Once upon a time, golf was the new golf. Golf clubs resting in garages until the sunny weekend beckoned you outdoors for a cruisy Sunday in the sun, finishing up with a lager and nibbles at the club. Then it was road cycling. More and more people were getting up early to wriggle into their Lycra and bike 50kms to brunch with their friends and predict which way the wind was blowing and how hard it would be to get back home. But what about now?
Well now things are getting interesting! Now it is climbing. On the weekends and after work people take their climbing shoes out of their bags and head down to the local climbing wall, send it, then have a pale ale and a pizza with their mates.
It wasn’t so long ago that people thought climbers were slightly crazy #vanlife hippies and that if they didn’t want to live in a van, then climbing wasn’t for them. Movies like Free Solo and The Dawn Wall definitely showcased that slightly mad lifestyle, but everyone saw the climbing and just how awesome it is. Now climbing has come to the Olympics; what once seemed a fringe and radical sport is a more accessible adventure that anyone can do, what ever your skill level... there is some type of climbing for you.
Climbing is awesome for its flexibility; you can commit to going away and climbing hard for a week in the middle of nowhere, or you can cruise down to the local wall with just some shoes and chalk for a cheeky hour bouldering session after work or you can do anything in between. It can be social, or it can be an epic training regime; an excuse to meet up for beers with mates or a work crew bonding exercise. It’s rewarding and will fit to your schedule. You’ll love it, I promise.
Hire some shoes and a harness the first time you go, then slowly get the kit you need. A pair of rock-shoes and a chalk bag are small enough and light enough you can take them anywhere, even the golf green. Who knows, there might be a hidden gem of a rock to climb. Once you are keen, gear heads are well taken care of with plenty of other gear you can invest in, research and banter about with your new climbing buddies.
So, move over golf and move over cycling; we have golf 3.0! It’s more fun, there’s less lycra and it’s so easy to get into. Whether you’re top roping for the first time at the gym, bouldering in the sun or epically sending it, climbing has you covered.
Keen to move to the dark side? These are 5 pieces of climbing gear to get you started.
🧗🏽 Climbing shoes. Essential to sticking to the rock like spider man.
🧗🏽 Chalk. No one likes sweaty palms when you are on the edge of a cliff.
🧗🏽 Chalk bag. A statement about you, your personality, and somewhere to keep the chalk.
🧗🏽 Harness. Once you have committed get one that fits you and your body type, and the type of climbing you aspire to get into.
🧗🏽 Helmet. Once you are in the wilds anything can happen. A head intact is a good head.
Written by Jahna 'Sendy' Miller. Headline pic by Christan Miller. Other pics by Team Further Faster and Nick & Kirsty Photography.