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PLANNING FOR THE IMPACT OF CORONA-VIRUS ON OUR GYMS

LOOKING FOR THE POSITIVE IN A GLOBAL CRISIS

As the UK tracks the spread of Coronavirus and the UK government catches up on the restrictions already in force in Europe, it's likely that all UK climbing walls will be closed eventually within a few weeks or even less.

This is the worst event to hit our industry in the history of indoor climbing. So, with loyal employees to think about and the future of our businesses to protect it is a worrying time.

With every cloud, there is a silver lining. Our centres take a lot of wear and tear, open almost a double shift each week it's impossible or really difficult at best to get on top of some of the bigger jobs.

Following on from the pattern across Europe it's clear that when gyms close that other businesses remain open.

The closures are ideal for refurbishment, deep cleans, painting, and even structural alterations, with the public safely locked out we can get the run of our centres to do the jobs that would usually be too big to tackle, even in the summer months.

We have several gyms already stockpiling, not toilet rolls, but on screws, paint, plywood, and tee nuts. Especially on paint. The perfect time frame to strip the walls, clean them, fill all those screw holes, and do a first-class job of refurbishing them and get ready for re-opening.

It might seem terrible now but we will all be re-opening at some point. Speak to your bank early, explain the situation and they will require the usual cash flow forecast of how you plan to repay any additional borrowing you need to secure now. As an industry, we should value our long term staff and look to keep them busy during any shutdown.

For those who can see past the crisis, they will be pleased with their virtually new climbing gym, the one that they never thought they would be refurbishing during a busy 2020.

With the Olympics still on track to happen, we will see a huge increase in the interest in climbing that the Tokyo 2020 event will generate.

This will see an increase in the number of expansions and new projects in late 2020 and into 2021.

Here at Serious Climbing Distribution our team comprises gym owners, wall builders, and hold producers, and we have an industry-wide view of the indoor climbing world. With the major gym chains not slowing down their expansions, despite the crisis, we are confident that we will as an industry look back on this time and wonder why we didn't make better use of the downtime.

Old school wall before refurbishment - wall climbing - holds

Old school wall before refurbishment.

During the refurbishment.

During the refurbishment.

Post refurbishment and looking fresh!

Post refurbishment and looking fresh!

March 23, 2020 by Caroline Mougenot

The Business of Indoor Climbing just got Serious

As 2020 is now firmly with us, we welcome the first year in history where indoor climbing is in the Olympic Games, we have our most exciting year ahead of us in the climbing gym industry.

We all know how it’s been growing, from the dark and dingy days of what was really an underground movement to the bright, modern and colourful world we know it as today.  It’s clear that the UK market is particularly happy and with most gyms increasing their investment, either in new walls, new holds or refurbishing their existing walls. We have had a real boom in the last five years in the UK and this curve continues to grow.  

At Serious Climbing, we are gearing up for what is about to happen – The Olympic Games, this summer in Tokyo.  With the IFSC already publishing it’s ‘Catalogue T20’ – it’s a list of all the holds, macros and volumes to be used in this year’s Tokyo 2020 competition we know we are in for a busy year.  In fact, Serious Climbing distributes 7 of the 9 brands that are going to Tokyo, including Volx who exclusively make the official Speed Climbing set of holds.

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But, with such growth comes some unique issues that are unfolding as we enter this next level of our industry.  So, we would want to inform you about sooner rather than later.  As orders for new holds, macros and volumes continue to accelerate the pressure on the production facilities has also increased.  We are currently seeing bigger queues and longer delivery times from all factories from all the brands.  This is now affecting new gym openings, events and where you have a deadline that matters.  

So, we are advising that you get on top of your orders and plan early for your 2020 projects.  If you are opening a new gym or you have a major extension then you should be planning your hold, macro and volume order as early as the build itself.  We aren’t saying you should have the holds delivered that early, but they should be produced and then be scheduled in for delivery for when you need them.  As experts in all things indoor climbing we are on hand to help. Talk to us about your projects and let us guide you through the challenges that our industry faces.  Where 8 weeks was once enough time we are advising 16 weeks to be more realistic.

With huge demand already ramping up, we know that when the Olympics happens and potentially everyone with access to a TV set gets to tune in then we will see the biggest boom in wall building, refurbishments and participation our sport has ever seen.


NEW FLATHOLD VOLUMES

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We're excited to be able to bring you the new Olympic volumes from Flathold; the Borderline (6 volumes) and Golden Leaves (5 volumes) ranges.  We're also expecting some new holds to be released by Flathold later in the year so stay tuned!  If you'd like to be the first to order the new volumes then just get in touch! 

In case you missed it, here's the T20 Catalogue!

If you'd like the latest order form just drop us an email, it's time to start planning your years needs now, so that you get what you want, when you need it.  We can help you with budgeting and structuring you refurbishment or circuit upgrades over the next 12 months.


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March 05, 2020 by Caroline Mougenot

Getting Serious about The Olympic Games 2020 - IFSC

With The Olympic Games fast approaching the big question on everyone's lips is 'how will it affect the UK climbing gym business'

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Well in an attempt to secure a very high class event the IFSC has carefully chosen the 'creme de la creme' of the worlds climbing holds, volume and macro producers and distilled it down to a very small group of brands that are already producing the official equipment to be used in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next July.

The big news here in the UK is that Rockcity, a UK producer of climbing holds has made the grade.  Rockcity, already part of the Serious family joins the likes of Flathold, Cheeta, Agripp, Expression and Kilter in the Serious stable also on the T20 list.  These brands selected for LEAD and BOULDERING join Volx who are the official hold partner for the IFSC/IOC for SPEED.

With this catalogue T20 being published early ahead of The Games for the sole reason of letting the national Teams and Competitors have the heads up on what will be used in the competition.

We believe that walls should be focusing on having the most important set of climbing wall equipment ever produced in your gym in 2020.

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For those gyms that have made sure they have been using the IFSC World Cup holds, macros and volumes will already know the advantages of doing so.  Even beginner climbers are watching the televised 2019/2020 programs and are more 'hold aware' than indoor climbers ever have been historically.

As setters in UK gyms try to emulate the latest fashion in setting, like the hand jam that was replicated all over the UK after it turned the World Cup upside down when Adam Ondra won the round on this classic and highly niche move!

Most gyms are finding some space for Competition Style Blocs.  The closer to a World Cup bloc it looks, the more your climbers will do your social media work for you.  This is the feedback from the gyms that have harnessed the power of the IFSC World Cup events.

If it works for these events, it will certainly work for the world's most prestigious competition.

How easy will it be for new climbers who first see indoor climbing on TV in The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to recognise this familiar style if your gym is already looking world class.

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Its not just about the high end competition problems and routes, its easy to make all your climbers feel like Adam or Shauna by setting easy blocs on great holds and awesome moves.  Already the most successful gyms are offering 'Comp Style' to everyone in the gym.

Download the Catalogue T20 lists every hold set, every volume and every macro already ordered by the IOC for The Games.  If ever there was a list of what's hot then this is it for 2020.

Comp Style not your thing?  We can help you select exactly what you need, using our knowledge of the most popular styles, the right tool for the right job and our running of climbing gyms within the Serious Climbing team.

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Cheeta Wedges now available in the UK

February 16, 2018 by Caroline Mougenot