly not a good choice then because of my lack of experience ,could of had me letting go or some dumb thing like that and totaly loosing it. I now use the Balck Diamond ATC for almost all occations ,but if I am in a real hurry nothing beats flying down the rope on a figure 8. I only use this on road side routs now, because of the weight. I am very weight concious so I usulay go for light compact stuff for multi -day routes. Over all I still think that this is a good pice of gear and does what it is supposed to do. I am giving it a vote of 4 stars because of the weight and the softness of the metle.
Posted Oct 26, 2005 6:36 pm

Augie MedinaSmooth for Rappel Use

Voted 4/5

I use it when doing a lot of rappelling such as going down canyons. The rope goes through smoothly. I do alternate with an ATC-XP for rappels.
Posted Sep 5, 2007 7:18 pm

AltitudeSickness1st Rappell Device

Voted 4/5

Some of the first money I ever spent on gear was on a Super 8. Rappelling is easy with this. Mistakes are next to impossible to make in setting it up. This alone is worth keeping this on the rack since many many accidents in climbing come from the rappell not the climbing.
Posted Jan 3, 2008 5:57 pm

stephoSmooth rappel

Voted 5/5

Very simple and easy to clip into. Provides smooth rappel and doesn't heat up too much. sometimes leaves few small tangles but still excellent device.
Posted Jan 20, 2008 7:39 pm

Alex WoodGreat Item

Voted 5/5

I first used 8 plates and have since used them alot. This one performs great and runs smoothly.
Posted Dec 3, 2008 8:37 pm


Voted 2/5

I'm reading all these great reviews for this device in rappelling, yet my first and only use so far of the Super 8 was rather negative. I purchased the Super 8 having heard that it is better than the ATC at heat dissipation and so would allow a faster descent. After cleaning a route, I wanted to try it out. I found (using both strands of the rope) that the friction was worse, and when I landed, the Super 8 was much hotter, nearly burning my rope. Am I using it wrong?
Posted May 14, 2015 2:26 pm

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