Petzl (a company manufacturing outdoors equipment) has the following statement on their website:

Self-belaying is prohibited!

We cannot ignore the fact that some people use the GRIGRI as a self-belay device. Many internet sites give tips on modifying your device for this use.

Above all, this technique increases the risks to the climber. Firstly, the climber does not hold the brake side of the rope.

Additionally, in case of a fall ,the GRIGRI can be blocked against the rock, the positioning system (positioning strap), or other, thus negating its braking function. The climber could fall to the ground. Finally, remember that any product modification outside of Petzl facilities is formally prohibited (see Instructions for Use).

Self-belaying with the GRIGRI is prohibited.

Are these provisions actually enforceable, in accordance to US law? If it matters, Petzl products are sold in regular stores that don't require customers to sign an explicit waiver before making a purchase.

  • 1
    Its probably not enforceable per se, but having that provision publicly visible and prominent would probably go a long way to a good defence if a suit was brought alleging liability in the case where the product was used in that manner and caused injury. Adding this as a comment as its just thoughts without anything to back it up right now.
    – user28517
    Dec 5, 2019 at 22:33
  • This seems to be misguided example for the question. Petzl has absolutely no interest or Intention to enforce these rules. The statement is not intended to prevent people from doing anything specific, it's designed to limit liability if things go wrong.
    – Hilmar
    Dec 6, 2019 at 4:14
  • @Hilmar I guess they use the word "prohibited" in a different way then? Dec 6, 2019 at 4:16
  • What do you mean under "enforce" and "prohibit"? If you mean a company suing you if they catch you using their product in a way not endorsed by them, then the answer will be no. If it's about you losing your warranty or the right to be compensated for damages, then yes.
    – vsz
    Dec 6, 2019 at 7:02
  • @vsz I don't know what Petzl was trying to say. To me "prohibited" means I could be sued for it. To them it seems that it means "you'll lose your warranty". Dec 6, 2019 at 16:30

2 Answers 2



It's your device, you can do what you like with it (subject to the law - you can't hit people with it. Unless they want to be hit: whatever turns you on, turns you on).

However, if you do operate it outside their instructions then they would not be legally liable if it failed and injured you or someone else or set fire to the cat or whatever. The "prohibition" would limit their legal liability.


This would be very unusual but if the device were rented or leased rather than sold the manufacturer could impose constraints because it remains their property.

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