Indoor Climbing: 5 Trends for the Future

Indoor climbing is a large growth market. Climbing is an established trend sport. And climbing will also be Olympic for the first time in 2020. The strong growth of the original outdoor sport in recent years has been driven primarily by indoor climbing halls and walls.

Olivier Aubel from the Sports Science Institute of the University of Lausanne, presented worldwide figures on the increasingly popular sport and its international marketing at the premiere of the Indoor Climbing Hub at ISPO Munich 2019.

We can summarize its findings in five theses and trends about the future of climbing.

indoor climbing bouldering gym trand sport

1. Indoor Climbing: No Artificial Hype, but Real Growth

Indoor climbing is a trend sport. The figures compiled by Aubel from the most important global markets undoubtedly prove this. In the USA, the number of newly opened climbing walls rose between 6 and 13 percent each year between 2010 and 2017. In France, they rose between 6 and 24 percent per annum in the same period. But the biggest boom is in Germany, where the number rose each year by between 10 and 27 percent.

A large growth market

“Germany is the most dynamic market. But growth will continue worldwide in the coming years. There are still many white spots when it comes to climbing. And the trend is clear. The more climbing walls there are, the more people will go climbing,” said Aubel.

2. Climbing Departs More and More from Its Origin: Crazy Destinations Wanted

Indoor climbing departs more and more from its origins. This applies to both space and appearance of the climbing halls. Whereas in the past the walls in indoor climbing arenas were reproduced as naturally as possible, today many suppliers are moving further and further away from the original. Companies such as Clip N’Climb have developed space-saving, artificial climbing walls that can also be easily installed in shopping centers.

Growth potential for indoor climbing

“Other derived formats that are becoming increasingly popular are Ninja Warrior or Parcours,” explained Aubel. He is convinced that the greatest growth potential for indoor climbing lies in the cities far away from the mountains. “Crazy destinations such as climbing halls in empty old factory buildings in industrial areas are the best. They attract many people who haven’t had much to do with climbing so far.” A precise geomarketing analysis of the existing supply and demand is important.

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