Choose the Right Climbing Wall
Climbing walls can be a great way to entice new members and keep them coming back for more, but finding the right fit for your facility can be tricky. Some facilities install beautiful, seamless walls as an iconic attraction for all to see. But not every facility can afford this option. Luckily there are many ways to add climbing to your facility.
Q: We're interested in installing a beautiful climbing wall that can provide climbers at our facility with a continually changing series of routes. What should we consider?
A: When you want a standout, aesthetic wall with creative and continually changing routes, you should check out a seamless option. This type of wall, made from a cementitious texture applied over sheets of interlocking OSB and supported by a steel framing system, is very durable. More importantly, the texture acts as a structural coating over the system, offering longevity and minimal maintenance over the life of the wall. Additionally, it provides an aesthetically pleasing canvas on which you can create any number of features, from arches and overhangs to cracks and pinnacles.
Ideal for climbing at universities, military installations, recreation centers, climbing gyms and even converted racquetball courts, this type of wall is custom-designed and built to suit your facility.
With its beautiful appearance and exciting action, a seamless climbing wall can serve as a dynamic centerpiece for your facility—highlighting the activity that takes place there, and drawing in members.
Q: We'd love to add climbing at our facility, but our budget is a little tighter. Is there a more economical option?
A: Many facilities struggle to find the budget to make their dreams a reality, but you don't have to do without climbing. You can find a more economical, modular or "seamed" wall to bring climbing to your members and visitors.
This modular seamed system features an epoxy-based texture applied over ¾-inch plywood panels. Lacking a cementitious coating over the wood, the modular system is designed for a shorter lifespan than the seamless option. It is supported by a steel framing system, and the modular panels can be installed quickly, and easily replaced.
The panels are available in a wide range of colors to help meet your aesthetic expectations.
Q: How can we maintain interest in our climbing wall over time?
A: The key to a successful climbing wall program is regular route-setting. By continually resetting creative new routes, you offer climbers a way to constantly challenge themselves.
No matter which type of wall you choose—seamed or seamless—look for a high density of handhold fasteners. This will enable you a wide range of options when setting new routes.
Follow the 80/20 philosophy of route setting. Set 20 percent of your routes at a 5.10 level of difficulty or higher, and set 80 percent of your routes at a beginner and intermediate level of difficulty. This ratio of routes will provide success for new climbers and enable skill development for beginner and intermediate climbers, while also providing challenge for those who are more experienced.
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