I’ve heard a lot recently about Moonboards and their awesomeness. Because I love anything climbing related and I assume you do too, I decided to do a little research on the subject. Having the ability to try routes created by other climbers from all around the world is the reality I did not know existed until a few months ago, so excuse me if I seem amped! I am in no way affiliated with this company by the way. This is purely from the perspective of a future (I hope) customer and someone who felt like writing a blog post. Also, I would like to officially announce that this has been added to my Christmas list.
There’s always a genius behind every idea, and this genius happens to be Ben Moon. The Moonboard was created by UK professional climber Ben Moon under his company Moon Climbing. He is well known for his ascent of Hubble 8c+ (later graded at 9a/5.14d) in 1990, which was at the time the hardest sport route in the world. Moon had a very successful sport climbing career throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, was a member of the British Competition Climbing Team, and played a big role in modernizing climbing training. In 2015, he red-pointed Rainshadow 9a at the age of 48. His company, Moon Climbing, sells a variety of climbing related gear from chalk bags to crash pads.
The Moonboard revolutionizes the home climbing gym by offering near infinite choices of routes on a simple 2.44m x 3.15m 40 degree frame. All Moonboards are built the same way including the spacing of T-nuts. You purchase a hold kit from Moonboard and then place your holds according to a numbered pattern pre-chosen by the company. Everyone all over the world will then have an identical wall – holds, angle, spacing… everything!
This is the best part. Because there’s 100% consistency among walls, one can share a route they created themselves with others, grade and all. You download the app (Moon Climbing – Moonboard) set up an account, and you’re all set. If you purchase the LED system as well, a little LED light will light up underneath the holds used in whichever route you choose. This is pricey, but definitely worth it if you plan on working many routes in a night.
Speaking of price, it’s not too bad if you consider the fact that you only need one set of holds. The wall itself is on you to buy and build, but Moonboard has very detailed instructions here to guide you through purchasing materials and general building steps. There are several hold kits you can buy that will still allow you to climb for around £120 ($203 CDN), but the bundle which includes all kits comes to £442.00 ($747 CDN). Whether you purchase the entire hold kit for $747 CDN or one or two smaller kits, you can input which hold kit(s) you have in the Moon Climbing App, and they will narrow down which routes will work for your set up. Bolts and t-nuts are not included in the hold kits. The LED system, although not necessary but definitely helpful, comes to £500.00 ($845 CDN).
Even Courtney Sanders uses it:
@moonclimbing likes to set the big moves despite the grade. Moonboard #sohotrightnow loving this concept of trying someone's test-piece from across the world, and think it has even more room to grow!! Ready to set some of my own problems on there!! @dawoods89 with tha 📽💥 #climbing #training bouldering @lasportiva @organicclimbing @gnarlynutrition
Again, I am no way affiliated with this product, but just completely admire what it does. This is perfect if you don’t have access to a climbing gym where you live and also have the space and means to set it up. You don’t need to be a carpentry wizard to build this, but you need to be somewhat savy with tools and have a patient friend willing to help you out.
Unfortunately, the easiest routes in the system right now are v4s. However, word on the grape vine is that they will soon be offering a beginner hold kit which will obviously be tailored to lower grades. Fun for all!
I hope to have the space and the money to do this one day! I can for sure see this being set up in a garage or even in a spare bedroom. You definitely have to be devoted to climbing for this, but I think if you’re going to build a home wall, why not build one of these?
Let me know what you think of this training tool! 🙂
Climb on xx