Speed Climbing Walls
Choosing speed walls for your climbing gym
Speed climbing is the only climbing discipline that is uniquely focused on competition. In recent years and especially after its inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, speed climbing has gained popularity and many professional and non-professional climbing gyms are adding speed walls to their facilities.
• Bringing in competitive teams - Paying attention to professional athletes’ needs gets entire teams coming to train and eventually turns them into loyal advocates for your gym.
• Giving the possibility to host or organize competitions - Local, national, regional … speed walls present multiple event opportunities.
• Diversifying the climbing experience - Speed climbing is still a novelty for most unprofessional athletes, so having speed walls at your gym will allow them to try something new.
• Space optimization - speed walls take up 60 to 105 sqm. climbing surface (6 to 7 m wide, 10 or 15 m tall) but they are suitable for gyms of all sizes that have the required ceiling height. They could also serve as regular rope climbing walls and can feature many routes. When they are used for official competitions, only the speed climb route holds should remain.
Speed wall specifications
Walltopia speed walls can be built to meet the IFSC’s official requirements or they can be tailored to fit your specific needs. If you are certain you want an IFSC certification to host and co-organize official competitions, all of the elements of the speed wall must respond to the standards. Walltopia will do its part when it comes to the wall specifications, and will help with choosing the right holds, mats, timers, and autobelays that comply with the IFSC standards. Here’s what you need to know for a start:
The speed walls climbing holds come in two shapes and one color which is dark red. We partner with HRT to ensure speed walls holds comply with the IFSC standards.
There is one IFSC certified provider for speed walls autobelays - Perfect Descent with their model “Perfect Descent 220”. However, if you do not plan using the wall for official competitions, other autobelay devices on the market can also serve the main purpose of keeping the climber safe on the speed wall.
The IFSC standard approves 4 different timer models for competitions and world record climbing. Out of the given list, Walltopia partners with Techtopia for their model CT2 timer which is designed for competitions. It has various functional modes, such as lead climbing limit countdown timer or bouldering rotation countdown timer, which are available to meet the needs of any climbing center.
No mats are used for official speed climbing competitions – the climbers start off from solid ground. However, mats could be installed if you are using the wall for other purposes too and be removed for competitions.
Some of the main IFSC requirements for competition speed walls to be considered when planning to feature a speed wall in a gym:
- Two possible heights: 10 m/15 m
- Clear ceiling height needed to place the top anchors: 11.7 m/16.7 m
- The climbing wall should start 20 cm above the ground
- The climbing wall must continue 50 cm above the finish button
- Width: 3 m each climbing line, 2 lines side by side
- The 2 climbing lines must be no further than 1 m apart
- Overhang: 5°
- Top protection height: 100 cm above the climbing wall
- Top protection distance from the wall: 100 cm, standing out
- No lateral walls or structures that could be used as footholds are allowed
- Climbing walls should be painted a specific type of light grey*
- Climbing holds should be a specific type of red*
The complete regulations could be found on the IFSC website.