Very cool! I want to welcome you to the sport! I know it can sometimes be kind of daunting to get into a new sport.
I want to assure you that new climbers are always welcome to the sport so don’t be scared to jump on some ropes and have fun!
The question is where do you start? That is where I can help! Here are some things you can do to get started on some rock!
1. Find a local rock climbing gym and sign up for a class. Many larger rec centers like the YMCA or college and university rec centers have rock walls. Otherwise, a lot of places have smaller gyms dedicated to rock climbing, and all of these types of gyms have employees ready to teach new climbers the rules of the ropes and tricks of the trade. It can be a little bit expensive, but it will give you a place to start and get a foot in the door.
2. Whether or not you take a class, find people who either already climb or want to learn how because it helps to have a buddy to get in to the sport with. It’s also helpful to have people who can take you out climbing and show you the ropes–no pun intended. Many types of climbing require a buddy so it’s cool to establish those relationships early on.
3. Don’t be shy. Yeah, it can be intimidating and you might be self conscious and nervous when you are starting out but remember you aren’t the only one who is new to the sport. Try talking to people and make some friends. Don’t be shy about messing up or doing something goofy because that’s all part of the fun and it happens to even the best climbers.
4. Don’t get discouraged! At first climbing is really not very easy. Maybe for guys it’s different simply because they can use more arm strength, but despite that, the process of figuring it all out can be awkward and disappointing. Don’t let that get you down. After a few trips to the gym you’ll start to figure out what works for you and you’ll start to build strength that will make the process much easier. I promise! Keep at it and it will be so fun!
5. If you start to feel like you are really enjoying this new sport, get yourself a pair of shoes! You can get used shoes for climbing but really this is the only climbing gear that is OK to buy used. You want a snug fit. I like to climb without any socks. It sounds gross but it helps me feel the rock and have better control of my footwork. I also recommend a laced shoe to start with since they tend to be more well rounded in terms of the types of climbing they are intended for.
6. Have fun and let me know how it goes!