Teach Your Kids Climbing Gym Etiquette

Teach Your Kids Climbing Gym Etiquette

Climbing has its own culture with its own lingo and etiquette. One day we can talk about lingo, but today, let’s talk about etiquette. Here’s a list of things to help you remind your kids:

  • Sharing is caring: If the gym is crowded, give a climb one try, and then if you fall, step aside and give others, who might be waiting, a chance before you go again.

  • No cuts, no buts, no coconuts: Look to see if anyone is about to get on a climb (tell tale signs: chalking up, wiping shoe soles, shaking out hands, walking towards the climb…). Kids have a tendency to cut because they don’t notice other people about to do a climb.

  • If you brush it, crush it: Climbing holds get dirty and sometimes that makes it harder to hold on. If someone just brushed a bunch of holds, let them take the first turn to try and finish that climb. If they’re fine with you going first, cool, but always defer.

  • Don’t spray: In climbing, you’ll often have people yelling suggestions from the ground. “Move your right leg up!” “Try a heel hook!” “Just stand up!” Giving suggestions from the ground is called “spray”. Don’t do it. Let the climber enjoy the challenge of figuring it out. It’s fine to share if they ask for help, though.

  • Just be respectful: I know. Kind of vague. But adult climbers both love and hate the little groms in the gym. Let them be hated for their incredible soul-crushing climbing prowess, not their rude behavior.

  • Have fun: Seriously. Climbing is supposed to be fun. Help keep it that way.


What’d I miss? Feel free to add more thoughts in the comments below.

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