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Many climbers turn to physical training to help boost their performance. One of the best and oldest tools for finger strength training is the hangboard, also called a finger board. Naturally, a favorite training strategy of climbers when they’re away from the rock or the gym is to hang off their own at-home structure, so we’re here to help you choose the best climbing hangboard to do just that.

Hangboarding is a training technique used to build finger strength, but hangboards can meet a multitude of training goals. Depending on the board you choose, you can train all sorts of grip types and track your progression.

We recommend finding a safe and applicable hangboard training program to get you started.

For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out the Best Carabiners

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Quick Answer - The Best Climbing Hangboards

  1. Trango Rock Prodigy
  2. Metolius Rock Rings
  3. Metolius Project
  4. Metolius Simulator 3D
  5. Beastmaker 2000
  6. Beastmaker 1000

 

Comparison Table - Best Climbing Hangboards

PictureNameConstructionCustomizablePriceRating
Trango Rock ProdigyPlasticYes$$5.0
Metolius Rock RingsPlasticYes$4.7
Metolius ProjectPlasticNo$4.3
Metolius Simulator 3DPlasticNo$4.8
Beastmaker 2000WoodNo$$5.0
Beastmaker 1000WoodNo$$5.0
ProblemsolverWoodYes$5.0
PictureNameConstructionCustomizablePriceRating

Reviews - The Best Hangboards for Climbing

Trango Rock Prodigy

Specs
  • Construction: Plastic
  • Customizable: Yes
  • Dimensions: 9.1 inch x 12.1 inch (Each half)

BEST FOR: BEGINNERS

PROS: Board designed by the Anderson brothers, covers most trainable grip positions including excellent pinches which orient thumb on bottom, texture is grippy

CONS: More difficult and involved to mount than other boards

HOLD TYPES: 15+ different grips

Metolius Rock Rings

Specs
  • Construction: Plastic
  • Customizable: Yes
  • Dimensions: 7.25 x 5.75 x 2.5 inches

BEST FOR: BEGINNERS

PROS: Inexpensive, innovative, portable training device, friendly on skin, allows for rotation of joints because of free hanging design

CONS: Not for advanced climbers, very little hold variety

HOLD TYPES: Jug with slot pockets

Metolius Project

Specs
  • Construction: Plastic
  • Customizable: No
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 6 inches

BEST FOR: BEGINNERS

PROS: Inexpensive, friendly on the skin, with a variety of holds that taper downward ergonomically

CONS: Additional board required for mounting

HOLD TYPES: Jugs, slopers, pockets

Metolius Simulator 3D

Specs
  • Construction: Plastic
  • Customizable: No
  • Dimensions: 28 x 8.75 inches

BEST FOR: INTERMEDIATE CLIMBERS

PROS: Number one selling training board in the world, board tapers for better ergonomic benefits to climbers, multiple grip options to ease progression

CONS: Additional board required for mounting

HOLD TYPES: Jugs, slopers, pockets of various depths and widths

Beastmaker 2000

Specs
  • Construction: Wood
  • Customizable: No
  • Dimensions: 23 x 6 x 2.25 inches

BEST FOR: ADVANCED CLIMBERS

PROS: Comfy on hands, wide variety of holds carefully designed to minimize chance of injury

CONS: No pinches or small crimps, can be slippery

HOLD TYPES: 45, 35 and 20 degree slopers, multiple pockets from three finger to mono

Beastmaker 1000

Specs
  • Construction: Wood
  • Customizable: No
  • Dimensions: 23 x 2.4 x 6.3 inches

BEST FOR: BEGINNERS

PROS: Comfy on hands, great for beginners looking to progress quickly

CONS: No pinches or small crimps, can be slippery

HOLD TYPES: 2 jugs, 35 degree slopers, 20 degree slopers

Problemsolver

Specs
  • Construction: Wood
  • Customizable: Yes
  • Dimensions: 15.75 x 6.3 x 0.95 inches

BEST FOR: INTERMEDIATE CLIMBERS

PROS: Portable and customizable hangboard that is great for traveling, comes with inserts to create variable depth holds, board can be tilted to change angle, holds can be added to the back of board to train additional grips positions

CONS: Requires a structure to be hung from every time, minimal grip variation

HOLD TYPES: Edges of variable depth

 

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CLIMBING HANGBOARDS

PURPOSE

Before purchasing a hangboard you need to assess your ability and consider your specific training goals. Hangboarding can be hard on the body and it is critical to pair your equipment with your current level. Some boards offer a friendly introduction to beginners whereas others are intended for climbers with extensive hangboarding experience.

There are many ways to train for rock climbing, but when it comes to hand and finger strength, hangboards are the way to go. Consider whether you want to train multiple grip positions using slopers, pockets and edges, or pure finger strength using an open hand or half crimp position.

 

HOLD TYPES AND SIZES

If you are aiming to improve your stamina in a variety of different hand positions, choose a hangboard with many grip types. Several hangboards offer an assortment of jugs, slopers, edges, and pockets. Boards with a lot of variation and positive holds make it easier to warm up before starting your actual work out. They are also beneficial for beginners.

If pure finger strength is the goal, there are two options for how to pursue gains. The first is to decrease the size of the edges the climber is holding, and the second is to add weight to the climber’s body as they hang from a given hold. To best approach finger strength gains it is important to have a board with a progression of holds that become smaller or less positive.

Take care to ease yourself onto smaller holds gradually to minimize risk of injury.

 

CUSTOMIZABILITY AND SIZE

Nowadays several companies produce hangboards that the climber can customize for their training. Some boards have a separate right and left side so they can be mounted at the perfect width for your body. Other boards come with inserts to change edge depths or built in rotation features to change the angle of holds.

It is worth considering the size and space required to hang your board as well. If you’re always on the road, check out the small, portable options that are hitting the market. Some hangboards take up very little space but can be customized to meet a progression of difficulties. On the other hand, if you have a full training space in your home you could indulge in a larger board that has a lot to offer.

 

TEXTURE

There is no point in owning a hangboard if you find it too uncomfortable to hang on! We recommend testing the hangboards at your climbing gym, or feeling the surface of available boards in a local shop before making your purchase. Most hangboards are made of either plastic, typically a polyurethane or polyester resin, or wood.

Resins can be molded into any shape; thus plastic hangboards can offer many different hold types. The friction is greater due to the fine grained texture, but they can be uncomfortable on the skin. It is possible to sand down sharp edges on a plastic hangboard if they are too rough.

Wood can be more comfortable on the skin, but is not for everyone. Some people find wood hangboards difficult to grip due to reduced friction during grueling sessions. Wooden boards are also limited by the variety of grip types they are offered.

 

 

READ MORE

For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: 

Carabiners | Exercises For Rock Climbing

A Beginners Guide To Hangboard Workouts | How To Increase Finger Strength For Climbing

How To Train For Rock Climbing

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