Bouldering Indoor: How To

Learning how to boulder indoor is vastly different from outdoor climbing. For starters you don’t have a harness. This might sounds easier, but it actually requires you to have more strength and a different movement.  You also won’t be going very high up, maybe five to 30 feet depending on the route, so your energy will be focused on quick movement rather than endurance. Follow these tips for learning how to boulder indoors:

In order to learn how to boulder indoors, you will need:

  • Indoor Climbing shoes
  • Chalk
  • Chalk Bag
  1. Get Your Hands Chalky. Assuming you are bouldering indoor at a rock gym, they will require you to carry a chalk bag. Put the loose chalk in a chalk bag and clip the chalk bag around your waist . Chalk will absorb the sweat on your hands and prevent your fingers from slipping when you are gripping a “rock.” You can buy chalk and a chalk bag and any outdoor sporting goods store, such as REI.
  2. Put on your climbing shoes. Bouldering indoors requires you to wear rock climbing shoes. These shoes should fit very tightly. This is so that they can help you feel the rocks. If you are a complete beginner, you should just rent a pair of climbing shoes at your local rock climbing gym. If you want to buy climbing shoes, look for something cheap that you can learn how to boulder in. You can find cheap shoes for indoor bouldering at REI.
  3. Find a Route. Indoor bouldering routes are labeled on a V scale, according to their difficulty. Outdoor rock climbing labels their degree of difficulty on a numerical scale. The V scale starts at V0 for easiest and goes through V15 for most difficult. Most climbing gyms have routes ranging from V0 to V7.
  4. Stick to the route. Unlike outdoor climbing, where you are dealing with real rocks and you use the grooves and footholds that are available to you; when you are bouldering indoors you have to follow a specific route. The routes are marked according to colored tape. Some routes go straight up and others are horizontal.



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