With the Internet providing so much information nowadays it isn’t often people look to books for insight anymore, why bother when you can get so much for free? Well there is much and more that can be wrong with the Internet when it comes to really taking in information and it becoming part of ones foundations of thought on a subject. I am a big fan of Analog learning still, especially of the kind which is proof read and fact checked, books and pens have long been my preferred medium for sinking information in.
Upon my first flick through of Bouldering essentials there were two main emotions fighting a war of synapses across my brain. One was a bitterness that I wasn’t 13 again opening this book for the first time as a fledgling rock climber and, in a flutter of pages, getting all the answers in one brilliant and inspiring dose of fantastic photos and information. The other was a smugness (13years on) of, yep know that, know that, ooh thats a good point, that’s a good point too... he’s giving away all our secrets!
That is what David Flanagan (the author) has done brilliantly in this book. He has compiled all the fragmented information on the internet, in other climbing literature and magazines and left out all of the mis-information which is also on the internet. There is even information about developing climbs and how to go about it well, which is fantastic to see.
One of the main stand out features of Bouldering Essentials is the photo’s and visual aids. Flanagan has obviously spent a good amount of time sourcing incredibly inspiring photos and often they serve a purpose in demonstrating a technique or area to the reader.
The book therefore acts not only as a compendium but as an inspiration to get going and get stuck into this wonderful niche of rock climbing. It communicates effectively the whole point of bouldering and how best to set about getting your body ready for some hard yards on the rock as well as assembling the best tools for the job and where to go.
If you are in your early stages of climbing or know someone who is keen to learn more about this sport then i couldn’t recommend this book enough. Even if you have been bouldering a long time it is a useful coffee table aid to help explain to non climbing friends exactly why it is you don’t just walk round the back all the time.
Author David Flanagan
Format Paperback (192pp)
Price €25 (including delivery)