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How To Build Your Own DIY Climbing Hangboard without Drilling The Wall Above Your Doorway
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If you're serious about your climbing then perhaps you already have a piece of gear for your climbing training at home, be it fingerboard, campus board or any other setting that enables you to train your fingers, forearms and upper body.
If you don't have a hangboard then you should consider making one as this will make you keener to train, to learn more about training for climbing and eventually it will make you climb more and get obsessed with it - which is a good thing by the way.
Why a DIY Fingerboard is Better than a Commercial Hangboard
- I encourage you to build your own fingerboard because it's fun and rewarding. I sincerely believe that consumerism is a subtle trap in which many of us can fall. The problem with most of today's people is that they don't know how to do stuff... So don't be powerless! Don't be soft! Build your own using materials that you can easily get from your local hardware store. Be creative and build something that's unique.
- A home made hangboard is made for your home. What this means is you can adapt your board to your home setting. Perhaps you cannot mount it in a door way and you prefer to make a fold-able one on the ceiling (I almost did that but I moved to another studio apartment and I dropped the idea). When you make your own you can adjust each parameter - size, shape, weight - as to fit your home.
- Most commercial hangboards are rather narrow - why not have one that's 1.5 meters wide?! My hangboard is pretty wide. A wide fingerboard allows you to exercise moves and pulls that are closer to real life climbing situations - long reaches in a traverse climb, distant lateral holds in overhangs, etc. Also doing dead hangs and pull ups on widely distanced holds will work your deltoids and back muscles better than working on close distanced holds. Let's face it - we all know that reachy and awkward moves are harder and thus better as a training method than cozy ladder-like moves - and doing dead hangs and pull ups on a narrow hangboard imitates the ladder style. Getting strong on cozy moves is not the smartest way to train for climbing. Push yourself doing hard stuff and regular stuff will seem easy.
- You can use what you have. If you don't want to buy stuff (being cheap and resourceful is an underrated quality - however I hold great respect for those who go by this life philosophy) you can use whatever you have at home. It may be a broken table or desk, rods from an old chair - you name it. There's no rule to follow here - your finished product can be a piece of carved wood (with holds and shapes made with the chisel) or it can be a piece of plywood that's more like a mini indoor wall (with T nuts). I recommend the plywood and T nuts fingerboard because...
- You can always readjust the holds placement on your board. If you get tired of having crimpers on the lowest line then you can easily change that. Having T nuts on your board allows you to make fast changes, add more holds, remove holds just as you wish right from the "front desk" - no need to work "behind the scenes" :-). I think this is the biggest advantage.
- What holds to use? Any type: crimpers, slopers, jugs. What brand? Your own. Crimpers, medium ledges, jugs can all be home made out of timber or wood pieces. You can even make slopers by splitting a cylindrical piece of wood (a log segment) - you'll get a fine sloping hold that's skin friendly with your fingers (debark the log and finish it with rough sand paper).
- And let's say you come up with a cool product. You can then sell your work - do freelance jobs for your fellow climbers. If they can't do it themselves they might hire you to build one for them. You can count this as a joke but who knows - it can carry some truth as well.
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