Captains of Crush® Grippers: How to Certify and Rules for Closing


How to Certify on IronMind’s No. 2, No. 2.5, No. 3, No. 3.5, or No. 4 Captains of Crush Grippers

You’ve just closed a No. 2 (for women only), No. 2.5 (for women only), No. 3, No. 3.5, or No. 4 Captains of Crush Gripper according to our Rules for Closing and you want to be certified. What do you do? Use the checklist below to help guide you:

  • Review the Rules for Closing to confirm you are closing the Captains of Crush Gripper under the proper conditions.
    Please wait until you have mastered the gripper, so that all will go smoothly on your official attempt.
  • Contact IronMind Enterprises, Inc. and let us know that you are ready to be certified.

    When you are ready, please contact and confirm that you have read the Rules for Closing and Certification and understand how to certify on the Captains of Crush No. 3 (No. 2, No. 2.5, No. 3.5, No. 4) gripper.   

    As part of our certification process, we will request that you kindly complete a Pre-Certification Questionnaire, as well as a video of yourself closing the CoC No. 3 gripper according to the rules.

    We will review your completed Pre-Certification Questionnaire and video attempt promptly and then be back in touch with you, for the next steps.

    IronMind certifications are conducted worldwide.

  • I am approved, now what?

    IronMind began piloting video-based certifications during the COVID pandemic and everything is standard except that instead of having a live referee, you will be sending a video to IronMind, which our panel of referees will review and then render a final decision.

    Once you are approved, IronMind will send you a package with a new, unopened Captains of Crush No. 3 gripper, along with a CoC card. 

    Here are the steps to follow:

    • Set up your camera so that the gripper stays in view at all times —even if it leaves the frame for a moment; that would be an automatic No lift.
    • Please include opening the package from IronMind in your video, then showing the CoC in its package, as well as the end of the handle so that the 3 is clearly legible. From there, please proceed as you would before a live referee. 
    • Do not rush when placing the CoC card between the handles—you must clearly demonstrate that the gap between the ends of handles is at least as wide as the CoC card, and failing to do that would be an automatic no lift.
    • Be sure that your video gives a clear view of whether or not the handles are touching—you should practice making this video, so that all these details will be second nature on your official attempt.
    • Please include the referee form with your video, a photo, and any additional comments you might like to make about yourself, the certification, etc.
    • We expect this material within 72 hours of your receiving the package from IronMind, barring any unusal circumstances.  
    • Please be sure to review the rules again before your official attempt:

      The gripper will be yours to keep after your official attempt, so it will be a special souvenir from a special occasion.

Rules for Closing a No. 2, No. 2.5, No. 3, No. 3.5, or No. 4
Captains of Crush Gripper

1. The gripper must be an authentic IronMind Enterprises Captains of Crush® gripper.

2. The gripper cannot have been modified or tampered with in any way.

3. Ordinary chalk (magnesium carbonate) may be used on the gripping hand, but nothing else is permitted (liquid chalk, for example, is specifically disallowed).

4. The free hand may be used to position the gripper in the gripping hand, and the starting position can be no narrower than the width of a Captains of Crush card: the gripster must show the official that he has an acceptable starting position by using his non-gripping hand to demonstrate that the end of a Captains of Crush card fits between the ends of the handles, pausing in this position to prove the starting position is legal. Once this is done, the official will give the signal to remove the card and begin the attempt.

On video-based official attempts, the gripster must still demonstrate a legal starting position by clearly showing the card fits between the end of the handles and pausing—before removing the card and continuing with the attempt. Do not rush this demonstration and do not slide the card on top of the handles as this would be an automatic No lift.

5. Any contact between the non-gripping hand and the gripper as the card is being removed will invalidate the attempt, and the non-gripping hand must stay at least a foot from the gripping hand at all times during the squeeze. Similarly, nothing may be in contact with the gripping hand or the gripping arm from the elbow down (for example, the free hand is not allowed to steady the wrist of the gripping hand or hold the spring, etc.). The entire attempt must be clearly visible to the official: the gripper cannot be closed while blocked from view and then turned and presented as already closed.

6. The gripper must be held with the spring facing up.

7. The handles must touch completely.

jesse-2b-WEB Jesse Marunde at 18 years old, the first teenager to be certified for closing the No. 3 Captains of Crush Gripper. J. V. Askem photo. Reprinted with permission from MILO, September 1998, Vol. 6, No. 2.

Jesse Marunde Educational Trust Fund

In 1998, IronMind certified Jesse Marunde on the No. 3 Captains of Crush Gripper, and as his friend J. V. Askem and his grandfather George Farren quickly realized, this made 18-year-old Jesse "The First Teenage Captains of Crush," a title that stuck with him.

Tragically, Jesse died in 2007, and to honor his memory and help out his two children a little, IronMind will donate $500 to the trust fund set up for their education for each teenager we certify on the No. 3 Captains of Crush gripper. This offer stands for as long as IronMind certifies people on these grippers or until Jesse’s two children turn 18 years old.

If you’re a teenager with an especially strong grip, here’s your challenge: earn a special place on a very select list—and help Jesse’s children in the bargain.

Jesse Marunde Educational Trust Fund:  "Teenage Captains of Crush"
Sam Solomi April 2009   $500
Jonathan D. Vogt July 2009   $500
Alexandre Paquette March 2010   $500
Nikita Krivosheev October 2011   $500
Albin Lindskog July 2014   $500
Katsuya Kawasaki Febuary 2018   $500
Gyu-min Lee May 2018   $500
Brandon M. Brahler June 2019   $500
Iain Thain March 2021   $500
Ivan Cuk March 2021   $500
Hamza Acar Februay 2024   $500
IronMind contributions to date    $5500