So, you’ve noticed the rise of this new thing called “bouldering” and “climbing gyms” are popping up all over the place. You’ve decided you want to give it a try, but you have no idea where to start? Well, you’re not alone. I’ve been asked this question a lot so I’ve decided to put together some tips for you to get you started.
How to get started Bouldering:
Where Do I Go?
Find out where your local climbing gyms are. Look online to see if you can sign up for an intro class. I recommend taking an intro class if you’ve never Rock climbed before and don’t have anyone who can teach you the basics. For the purposes of this post I’m going to assume you don’t, so take the intro class from a professional. It’s a great way to make sure you are learning all the basic safety precautions, and maximize your learning experience by fully understanding what it is you are doing.
Touchstone is the gym I go to, for the most part Hollywood Boulders, but they have locations in Culver City- Cliffs of Id, Downtown LA- LA Boulders, and soon to be Burbank- Vertigo Boulders, and more. You can check them out here https://touchstoneclimbing.com/hollywood-boulders/
What Do I Wear?
You will need special climbing shoes, which you can rent from the gym when you are first starting out. If you decide to get more serious you will want to purchase your own climbing shoes, but you might want to try it out first to make sure you plan to stick with it. Climbing shoes are an investment but an important one. For now, the rentals will work fine. As fas as other clothing, I prefer comfortable nonrestrictive clothing for climbing. That’s more personal preference.
What Do I Bring?
The nice thing about bouldering in a gym is that you don’t really need a whole lot of stuff. Even if you don’t have what you need, you can rent it there. The only thing you will need for bouldering is chalk and shoes. Which you can buy yourself or rent from the gym until you can get your own.
What to Expect?
Climbing is an extreme sport and it takes a good deal of strength. Don’t expect to be flashing V5’s on your first day at the gym. For most people there is never a time where you are hanging with all your body weight on just your fingertips. For most of us this is new and it takes time to develope the finger and tendon strength to be able to work the crimps. Don’t get discouraged, it takes time and practice. You will be sore! I remember my first time bouldering, I could barely grip a toothbrush for a couple days after. Don’t worry it gets easier.
How Do I Meet Other Climbers?
Another question I get asked a lot is where do I meet other climbers? Or, where do I meet more female climbers? If you are new to climbing and want to meet more people like yourself, or you just want to meet more climbers in general the gym is the perfect place to start. The climbing community is so awesome and full of incredible people who love the outdoors and are all very supportive of each other. Check the event calendar that most gyms have, a lot of times they hold climbing events and clinics, group classes, women’s only classes, and stuff like that where you can meet more people. Get involved! Make friends at your local gym, talk to people, share beta, work on problems together, and in no time you will have your own little support team.
Join social media climbing groups. Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Forum, and Girls Who Climb are just a couple of the Women’s climbing groups I’m a part of. There are so many more, but I particularly love the women’s climbing groups because it gives us women a space to share with other women in the sport. It is a great place for women’s only meet ups, climbing trips, support, tips and all the latest news on the world of climbing brought to you by other women. I have met so many amazing, inspiring, and talented beautiful women from these social media climbing groups, as well as met other incredible people through those people!
So if you’re just looking for something to do, or you want to meet more people who are adventurous and active check out bouldering! It might just be your new favorite thing!
Now, go have some fun!