Anyone who thinks about the construction of a climbing wall or boulder wall, we would like to give some tips on the way. Before some of you release yourself: It does not take a gym or barn to build a training wall. This is also possible in an apartment or garage.

It does not take much to build your own training wall in your own home or outdoors in the garden: a more or less free space, wooden boards, handles, upholstery for the lintel and some decisions before the saw and drill are set up.

The place for your climbing wall - inside or outside

The first thing to be clarified is whether the climbing wall should be in a building / room or outdoors. If you want to construct a wall in the outdoor area, you have to use special materials and think carefully about how the basic framework of the wall is constructed - especially for freestanding climbing walls.

The basic construction of your climbing wall or boulder wall

The central element of a climbing wall are the wooden boards. These should be at least 20mm thick, depending of course on the construction of the basic construction. Best suited are multilayer boards. We do not go into detail about the basic construction at this point because it depends on many different factors. Factors such as room size, inclination of the wall, strength of the walls or ceilings, etc. influence the structure of the basic construction.

Important: If the climbing wall is to stand outdoors, then no normal multilayer boards can be used. In this case, you must use screen printing plates with their weather-resistant glue.

Beautifully crafted - The handle of Hard Wood Holds.
Beautifully crafted - The handle of Hard Wood Holds.

Inclination of the climbing or boulder wall

How steep you build your boulder wall depends, among other things, on what you are aiming for. Here are some examples:

  • If you build a wall with a slope of 15 degrees, then you have to work with very small ledges and bad handles to reach a certain level of difficulty. In addition, the body voltage is less demanding than in a 40 degree overhanging wall.
  • If you build a wall that overhangs 40 degrees, you will not be able to do any training on tiny ridges unless you are already climbing to a high level.
  • The Moonboard, a construction manual you will find below, for example, has a slope of 40 degrees. The training on the Moonboard is correspondingly brutal.

Another option is of course one tilt-adjustable wall, If you get too easy on handles in a tilt of 15 degrees, then you just adjust the inclination and the story looks very different. The construction of an adjustable wall is more complex, unless you have a bomb-proof concrete wall to which you can attach a central anchorage. Then an adjustable wall is even easier to build than a complex wooden structure.

Here glued screen printing plates with stainless steel nuts were used.
Here glued screen printing plates with stainless steel nuts were used.

Surface of the climbing wall

Basically, of course, can be said "the bigger, the better". On a wall with a length of 3 meters and a width of 2.5 meters but can be trained quite neat. 4 meter length is a tad better.

The climbing holds and their arrangement

Before you can mount your grips at all, you need holes. Here a distance of plus / minus 20 centimeters is recommended. An 15 cm grid requires 50 drive-in nuts per square meter, and 25 centimeters approximately 25 drive-in nuts. The breadboard can be either offset or even drilled.

To make your training as versatile as possible we recommend you Handles of different manufacturers and in different materials to use. You should mount the following handles on your wall:

  • Do
  • Sloper
  • holes
  • Pliers

The materials are the same as the forms. The more choice, the better. For our outer wall we have the majority of tricks from Flat Hold and Kitka used. The models that we have chosen are not too rough and accordingly not so aggressive to the calluses.

From Kitka are the orange handles - perfect for your groin power.
From Kitka are the orange handles - perfect for your groin power.

We mostly had to do without wooden handles, as these are not suitable for outdoor use, even if the wall is covered. The risk of cracks in the wooden handles due to the permanent moisture and the temperature differences is too large. But if you are planning a wall in a room or a garage, we highly recommend wooden handles. HOlzgriffe are skin-friendlier than tricks.

The handles of beastmaker are pleasant with their rounding and still mean.
The handles of beastmaker are pleasant with their rounding and still mean.

Totally crazy: climbing grips made of real granite

Another option is handles made of real granite, as they are Nature Climbing offering. The feeling of training on real rock convinced us a lot. We even have one on our outside wall Magic Wood classic with the granite handles of Nature Climbing recreated, But not only the feeling is like on the right rock, also the stress on the finger skin is on the small rock ledges as out in the nature.

Like on the rock - the feeling as well as the strain on the skin
Like on the rock - the feeling as well as the strain on the skin.

Be sure to use stainless steel turning nuts for exterior walls

Wrench nuts are required for mounting the climbing handles. For a wall in the outer area, you have to resort to the more expensive stainless steel versions of the drive nuts. The investment is worth it, because normal nuts soon rusty and you may not be able to screw your handles.

So handles can be arranged

Some swear to arrange the handles of their bouldering or climbing wall symmetrically. This is basically a very exciting concept. Thus, first a boulder can be climbed in the left variant and then in the same grip sequence in the right variant. The disadvantage: Each handle is used twice and the overall arrangement is less varied.

Since we speak in the case of a climbing wall in the private sector and the space is rather limited, we recommend an arbitrary arrangement of the handles, Also make sure that the handles are not only mounted horizontally, but in all directions - Do not forget subterfuges!

A good tip is also to mount kicks in different colors.

So you can climb Boulder X once only with kicks in color A and then only with kicks of color B. So the difficulty of the defined Boulder varies quite fast, quite strong. Incidentally, make enough small kicks that are not as easy to stand as handles. So you have the opportunity to make a boulder first with big kicks / grips and then try only with small kicks.

Need it in every wall - forceps handles like here by Tension Climbing.
Need it in every wall - forceps handles like here by Tension Climbing.

The landslide of your training wall

The area below your training wall must of course be secured accordingly. One option is to use existing crashpads. A crashpad will not be enough for you several pads you also have to fight with the gaps between the pads. Of course, better ones are suitable Landing mats from the gymnastics area. These can usually also be used outdoors, but have their price. Alternatively, only indoors, you can easily old Mattresses as upholstery use

A big thank you

We have built an outdoor climbing wall for our own training and customer visits. The following manufacturers of climbing holds have supported us with their products.

beastmaker logo

flathold logo

hardwood holds logo

kitka climbing holds logo

nature climbing logo

tension climbing logo

Wooden handles tested indoor

The wooden handles of Tension Climbing, Hard Wood Holds and beast maker We tested on the training wall of the climbing gym St. Gallen. Philippe Allenspach, route builder and junior coach, gave us some tips on the way. Merci!

On this adjustable wall, we have the wooden handles of beastmaker, Tension Climbing and Hard Wood Holds installed
On this adjustable wall, we have the wooden handles of beastmaker, Tension Climbing and Hard Wood Holds installed.

Instructions for building a moonboard

The Moonboard is a standardized training wall that is now often found in climbing and bouldering halls. Using App and LED's in the wall, you can define independently Boulder and share with the climbing community. Who wants to build a moonboard that finds here a construction manual.

You want to know more about the training?

Find more Training tips can be found here.

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