CWA Blog

Resources for Indoor Climbing Professionals

The Climbing Wall Association's blog is a place for indoor climbing professionals to find useful and relevant information from industry and business experts. Stay on top of best practices, thought leadership, and trends by subscribing to our newsletter!

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Member Spotlight: The Boulder Field

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Member Spotlight: The Boulder Field

California has the most climbing facilities of any state in the US, but new gyms are still finding markets to serve. One prime example is The Boulder Field, a Sacramento gym that opened doors in the spring of 2018. With 10,000 feet of bouldering terrain and walls up to 14 feet high, The Boulder... Continue Reading

07/9/2019


Shifting the Indoor Climbing Industry from Dirtbag to Professional

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Shifting the Indoor Climbing Industry from Dirtbag to Professional

Climbers fall into a unique lifestyle sport category where the identity is connected to the need to climb, often. Urban Dictionary defines dirtbag as “a person who is committed to a given (usually extreme) lifestyle to the point of abandoning employment and other societal norms in order to... Continue Reading

06/24/2019


Chalk Dust: Mitigation & Source Control

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Chalk Dust: Mitigation & Source Control

Dealing with chalk dust is something that climbing gyms are entirely too familiar with; everywhere there are climbers, there’s chalk. Most gyms implement chalk mitigation strategies, whether it’s a never-ending cleaning and vacuuming circuit, installing a chalk eater, or a state of... Continue Reading

06/10/2019


Indoor Climbing Programs for Boomers, Part II - Tips for Boomer Instruction

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Indoor Climbing Programs for Boomers, Part II - Tips for Boomer Instruction

Part I of this series explained the business case for adding programming for Boomers to your climbing gym, and once you’ve decided to take that step, how to market and message that program. Now, it’s time to think through the considerations unique to working with this age... Continue Reading

05/21/2019


6 Ways to Retain Your Members

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6 Ways to Retain Your Members

You’ve gotten new members in the door, and now there’s a new challenge: keeping them engaged so they become loyal, long-term members. Conventional fitness clubs track their membership trends closely – it’s well-established that membership spikes significantly right after... Continue Reading

05/6/2019


An Opportunity to Lead in Indoor Climbing Sustainability: B Corp Certification

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An Opportunity to Lead in Indoor Climbing Sustainability: B Corp Certification

B Corps and the New Responsible Business Story The story of business is changing. And that story is being reframed to value people and planet as much as profit. People across the world are demanding business be more responsible and make a positive impact on the world. I work for B Lab, the... Continue Reading

05/6/2019


Focus on Workplace Safety – Eye Protection for Workers in Climbing Facilities

CWA Blog

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Focus on Workplace Safety – Eye Protection for Workers in Climbing Facilities

Despite how the muscles in your forearms might feel while climbing, the muscles that control our eyes are the most active in the human body. Likewise, our eyes, part of our nervous system, are one of our most complex organs, second only to the brain. Even though only 1/6 of our eye is exposed to... Continue Reading

04/23/2019


Indoor Climbing Programs for Boomers, Part I - The Boomer Opportunity

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Indoor Climbing Programs for Boomers, Part I - The Boomer Opportunity

My Story I’m just a flatlander Iowan, but I believe the information and lessons I’ve learned as the instructor for Climb Iowa’s Boomer Climbers Movement Class could be valuable for your climbing gym operation. Ten years ago, at age 63, I walked into an REI flagship store with my... Continue Reading

04/19/2019


The Keys to Cultural Leadership

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The Keys to Cultural Leadership

While there are many definitions of leadership, I recently came across one that I thought stood out from the rest. Leadership expert, Warren Bennis, explains, "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." Accordingly, a company has a vision that it wants to execute; the leader is... Continue Reading

04/8/2019


Building Your Team's Performance and Cooperation With Some Simple Activities

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Building Your Team's Performance and Cooperation With Some Simple Activities

Posted By Bix Firer and Pat Brehm, Monday, April 8, 2019 Establishing buy-in and cooperation from the young climbers in a climbing program must go beyond simply establishing a set of rules and reactively enforcing them. Rather, it is important that the structure of the program is... Continue Reading

04/8/2019


Streamlining Development in Indoor Climbing Gyms

CWA Blog

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Streamlining Development in Indoor Climbing Gyms

Developing is “growing or becoming more mature, advanced or elaborate,” according to Google dictionary. You, your company, and the climbing industry as a whole are all developing all the time, but are you getting the most out of your development process? This article will introduce a... Continue Reading

03/26/2019


One Small Step (or how a close call changed my routesetting life)

CWA Blog

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One Small Step (or how a close call changed my routesetting life)

When I started climbing about 28 years ago, there were no climbing gyms around, so our dad built us our own little steep woody where my love for routesetting and climbing holds was born. Today I’m a routesetting nerd, a gear freak, and a hold-aficionado. I’m passionate about every... Continue Reading

03/24/2019