Impressioning champion … of the world?

There was a little confusion how to call the championships at LockCon. Should we call them US open or World Championships?

Barry Wels impressioning champion 2012 ... of the world?!?

To keep a long story short: I won the first US impressioning championships. And it was a close call.

The close call was whether or not I would participate. I did not prepare and did not even bring gear (suitcases were full of heavy stuff anyway). It was my new friend Ben Sherman who persuaded me to participate and generously gave me his file. And Jord gave me his spare handle. What followed was me winning all three rounds. And in the third round I was nicely focused and the only finalist to open the six pin lock in 60 minutes. We are all happy the title goes back to the Netherlands.

Even though I won a number of international championships, I am not really much of a competitive player. For me it is more important to be able to open a wide variety of locks in a decent time. This is what I teach at Lock-Experts (PDF) and rely on as a locksmith at But I can not deny it is a good feeling to win.

LockCon 2012 LockPick championships … of the world?

Lockpick champions ... of the world?

Torsten Quast won the lockpicking games, followed by Julian Hardt and Jord Knaap.

I ended sharing the fourth place with “handcuff Ray”. And that is a pity because after a long number of elimination rounds both Julian and I were the only ones who were not defeated. But then I got into a pool of three people and lost, followed by a battle to the finals with Ray. And we both did not open any of the US Corbin locks ending us both at the fourth place.

All fun aside, Torsten seemed to like the idea of being the ‘unofficial’ world champion lockpicking. The Toool board had long discussions on how to organize the first “official” world-championships of LockPicking and Impressioning in the future (in corporation with other sportgroups like SSDeV, Fools etc). The way we envision it is that every locksport and (possibly) locksmith community in the world should organize their own championships and the winners of each of these competitions will be sponsored to fly to LockCon for the first official world championships. But don’t hold your breath for it to happen soon.

What else happened at LockCon?

Besides the warning for tornado’s all went fine.

tour trough the S&G factory

LockCon was held at the LSI facility. A great place with its own museum. Good for ours of looking at special locks. There were unique locks and keys all over the place.

We organized some workshops on interesting topics. At the tour trough the S&G factory we learned they had the ultimate safe to protect what is precious to you.

Lots of networking was done at the late night parties. People would show off their latest tool development, reverse engineer interesting hardware, make new friends and drink till all becomes blurry.

Just google for lockcon and find lots of interesting archives full of nice pictures.

Thanks everyone for making LockCon possible and hope to see you soon at a new event!

6 Responses to “Impressioning champion … of the world?”

  1. Karin Spaink says:

    W00t w00t!

    You’ve always been great at making excellent first impressions 🙂

  2. Jord knaap says:

    I had a very nice time there, something I would not forget soon.
    Hope this experience in combination with championships will to be continued next year.
    I like to say thanks to every one how made this event possible.
    Met some very nice people and made some new friend how share the same passion for locks and security.
    Hope to see some of you very soon.
    Gr. Jord

  3. Peter says:

    Congratulations on your win Barry. In photos of the lockpicking contest I noticed some new picks with blue and pink(?) handles that look like anodised aluminium. I think these are Lockmasters picks but am not sure. See Where can I buy these picks?

  4. Steffen says:

    The Pick is from DINO.
    Gr. S.

  5. PSS says:

    Those impressioning times are unbelievable!
    Where was the Jos Weyers?

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