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.