Bouldering and training : is this the homewall moment ?
The events of the past several weeks, with the global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the ongoing crisis, differ from the components that spawned the bouldering boom but the outcome may be comparable. Bouldering and training : is this the homewall moment ?
The new rising tier of the industry—which we are bearing witness to in real time—is that of home wall design and construction. Soon, more companies will likely clamor towards these concepts and attempt to harness them with retail items, advice, support and relevant accoutrements. Bouldering and training : is this the homewall moment ?
“Home walls are going to be a larger part of the US climbing industry from here on out,” affirms Will Anglin, Co-Owner of Tension Climbing. “Homewalls present an interesting intersection of different problems that will require some innovation and creative solutions. There’s a lot to think about there. But overall I’m very excited to see how this part of the industry and the larger climbing industry evolves moving forward.”
Bouldering and training : what’s old is new again
The uptick in the home wall sector of the industry has foundational elements dating back decades, long before COVID-19 and the spiraling events of 2020. Garage woodies and jury-rigged backyard setups have existed in concept since before commercial climbing gyms existed.
In the 1990s, Ramsay Thomas’ Building Your Own Indoor Climbing Wall was a popular book. In the mid-2000s, the MoonBoard became the first widely available, standardized home training grid for climbers around the world. And Ben Moon had been crushing on a home wall with friends in England for many years by that point.
Going forward, the climbing industry may witness a new commodification of home wall materials and training boards to a far greater extent. Home wall training may no longer be seen largely as a mode of practice that supplements climbing at the gym or climbing outdoors. On the contrary, signs suggest home wall climbing will be done for the sake of home wall climbing.