Bouldering: ten reasons why climbing to jump height is awesome
Bouldering is a demanding sport. It requires a lot of technical skills as well as strength and endurance. I've been an admirer of this sport ever since I visited the rock climbing gym Gaswerk in Schlieren for a report I wrote one and a half years ago. Check out the video to see my first attempts from back then:
Since then, it's literally been driving me up the walls on a regular basis. This is why:
Bouldering comes at a calculated risk
Although no rope or harness is used in bouldering and it allows climbing at high levels of difficulties, the risk of injury is minimal. The main reason for this that the maximum climbing height is about four metres. In a boulder gym, the floor is covered in a thick mat to protect you if you fall.
Bouldering is all-season climbing
With bouldering gyms in most large cities, bouldering is possible all year round and in any weather. This trend is the result of increased interest in the sport. For climbing gyms, it's worth offering separate bouldering areas and adding new routes regularly. This allows boulderers to practice indoor in winter or in rain and do outdoor bouldering when the weather is better.
Bouldering is climbing without the hight costs
Bouldering is comparatively cheap. There are no high costs for the equipment. All you need is magnesium for your hands and bouldering shoes as well as clothing that allows you to move freely. The entry prices to a bouldering gym are comparable to a cinema ticket. Almost all operators offer additional discounts, i.e. time or quantity discounts or special entry prices for children and families.
Bouldering is climbing for everyone
Many outdoor sports require a minimum age or considerable experience. Bouldering is different – anyone can try climbing up a wall, regardless of age, gender and prior training. Bouldering is possible at any level of difficulty. Colour codes help classify the level of a route. On top of this, all bouldering gyms offer short introductory courses, which teach the correct technique. Beginners can also learn by watching experienced climbers.
Bouldering is rewarding
Each route has a start and a finish point as well as a defined number of holds to grab or step on. Most of them have four to eight holds. Thus, it's possible to complete a route in a rather short time. By experiencing success again and again, you stay motivated to improve and tackle the next route.
Bouldering is good for your health and fitness
Bouldering doesn't only build up strength, it's also great for strengthening your body awareness. On top of this, it improves sensory, motor and concentration skills. Bouldering activates almost all muscle groups, which makes it the ideal full-body workout. But be careful: bouldering is highly addictive. If you overdo it, you risk injuring yourself.
Bouldering is a great sport for kids
Bouldering is family-friendly, as even young kids can do it. Bouldering gyms often offer special event packages for the little ones. Children's birthday parties in a bouldering gym are very popular, just like celebrating in a bowling centre or doing a treasure hunt. Since bouldering also trains coordination, such an event is also a small investment in the fitness and health of kids.
Bouldering gives you access to a new world
Every outdoor sport offers you a healthy leisure activity as well as a new perspective on the world. Divers, surfers and sailors know this just as well as marathon runners or mountain bikers. Travel to Ticino or to the famous rocks around Fontainebleau in France and you're sure to discover landscapes that seem to have been made for bouldering. But even beyond these hotspots, almost every holiday destination offers the opportunity to explore the surroundings while bouldering.
Bouldering and climbing are close relatives
Bouldering is a type of sport climbing. If you're good at bouldering, you'll also be good at climbing. The training plans of climbers are largely based on mastering bouldering routes, as this is how certain techniques can be trained and strength and endurance are improved.
Bouldering can be done alone
Bouldering stands for independence. As you don't need a rope and harness to secure yourself, you don't need a partner either. You can do bouldering as a strength training at any time, just like in the gym.