Bouldering in Singapore has grown quickly over the years. Heard of or seen those wild, mind-blowing moves where people defy gravity and fly through the air to catch another tile? Welcome to the beautiful, action-packed world of bouldering!
Bouldering is a type of climbing. This type of climbing does not require any ropes or harnesses, just some chalk and of course, a pair of climbing shoes. When you fall, you land on a soft mattress.
Disclaimer: Not all bouldering routes require climbers to be Spiderman. More on that later!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Typically, indoor boulder walls at the rock climbing gyms are no taller than 6 metres in height, so each route is short and can be completed in under a minute, depending on the style and intensity.
The boulder walls can either be flat or inclined at different angles. The smaller the degree (i.e. the lower it bends towards the ground), the tougher the climbs, as routes require a greater amount of core strength to keep you stable on the wall.
Of course, there are also walls that slant inwards, meaning they are more than 90 degrees. These are called slab walls, which are really a whole lotta fun! No arm strength needed, just a fresh mind and some tight core muscles. They just need you to balance well.
The style of bouldering is definitely evolving! Previously, before the discovery of fast-paced, speedy coordination moves so popular today, bouldering routes were less complex and slightly more about power.
That is why you may have heard or seen boulderers who are well-muscled and with broad, sinewy shoulders and arms.
Some say boulder routes are more physically demanding than lead climbing routes because of the dynamism and power they necessitate, but guess what? It is really cool to be able to “fly” and catch, to feel that momentary lift and swoosh (and the crowd secretly gasping behind you…)! The sense of satisfaction upon completing the route is also priceless.
Do we hear alarm bells ringing in your head already? Fear not! Bouldering is not all that scary and insurmountable, and we definitely did not tell you all of that to scare you off. No, no. In fact, the style of bouldering is, as we say, changing. It is always changing! Watch all the different IFSC World Cups for Bouldering within a year, and across different years and you’ll quickly see we’re not lying. (Just search on Youtube IFSC World Cups Bouldering 2017, for instance. You can even search for videos of highlights so you don’t have to watch the full 3-hour videos. But trust us, it gets addictive.)
There are myriad of boulder routes. Some test climbers on their ability to coordinate their hands and feet (hello confused mind and body, but it will pay off), while others put climbers in wobbly places and challenge their balance.
Of course, without the jaw-dropping show brought to you by dynamic moves, bouldering won’t be bouldering. It is the adrenaline, the fast pace of it all, that keeps boulderers coming back for more.