Looking for a new hobby or a sport to hone this new year? Or tired of the usual HIIT or cardio workouts at the gym? Then you should give rock climbing a shot! I believe that this outdoor sport is becoming really popular judging by the number of rock climbing enthusiasts who gathered at Climb Central to scale up the wall.
Scale to a greater height at Climb Central
Climb Central is an indoor sport climbing facility which is located at Kallang Wave Mall. It has the tallest indoor rock face in Singapore!
The moment you walk into the mall, you will see these towering structures studded with colourful boulders. Whenever I pass by these tall boulder walls, I always tell myself that I have to try rock climbing someday. But I actually did not get to it until recently, when I was invited over by Singapore Sports Hub to try out their new Flex Altitude Classes. Through this curated class, I am to learn the fundamentals of rock climbing over a course of 2 sessions with each session lasting for 2 hours.
Flex Altitude Classes
However, I was only able to attend the first session. And that particular session was great as we were introduced to the various rock climbing facilities at Climb Central. In addition, we also get to do a few climbs with close guidance from our rock climbing instructors. Throughout the session, they were very patient towards us (since the two of us were absolute beginners). Most importantly, I felt safe while scaling up the walls. Overall, it was a pleasant and inspiring experience for both of us.
So what have we tried so far?
Before I begin to talk about the class, I would like to share with you some information about Climb Central if you are here for the first time.
Things to take note of
You will need to rent their climb equipment like climbing shoes and harnesses. Hence, all you will need is just to bring a pair of socks and be in your sports attire. There are changing rooms, washrooms and lockers available there. There are also shelves for you to store away your footwear or bags if the lockers are full.
If it is your first time trying rock climbing, you can join their introductory classes or the upcoming Flex Altitude class happening in May. You may visit their website ( https://www.sportshub.com.sg/FlexRev ) for more information.
This place is very crowded on weekends. It can feel somewhat cram scaling the wall with many others climbing right beside you. But then again, being with the crowd may also make you feel somewhat safer, knowing that there are others there whom you can call out for help. Also, you can easily chat up with the other climbers standing next to you. And there you go, another rock climbing khaki in your list of sporty friends.
What we did?
So before we head over to the walls to climb, we first had to get us climbing shoes of the right shoe size. They used this shoe size chart to help us measure the size of our feet.
Next, we were taught on how to put on the safety harness. It is easy to put on. You just need to make sure to secure the harness tightly to your body.
The Auto-Belay System
Climb Central had these auto-belay systems where you do not require a belayer to exert tension on the climbing rope or loosen the rope. That essentially means that you can do rock climbing on your own, safely, without having anyone to assist you. With this auto-belay system, you automatically get pulled right up and when you want to lower yourself down the wall, you just stretch out your legs in a sitting position and let go.
For me, I couldn’t bring myself to trust the auto-belaying rope system. Thus, I was so afraid of letting go. Life lesson: let it go, you’ll be fine.
Sam managed to scale all the way up to the top! Though I did not manage to reach the top, I was proud of myself for being able to reach the mid-point. To me, it is an achievement.
Next, we also tried the manual belayer system where you will need at least one belayer to pull and loosen the rope. I actually felt safer with this form of belaying as I can feel the tension in the rope. And knowing that I’ve got friends looking out for me, I felt more secure.
Some of the boulder paths are difficult while some are easy. You will just need to pick the right boulder and grip firmly onto it. Just keep looking up!
Bouldering is another form of rock climbing which does not require the use of a harness. I find bouldering way much easier than rock climbing (with harness) as the rock wall are not very high. It can be somewhat challenging too. If you are new to rock climbing, you might like to try bouldering first.
Overall, we both really enjoyed our first Flex Altitude session at Climb Central. It was tiring but fun! Our muscles were all aching the next day. But nonetheless, it was a good strength workout even though we did not really sweat much.
Check out Singapore Sports Hub website for more details on Flex Revolution classes or visit https://www.sportshub.com.sg/FlexRev