The sport of bouldering is among the most popular today. Aside from being fun, it is also great for your shoulders, back, core, and fingers. When you are looking up from the bottom of the problem, it may seem easy, but once you start climbing, it becomes quite challenging. It is possible to do bouldering indoors or outdoors, but which is easier? Indoor bouldering is easier than outdoor bouldering, right? Let’s explore this further to clarify.
Does outdoor bouldering have a harder challenge than indoor bouldering? Outdoor bouldering presents a greater challenge than indoor bouldering. Beginners can be intimidated by outdoor bouldering. Even if you’ve bouldered indoors once, twice, or regularly, your first time outdoors will have plenty of challenges and surprises you didn’t anticipate. There is more fear of falling outdoors than indoor since there aren’t many, spongy crash mats. Instead, a few, less comfortable crash pads are likely to be present.
Differentiating Indoor Bouldering from Outdoor Bouldering
Bouldering indoors differs greatly from bouldering outdoors in many ways. You will enjoy indoor bouldering if you like climbing in a gym environment with a cool gym vibe all around you. Nevertheless, if you like adventure and being outdoors, and aren’t afraid of falling on a stiff crash pad, you will enjoy outdoor bouldering. Here is a list of the most important differences between indoor and outdoor bouldering.
- Landing – Bouldering indoors uses foam mats and flat floors. Because no gym owner wants you to injure yourself on their premises, boulders have soft landings that are safe. However, outdoor bouldering has an uneven, rocky surface that can be dangerous if you miss a crash pad and land wrong. Landings on outdoor bouldering walls are rarely flat, and you must often use certain landing techniques to stay safe.
- The weather – Bouldering indoors is conducive to climbing. It has air conditioning, nice lighting, and temperature-controlled rooms. In contrast, bouldering outdoors tests climbers’ ability to overcome unexpected obstacles. A common obstacle is unexpectedly harsh weather. A climber could encounter wind, rain, and/or extreme heat. Your bouldering rock might be directly illuminated by the sun, or it might be exposed by the wind. Bouldering outdoors is an adventure because of the unpredictable weather. In the event that severe weather conditions occur, however, one should have a plan of action in mind.
- Safety – Indoor climbing allows climbers to enjoy bouldering within the limitations of a regulated environment. There is a lot of safety equipment in this environment, such as enough padding on the landing level and mats below each boulder. Outside, you have less control over the falls, the falling surface, and the direction of the falls. There is less padding below outdoor climbers, so they are supposed to be more cautious if they fall. It’s still possible to get injured when bouldering indoors, but it’s not as serious as injuries sustained while climbing outdoors.
- The background noise is noticeable different when bouldering inside versus outside. Indoor bouldering centers usually have background music, and the noise produced by climbers is contained within the gym. Bouldering outdoors lets you hear and interact with nature’s sounds, including birds chirping, wind, and even wild animals. Bouldering outdoors may sometimes require you to shout to communicate with your fellow climbers.
- Equipment – There is also a huge difference between the type, quantity, and quality of gear used for indoor climbing versus outdoor climbing. The only thing you need to get started bouldering indoors is chalk and shoes. Bouldering gear depends on what you are climbing and where you are bouldering. For this reason, you should go bouldering with a climber who has experience. You will receive a list of what you need and when you will need it from an experienced climber. Although you don’t need crash pads when bouldering indoors, they are essential when bouldering outdoors. When you go bouldering outdoors for the first time, you may realize that you need more gear than you thought.
IMost bouldering gyms exaggerate the difficulty of climbing grades to make climbers feel good about themselves.
Most bouldering gyms exaggerate the difficulty of climbing grades in order to make climbers feel good about themselves. Bouldering lessons are designed to give climbers a sense of progress, so they will want to come back for more. Despite the fact that encouraging climbers is a good thing, climbers need to be ready for the worst when bouldering outdoors for the first time. It is highly likely that they will not be able to climb boulder grades as high as they normally do at the gym.
As most climbers can’t go beyond V10, gyms rarely set problems beyond that grade – plus it’s hard to find someone who knows how to set problems beyond that grade. Grades can reach as high as V17 in outdoor bouldering. When you are not able to comfortably complete every bouldering problem in your local gym, you better start training harder instead of worrying about when you will climb outside the facility.
You should not be intimidated by the challenging outdoor bouldering grades. Adapting to the holds, texture, and movements of real rock takes several climbing sessions. Take on your first bouldering challenge with an open mind if you want to adapt quickly. Instead of trying to obtain your hardest V-grade, your focus should be on enjoying nature while having fun. You will soon realize that you are bouldering harder outside than you were when bouldering in the gym, but you are not climbing as high grades. You’ll discover that bouldering is more fun than pulling and climbing plastic in a chalk-covered subscription facility.
Indoor bouldering Injuries You’re More Likely To Suffer
The most enjoyable and simplest sport is indoor bouldering. You don’t need ropes and carabineers to do this; just a pair of nice shoes and chalk will do it. If you fall, you are nearly certain to hit the mat because there is no safety gear. Pulling tendons, spraining wrists, spraining ankles, climber’s knees, and climber’s elbows are some of the common injuries that occur when bouldering indoors. Injuries can disrupt your daily life, so you should always listen to your body and stop when it tells you to do so.
Bouldering Injuries You’re More Likely to Suffer
Bouldering outdoors can be hard and unforgiving. You can still get some nasty wounds during your outdoor bouldering session, even without falling. As well as injuries from indoor bouldering, you can also get scratches, bruises, and more severe wounds. There are different types of rocks that can hurt your skin. Injuries can also occur after swinging sideways into a rock, falling upside down, or hitting the edge. Begin small and slowly work your way up to bouldering bigger rocks to prevent outdoor bouldering injuries.
Is it safer to boulder indoors or outdoors?
Bouldering indoors is not only safer than bouldering outdoors, but also the least dangerous. The fall heights in indoor bouldering are significantly lower than in outdoor bouldering, and the surfaces have shock-absorbent mats that absorb a large portion of the fall energy. Compared to indoor bouldering, outdoor bouldering has a higher risk of light to medium injuries. Since the surface of outdoor bouldering has less landing gear to reduce landing impact in case of a fall, there can sometimes be a high risk of severe injuries (depending on how much care is taken).
The transition from indoor to outdoor bouldering
After a while, most climbers get tired and bored of bouldering indoors and look for a new and challenging challenge in outdoor bouldering. Climbing well in a bouldering gym does not guarantee that you’ll be able to do the same in the wild. Bouldering outdoors requires specialized gear, advanced skills, and a strong will.
As a beginner, you should approach outdoor climbing with lots of respect, a willingness to learn new techniques, and understand that you won’t get the same climbing level you were used to at the bouldering gym. Get a mentor who has experience in both indoor and outdoor bouldering, and let him/her guide you accordingly.
To make the transition from indoor climbing to outdoor climbing faster, it is good to learn from someone who is better than you. Outdoor bouldering experts provide valuable information that will help you progress very quickly while minimizing the risk of injury. If you want to know that do you need to be strong for bouldering or not check this article.
In addition, you will learn how to enhance your climbing experience with a circuit and training board, gym routines, hang boards, and other bouldering exercises. If you have any questions about outdoor bouldering, you can always get clarifications from them. Avoid rushing from indoor bouldering to outdoor bouldering if you do not want to risk injury.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How much harder is outdoor bouldering?
V grades can vary in difficulty depending on whether they are bouldered in a gym or on a real boulder, and depending on the grade itself. According to the general consensus, an outdoor grade up to V5/V6 will be two V grades harder than the same grade indoors.
Is rock climbing a good workout?
Although rock climbing is a great workout, it can be challenging if your body isn’t up to the challenge. Many medical conditions can be improved with weight loss, and rock climbing is an excellent way to lose a few pounds. Consult your doctor if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
Does outdoor climbing make you stronger?
During the first few months of outdoor climbing, you definitely become stronger. Studies have also shown that finger and forearm strength and endurance have the strongest correlation with climbing performance. As a result, you will notice the biggest improvement in grip strength.
How long should a bouldering session last?
In the case of high-intensity bouldering, a robust session should last between 60 and 90 minutes. An intensity-level-appropriate 2-hour session is best for a more moderate approach.
How can I climb better outdoors?
To know, how to climb better outside check out this video.