Bouldering has evolved a lot in a short period of time.
We're all drawn together by the problem solving nature of the sport. It's the intangible drawcard. From technical short crux moves of yesterday dominated by crimps to what it is today is hard to comprehend. However, clear patterns are emerging and the game is evolving.
There's a clear pattern of dynamic movement that's crept in. And that's ok. Life is full of dynamic movement. However, when we're designing and implementing the problems it's our responsibility to make sure it's safe and progressive.
The developmental sequence is clear - we crawl, stand, walk, then run. Stability, strength then power and in that order. Dynamic movement often involves a lot of power and it's good to go there but the foundation blocks must be solid first. That's why you won't find any dynamic sequences in lower grades at Ten4. It's just how it is and it's written into our route setting specification.
Unusual dynamic sequences are the order of the day and we reckon you'll see more of it at the elite level. Separating the field by crimp strength is a thing of the past. Dynamic sequences fit the mould. Most if not all athletes will have the capacity to 'do the problem' but whether or not they can link the sequences required in the time they have is where it's at.
It also adds to the viewing spectacle and like it or not this matters - a lot. Like all major sports, this is where the mass audience is and where the money is at. Take a look at the difference between World Cup Boulder events of 10 years ago to the current version. In the recent French Open Nationals, the finals were all dynamic routes.
The full balanced package of stability, strength and power coupled with co-ordination and movement intuition has never been more important than it is today and we reckon that can only be a good thing. Crazy moves to dangerous positions are no good for any one and we're seeing less and less of this across the industry which is great.
Bouldering is still a strength-to-weight ratio sport. However, the well balanced athlete will be best equipped for tomorrow's version of the sport. The pattern is clear.
3 Mar 2023