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Gymnastic pad as a crash pad?


Original Post
Stanley McKnight · · Paradise Valley, Arizona · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 268

I'm relatively inexperienced as a boulder (I do mostly roped climbing). I recently moved to an area where I am just a few minutes drive from a nice outdoor bouldering area and have been looking into different options for a pad.

It looks to me like I can protect a bigger area for significantly less money with gymnastics pads which makes me wonder...

Is there a big fundamental difference in the foam or the build of a gymnastics pad vs a crash pad? Could a gymnastics pad be a viable option for protection?

Thanks for the help

Landon Naugher · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 15

I don't see why it wouldn't work. There a couple of things that may make it not ideal though.

Weight. How long is the approach?

Size. It may be bigger but if it is protecting areas that don't need protecting it is just wasted. Two regular crashpads may be better.

Surface. Most gymnastics pads I have seen are smooth vinyl. If the landing isn't level you may have a foot slide off.

That said. If you have the pad or are getting it cheaper than a regular pad I say go for it.

climberboy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 10

It would work simply because it's squishy, but I don't think it would be as effective as a bouldering pad. The only reason I say that is because most crash pads are made from two foam types (open and closed cell). A harder layer on top and a thicker, soft layer on bottom. I'm not super familiar with gymnastics pads, but I always thought they were just a single foam layer.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Stanley McKnight wrote:I'm relatively inexperienced as a boulder (I do mostly roped climbing). I recently moved to an area where I am just a few minutes drive from a nice outdoor bouldering area and have been looking into different options for a pad. It looks to me like I can protect a bigger area for significantly less money with gymnastics pads which makes me wonder... Is there a big fundamental difference in the foam or the build of a gymnastics pad vs a crash pad? Could a gymnastics pad be a viable option for protection? Thanks for the help
IF theres a sharp rock under the pad it can hurt a lot. Especially with climbing shoes that compress your feet.

Bouldering is actually pretty fucking dangerous and I would suggest dropping the 200 or so for a good pad rather than the 20,000 for foot surgery and lost time from work. Cutting a little corner here and there adds up to a big corner and a whole lot of pain.
Nathan Self · · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 90

I use 8" gymnastics mats on my woody, and they work great, but you really wouldn't want to drag them to the crag.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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