Bouldering looks fun, but approaching the unknown might not be easy. I’ll break down from what bouldering is, what you need to start, and where to go in NYC. Once you get started you are going to wish you started earlier. I’ve been bouldering for about 6 months, 2-3 times a week. It’s a fun way to get exercise, and a great upper body work out. Strength to weight ratio is most important, so when I got into climbing it motivated me to do a lot more cardio to lose weight.
Each color is a different path marked with the difficulty on one of the holds. from v0 being easy as climbing as a ladder, and the hardest ones you’ll find at a common bouldering gym would be v10-12. Most of my friends who tried out for the first time were able flash (complete in first try) V1s and some of my athletic friends would be able to climb a few V3s on their first day. If you are really curious and want more background on where this all started I recommend Valley Uprising 2014, which is available on Netflix too.
All you need is shoes, and some chalk. First few times you should rent your shoes, just to see if you really like it. Once you’re sure it’s your thing, you can get shoes from brands like five-ten, la sportiva, or Scarpa. beginner shoes would cost you from about $50-100. You’re going to need a chalk bag for your chalk to keep your hands dry. I get my chalk, and my chalk bag from friction labs.
If you live in New York, I highly recommend Brooklyn Boulders (BKB). There’s obviously one in Brooklyn, and the second one is in Queens. One membership from either of these locations lets you in to both locations, also in Chicago and Boston. BKB has a wide range of levels, and if you’re looking for a more advanced level gym there’s also options like gp81, but they won’t have a lot of low levels like v1-v3.
Some of my favorite climbers to motivate me are Ashima Shiraishi and Alex Honnald. Ashima is the first female climber to break v15 (who actually trains in BKB now and then), and Alex Honnald was the first to free solo the Yosemite’s El Capitan wall.