SPORTS & RECREATION — BY 88DB KNOWLEDGE ON NOVEMBER 27, 2012 3:43 PM
A rock climber can never get to the top of the wall without gear or equipment. They either assist the user in the climb or provide a safety net for him or her. Here is an introduction to what you need if you’re thinking of persuing this sport:
Rock climbing shoes
This is essential to the climber as it provides enough traction to grip rock surfaces when climbing. The type of shoes will depend on two factors: what type of climb it is and what kind of rock wall you are climbing. When purchasing shoes, always research beforehand or consult the sales person get the right pair for your needs.
These are used to ensure the safety of climbers. Manufacturers nowadays are constantly improving the design of their repelling and belaying equipment to increase the security of devices. Always make sure you have this handy and never scrimp on cheap ones! It’s often the difference between life and death.
Ropes are another form of equipment that is used for safety. It helps protect climbers from falling. Only use those that have been tested to meet the standards of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA). Never compromise on the quality of the ropes, just like the belay devices.
A harness attaches the climber to the climbing ropes. It is sometimes known as a diaper sling because it is worn just like a diaper. Make sure you get one that is comfortable and sturdy.
Made of fiberglass, silica sand and epoxy, climbing holds are available for different purposes such as handles, slopes, side pulls, edges, jugs, jibs and crimpers. So ensure you get the right type for your climb.
Similar to gymnastic mats, crash pads are used as a protection from falling. Some are produced with features like hiking shoulder straps and pockets. These come in handy in cushioning slips and falls.
Chalk absorbs moisture from sweaty palms and provides the friction needed for a climber to ascend the wall. The bag is strapped around the climber’s waist near the rear for easy access during the climb.
As always, head protection is important. When climbing, loose rocks and other debris may give way and fall on you. Protect your head with a climbing helmet as even the smallest rock can cause an injury. Your eyes should also be protected by goggles or sports sunglasses as getting dust or sand in your eyes can prove not just irritating, but dangerous.