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As a new comer into the setting side of the climbing industry, I have noticed setting and coaching have fell hand in hand together, especially when setting for comps. I found that being a coach really helps with creating movement on a climb along with taking moves that I have done outside and then recreating them inside.

I got into setting as a way to share my passion for climbing outside and wanting to do my best to bring that to the inside community, minus the hold snapping. I also enjoy setting for coaching, If I regularly coach someone who is struggling with a specific style of move or hold, I will do my best to make a pretty consistent route. This way I can help them work on their weakness.

When setting for the RCC Academy, hold size makes a huge difference. I have learnt that kids will match everything, this includes footholds. To make this less likely I try to use smaller holds, or alternatively angle the hold to more of a side pull or undercut and force body tension. The other thing that matters is the size of the individual. As a fairly tall setter (6,4), I constantly remind myself of the distance between holds.

Switching between setting for adults and kids I find rather difficult, but a big part of it is lack of experience. I tend to set routes for adults that then turn out to be more appropriate for kids as I end up having the holds a little too close to each other. Alternatively when setting for kids I ended up with a couple moves that are way to big.

For me, setting is about the flow of a route and making it feel as close to the outdoors as possible.

Blog by Luke Chandler RCC Coach & Route Setter