I really know what you are saying, but having worked on a farm for the majority of my youth, I disagree a bit.
Yes, grip is important, but the action is more important. Yes, 30lbs is not a goal to strive for, but nothing wrong with starting. At one point, if he wants to compete for real, yes, the tools will have to change. But for now, I see more good then harm just by doing it.
And OP. Time to move up the rack. And, if you can, I find kettle bells way more comfy.