Bouldering is the new running. You need a minimal amount of gear & zero experience which equals low borders of entry, but the results are a lot of fun, getting very fit, and improving your climbing skills a lot. David Flanagan’s Bouldering Essentials helps beginners & pros alike to improve technique and shares a lot of tips & tricks for this wonderful sport.
I’m lucky that my local climbing club has regularly Bouldering Courses, so it was an easy choice to visit it last year. To learn from people who have bouldered for over five years means you get a lot of insights and a good grasp of what bouldering is all about, and the value of someone correcting your mistakes is invaluable. Nevertheless, I have wished I’d had David Flanagan’s Bouldering Essentials book already last year. While a course teaches you a lot, it’s nice to be able to go back a page and read about laybacking again, so you can practice it once more on that problem, and hopefully top out.
The book starts off with an introduction and then explains the basics of bouldering. Two handfuls of pages on equipment and how to stay safe later David dives into movement, which is the section that holds the most value for me. Flagging, undercuts, balance, crimps & heel hooking are all explained, as well as dozens more moves and techniques. Great is that every point is accompanied by a very good photo, often from inspiring locations and great climbers. With the foundations covered, David highlights the differences between indoor & outdoor climbing and what to keep in mind, talks strategy & training, and to top things off he takes you to the top bouldering locations across the globe (minus points for missing Finland!). It’s a well-written book that’s easy to read, and you can see that the author knows what he writes about & has researched the subject in-depth.
No matter if you’re a beginner in the sport, boulder-curious, or a trad/ sport/ ice climber that looks to improve on his technique, anyone will take something useful away from this book. It’s small & compact size means you can take it along outdoors and read up on technique and strategy, while the superb photos that accompany the text illustrate the written words very well. The writing is short and to the point, and never boring. Highly recommended.
You also can Download the free eBook ‘Bouldering for Beginners’ to get a taste and then buy the book =)