I would recommend learning how to footlock first, then decide if you still need the extra assistance of a handled ascender. Also, switching to an advanced friction hitch is a must. Learn a few of these and try them out to determine which suits you the best. Closed system hitches are the way to go. I stumbled across this site a couple of months ago and it is the single most educational tool that I have at my disposal. Since joining arborsite I have learned footlocking and incorporate various 'advanced' friction hitches now. I went from stone age to yuppie climber in two months and my climbing has improved a hundred percent. Listen(read) what some of the top knotch climbers on this site have to say.