Belaying is the foundation of safe rock climbing. It takes a lot of practice to become a competent and knowledgeable belayer. Belaying is not an obvious climbing skill and reading instructions about belaying here at TheAdventurerr gives you the theory of safe belaying but it doesn’t give you the necessary experience you need to become a competent belayer.
Learn Belaying at Your Gym
The best way to become a good belayer is to do a lot of belaying.
If you are a beginner climber, the best place to learn how to belay is at an indoor climbing gym where you can master belaying from an experienced and watchful instructor and you will be belaying in a controlled setting.
Gyms Require Belaying Competency
Belaying is one of the basic climbing skills, besides knowing how to tie into the rope, which you have to learn at a climbing gym before you are allowed to climb on your own. In order to climb with your partner at any indoor gym, you have to demonstrate belaying knowledge and proficiency to the gym staff, usually by taking a test.
Practice Gym Belaying to be Competent
Sign up for a belaying class or ask the gym staff to provide you with belaying instruction and you will learn a lot about belaying basics. After you learn to belay in the gym, practice belaying your partner every chance you get as you climb the gym routes. You’ll get better at belaying, the motion of belaying will become more natural, and you will better understand the nuances of belaying technique.
You will also learn lots about belaying by being a belay slave for a few days to a better climber, who will demand your attention and competency.
Belay Top-Rope Climbs Outside to Start
Later, after you’ve become a great gym belayer, take your new belaying skills outside and belay your climbing partner on some top-rope routes. It’s better to start belaying outside by belaying top-rope climbs rather than lead climbs since it is easier to control a climber’s fall, plus a top-rope climb uses the same basic slingshot belay set-up that you use at the gym.