If you're new to indoor rock climbing, one of the things you don't want to do is make a fool of yourself by accidentally doing something rude! Therefore, it's important to be aware of the do's and don't of climbing etiquette. Read on to learn more.
With a revenue of $403 million, the U.S. indoor rock climbing industry has made its way up to the top of favorite recreational activities. In fact, it's become such a huge sport that there exists an international organization designed for it alone!
Experts even say that indoor climbing has taken over CrossFit.
Whether your reason for taking up wall climbing is to join competitions or for the simple fun of it, you need to practice proper etiquette. You don't want to do anything rude that will put the negative spotlight on you.
So, as someone only starting out (or about to), make sure you keep these etiquette dos and don'ts in mind.
1. Are Those Sounds Really Necessary?
We know how great letting out that sound of success feels. Especially when you're crushing it and showing the wall who's boss. Plus, there are times wherein you need to exhale, even grunt, because rock climbing is a physical activity after all.
What we're saying is, everyone else expects some grunting and a bit of exclaiming from other climbers. But that doesn't include shouting and yelling. Those loud noises can distract other climbers, even make them lose their grasp or footing!
Also, keep in mind that rock climbing is for kids too. That means you most likely share the gym with younger members. Now, you wouldn't want them to keep hearing you drop that F-bomb, would you?
The bottom line is, making sounds is okay, but generating too many loud noises isn't. Be considerate to everyone else doing their best to conquer that wall.
2. Taking Pride vs. Bragging
Taking pride in all your wall climbing achievements is 100% natural. You've put so much hard work and effort in reaching the top, after all.
But like with beta sharing and spraying (more of this below), there's a fine line between being proud and bragging.
Yes, we know that it feels really good to reach the top without having any slips, trips, and falls. But that doesn't mean you have to tell everyone about how that climb was so exceptional soon after you jump off the wall.
There's a place for sharing your accomplishments, such as when you and your other climbing friends grab dinner after a successful session. Remember, a lot of people find climbing challenging, so all your bragging may only make them frustrated.
3. Sharing is Caring
There's no place for wall hogging in the gym. Even if it's only a couple of minutes, waiting for someone to start a route can feel like forever to everyone else.
So, before you head to that wall, keep in mind that it's not only you and the wall. Everyone else paid good money to enjoy the adrenaline rush. All other members want to tone their muscles, strengthen their core, and reap the many other health benefits of rock climbing.
You don't want people to call you a wall hogger, do you? So, plan out your route a good few feet away from the wall and not right under it. This way, if anyone else wants to start climbing, they can do so without you being in the way.
4. To Give Advice or Not
In the world of rock climbing, whether indoor or outdoor, there's such a thing as "sharing beta". This is when another climber, especially a newbie, seeks a more experienced climber's guidance.
Being able to extend advice to beginners is one of the most fulfilling experiences you can have in the climbing community. Seeing others grasp what you taught about rock climbing basics is even more rewarding.
But there's also such a thing as "spraying beta". This means oversharing (hence, "spraying") tips to the point they're already unwanted." You need to know the line between sharing and spraying beta.
So, how do you tell the difference?
Well, if you keep shouting tips from below, above, or beside other climbers even when not asked, that's already spraying. A good rule of thumb is to keep it to yourself unless someone asks you a direct question.
Remember, learning how to conquer the wall on your own is a huge, satisfying accomplishment. You want newcomers to experience this for themselves, so try to tone your advice-giving down.
5. To Belay and Never Delay
We understand that being a "belayer" isn't as exciting as doing the actual climb. But your role to belay or pull in slack is still important. How attentive you are can make all the difference between a fun climb and a climber who swings and smacks right into the wall.
So, when you choose to belay, do your duty and never let distractions get to you. First and foremost, because that climber you're helping out trust you to catch him/her in the event of a fall. Even a few seconds of failure to put on that friction can already cause safety hazards.
6. The Difference Between Enough and Too Much Chalk
Treat climbing chalk as you would any other kitchen spice. Take pepper, for instance. Too much of either can make anyone cough up.
The same will happen when you slather too much chalk on those plastic holds. The only difference is, it's not only you who'll cough, but any other climber near and beneath you.
The golden rule to chalk use is to use only enough to coat your hands. It's magic dust for climbers, yes, but that doesn't mean excessive amounts will make it more effective. In fact, you may end up slipping more if you bury the holds under this powder!
7. It's Not Your House, So Put on That Shirt
If you're rock climbing outdoors, then by all means, you can take that shirt off and feed your body with Vitamin D. But if you're inside a gym, facing a rock climbing wall, wear your shirt along with your gym pants.
Master These Etiquette Dos and Don'ts for Awesome Indoor Rock Climbing Sessions
Indoor rock climbing is exciting and amazing to say the least. Every time you inch your way up the wall without problem pumps even more adrenaline into your system. But again, you're not alone, so always be mindful of every other climber.
Master these dos and don'ts of proper rock climbing etiquette, and you'll be one of the coolest guys or gals in the gym.
Want more tips and tricks that'll make you a better climber? Then make sure you check our blogsite out!