When it comes to climbing as a sport, bouldering indoors is perhaps the easiest way to go about it. It is certainly the most accessible form and requires the least amount of equipment.
Originally, bouldering was seen as a way for training for roped climbing, however, over time it developed into its own style and discipline of climbing and there are now those that just boulder.
This was then a process that was transferred inside. Gyms were built for training, and nowadays many climbers will simply climb indoors full-time.
Bouldering Indoors – Where to Begin?
Ok, so now you are ready to set off on your adventure of bouldering indoors, but how do you start? Well, there are a number of things you can do. First, you need to find a place to climb! Depending on where you live, there should be a number of different bouldering gyms that you can try out.
Bouldering is not like any other type of climbing as you don’t need a harness. You simply climb up a few metres and then back down again. Simple.
Once you have found a place to boulder, then all you have to do is turn up during the opening hours. Most places will offer you a day pass, or various other tariffs.
What Should I Wear to Go Bouldering Indoors?
Everyone has their preference, but we would recommend stretchy clothes that you don’t mind getting damaged. You may see some people wearing jeans, but in our experience, they are not flexible enough.
Anything fairly light that lets you move around a lot should do the trick. But what about shoes? Don’t worry, for your first try, we’d recommend hiring a pair for a test run. If you see yourself going back in the future, then it could be a good idea to buy a permanent pair from our list of best bouldering shoes.
In general, just wear what you would to a gym, you’ll be fine.
What Should I Do First? – Warm Up!
A big mistake many rookies will make is going hell for leather and jumping straight on the wall. We know you are excited, but in order to prevent injury and severe muscle fatigue, we’d recommend a warm up.
Get the blood flowing, do some light stretches, and make sure you loosen up your fingers! Once you are more experienced you can even use the easier problems to do some easy climbing.
How Do I Start Bouldering?
Simply put, just get on the wall and try to climb to the top! Most of the bouldering halls have different grading systems. Choose the easiest level and try it. We’d recommend going with someone a bit more experienced to help you out with your technique.
Don’t be intimidated by those climbers who look amazing, we all started as newbies once over. Simply focus on yourself, be aware of your surroundings and have fun. The big mistake many newer climbers make is that they don’t check which way their route is going and if it is safe to start. Once you have confirmed the way is clear, just go for it!
How Do I Improve? – My Arms Hurt!
The first time you go bouldering indoors, your arms will be killing after. This is ok as long as you didn’t pull anything! There are many reasons for this, first of all, your technique will not be very good at first, and secondly, you are weak.
That is not a detriment to you, it is simply the way it is. In the first few months, you can rapidly progress. Regularly practising, watching more experienced climbers, and maybe even an introductory course will all help. Practice, practice, practice, and you will see how quickly you can attain your goals.
How Long Should a Session Take?
Well, that is up to you! Your very first session won’t last long at all. Your forearms and fingers will give in long before your willpower does. Eventually, you can expect to be completing a few two to three-hour sessions a week. Of course, this is dependent on your body, as we are all different. Listen to it, if you feel a twinge go home. Otherwise, train as much as you can!
The Most Important Tip – Have Fun!
Ok, it may sound a bit cliche, but we seriously recommend you have fun whilst climbing. Of course, as you get better you might take training more seriously, yet at the end of the day if this is your hobby you want to be having fun doing it. Our motto whilst bouldering is to climb hard and play hard!