Moon Board Variations


Original Post
Aaron Danforth · · Cody, WY · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 0

I'm interested in hearing about some Moon Board variations. I'm putting up a small Co-Op training space. I'm planning on doing a stock Moon Board potentially with some additional Kilter grips to add in some warmup/easier problems. I'm also considering a second board that's less steep, maybe 70-75 degrees with a couple sets of Moon/Kilter holds. Just hoping to make use of a small space for a fairly broad swath of climbers.

Rui Ferreira · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 869

this recent forum discussed "modifications" to the Moon Board

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/moon-board-modifications/109397643

Regarding the installation of a (less than vertical) 70/75-degree board you might want to re-consider as it will have limited training utility, possibly limited to true beginners or others looking to improve foot-work, slab climbing & smearing techniques.

I agree that the standard 40-degree board is quite steep, which is why I also have a system board at 20-degrees. I prefer the Atomik system training holds as the Moon holds are quite expensive and neither of my boards go the full 18 feet, so setting up the problems from the database would impossible anyway.

jnowis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 35

I believe that Danforth is referring to 70/75 degrees from horizontal, so 15-20 past vertical - overhanging and not a slab. I would think that having a standard Moonboard at 40 degrees past vertical and one not so steep, at say 20 degrees past vertical would be work, as long as you can get the 12 feet of past vertical climbing surface to match the standard Moonboard. The standard Moonboard is 3.15 meters tall, so approximately 10' 4" tall. Kicking the angle back would increase the height to approximately 12' 5" with the ~14.5 standard kick-plate. You could decrease the spacing to make the Moonboard's the same height, or reduce the kickboard and spacing to get them the same. Decreasing the spacing should make it in general easier, but that's the point, so no harm no foul.

To high-jack the thread, I am about to build my fourth or fifth home wall after a recent move. I'd love to build a Moonboard, but my basement height is 8'9", and after crunching the numbers and looking at the discussions of modified Moonboards, it just doesn't seem like I would really be getting my bang for the buck (shipping the Moonboard holds is expense after all).

Since the Moonboard won't fit in most peoples homes, what would the be the ideal standard American training board dimensions? How can we get a community of setters in the USA like the Moonboard, but focused on a home wall?

My ideal would be:

  • Max height of 8' 6" to fit in most basements.
  • Less steep than 40, as most sport routes in the US are less steep and smaller holds are cheaper so you can afford more holds.
  • denser hold spacing compared to the standard Moonboard.

To get a design going, assume a 8'x8' climbing surface and a 1 foot kickboard in a 8.5 foot basement. This gives a wall angle of 20.36 degrees, which is a silly number, so round down to 20 degrees gives a kickboard of 11 3/4". Vertical hold spacing offset from the edges by 3" at 5.25" yields 18 rows, denser than the Moonboard as we have 4' less vertical surface. Offset every-other row horizontally to break up the grid (first row in 3", next row in 5-5/8"). Number 1-9 going up the board with 1/2 steps for inset rows, A-I across for columns.

Now, we just need to get a Stateside climbing hold company to make a Moonboard style hold set (just need a north arrow on the hold for the up position plus a name). It would be nice to have three sets, Easy, Medium, Hard (small, medium, large) named E1 for Easy hold #1, H7 for Hard hold #7, etc.

So again, sorry to high-jack the thread, but this has been floating in my head for a bit and thought it might get Danforth's question more attention. Any modifications? Hold companies to call to get this going?
george reynolds · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 40

I am involved in a new climbing hold company called Driftless Climbing. At the moment we are very focused on training and forced movement. The holds are designed with fixed face angles similar to system holds but come in different sizes. We are also making pinches in perfectly matched pairs. I am in a position to experiment with different designs as I do all the pouring in house. Oh and everything will come in dual tex as well.

There is an opportunity here if we could standardize a few things.

Steve Pulver · · Williston, ND · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 455

I'm surprised there aren't a lot of companies coming out with their own variation to the Moon Board.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

The point of the moonboard is that its universal. This way people can create problems and grade them and everyone can try them on their own moonboard.

I dont understand why someone would spend money on Moonboard holds and put others on there. I understand there is three levels of holds to purchase but the point is to be able to share problems and climb other peoples problems.

I think the best way to go about this would be not to put non moonboard holds to make it easier but simply make the wall adjustable. Making the wall adjustable and purchasing all of the moonboard holds would be the best way in my opinion to utilize one wall for a broad range of climbers.

jnowis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 35
Tylerpratt wrote:The point of the moonboard is that its universal.
I agree 100%.

Tylerpratt wrote:I think the best way to go about this would be not to put non moonboard holds to make it easier but simply make the wall adjustable. Making the wall adjustable and purchasing all of the moonboard holds would be the best way in my opinion to utilize one wall for a broad range of climbers.
Making an adjustable wall is a lot more complicated than I think it is worth for a home wall. Every home-made adjustable wall I have seen ends with the builder saying "it was more trouble than it was worth, although I'm glad I have it now". Ok, great, an adjustable wall would be cool, but making it for a home space is beyond skill,budget, and time for most. Leave it to a commercial entity that can have a welder make it.

The Moonboard is 10'4" tall. That height is difficult to execute in a home wall space without making it adjustable at 40-degrees. Creating an adjustable 12-foot climbing surface is even more difficult and having it go "easier" than 40-degrees makes the wall even taller (at vertical it is 12-foot plus toe-board), so you need an even taller space, plus you'll likely need a deeper space due to the pivoting/locking mechanism.

Tylerpratt wrote:... and purchasing all of the moonboard holds would be the best way in my opinion to utilize one wall for a broad range of climbers.
They are made in the UK, so shipping across the ponds is expensive due to a number of factors. Duplicating the molds for a US supplier, that is a different line of thought.

My thought was to create a USA universal standard for home bouldering walls. Fit it into a "typical" basement height. 10'4" is just to damn tall for most spaces. I know I am not the only one to think of this, as even the infallible Mark Anderson wants a USA standard Moonboard - "Alternatively, maybe we could start a movement to create a 30-degree Muneored (and design it in English units, haha)."

george reynolds wrote:The holds are designed with fixed face angles similar to system holds but come in different sizes. We are also making pinches in perfectly matched pairs. I am in a position to experiment with different designs as I do all the pouring in house.
I don't think that Moonboard type holds need to be, or should be, system holds. The key feature is to be able to identify a hold in a set and orient said hold in a specific direction at a pre-defind place on the wall(board). Having good, training friendly holds is more important. This is intended to be for limit bouldering training.

I also think my proposed design could benefit from a lot of modification, first and foremost going to 30-degrees, mostly because Mark said so. I still think you fit it into a 8'6" space.

Source of Mark's quote:
rockprodigytraining.proboards.com
jnowis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 35

Maybe I should just shorten my response to say: The Moonboard is damn near perfect, the one problem is that it was not designed for a home wall.

Kevin Stricker · · Evergreen, CO · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 575

One easy solution for making a home wall adjustable is to pivot the wall at the top. Build the wall with the framing running parallel to the floor joists ( or rafters) above and through bolt them together. You have to round off the back side of the wall joists to allow for articulation. With a couple of latches you can bolt the bottom of the wall up to the kick board, then when you want a less steep angle you release the latches and lower the bottom of the wall to the floor. You could create notched braces that allow for multiple angle adjustments but I find a two angle wall to be a lot easier to work with.

The advantages are:
1) stability - you rarely pull out or sideways on the bottom of your wall so your wall will feel more stable than one hinged at the bottom and attached at the top with chains.

2) it's easier to move the bottom of the wall as the majority of the weight is on the top half of the wall ( footers are light).

3) You can maximize your width of the wall because you don't need to access around the sides to change the angle.

4) wall height does not change with wall angle. Less steep walls don't need kick panels so if you calculate the kicker height right you should be able to get a 40 degree wall that drops to 20 degrees. My mini-systems wall is 15 and 30.

For larger walls this system might not work without some sort of pulley to pull the wall back up to the steep angle. I've used it for wood framed(2x6 on 16") walls up to 8x8 with no problems. For a 12' wall I might suggest switching to a steel frame to reduce weight.

Regarding modifying the Moonboard, I would say that unless you have 10' ceilings I would go with a different build. I've built lot's of walls and come to the conclusion that you are better building a unrealistically steep wall that has lots of climbing surface than a realistic short wall. 3 panels ( 12') tall should be the goal when ever possible.

Good Luck!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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