How to effectively climb a Rock Wall
Of all the party game rentals available today one that is always at the top of everyone’s wish list is the rock wall climb. If you are planning on having one at your party it is a good idea to offer your guests some quick pointers to help them get the most out of their rock climbing experience. It’s hard to overstate the importance of good technique when it comes to learning to climb a rock wall. When you focus on technique, moves start to come to you more easily and it can really help you do better and get better results, so here are some key concepts to review in order to do your best on a rock wall climb:
Rock Climbing Techniques: Using Your Feet
Feet are the groundwork of climbing and the number one mistake beginners make is that they try to pull themselves up the wall with their arms and quickly tire out. Think about climbing a ladder- you push yourself up with your legs and feet and use your arms to steady yourself and maneuver yourself- and the same in climbing. Basic techniques for using your feet are usually referred to as edging and smearing:
- Edging is exactly what it sounds like: Your feet and toes position on the edge of the rubber grips to push yourself around to reach other grips and footholds and to move yourself up the rock wall face bit by bit.
- Smearing is a bit more complicated of a move: It happens when there are no actual footholds for your feet, so you have to rely on your shoe’s sole to provide the friction against the rock face to move you along.
It can be helpful to keep the following footwork tactics in mind when climbing your rock wall:
- Try to keep your feet under you and avoid stretching out too far to reach foot and hand holds
- Keep an eye out for footholds that are easy to get to and don’t over reach or show off
- Look for foot placements first then handholds as you can push and stabilize with one hand
- Once you set your foot avoid moving it around too much and focus on pushing from there
- Keep your heel low so you have plenty of contact with the wall as you move up
Rock Climbing Techniques: Maintaining Balance
When you’re lucky enough to find hand and foot holds in good positions that leading straight up the wall, climbing is fairly intuitive. When you’re on a route where you have to move and pull in different directions, though, you have to use your body to maintain balance. This is key to being successful with the climb and is one of the hardest parts for new climbers to master. Balance can be a challenge but once you learn the basics it can be much easier to implement and you will soon find yourself climbing up the rock wall.
Balancing tactics that can help you maximize the power of your climb include the following:
- Press your foot in the opposite direction of the direct that you are pulling in order to create counter pressure which can help keep you balances and in place for a little longer.
- Pull in the opposite direction that you are reaching for with your other hand or a hooked foot to give yourself some stability so you don’t totally lose your balance and fall.
- Lean over hard and use your body weight as a counter balance and if you need to stop to search for a hand or foot hold or to catch your breath keep yourself anchored as you do so.
Rock Climbing Techniques: Climbing Efficiently
It is an advanced climbing skill but over time you can learn to use less energy and can find ways to figure out how to give your muscles a break as you climb. Here are some ideas to help you climb efficiently:
- Straight arms are strong arms and keeping your arms straight as possible while climbing allows your skeleton to take most of the weight, not your muscles. Bending your arms just a little puts strain on your muscle sand will start wearing you down as you climb.
- Focus on your hips when you are climbing and focus on how you are holding your weight. Beginners often keep their hips squared to the wall, which feels better as far as stability goes but is not as efficient when it comes to delivering power and energy to the wall.
- Try to keep one hip in contact with the wall while you climb. That helps keep your weight over your feet and also gives you a bit more of a pivot point to lean back with straight arms and continue your climb up the wall towards the top.
- Good climbers learn very quickly to climb with their eyes. Keep your eyes on the wall ahead of you rather than looking down at your feet. Keep eyes ahead to look for holds that let you take a quick rest and glance down only to ensure your foot is secured on a foothold.
- When you find a good resting point during your climb, use it. Allow your pulse to slow down a little if needed and take a few second to shake out your arms so they don’t get overly tired and worn out later on toward the top of your climb.