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Climbing Holds

Wall climbing is a vigorous, healthy sport for children and adults. Climbing holds can be attached to indoor walls for all-weather fun or outdoor walls for a more natural experience. Almost any type of hold that you would find on a rock face is available as an artificial climbing hold.

What are climbing holds?

Climbing holds are artificial hand grips that are fastened to a surface. They allow you to practice rock climbing indoors or out. Because climbing holds can be arranged in any pattern, you can tackle more difficult paths as your training progresses. Most manufacturers make their holds from polyurethane, a light, flexible, and sturdy material.

What some types of climbing holds?
  • Jug: The jug or bucket hold is large enough to grasp with your whole hand. It is an easy hold when you are rock climbing or when you need a secure spot to pause for a bit.
  • Edge: The edge hold is a ledge. It may be big enough to sit on, or it may be a cut in the face of the wall that is just wide enough to push your fingers into.
  • Crimp: Crimps are a type of edge hold. They are very narrow ledges that are just big enough to grip with your fingertips.
  • Pinch: A pinch is any hold that you can grip between your thumb and fingers. It can be placed vertically, so it functions almost like a short stair rail.
  • Pocket: A pocket is a hole of any size in the rock face.
  • Undercling: This refers to a hold that you grip from the bottom, palm-up.
  • Flake: This is a large, flat slab of the rock face that is standing slightly away from the main body of rock. It has enough separation that you can put your fingers between the flake and the main rock face.
  • Horn: As its name suggests, the horn is a horn-shaped outcropping that you can easily grab and use to hoist yourself during a climb.
How are rock climbing holds attached to the wall?

Holds can be mounted to a wood or concrete wall with either screws or bolts. The screw-on type requires concrete or wood screws, depending on what the wall is made of. Bolt-on holds require a bolt and a T-nut. One advantage of this type is that it can be switched easily. The T-nuts stay in the wall, and the holds can be unbolted and moved around for a fresh climb path.

How many climbing holds do you need?

This depends on the size of the people who will be training. For large adults, one hold per 3 square feet of wall space may be enough. One to two holds for every 2 square feet is a good all-around spacing scheme. For children or small adults, you can have as many as one hold per square foot.

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