Someone recently bitten by the climbing bug might have a wish list filled with nothing but climbing related equipment, gadgets, and reading material. Naturally, we want to nurture our climbers, but what is on the list that they are guaranteed to use? Here are a few pointers when buying for the rock climber in your life.
1. Make sure you absolutely know the size they need. This applies mostly to harnesses and shoes. There is a specific fit intended either for protection or performance. The best way to figure out the size you need is to try on gear until you find the right pieces. This isn’t always easy if you’re surprising someone with a gift. If your climber is looking for shoes or a harness, a gift card is often a better choice. This gives them a chance to try out different sizes before committing.
2. Shoes are a tricky purchase. As we mentioned above, shoes aren’t always the best way to go. But there is more to it than size. Climbing shoes are made in a variety of shapes and not all shapes fit all climbers or their needs. Even within some companies one shoe will fit someone well while another model doesn’t. Also, some climbers need aggressive shoes while others don’t. This is another instance where a gift card is most likely the best option. Giving someone the chance to try on several models will ultimately enhance their climbing experience.
3. Think about their preferences. There are a lot of variations of carabiners, belay devices, harnesses…the list goes on. Knowing some minor details about your climber’s gear preferences could help you find the perfect gift to put underneath the Christmas tree. A chalk bag in their favorite color is a great gift for someone just beginning to climb. People that have a history of climbing will most likely know if they like roped climbing or bouldering. Take notes on the style of climbing they enjoy most and ask the staff at The Crag about gear that would work best them.
4. Everybody trains. There are several tools to help climbers train to achieve their goals. A hang board might be exactly what your climber needs to boost their finger strength outside of the gym. There are a variety of smaller tools to help build strength as well. Also, everyone can benefit from instruction. A private instruction package or guided trip would not only be a great experience, but also keep giving as it would help your climber achieve their goals.