What Are Climbing Holds Made Of

Updated Sep 5, 2023

Climbing holds are vital for climbing walls and bouldering routes. They come in many varieties and are crafted from different materials. The material used affects grip, durability, and realism.

Polyurethane (PU) is a popular material for making holds. It offers a good grip and is durable, so it works for indoors and outdoors. PU holds can be formed into any shape and size, giving climbers a range of challenges.

Wooden holds are liked by some climbers. They give a natural feel and texture. These are usually made from strong hardwoods like oak or maple. However, they need more maintenance than other materials.

Polyester (PE) resin is used for making holds too. They are affordable and can be made into any shape and size. They may not have the same grip as PU holds, but they are still good enough.

Placing the holds correctly is important. They should be at different angles and distances. This creates tough routes for different skill levels. Mixing different types of holds like crimps, jugs, edges, and slopers adds more fun.

What are climbing holds?

Climbing holds come in many different forms and materials, offering varying levels of difficulty and challenge. Polyurethane (PU) holds are the most common, providing good durability and grip. Wooden holds often create a more natural aesthetic, while polyester resin (PE) holds are cheaper and easier to mold. Plus, commercial and homemade holds can both be used.

The size, shape, angle, and grip of the hold all affect the challenge it presents. Smaller, angled edges require more finger strength and precision, while larger sloping holds may be easier to hold onto but require more body strength.

Installing holds correctly is also essential for their longevity and safety. Bolts or screws must be securely attached to the climbing wall, and some routes may even require drilling holes into the wall. Fun fact: Manufacturers often sand down the surface of new PU holds to make them rougher and improve grip.

Types of climbing holds

Polyurethane (PU) holds are the most popular, due to their durability and great grip. Polyester (PE) holds also offer a good grip and are often seen in climbing gyms. Wood holds feel more realistic but require maintenance for a longer lifespan.

It’s important to remember that different holds have varying angles, sizes, and edges. Smaller, sharper edges are more challenging – larger holds offer better grip.

Pro Tip: Use sandpaper to lightly sand the holds for more texture and better friction! Get a grip on the materials used for climbing holds – polyester resin is the sure way to get your adrenaline fix!

Materials used for climbing holds

Climbers have 3 main materials for holds:

  1. Polyurethane (PU): the most popular due to its durability and ability to create realistic holds.
  2. Polyester resin (PE): less expensive and has many grip options.
  3. Wood: offers a natural feel and can be shaped for diverse routes.

Real rock holds are also an option but may not be as durable. To maximize hold life, sand rough edges and install securely.

When picking holds, think of it like choosing a buddy – compatibility, durability, and a personality that won’t let you down!

Factors to consider when choosing climbing holds

When it comes to selecting the right climbing holds, there are some key considerations. It’s important to think about material, shape, size, and maintenance.

Material: Polyurethane (PU), polyester resin (PE), and wood are common materials. Each has its own grip, durability, and texture.

Shape & Size: Slopers, crimps, jugs, and pinches are all shapes of holds. Their size matters too – bigger ones are better for beginners, smaller ones are more difficult.

Installation & Maintenance: Drilling, screws, and bolts can all be used to install holds. Inspecting and repairing regularly is essential for safety.

It’s also important to take into account your skill level and route preferences. Then you’ll be able to pick the best holds for your adventure. Get ready to conquer new heights – with the right holds, your performance and enjoyment will be enhanced. So don’t hesitate – grab those holds and get climbing!

How to install climbing holds

  1. Location: Pick a suitable spot on your wall where you want to place them. Consider the difficulty level and spacing of each hold.
  2. Prep the holds: Check for defects or damages and remove debris.
  3. Secure with nuts and bolts: Put bolts through each hold and the wall. Use nuts to tighten them, but don’t over-tighten.

Safety is key! For guidance, consult professionals or experienced climbers.

Holds are made of materials like PU, PE, or wood. Each has its own grip, durability, and cost-effectiveness. PU is used in gyms due to its grip and durability. Wooden holds provide a natural feel but need sanding to keep their texture.

When choosing holds, consider size, shape, edge type, and angle to create routes of different levels. Follow install steps carefully for an engaging and realistic experience.

Maintaining climbing holds

Regular inspection: Check cracks, wear, or damage for each hold. Replace any degraded ones.

Cleaning: Remove chalk and dirt with a brush and mild soap. Scrub gently.

Smoothing rough edges: Use sandpaper to smooth out rough areas. Avoid injuries.

Retightening bolts: All bolts must be tightly secured. Loose bolts may cause accidents.

Rotation & rearrangement: Rotate and rearrange holds to spread wear and prolong their life.

Different materials: Use polyurethane, polyester resin, or wood for climbing holds. Each material requires unique maintenance.

Maintain your climbing holds to ensure safety while enjoying your passion. Remember, gravity will always be there.


Climbing holds are crucial components in rock climbing and the material they are made of is key. Polyurethane (PU) and polyester resin (PE) are the two main materials used to make them. PU offers excellent grip, is durable and can be molded into various shapes. PE is strong and rigid, making it suitable for precision-demanding routes. Wooden holds provide a unique challenge as they mimic real rock, but come at a higher price.

When installing holds, factors such as angle, hole placement and curing time should be considered. Drill holes must be precise for a secure fit, with the angle affecting the difficulty level of the route.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: What are climbing holds made of?

Climbing holds can be made from various materials, but the most common ones are polyurethane (PU) and polyester resin (PE). Wood is also used for wooden climbing holds.

FAQ 2: What are the advantages of using polyurethane holds?

Polyurethane holds are popular due to their excellent grip and durability. They can be molded into various shapes and sizes, providing climbers with a wide range of challenging routes.

FAQ 3: Are wooden holds suitable for climbing walls?

Yes, wooden holds can be used on climbing walls. They offer a unique texture and a different feel compared to synthetic holds, providing climbers with diverse climbing experiences.

FAQ 4: How are climbing holds installed on a wall?

Climbing holds are typically attached to a climbing wall using bolts and t-nuts. These holds are designed with pre-drilled holes that align with the t-nuts and can be easily secured in place using a wrench or screwdriver.

FAQ 5: How can I improve the grip on my climbing holds?

If your holds have become smooth and less grippy over time, you can use sandpaper to roughen the surface. Sanding the holds lightly will restore the texture and improve grip, making your climbing experience more enjoyable.

FAQ 6: Where can I purchase climbing holds for my own climbing gym or home wall?

There are several online stores and specialty climbing retailers where you can purchase climbing holds. You can choose from a wide selection of designs, sizes, and materials to suit your specific needs and preferences.

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About the Author

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, climbing, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while.

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley


Know Nothing Nomads

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