27 April, 2022
Are you an outdoor enthusiast looking to try bouldering? Bouldering is a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors. Here are five beginner-friendly tips that will help you get started with bouldering.
Before you start bouldering, it's important to understand the basics of the sport to help keep you safe and to make sure you enjoy the benefits bouldering has to offer.
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is typically done without the use of ropes or harnesses. Boulderers climb shorter routes, called "problems," and focus on bouldering technique rather than endurance.
Bouldering is a great way to build strength, improve balance and coordination, and increase flexibility. The sport can also be quite mentally challenging, helping to improve problem-solving skills as you pick the best routes around a wall.
Now that you know a little bit more about bouldering, here are five tips to help get you started:
Not to put you off, but do remember that bouldering is never 100% safe. You are climbing without ropes, so if you fall, you will hit the floor! You can help reduce risks with gear such as crash mats beneath your climbing spot and ensuring you have fully stretched before starting a session. Climb within your limits and don't go too high, until you have built up experience and skill to reduce the risks.
If you're nervous about heading out into the countryside, a great way to give bouldering a go for the first time is at an indoor bouldering wall. UK Climbing has a great directory here.
When you're first starting out, it's important to find bouldering routes that are within your capabilities. This will help build confidence and prevent injuries.
One of the most important aspects of bouldering is using your hands and fingers correctly to maintain a good grip on the rock. There are a number of key hand and finger grips to get you started: Full crimp, half crimp, open-hand, pocket grip, pinch grip and the friction grip. This video covers share the different types of grip and when they should be used.
Your feet and legs are just as important as your hands when bouldering. Be sure to use them to maintain balance and stability on the wall or boulder. When starting out bouldering, climbers often rely heavily on their arms, but your legs being much bigger muscles, can provide greater support and offer better endurance so you can climb for longer.
Bouldering is not a race! There's no need to rush through a problem or route. Instead, take your time to study the bouldering wall or rock face and plan your route before you start climbing. This will help you conserve energy and avoid getting tired too quickly.
Bouldering doesn't require a lot of expensive equipment, which is one of the reasons why it's such a great sport for beginners. All you really need is a good pair of bouldering shoes (which can be rented at most indoor bouldering walls), some chalk to keep your hands dry, and perhaps some bouldering mats if you are venturing outdoors. Besides essential equipment also take snacks. Lots of snacks and your favourite liquid to keep you hydrated and bouldering for longer.
Do it with friends. They are there to support you and help keep you safe plus, it’s a great way to spend some quality time with pals.
If you’re looking for a fun and challenging new sport to take up, bouldering is definitely worth considering. It’s cheap, easy to get into, and offers many benefits that can improve your overall wellbeing. Just make sure you learn good grip technique and use your legs to climb longer routes – then you’ll be bouldering like a pro in no time!
Have you taken up bouldering recently? Tag us on Instagram @beoutsidebeactive so we can share your progress.
If you're not sure about climbing your first boulder a great introduction to climbing could be at a high ropes adventure playground such as this.
Outside & Active is the home for those who love the outdoors. Our mission is to inspire, inform and educate people about being active outdoors in a fun, safe and sustainable way. We provide inspiration, kit, tech and advice on adventure, camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, running water and winter.
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