Choosing Climbing Holds for your Wall

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Climbing Holds for Your Climbing Wall

Setting up a climbing wall at home is an exciting endeavor, but selecting the right climbing holds can make all the difference in creating a fun and challenging climbing experience. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this comprehensive guide, I'll walk you through some things to consider when choosing climbing holds for your wall, ensuring you create a setup that suits your skill level, preferences, and climbing goals.

How to Choose, Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Understanding Climbing Hold Types

Climbing holds come in various shapes, sizes, and textures, each serving a specific purpose in route-setting and training. Here are the primary types of climbing holds you'll encounter:

  1. Jugs: Large, positive holds ideal for beginners and warm-ups.
  2. Edges: Small to medium-sized holds with defined edges for finger strength training.
  3. Slopers: Smooth, rounded holds that challenge balance and body positioning.
  4. Pockets: Indentations in the hold where fingers can grip, ranging from shallow to deep.
  5. Pinches: Holds that require squeezing with thumb and fingers, great for building pinch strength.
  6. Crimps: Small, sharp edges that test finger strength and precision.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Holds

1. Skill Level

  • Beginners should start with larger, more positive holds, while advanced climbers may prefer smaller, more challenging holds.

2. Wall Angle

3. Quantity

  • Determine how many holds you need based on the size of your wall and the complexity of routes you want to set.

4. Budget

  • Set a budget for your climbing holds and prioritize quality over quantity to ensure durability and safety.

Tips for Choosing Holds

  1. Mix and Match: Create diversity by incorporating different types of holds to challenge climbers with varied movements.
  2. Consider Climber (your mates) Feedback: If setting up a commercial gym, gather feedback from climbers to understand their preferences.
  3. Safety First: Choose holds that are suitable for the intended users' skill levels to minimize the risk of injury.
  4. Plan for Progression: Include holds that allow for progression as climbers improve their skills and strength.


Choosing the right climbing holds is essential for creating a safe, enjoyable, and challenging climbing experience. By considering factors like hold type, texture, and quantity, you can design a climbing wall that accommodates climbers of all skill levels and fosters skill development. Remember, the key is to balance variety and functionality to keep climbers engaged and motivated. Start your climbing hold selection process with confidence using the insights provided in this guide, and embark on a journey to create the perfect climbing wall tailored to your needs and aspirations.

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