Friday, April 27, 2012

Smooth Moves With The Gentleman: Advice For The New Climber

After a long hiatus that I can only assume is due to an overwhelming need to focus on ignoring any semblance of good footwork, The Gentleman has returned to the fray.  This time, instead of dating advice we're blessed with a staggering amount of premium advice for the budding climber.  I encourage everyone reading this to add their own advice in the comments in the hope that this will turn into the seminal piece of writing on the subject and a must read for any and all new climbers. 

So grab your coffee, a bit of bourbon and a fine Swiss chocolate to make sure you can thoroughly enjoy this edition of Smooth Moves With The Gentleman.

A Few Words from the Gentleman…

As mother nature decided to skip spring this year and jump straight into a hot sweaty summer, I’ve been climbing in the gym lately. I’ve noticed a lot of new people. And by a lot, I mean, a “what the F- happened why are so many people here” amount of new people.  Money. Yeah!  Great news for Boulders, actual, paper monies, that they can fold and put into their wallets… or to buy new toilets with fancy buttons to push.  This does lead to one thing, new people doing new people things which can be generally terrible for everyone that’s not a new climber.

Everyone starts somewhere, me, I started in a Chinese monastery where I was trained to kill with my bare hands (or in Wausau, whatever you want to believe). Being the naturally-helpful person that I am I would like to charitably offer some advice…

This comes first. Nothing is more important.  Ever. Before you even think about climbing, think about how awesome you’ll look while climbing.  Some people think less is more. I agree. Yes, spandex Victoria Secret boy shorts are both comfortable to wear and provide maximum range of motion… unless you’re a dude, then no.  If you’re more of loud wacky unique rebel kind of person, may I recommend cheetah print pajama pants? Comfy? Check. Loud? Check. Stretchy? Check.  How can you go wrong with Cheetah print or leopard print or maybe tiger stripe??? That’s a trick question. You can’t.  Also gloves make sense, right? I mean, you want that extra grippi-ness while still looking like a bada—weight lifter.  I definitely recommend fingerless gloves, you know, like the kind Patrick Swayze wore in the 80s… God I miss Swayze.  

Mesh tee-shirt you say?  How about I one up you and go right over the top?  MESH-HALF-JERSEY. Show off the peck and the abs, bro. 

This is a gym, Boulders Climbing Gym, see says it in the name. You’re here to exercise and people will be standing near you and probably looking at you and definitely judging you. I recommend perfume (for guys and girls) and lots of it. Smell pretty climb pretty we always say.  And if you don’t we have bathrooms so I’d say just go bird bath it in the bathroom.  

Speaking of bathrooms, did I mention the magic push button toilet of the future? Yeah, that’s right it’s the Toilet of the Future. Just try and break. Maybe go eat some blazing wings and unload that fiery, vengeful wrath of god pouring out your bottom into our new porcelain spaceship. We’re all rooting for you. P.S. Feel free not to wash your hands before returning to climbing. 

Is everything… well, everything that your outfit doesn’t let people already know, which is that you’re a Baller (capital B). Look, just act like you know everything and it’ll be all good. I recommend doing whatever you think is awesome.  You know what’s awesome? Hand stands. Lots of handstands.  Word on the street is that weird stretching is also pretty hot right now, like yoga style, got to make sure that groin stays loose, am-i-rite?  So downward dog it up. Where ever is good. 

Also, people love hearing your opinion on things so I would suggest telling it to them whenever possible. Especially the staff. So here’s the plan, find someone and just un-load.  Whatever is on your mind. 

Climbing is all about skillz. Gotta have’em.  Sweet skills like no feet skills, or bare foot skills or upside down skills, or run up and jump to a hold skills. These are important. Work on them.  Upside down barefoot skills are probably the most useful thing in climbing. I know I need to get better at them. Some people argue with me about this. They’re stupid.  

Something new I’m working on is my no hands skillz. Because if you’re good without your hands, image how good you’ll climb with your hands. I know, right? Makes sense. It’s cause I’m smart. 

Bring it all together, into one tight, awesome package, some would say the “total package”. Be the total package. 

Yours truly, 

The Gentleman.


  1. 'Also, people love hearing your opinion on things so I would suggest telling it to them whenever possible.' laughed out load at this one.

  2. It is also important for new climbers to realize that no one will know that you are trying hard unless you yell with reckless abandon on every move. If you are looking hot with your leather gloves and mesh top, seal the deal by letting people hear your awesomeness folks.

  3. When in doubt find a girl. Follow girl around. Try every problem girl is trying. Girl can do it. Boy can do it better.

  4. And, if you indeed do it better, there is a really good chance that said girl will want to go on a date with you. This works 9.5 out of 10 times.

  5. I dunno, I follow Katie around on her warmup circuit so I can get the beta for my new projects. No joke. C$

    PS. More smooth moves!!!!

  6. The more Smooth Moves I get the more I'll post!!! In fact I may have one forgotten away in the email archives. I'll check.


  7. others that I can find unfortunately.

  8. New climbers should also keep between 4-12 quick draws, and 3-5 belay devices on their harnesses at all times. That way people know that they go outside. You know, like to The Red and stuff.

  9. This was funny shit! One thing that I really liked about Adventure Rock was the belay certified tag you could put on your harness. It was really cool when folks showed up with those at the crag so I knew who I could trust for a belay. Boulders should get some of those; they would be a great addition to mesh tops, fingerless gloves and rebel yells!
    M. Lohre

  10. If you have kids you should really bring them along, even if they have no interest in climbing. It's basically daycare and they'll have so much fun running underneath the bouldering and jumping on the mats. (great post btw)

  11. I personally would not like to see the Belay tags on at the crag (nor ever at boulders!), but I would like to see "Top rope set up certified" tags at the lake...that shit is crazy.

  12. Don't forget to boulder in your harness with your new set of cams hanging so people know you are "top rope set up certified" at the lake. And don't forget your scrubs.