Do you have members of your sports and recreation facility who like to test their strength and mental endurance on a sheer rock face — without falling to their death?
Georgia Tech University does. We made their bouldering mats and we can make yours, too!
Rock climbing or “Bouldering”, as it’s now called, has exploded in popularity since the late 1990’s. Climbing enthusiasts explore their passions both indoors and out. More and more we see gym clubs, fitness gyms and recreational sports centers adding climbing walls and boulders to their member fitness offerings.
There are even entire climbing gyms dedicated to the sport for those who want to climb indoors only and for those who love to boulder outside, but want a safe place to practice working out complex, technical bouldering problems with the safety of a harness and a bouldering mat beneath them — something most outdoors climbers bravely or insanely (you decide) go without.
Ballistic bouldering mats are made with what we in the biz call “ballistic nylon”.
Ballistic nylon was originally developed by the DuPont corporation for use in World War II flak jackets to protect soldiers from airborne shrapnel resulting from bullet, grenade and shell impacts. It wasn’t as effective as they had hoped and was later replaced with kevlar.
Still, it’s tough stuff. It’s now used in a host of non-combat applications from chainsaw chaps to luggage, backpacks knife sheaths, watch bands and motorcycle jackets — and now bouldering mats like the ones ByGMR made for Georgia Tech University’s Campus Rec Center.
Our bouldering mats employ a strong and durable 1,050 denier ballistic nylon to cover the top, landing surface. So, it’s tough enough to handle the rough landing of someone wearing climbing equipment.
Because we’ve made thousands of mats for gymnastics applications, we understand the importance of a soft landing and how to construct a mat that cushions a fall.
On the inside, our bouldering mats feature 12 inches of dual density foam with the bottom layer made up of our baffled, air channel foam. On one end, we use a mesh fabric covering that allows air to escape which makes the mat dynamic, as it handles the impact of a fall. Think the give and easy landing of a gym pit mat.
The top cover attaches to the sides of the cover using strong 4inch velcro strips, so it stays in place and there’s no top seam to bust out. Your mats last longer when there’s no top seam to have to hold up to impact over impact over time. If the top cover does eventually wear out, it’s easily replaceable without the expense of having to buy a whole new mat.
The sides and bottom are covered in 18 ounce coated fabric.
Another benefit that ballistic nylon as the top layer is that it’s very easy to clean.
Like gymnastics, bouldering involves a great deal of chalk. Not using vinyl allows gym owners to quickly clean chalk and dirt off the surface using a vacuum cleaner, as the weave of the ballistic nylon lets air get underneath; rather than as with vinyl, the vacuum cleaner would just suck down onto the nonporous surface.
We’ve been making landing mats for Georgia Tech for over 18 years. We started out with their 12cm landing mats, progressing to 20 cm landing mats and when they added climbing walls to their Campus Rec Center we were super excited to make their 12inch Ballistic Bouldering Mats.
The GA Tech Campus Rec Center is truly a marvel to behold. They have over 2,000 feet of climbing space that features a 39ft wall under a 100 ft ceiling. For safety reasons, you’re only allowed to free climb 13 feet up. Any higher and boulderers are required to wear a harness. Bouldering offers the trifecta of cardio, strength and intellectual challenge, as you solve bouldering problems all while supporting and hefting your own weight against the forces of gravity.
Executing a vault in artistic gymnastics requires skill, more than a bit of bravery and equipment in tip top shape! Highly skilled gymnasts have incurred serious spinal injuries that have led to paralysis or even death when pursuing the perfect gymnastics vault.
When vaulting, gymnasts hurdle themselves full tilt toward the springboard and either rebound off of it directly or round-off onto it and then off of that onto your vault table. Timing is critical and every piece of your gym’s equipment must perform as expected. Learning to vault takes hours of practice, as does perfecting the type of advanced vault that scores high.
As a gymnastics gym owner, you need to ensure all parts of your equipment are in excellent condition so that when your gymnasts give their all they’re safe and you’re giving yours.
That said, gymnasts are tough on vault equipment. It’s simply the nature of the sport. After taking so many hits… literal hits… The cover on your vault table can develop holes or lose it’s specially designed stick-surface and turn slick. It just plain wears out.
Vault tables are an expensive piece of equipment, but don’t worry! You don’t have to throw out the table with the bath water!
We can get you re-covered! That’s right! We can replace your vault table cover with our non-slip, Choco basketball fabric! We call it basketball fabric because that’s what it feels like with the little bumpy bits that help your gymnasts nail their block as they push off into the airborne part of the vault.
We have several patterns for vault table covers from major manufacturers like Janssen-Fritsen and Spieth-America.
You don’t have to have the lung power to hit all your birthday candles at once or wait ’til you trip over a giant, four leaf clover, the gymnastics gym of your dreams is available at this number: 1-800-241-9249!
Carroll county recreation department made the call and after 2 years of careful planning with 40 year veteran Mike Raines and his right hand man, Grant Coulter, also a former gymnastics coach with over a decade in the gymnastics equipment manufacture and gym design business, Carroll County gymnastics’ custom dream gym became a reality.
Melissa Ryans of the Carroll County rec department says, “GMR exceeded our expectations for the ideal gym we envisioned; one that met the needs of our athletes as well as our CCRD staff. The contractors effectively communicated with out throughout the whole process and were extremely helpful in making sure all of our expectations were met. Pleased is an understatement for the gratitude we have for GMR for building us our dream gym.”
Mike and Grant even made the trip down to Carrollton to oversee and install everything themselves!
The seeds of the whole thing sprouted in a little 3D rendering software program Grant configured that knows every dimension of any piece of gymnastics equipment you could wish to fit in your gym. Having both been coaches, Mike and Grant understand just how important gym club real estate is in your facility. They know how space and equipment collaborate to keep gymnastics classes running efficiently and they know how to flow both to keep your gymnasts safe.
After the custom blueprint came the install. Carroll County Rec department built a giant L shaped pit and dropped a tumble track they’d used above ground into a trench. Mike and Grant worked with the contractors to ensure that all the dimensions were right, in the correct spot and at the proper depth. The devil doesn’t end up in the details when you stay on top of them. Everything’s got to sit and fit in just the right spot when it comes to trampoline beds in a pit.
Carroll County went with ByGMR’s signature sag bed system. The frame is mounted just 2 feet from the top, which lets you sag the bed into the pit like a net. It’s way easier to climb out of than a regular bed which usually sits four feet from the top.
A sagged bed allows for more action when the gymnast enters it at speed providing a smoother, more decelerated landing. That greater range of movement also helps prevent wear and tear on your pit cubes because they don’t get packed down like they do with a regular trampoline bed which is strung tight to hold up the weight of the cubes. On that note, it takes more pit cubes to fill a regular trampoline bed system. Paying for fewer pit cubes that last longer in a pit that’s easier to climb out of: that’s a 10.0!
Carroll County wanted a spring floor extension so their athletes can tumble into their 18 x 18 x 6 foot L-shaped pit with a 7 x 14 foot in ground trampoline in it and resi pit attached. The double L based single bar trainer is usually reserved for T-shaped pits, but using the L’s let us bring their spring floor extension closer in. Custom design + custom equipment makes your gym a well-oiled machine. Customization at every level is one of the benefits of working with ByGMR: gym designers and equipment manufacturers.
We made all their training mats, spotting blocks and inclines in their custom colors of purple and lime green, so they would have “something different”. We were also proud to install all ByGMR equipment including vault table, single bar trainer, unevens, balance beams, tumble track and spring floor making Carroll County recreation departments’s new custom gymnastics gym an affordable resource for the community and its athletes.
Want to have the coolest looking gymnastics pit around? Like, literally, it looks like a swimming pool reflecting the sun! Get some new pit cube covers!
Not just optical illusion cool, they literally help keep your gym from catching fire! What?
If you throw gymnasts at blocks of foam over and over and over again, it’s going to crumble that foam. Pit cubes can’t be both a soft landing and completely and forever indestructible. Eventually, those pit cubes are going to break down into crumbs and dust. While the pit cubes, themselves, are (often) fire retardant, their dust and bits isn’t. Ignite them and they flash immediately!
And well, if you want to stay in the good graces of your local fire marshall – and you do, if you want to remain open – you’ll want to do something about your pit cube detritus.
Pretty and practical, our ByGMR pit cube covers are just the ticket! They are made of a polyester and spandex warp knitted fabric that features a velcro enclosure which makes it easy to insert and close the cube and it’s future flammable dust into the cover. With less contact with flying objects, your pit cubes last longer. They will help keep your pit generally cleaner, too!
If you’re using pit cube covers over only one size of pit cube, the slippery nature of all pit cube covers combined with the uniformity of cubes will cause your gymnasts to fall through to the bottom because the pit cubes will stack. To prevent this, we recommend you mix up the shapes and sizes of your pit cubes.
“The best part of the whole thing was giving away our pink sting pack to the folks from Gym Elite West out of El Paso. Their whole staff came through the booth! They were super jazzed about all the products. They loved the pink! Kappy and I were really excited when I pulled Ricardo’s name in the drawing.”
And, there they are y’all in all their glory. Ricardo Villa Lobos and the crew from Gym Elite West smiling for the camera in their ByGMR GAT tee shirts for our pink sting pack promotion.
What’s a pink sting pack, you ask? Well, it’s a 3 pack punch of our latest in high tech, high visibility hot pink mats each a tailor made solution for different elements of gymnastics training.
The Pink Floppy
Flop it over the beam or the bar when your gymnast needs a boost of confidence for the bar or the beam. The foam and the texture of its covering is designed to quickly conform to the shape of the equipment your using to give your gymnast a bit more grip and take the sting out of a imperfect landing.
The Pink Sting
Another anti-sting favorite, use this mat on the bars – uneven or parallel – floor, vault or other apparatus’ where dismounts and landings might end in a bent ankle bash. The shock absorbing properties of this mat helps take the sting out ’til your athletes can get it right.
Cotton Candy Cush
Sweet landings, soft like cotton candy come from our newest skill cushion. Use it to add a little cushion on top of a firmer mat when you want to soften a landing for a new or, not as yet, perfected advanced skill. The sides and bottom are made from a highly durable, coated and woven nylon material.
All of these mats bright fuchsia coloring makes it easy for you to find them when you need them in the sea of blue that is typical in most gymnastics gyms. Just tell one of the kids to go grab that pink mat over there and it’s on.
Together, this was a prize pack worth over a $1,000 including shipping! If you didn’t win the Pink Sting Pack at GAT, you got a free tee shirt out of the deal! We were proud to see that sea of pink and really enjoyed the engagement with folks about our new product innovations.
Another first was that Mike and Kappy brought collections of Christmas ornaments past to show, as Halloween looms many people are gearing up to Christmas shop.
GAT is always a fun show for us. It’s smaller and more intimate than the USA Gymnastics National Congress. It’s held the same weekend at the same hotel every year. The same folks come time and time again, so it’s a chance to reconnect with old friends and talk about how their gymnastics businesses are growing. Chances are we’ve put some equipment in a lot of them, so it’s kind of like a family reunion. The folks from the GAT staff are dream to work with. The hotel is an easy in and out and after 40 years in the gymnastics business, Mike and Kappy aren’t getting any younger.
They also really enjoy Austin. Austin offers an eclectic selection of eats which Kappy always enjoys. This year’s highlight were a fancy, Italian dinner courtesy of our matting partners at Dollamur and some down and dirty oysters (Kappy love oysters!) at Lucy’s fusion Mexican spot.
And, of course, who could resist Bacon! Yes! Bacon was back and dispensing kisses to Kappy! Bacon is the not so small pig that comes with the folks who regale we gymnastics nerds with their vintage gymnastics equipment!
Summertime is when the rubber hits the road for Mike and Kappy and the intrepid GMR team!
Since April, Mike and Kappy will have been to Alachua, FL for the Region 8 championships; (very) Hotlanta for the Region 8 mini-congress; Kansas City Missouri for the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show and out to Austin, Texas for the Gymnastics Association of Texas annual convention. 40 years in the business and they’ve still got it!
And, it’s soon to be coming to a southeastern gymnastics meet near you!
The national gymnastics congress is a big deal in gymnastics world. Gymnasts, coaches, parents gymnastics gym and club owners plus gymnastics industry apparel and equipment sellers come from the four corners of the US — and even sometimes from places further flung — to converge and converse in gymnastics. Clinics and classes on everything from business to body bio-mechanics are the main reasons gymnastics community folks come to Congress. Aside from those, there’s a chance to talk gym design and equipment with vendors, build relationships and maybe catch a selfie with an Olympian like Laurie Hernandez, if you’re really lucky and you wait in the huge line.
Also, there’s usually a massive, national gymnastics championship to attend. This year, it was the US National Championships which help shape the US national gymnastics team for the ultimate goal and challenge, The Olympic Games.
Mike and Kappy, Patty and Grant usually spend most of their time tucked away in the trade show hall. And, they always bring some of the best schwag – as no good trade show or gymnastics congress is complete without its share of odd gymnastics stuff to lug home. Pens, thumb drives, pads, water bottles… or if you’re cool like Mike and Kappy… Cotton Candy!
That’s right! 2019’s cool/weird schwag award goes to Ten-o/ByGMR for their new mat themed cotton candy give-away!
To score your cotton candy, you had to “Sqush the Cush”! (Seriously, this is so Kappy!) It’s a good excuse to give sugary goodness to the people and it’s a great way to tie in the softness of GMR’s new skill cushion mat. The Cotton Candy Cush That Gives the Sweet Landing!
While at USA Gymnastics’ Congress held alongside the 2019 US Gymnastics Championships, Mike and Kappy noted that many elite gymnasts – both male and female – use double buckle grips for their national competition bars and swing.
Ten-o recently debuted our own version of the popular, Swiss style, slant strap, double buckle grip because we want to offer our gymnasts that same feeling of double-buckle security at our more affordable price.
When it comes down to it, gymnastics grips are very much a personal choice.
One athlete may prefer one sort of leather, one length or orientation of strap, one strap or two, buckles not velcro, they may want finger holes with tabs or not… Just as every athlete’s body is different, so is the fit and feel of a gymnastics grip on their hand, wrist and arm.
Of course, EVERYONE loves our free shipping!
The Tensport Double Buckle Slant Strap Uneven Bars Grip (say that 10x fast) brings you that Swiss style, slanted straps, double-buckle fit. The slant of the straps and the fact that they are a bit longer lets you pull them down further. Maybe you want that? We definitely got that.