Indoor rock climbing is a great place for beginners to practice, or for experienced climbers during inclement weather; learn about 10 indoor rock climbing safety tips to make the most out of your climbing experience;
For Indoor Climbing safety, you will need the following items.(note- everything except chalk is available to rent at climbing gyms).
- Climbing shoes
- Rope (if you are belaying)
- Harness (if you are belaying)
- Helmet (if you are belaying)
- Chalk and chalk bag (most rock gyms don't allow loose chalk – it is messy)
- Don't climb higher than you are supposed to. Most Indoor Rock Gyms have designated areas for people who are bouldering (i.e. climbing without a harness and people who are belaying (i.e. climbing with a harness). This rule for indoor climbing safety is for good reason. Even if there is a mat to fall on, it will still hurt if you are up too high, so if you are bouldering, stay in your designated area.
- Put the harness on correctly. Putting on a harness correctly is one of the most important aspects of climbing safety. It can be quite similar to putting on a diaper. You will also need to tie a figure eight knot to the harness, which a guide can help you tie if you don't know how. Remember, it is much more embarrassing to fall and/or get tangled up in your rope than it is to ask for help.
- Belay with an experienced climber. If you are new to rock climbing, don't grab your inexperienced buddy and have him hold your rope. If you are new to belaying, ask a guide for help.
- Get the right equipment. Most rock gyms will let you rent their equipment, but when you decide to buy your own, make sure that the equipment adheres to the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (U.I.A.A.) guidelines and standards.
- Make sure your shoes are snug. Climbing shoes should fit just tight enough so as to not cut off your circulation. Proper climbing shoes are important for climbing safety so that you don't slip.
- Practice falling. You are going to fall, especially if you want to get better. The safest way to fall is away from the rock wall (so you don't hit any rocks on the way down) and you want to fall onto the protective flooring.
- Make sure there is a mat below you before you fall. Sometimes other climbers are inconsiderate; they take your mat and move it before you are finished using it. This can be an unfortunate surprise if it is unexpected.
Take small breaks. Take breaks in between attempts. Give yourself a chance to recover before trying again.
- Practice correct technique. Most importantly, keep your body close to the wall. Many new climbers try to hang with their fingers and elbow; this technique wastes energy and isn't effective. Your arms should be used for shifting weight, not trying to hold yourself up with a death grip.
- Watch experienced climbers. Watching experienced climbers will help you improve your own technique and climbing safety.