Hangboards & Home Walls

Tips to help you create your own home climbing gym...

One of the best ways to make your house more fun and your training more convenient is to set up a hangboard or home wall, but creating your own mini gym can be an intimidating project… that’s why we’re here with some handy tips and tricks to get you started!

Image from The Home Climbing Wall Resource.


There are several important factors to consider when planning your home gym:

Freedom to modify: Those who are renting their living spaces are unfortunately at a slight disadvantage when it comes to building, as most landlords won’t take too kindly to construction projects. However, you can still make use of a portable hangboard (like the Scallywags Dapper) if you have a tree or suitable structure nearby; you can even get creative and build a free-standing hangboard frame. If you are able to build and modify at will, then you can go wild with creating your own walls and personalising your space.

Location: Whether you’re putting up a home wall or a hangboard, you’ll need to make sure the space you’re using provides a safe landing zone and has enough room for your body to move around during your exercises. Possibly the most popular spot for mounting a hangboard is above a doorframe, thanks to the ideal height and open space available for your lower body to move during pull-ups and hanging. If you’re putting up a wall, you will need to attach it to a solid existing structure that can handle the relevant weight and forces that will be exerted on it.

Budget: Building a home gym can be as cheap or expensive as you’d like. If you have the money to buy a bunch of shiny supplies and hire a professional wall builder, that’s awesome… but you definitely don’t have to spend a lot of money to train at home. Just one hangboard can make a big difference (just ask Emil Abrahamsson), and you can keep things dirt cheap by getting your hands on some wood and constructing your own wall frames, campus boards, hangboards and more.

Maintenance: Consider how much love your gym wall setup or hangboard is going to need in the long term. Hangboards barely need maintenance beyond keeping them clean, but a home wall will probably need some extra care. You could set up a spray wall with a whole bunch of grips that stay set in place (although the grips will need to be taken down and cleaned when they get too grimy), or if you are willing to put a bit more work in then you can create a wall that allows you to set problems and move things around, which offers more variety but some extra maintenance to keep things entertaining.

Safety: The number one factor, always! Before you start raiding the hardware store, you need to ensure that you know what you’re doing, and that your intended setup will stay solid when you start flinging yourself around. If you are experienced in building then this will probably be a piece of cake, but if you are a bit green then we highly recommend consulting a professional who can advise you on the best ways to make your space work. Check out the below list of people that can help you get your home gym set up:

Cape Town (home walls):

● Stephan Fourie: 076 162 3332 

● Chris Naude: 063 538 4516 / chrisnaude.za@gmail.com

Johannesburg (home walls):

Scallywags Climbing: info@scallywagsclimbing.com / 082 565 0269

Nationwide (large walls):

Wild Exposure / Mike Behr: mike@wildexposure.co.za / 083 650 4688

You can also always enquire at your local gym, gear shop or on our community forum if you’re looking for advice from other climbers who have built home gyms. If you know anyone that we should add to the above list, please do email us at info@goodbeta.co.za.

If you have no idea where to start with building a home wall, checkout Metolius’ step-by-step guide at the button below:


Once you have a plan of attack, it’s time to gear up!


There are plenty of different hangboards on the market and all of them should come with their own installation guide and mounting accessories. The main factors to consider when choosing a board are the number and type of holds and the material. Wooden hangboards offer less friction which means they’re kinder on your skin and better for training pure finger strength, while resin/polyurethane hangboards have a rougher texture so they’re easier to grip and good for keeping your skin tough for Rocklands season. It should also be noted that you don’t need a giant fancy hangboard to get strong – a simple board with a few key holds (crimps, pockets and slopers) will work perfectly well and save you space and money.

As mentioned, all hangboards come with an installations manual and should include the necessary screws/nuts etc., but you might need to purchase some other tools and supplies depending on where and how you’d like to install the board. Some climbers choose to mount their board directly on the wall using plugs and bolts, but most prefer to mount the board on a wooden backboard which is then attached to the wall. The most important thing is that your mount is solid and you don’t end up drilling into any wires or pipes when mounting. You can also mount your board on wooden beams or joists if those are available to you. Again, we recommend finding a professional or knowledgeable friend to help you out if you are inexperienced with DIY. Most manufacturers put their installation guides online, so if you don’t have the manual for your specific board, try giving it a Google!

Home Walls

Home walls can be free-standing (which is great if you have a garden) or attached to an existing structure, but the gear required for both is largely the same:

● Wood for supporting frame
● Plywood
● Grips 
● Mounting equipment (e.g. t-nuts, bolts, screws)
● Basic construction tools (e.g. drills, allen keys, hammer, etc.)
● Crash pads/mats of some kind for the base

A great place to start is investing in something like Metolius’ Mega Grip Packs, which include grips, mounting equipment and a physical copy of the building guide that we linked above. You could also gather each of these materials separately if you would like your setup to be more personalised; the above-mentioned experts should be able to advise you as to where you can buy each item.


Once you’ve planned your project and gathered your supplies, it’s building time! Once again, if you aren’t well versed in DIY and construction we highly recommend getting some help from an expert to ensure everything runs smoothly and safely – we’ll tell you everything we can here, but nothing beats practical experience.

For some further guidance and inspiration, check out this great big bunch of blogs and YouTube videos from resourceful climbers out there, and have fun creating your own personal training haven!

How to Build Your Own Climbing Wall at Home

● How to Build a Home Climbing Wall

Build a DIY Indoor Rock Climbing Wall

● How to Build a Climbing Wall

● How to Mount Your Beastmaker

Gripmonkeys Hangboard Installation Guide