Indoor Rock Climbing :: Why Your Kids Should Give It a Try

Indoor Rock Climbing :: Why Your Kids Should Give It a Try

How much does the average Louisiana resident know about climbing, as in rock climbing? Considering that our state is pretty flat, it is fair that we might not know or hear much about this sport until recent times. However,benefits of climbing for kids indoor rock climbing is a sport that all of us should learn about, whether as adults for ourselves, as parents for our children, or as a family. I say this because climbing is a sport that truly has a place for everyone of all ages.   

Climbing is growing in popularity throughout the world. The sport had its debut as an Olympic sport in Tokyo, and climbing will be part of the Paris Olympics as well. Climbing is slowly but surely making a strong step towards gaining a permanent spot in the Summer Olympics. Some of us might even have seen some of the recent fantastical documentaries about professional competitive climbing for kidsclimbers that are accomplishing summits that were previously thought impossible. Most of these professional climbers started out as youth climbers, chalking up in a climbing gym and challenging themselves on a climbing wall. There is this wonderful world of climbing that many of us parents in Louisiana didn’t even know existed or realize was appropriate and welcome for our kids. The good news is that now we have another option for kids to try out in our efforts to teach them about the importance of physical health, being part of a community, and being part of a team.

Various Type of Climbing

There are three main types of climbing. The type of climbing that you enjoy comes down to a personal preference, although in some cases it may also simply be what you have access to. We clearly don’t have a ton of mountains in Louisiana, so in some ways we are limited but it doesn’t meanbest climbing gyms in New Orleans that you can’t enjoy and try the sport of climbing! Most people are primarily familiar with the type of climbing that uses harnesses and ropes. Sport/lead, top-rope and auto-belays are forms of one type of climbing. Another type of climbing is referred to as speed climbing, which has climbers that are harnessed in and they quite literally run up the walls using the holds.Finally, there is a third type of climbing called bouldering. Bouldering does not use harnesses or ropes; instead, this type of climbing focuses on routes that require only a few moves with walls that don’t go past around 15 feet high, with a mat at the bottom. This sounds much scarier than it is. Before you go bouldering, or climbing in general, you first learn how to fall properly.

Learning how to fall is the main safety tool for bouldering, but with most falls you land on your feet, especially when you first start climbing. It sounds more intimidating than it is, I promise!

Here in New Orleans, you really only have one option for climbing as we only have one climbing gym, New Orleans Boulder Lounge, and as the name suggests, it’s only focused on bouldering. You will not see harnesses or ropes at this New Orleans climbing gym. In Louisiana, we unfortunately don’t have a lot of climbing gyms – yet. But as the popularity of the sport grows, so do the options. If you ever want to venture outside of the city, Louisiana now has a gym in Baton Rouge, Uptown Climbing. Other options include Southern Stone indoor climbing in Lafayette, 318 Climb in Shreveport and Risen Rock Climbing in Bossier City. While New Orleans Boulder Lounge only offers bouldering, all of these other gyms offer three types of climbing.  

The Benefits of Climbing

Climbing is harder than it looks to most, and yet kids seem to flourish on their first try at the sport. In fact, I’ve witnessed little girls outperform strong and heavily muscled men. Strength is an important part of climbing, but there’s also flexibility, endurance, agility and – equally important – a really good ability to problem solve. The type of physical strength achieved from becoming a climber is similar to what you’d see in gymnasts and ninja warriors.  

When you go to a climbing gym, one thing you’ll notice is that the holds on the wall are put up in a specific route. There is a starting position and a finishing position and to properly complete that route, you can only use the where to climb in New Orleansholds that are part of that route (as well as smearing on the wall itself, but that’s an Easter egg of knowledge to discover when you go to a gym in person). It’s not like going to an adventure park where there’s a wall with holds thrown up and there’s no real challenge other than to hold onto them and climb. Climbing gyms provide specific routes meant to push athletes in the sport. Problem solving is a big part of the challenge, and it’s particularly neat to see young children determine the best way to conquer the path!

There’s all degrees of ways to enjoy climbing. You can participate in the sport as a family and climb together. If your kids fall in love with it, then they could join a climbing team. And, even on the team, you can allow them to become part of USA climbing and discover a whole new world of competitive sports and the community that welcomes them. If competitive sports aren’t their thing, children (or, of course, adults) can simply learnwhere to rock climb in Louisiana more about climbing and develop not just their abilities in climbing but also develop their health in ways that most other sports aren’t able to provide. The final bonus of climbing is that while it is a fantastic youth sport, kids are able to grow up and continue climbing with ease. It’s not a sport that you age out of, which is all the more reason to start today!

In summary, the reasons I’d encourage all families to try climbing are ::

  • it’s never too late to try!
  • it provides incredible exercise and develops strength
  • it’s mentally challenging, almost like a puzzle to solve with each climb
  • the whole family can enjoy it together
  • no experience is necessary; everyone starts somewhere
  • the climbing community is welcoming and inclusive
  • it’s just plain fun!


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