Looking to build your own home bouldering wall? Here are some tips and info about what are bouldering walls made of – from materials to quality.
There are a variety of options that you have when it comes to choosing a rock climbing wall material. The two most popular options are wood or concrete.
If you’d like to build a climbing wall out of wood, you can choose between plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). OSB is much stronger and tends to be less expensive than plywood. However, it is about 15% heavier than plywood and has a higher tendency to hold moisture, which can weaken the material (especially when installed in humid conditions). If you wish to build your wall outside or in a damp basement, for example, it is better to use plywood.
Aside from plywood or OSB, another option is a pressure-treated board or a composite board. If you are unsure of the sturdiness of the material, speak to the staff at your local builder’s merchants or DIY store and get their opinions after explaining how you are going to use it.
Though many people choose to leave their wall bare, especially if it’s plywood, many also choose to paint it. It’s very important to use weatherproof paint if you’re planning on building your wall outside, along with treating the wood to make it weather-resistant.
Painting, though not required, is a good way to help your wall have a better appearance and hold up well over time. You can also texture the wall, to make it more like those that you would find in your local climbing gym.
Maybe you just happen to have a concrete wall that is begging to be decorated with climbing holds. There are special anchors called concrete drop-in anchors or concrete hollow set anchors that allow you to directly attach your climbing holds to a concrete surface.
You should also consider using tapcon screws, which are a corrosion resistant and reliable method for securely attaching your holds to the wall.
Tools You Will Need
Once you have chosen your wall material, it’s time to collect the tools necessary to build and set your wall.
Some basic setup tools that you will need are a level or straight edge, a tape measure, a table saw or circular saw (if you’re building the wall out of wood), a drill, and nut drivers.
Depending on your personal design, you may require additional specialist tools to ensure that your wall is safe and secure to use. Once more, if you are in any doubt, consult a professional or speak to the staff at your local builder’s merchants who likely have more experience in handling construction materials.
I hope this is a helpful guide to helping you plan out building your climbing wall for you or your kids.