7 Reasons the Climbing Gym is a Great First Date Idea

Looking for an original idea for a first date? Tired of dinner and a movie or an afternoon cup of joe at the hipster coffee den? We are, too.

Here's a suggestion: go to the climbing gym!

A first date is all about keeping it casual and getting to know each other. Whether or not either of you is a climber, a climbing gym can be a great way to accomplish both of those things while doing something active, fun, and original (not to mention ultra-trendy).

Here are the top 7 reasons to take a first date to the climbing gym:

Two climbers on date at the climbing gym talking it up between climbs

  1. Get a sense of your date's personality

Sure, your date may be hot. But is he interesting?

Climbing is challenging, and observing how your date approaches the sport is a great indication of personality. The way she climbs – timid, boisterous, confident, loud – may be correlated with the way she operates in everyday life.

How he interacts with you during your climbing session might also tell you about your interactions in other areas of life. Is he supportive while you climb? Is he trying to one-up you? Is she physically open to you? Standoffish? Does she collaborate while figuring out a climb? Climbing is a great way to pick up on the fine details of your date’s personality.

  1. Not a big time commitment

Sometimes you know immediately that a date isn’t working out. Planning a bouldering session as a first date is a fantastic way to experience a new person and figure out whether or not you’d like to get to know her better while committing as much or as little time as you want. If you aren’t feeling it for whatever reason, just end it after 45 minutes or an hour. If you become absorbed and the hours just happen to pass...well, sounds like you’ve got some chemistry!

  1. Don’t stress your wallet

Compared to the typical dinner-and-a-movie kind of night, the average climbing gym makes for a relatively inexpensive date.

Climber spotting for his date while she boulders in the gym

We would recommend you choose a bouldering session for the date (as opposed to rope climbing). You don’t need any gear for bouldering besides climbing shoes and chalk (which most gyms have available to rent or buy in small quantities). Think of how much money you’ll save by skipping the countless $12 cocktails of a normal date and buying a small bag of FrictionLabs chalk instead (you’ll thank us later for this advice).

  1. Natural breaks in the conversation

During a traditional first date, sometimes the conversation just dies. It happens. If you sense this occurring at the gym, you have an easy solution: “Alright, I’m going to try this climb now!” That’s all you need to say. During the intermission from speaking, think of a new topic to discuss. Or, better yet, fall off the route you’re trying, discuss your failure and a possible solution, then complete the climb! Boom; successful collaboration.

  1. Fitness is sexy!

Physical attraction isn’t everything, but it is something. Performing a physically engaging activity will get the adrenaline and endorphins flowing in both of you. Not only can it be sexy watching your date focused and trying hard in athletic clothes, it can also be a great opportunity to introduce physical touch to your interaction by gently spotting your partner in an appropriate, non-creepy manner. If the date is going well and you think spotting is a good idea, err on the side of caution and ask first! And if you need to brush up on your spotting technique, check out this blog post.

  1. Date going well? Hit the streets.

A climbing date can be a great starting point for an extended night. If you find each other mutually awesome, you’ll probably want to move on from the gym and get out of there at some point. Go get those $12 cocktails. Feast on overpriced sushi. Meet her crazy friends. Meet his parents. There are many options.

  1. Not hitting it off? At least the climbing is fun.

Not every date is going to end in everlasting love. Most just...end. If you’re not feeling the chemistry, look on the bright side: there’s a whole gym full of routes waiting to be conquered! Don’t be rude and neglect your date; just appreciate that you aren’t totally trapped at an awkward table.

In case it isn’t obvious, we love climbing gyms. But some things can still go wrong. If all your friends and/or family go to that gym, or you're a big dude who screams like a girl when you fall, or you're aggressively competitive and your date has never been climbing before, you may want to consider that $12 cocktail instead...

Two climbers on a date hitting it off


Whether you’re just starting to date or a seasoned veteran, an experienced climber or a total noob, an introvert or an extrovert, using a climbing gym as a first date location could be your greatest idea ever. Get to know that special someone in a comfortable, fun, laid-back environment. Who knows? Rock climbing could be the catalyst that sparks an eternal flame of passionate love between you and your significant other. Or, you know, the opposite could happen. But you’ll never know until you switch it up and try something new!

Oh yeah: If you’re looking for a great local climbing gym, check out all our partners right here.

Two climbers on a date sport climbing next to each other on adjacent routes in the gym



You crave the moment where your grip does more than you thought it could. That split second is nirvana. At FrictionLabs, we help you find that feeling. We use science to engineer the best chalk anywhere. Try It to experience better performance, safer breathing, and healthier skin.

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