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Any climber with some knowledge on the indoor climbing history knows the tail of the famous Sheffield School Room. It was originally founded in the 90's and it became the place to "train hard" for some of Britains best climbers such as Ben Moon, Jerry Moffat, Stuart Cameron... This room was so hardcore, a lot of the climbs performed on these wooden walls remained unrepeated for years.
School Room Sheffield
Ben Moon took this concept of the School Room and transformed it into something replicable and universal. In 2005 he developed what we now see in every indoor gym, so many private homes and public places, the MOONBOARD. It is set at 40° and has a specially and fixed set of holds so that no matter where you are on this planet, when you encounter a Moonboard you can train the same way as someone thousands of miles away, compare progress and set fun challenges for each other.
"The MoonBoard is a standardised interactive training wall that connects a global community of climbers through shared problems and competitive performance rankings."
Our experience with the Moonboard at CCS
Over the past few months we have been regularly training on our Moonboard in the shop and have been able to witness some nice results. First of all we have to say that moonboarding is not for everyone, you should not train on this board unless you reached a certain level in climbing / bouldering otherwise the risk of injury is way to high. The enormous pressure and forces that apply to the muscles and tendons when performing these power moves need to be respected! We would recommend training on the moonboard once a solid FB 6b/6c level is established.
That being said, time to train hard. Since January we had a minimum of 1 Moonboard session a week, started by ticking off the easier problems starting at 6a (even though they feel tougher) and progressed through the list. We had sessions when we were stuck on a problem for hours, kept trying and maybe only managed to top it the week after or even several weeks after. It is really fun and easy to track your progress on this board and also compete with locals. The "ranking" section in the app allows to log your completed problems, gives you points and a national/international ranking. Another positive aspect we think is important to note is that when we were training on this board together each week, it was people from different levels, and yet it was fun for everyone and we all made progress. Truly a universal training tool!!
Rules for MoonBoard problems (From www.moonboard.com)
• All problems start two handed. If there is only one start hold you must start with matched hands.
• All problems start with both hands on the designated start hold or holds and finish on the designated finish hold or holds.
• The rules for which footholds are allowed are indicated in the problem details in the MoonBoard App. There are 4 possible options. 1) Feet follow hands. 2) Feet follow hands + Screw-on footholds. 3) Screw-ons only 4) Footless (kick-board footholds are allowed for the start.
• All kickboard footholds are allowed.
• All kick-board footholds are place slopey side facing up.
• All start holds must be on row 6 or lower.
• All problems finish on the top row of the MoonBoard either matched if there is only one finish hold or on separate holds if there are two finish holds. You must hold the finishing hold or holds in control for 2 seconds.
• You are permitted to use any part of the numbered hold.
• Matching and heel hooking is permitted.
• The grading system is either Font or V grades. You can change this in the App settings.