Nine times out of ten if someone asks how they can make their home climbing wall better the answer is “volumes.” The other one time out of ten is “steeper,” but we’ll cover that later. Just this past weekend I completed my third home climbing wall and after the first steep section was up I immediately realized that a lot of my favorite holds that performed great at 0-30 degree angles, now at 40-60 degree angles had similar grip potential to that wet watermelon seed you were trying to pick up off the floor at grandma’s house. A quick message to this wall builder, whose worth-your-time-checking-out wall I covered here, and I learned that every good wall deserves a volume. He was right that this would fix my hold-problem and it also enhanced the wall in a bunch of other ways.
Why you should build volumes for your home climbing wall
- They become massive, challenging holds in themselves, with or without texture and with or without holds on them. Try buying a hold this big: $$$. Try making one: probably free.
- They are the easiest way to add variety and interest to a flat wall. With little effort you get a completely new experience that could only be rivaled by a difficult wall remodel.
- They add multiple new climbing surfaces to your wall and all at different angles. This means your favorite sloper that is practically useless on your wall’s steep section or even roof, now becomes a doable challenge on one of the faces of an added volume.
- They are a great use of home climbing wall lumber scraps and make your wall look pro.
While building my latest home wall I took a stab at building a volume and filmed the video below. As volumes go it is fairly basic, but I thought worth sharing because this design takes no time at all, requires only basic carpentry skills, only uses 90 and 45 degree cuts, and I didn’t even touch a tape measure during the process. If you have built volumes before, you’ll probably want to pass, but if you are working on your first, please check it out.
Seasoned pros, share your tips in the comments below, paste a link to your own vid or pic to help others. Also, special thanks to this guy, Brian, who shared this climbing wall volume image gallery of some simple volume builds that don’t take a lot of time or complex cuts.