10 Climbing Tips For Beginners
Climbing will open up new experiences, challenges and even a whole new community for you to explore. Before you step into the climbing world, adidas experts Jakob Krauss and Tosca Sepetro want to share a few top tips. These useful doses of wisdom about technique, gear, safety and etiquette will help beginners learn the ropes, and also help more experienced climbers to get even better.
1. Hit your local bouldering gym
The best way to get started is to visit your local bouldering gym. The staff will give you a short introduction and you can usually rent all the gear you need for your first session. If you choose to do a course, you’ll learn the techniques and safety measures from a qualified guide and meet people at the same time. Stay in touch with your fellow learners after the course so you have a buddy or three for your future climbs.
2. Don't buy all the gear at once!
Only buy the essentials to start with – like a chalk bag with some chalk, a brush and some comfortable climbing shoes. If you want to upgrade, rent gear at the gym, or borrow and try out gear from friends and climbing partners. That way, you can get a feeling of what works for you in terms of size and ease of use, as all pieces of gear have their pros and cons. When you’re confident you want to buy a full set of gear, refer to our in-depth list of climbing essentials to get what you need.
3. Choose comfortable clothing
Choose clothing that allows you to do the full range of movements to reach far-flung foot and hand holds. Find climbing clothing, shoes and accessories that will support you properly as you ascend the pitch.
4. Get the right size shoe
Climbing shoes should provide a snug fit and you should not have any dead space/air in your shoes. However, they should never be painful over a long period of time. Lined shoes will stretch slightly over the lifespan, whereas unlined ones can stretch up to a full size. Read our guide to rock climbing shoes to find out how to choose the right pair for you.
5. Inspect and replace your gear
Develop a routine to check your gear for extensive wear so you can ensure you’re replacing it when needed. This is crucial, as faulty gear can lead to injuries.
6. Improve your footwork
A common misconception is that you need to be able to do 100 pull-ups to be good at climbing. While upper body and core strength is important, good technique will pay off in the long-term. There are many ways to improve your technique and footwork, and a short internet research will provide plenty of inspiration.
7. Find climbing partners
Climbing can be such a social sport, and the best way to enjoy it is with others. Partner up with other enthusiasts or join a group to get the full experience and stay safe when out on the rocks. Better yet, find someone more experienced to learn from, so you can advance your skills and discover new techniques.
8. Plan thoroughly and for the worst
Always bring a warm layer, a waterproof jacket in case the weather turns, and a first aid kit in case of any injuries. You also might want to keep a spare bottle of water, a cereal bar and some cash in your backpack – just in case.
Do a partner check
Always perform a partner check before starting your climb. Even the most experienced climbers check if their partner’s knot is tied correctly, that the rope is correctly in the belay device, the carabiner is locked and there is a knot at the end of the rope.
10. Always warm up
As you can imagine, climbing works all the muscles in your body and is quite a physical challenge. Even if you’re just bouldering, take some time before a climbing session to warm up your body for what it’s about to do. Warming up will not only prep your body, it can also prevent long-term injury and increase your performance and stamina on the climb. Incorporate some dynamic movement and stretches into your warm-up to get you raring to go.
Above all else, it’s important to have fun and enjoy the learning process. The hard part of any new activity is having the courage to get started. Once you’ve ticked that off the list, the fun can really begin. Climbing is a sport that you can fully immerse yourself in and if you’ve really taken to it, there are endless opportunities and experiences for you to enjoy. Join a climbing community, learn the lingo, find incredible new places to climb, and make some like-minded new friends along the way.
Ready to get started? Explore our selection of climbing gear to find the right support as you begin your journey.
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