If you are looking to improve your finger-strength and get better at bouldering then you will likely be looking to turn to a fingerboard for training. In the following paragraphs, we will go into detail about the five best hangboards for 2020.
|Beastmaker - 2000 Series||Wood||58 x 16||98|
|Trango - Rock Prodigy Training Center||Synthetic Resin||23.1 x 30.7||95|
|Stubai - Kraxlboard||Wood||78 x 29.6||92|
|Metolius - Simulator 3D Training Board||Polyester Resin||71 x 22.2||89|
|Moon Climbing - Phat Boy Fingerboard||Polyurethane||68 x 13||86|
When it comes to hangboards there really isn’t that much difference between what is on offer. For training, you simply need an edge to hang off. You can look at the material and other similar things, but this is mainly a personal preference. Even so, we have created our best list and now we will detail why.
The Five Best Hangboards for Bouldering Training
1. Beastmaker – 2000 Series
- Material: Wood
- Size: 58 x 16 cm
- Attachment: Bolts
Our Verdict – The Best Hangboard
It goes without question that the Beastmaker series is some of the best in the business. Their hangboards are the most popular for a reason. The texture of the wood is very forgiving and means your skin will be thankful!
The nice thing about this board is there are so many different holds to choose from. 45, 35 and 20-degree slopers, and a variety of deep, medium, and small finger pockets. The pockets all vary from two, three, or four fingers. It really is an all-rounder. Beginners and more advanced climbers alike can take advantage of it.
It is popular across the country and can be found in multiple bouldering gyms. It will take some doing to overtake this hangboard!
2. Trango – Rock Prodigy Training Center
- Material: Synthetic Resin
- Size: 23.1 x 30.7 cm (per side)
- Attachment: Wood screws
Our Verdict – An Advanced Option
If you are an absolute beginner it is probably best to stay away from this hangboard. Nevertheless, it is a very good and unique option for those who are already used to fingerboarding. It is a two-piece hangboard, where you have once section for each hand. This is completely out of the norm and offers you the chance to adapt the distance between each side according to your body type. However, this will make mounting it a bit more tricky than normal.
The board was designed based on the training manual developed by Mark and Mike Anderson. There are a variety of holds, from flatter to angled ones, with 2,3, and 4 finger holds both deep and shallow. Additionally, the crimp and pinch holds add a unique flavour to board. The texture can be a bit rough on the hands, but this may pass with time. Overall it is a very good hangboard.
3. Stubai – Kraxlboard
- Material: Synthetic Resin
- Size: 78 x 29.6
- Attachment: Bolts
Our Verdict – An Expensive But Massive Hangboard
This is a humongous hangboard. With so much variety it is unbelievable. It’s like the Beastmaker on steroids! The one downside is the price, with it being far more expensive than any other fingerboard we have featured here. But, as they say, you get what you pay for. With a very high-quality finish, the laminated beach wood is perfect for your fingers.
There are jugs, 35 and 22-degree slopers, and mono, 2, 3, and 4 pockets in varying sizes. The bottom tier is purely a sloping rung. There are also dedicated pockets for one hangs/pull-ups. Another great addition is the two 80 mm balls on the bottom corners. These are to train your pinches and they are really difficult to hang on to! Overall a top product, but a steep price.
4. Metolius – Simulator 3D Training Board
- Material: Polyester Resin
- Size: 71 x 22.2 cm
- Attachment: Bolts
Our Verdict – Best Hangboard for Beginners
At a great price, with a top selection of pockets and edges, this is a great hangboard for those who are starting out. It is very popular and is seen at many gyms and homes around the world. The shape of the board and pockets has been designed in an ergonomic way to prevent injuries.
There is a good variety of holds, with a number of different pockets and jugs. Nevertheless, the material is a bit weird and takes some getting used to. But that is the price you pay for going cheap. Furthermore, if you are advanced boulderer or climber, this may not fit your needs.
The best thing about Metolius is the guides they produce. For someone who is new or even more experienced, the way they explain to you how to use their product is fantastic. Overall this is a top choice for newer climbers.
5. Moon Climbing – Phat Boy Fingerboard
- Material: Polyurethane
- Size: 68 x 13 cm
- Attachment: Bolts
Our Verdict – Best Priced Hangboard
We couldn’t do a list without mentioning Moon Climbing and here we are! This is a basic hangboard, but it comes at a basic price. At the end of the day, all you need to train your fingers are some simple edges and pockets. This board does exactly that. It’s a bit bigger than the original Moon Fingerboard and that’s why we like it!
There are two different types of slopers, 2, 3, and 4 finger pockets, and half joing to in-cut edges. For it’s size and price it really does deliver everything you need to train at home. It’s one of the best hangboards for the price and shows you don’t need anything flashy to start training.
What is Hangboarding?
Hangboarding is a form of finger strength training for boulderers and climbers. The hangboard (or fingerboard as it is also known) is a tool that has been specifically designed for the sport. It isolates your fingers so you can practice a varying number of hangs and grip position to train your fingers. It is a time-efficient way of building strength in an area that is often lacking.
How to Choose the Best Hangboard?
There are a number of things you should be assessing when it comes to picking the best hangboard for you. This ranges from price to types of material. We will now detail some of the most important aspects that you should keep in mind when picking your chosen fingerboard.
Material of the Hangboard
When you are looking into buying a fingerboard, you may notice that there are different types of materials used. These are usually wood, polyester resin or even polyurethane – two types of plastic.
As we mentioned these will be either polyurethane or polyester resing. This will most likely feel like the holds you will find in your local climbing gym. The plastic boards tend to be cheaper as they can be mass-produced easier.
Wooden hangboards tend to be more expensive, and the holds seem to have less variance. Even so, the material is much more friendly to your skin and some of the most popular fingerboards are wooden. The low-friction also means that it could be harder to hold on, improving your overall finger strength quicker! At TopBouldering, we prefer wooden boards, but it is up to you!
Types of Holds
Another good thing to look out for when choosing from the best hangboards is the type of holds that are on offer. There should be different depth of pockets, and widths too. From monos all the way to four fingers. Slopers and jugs, along with crimps and pinches will make the complete board.
Not all boards offer all of this. Some are inherently more basic than others. It is up to you what training you will do on the board, thus you must choose accordingly.
Where Will You Put the Hangboard?
This is also something you need to consider when looking into buying a hangboard. As we have seen they all come in a variety of sizes, therefore it is important that you have enough space to mount them. Usually, you can place it above a doorframe. This could mean you have limited options.
It is always best to get out your measuring tape and measure up the space that you intend to use. Also, we encourage you to mount it properly as we don’t want you ripping it off the wall!
Lastly, your ability as a boulderer will affect which type of board you will select. Some are more adept for beginners or those new to fingerboarding, whilst others are for the more advanced climber. Make sure you read all the specs to ensure you won’t be disappointed when you find the board doesn’t give you what you need when it comes to training!
Overall the Best Hangboards Give You Plenty of Options
When it comes to looking at the best hangboards you will have noticed there is plenty of choice. Depending on your needs, one may be better than the other. There are some which cater to a budget, whilst others go all out with the number of holds that are on offer. At the end of the day, it is your choice!
See some of our other bouldering gear reviews for more information on a whole host of different products.