Introduction: Installing a Hangboard. a Good, Compact Training Aid for Climbers.

When I first got the hangboard, I thought that I would make a single instructable for both the installation and use of a hangboard. How ever I have decided against doing that, because it would be a very big instructable. Also I thought that for showing you how to train on one, I would make videos, and I can't really do that here, because whilst I wanted to take pictures of the process as it went a long, Dad put it up for me while I was out! OK that and it gives me time to practice with it so I don't look like a complete wimp!

Step 1: Location, Location, Location.

You must choose where you are going to locate your hangboard. Above a door is very easy, although there are other possibilities if you can get at joists or exposed beams. I opted to put it above a door.

Where abouts in your house should you put it? Well if you think about it, you want to put it somewhere where you can just use it in passing, so it should be somewhere you go a lot. Also you don't want to put it somewhere that is cold, poorly lit or out of the way. That may rule out basements and such.

I put mine in my room, above the door as you enter. Because I can just use it for a few minutes each time I walk by it. Also I tend to have my music going, it is warm and well lit in my room. You should aim to do a 10 minute session each time you use it, which should include recovery periods, but I'll go into that in a later instructable.

Step 2: Chooosing a Hangboard.

Just as important is choosing the right location for your hangboard. It is worth noting that there are a number of different options. I shall run through them here.


You will find that hangboards are made from two main different materials. Wood and Resin. They tend both to be made by Using the CNC process. Resin ones would otherwise require large and expensive mold.

Resin Holds are made from the same material that climbing holds (like the ones you see at a climbing gym) are made from. They tend to be rougher than wood and give better grip for your hands, but they also tend to be a bit harder on your hands than wooden hangboards for this reason.

Wood - Provides less friction for your hands but is kinder to your hands, you get less callouses and such. The lower friction Provided can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is not really suitable for new climbers, but having less friction does mean that it allows the climber to train harder. Wooden hangboards will also cost you more.


Often people are tempted to go with the largest hangboard that they can find. Whilst this may seem like a good idea because you have more holds, it is not really neccessary and whilst the manufacturers would like to peddle the most expensive ones they have there is very little that they can provide that a medium sized board can not. Remember your main objective is to increase contact (finger) and arm strength.

Step 3: Know Your Building!

You need to know what your wall is made of. I am assuming that you are using an interior wall like I am.

There are two main building techniques in use for interior walls.

In both cases we will be using a backing board which should be half or three quarters of an inch thick.

Dry/Stud wall

From what I have read this seems to be the popular method for interior walls in the USA. Although I would not take it for granted. typically it sounds quite hollow if you bang on it in various places

A stud wall uses Timber supports (typically 2" X 4") in between the the supports you will find insulation, and then a plaster board is placed over the top, and the then a skim layer of plaster is put on to make it look like a real wall.

With this type of wall it is very important that you support the backing board by screwing it into the Timber supports or members, ( 2" X 4" is very strong indeed.) You should use 3 inch screws. Remember this has to be load bearing! if you drill into rock wall and plaster it will soon come down and look really rather unsightly.

To find the studs, I recommend you buy a stud detector. These can normally be brought for a nominal amount and often have other functions such as a voltage detector, which if you don't know your wiring I recommend you use. A metal detector may also be included in these devices, so that you don't drill into your plumbing.

For the most part pipes and wires should not be routed above doors, but again don't take this for granted and get zapped.

Breeze block

from experience in all but the newer houses this tends to be the more popular material in the UK, but don't take it for granted, you'll have to find out yourself.

Is a bit easier to work with, because you don't have to find the Timber supports, you can drill a pilot hole anywhere and put in a wall plug. It is very advisable to put in wall plugs with this kind of wall because your screw is more likely to come out of breeze block than it is wood as it has a tendency to crumble. it is also better to put it on a plywood backing, I will explain why later.

Step 4: Lets Put This Thing Up.

OK so everything I'm going to show you in this step is going to be in retrospect, because the hangboard was already up before I was able to take photos!

The first thing to do is go and find a suitable piece of wood. It should be very easy to find 20mm plywood at any home improvement type store.

Also buy some battoning, (very thin wood that is maybe 25mm by 15mm) we will use this to give the hangboard some extra support. I wouldn't bother with this if you are using a stud wall. How ever you may opt to. You shouldn't have to spend more than about 10GBP on this (around about 18USD)

Now If you have a stud wall then you need to take one extra step, that is finding the studs, and screwing the backing board into those studs. Otherwise what I am about to say does apply exactly as if it were on breeze block. How ever you do not want to use wall plugs with this kind of wall.

1) Reinforce your door-frame, screw 3" screws into it, because what ever kind of wall you have, there is a wooden frame behind it, which helps to support the wall.

2) (don't drill pilot holes if you have a stud wall, just drive the screws through the plywood straight into the studs)

Breeze block

OK so what you want to do is put the plywood up so that it is resting on the door frame, now drill a pilot hole about an inch in from the top right hand corner, keep it there so that the hole in the wood and the wall stay aligned. Put a Wall plug over the end of a 3" screw and bang it into the wall with a hammer, and tighten up. repeat this process until you have put in 6 screws, 4 in each corner, and 2 in the middle along the top and bottom.

All together now, all kinds of wall join in!

3) put the battoning underneath and drive screws straight in. We used 5 of them.

4) Now rest the hangboard on the battoning, and using the holes already in it, straight throw the ply and into the wall.

All done.