Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing in which the climber is secured to one end of a rope, which runs through an anchor system at the top of the route and back down to a belayer at the base. The sport has evolved over time from traditional roped climbing, into lead sport climbing and bouldering. Here are 10 steps to becoming a sports climber.
1) Start by learning the basics.
Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing, so it’s important to have a strong foundation in traditional roped climbing techniques before moving on to sport-specific techniques.
2) Take a climbing class.
Many local climbing gyms offer beginner sport climbing classes that will introduce you to the sport in a safe, controlled environment.
3) Choose a sport climbing partner.
It’s important to find someone who has experience sports climbing and is willing to mentor you in this area of the sport.
4) Learn how to belay.
Belaying is the technique used to secure a climber and protect them from falling. Make sure you are comfortable with this skill before sport climbing with someone else.
The best way to improve your sports climbing skills is to get out and climb as much as possible. Find a local crag or boulder field and go explore!
6) Try sport climbing with a top rope.
This will allow you to focus on your sports technique, rather than worrying about falling off the wall or being injured by an errant rock that breaks loose from beneath your feet. If possible, find someone who can lead sport climb and belay from below you so they can catch any unexpected falls while helping keep tension in case there should be one!
7) Learn sports climbing techniques.
There are many different sport climbing techniques for sport climbers to learn and practice, including heel hooks, toe hooks, drop knees and flagging (using your leg as an extra point of contact with the rock).
8) Invest in sports climbing equipment.
Your sport climbing gear will need to be specifically tailored to the type of sport climbing you plan on doing. There are many different types of sport climbing shoes, harnesses, and belay devices available on the market, so take your time and do some research before making a purchase.
9) Take an outdoor sports climbing trip.
There’s nothing quite like spending a weekend camping out at a beautiful sports climbing area and ticking off several challenging routes! Outdoor sport climbing trips can be a great way to increase your skillset while having tons of fun with friends.
10) Consider sports climbing competitions.
If sport climbing is your passion and you’re ready to take it a step further, consider sport climbing competitions. There are several different types of sport climbing competitions depending on what kind of terrain interests you most: bouldering (climbing short distances with little or no equipment), lead sport climbing (using ropes), or speed sport climbing (where two climbers race each other up the same route). These events can be an exciting way to challenge yourself.