Air bags part of the climbing future?


Saturday, 13 February

In an emergency situation, you could jump from up to 25 meters into a giant airbag, roll over and walk back home. Such airbags are also increasingly found in ski slopes, gymnastic halls and climbing gyms. As a matter of a fact, already in 2015 8a reported on a climbing comp in Austria where participants would fall from 12 meters into an enormous airbag. Since then, many smaller airbags have been developed where an experienced boulderer could land from up to ten meters. The size of the Air Pit by BagJump, in the picture, is 5 * 3 * 1 meters. The dilemma is, nevertheless, that it weighs 60 kg, you need a power station, and the costs start at Euro 3 800. On the good side, it just takes some minutes to inflate and unpack them. Video from a climbing gym with an airbag.

A possible future is that some gyms could rent them out for events or even to climbers who want to set a personal best. If this turns out successful, smaller ones may be developed and it may become quite common to rent them for a day and bring them to your project. 8a asked Andi Winter about possibilities for making them smaller and about the future:

"It is certainly possible to make even smaller airbags. We can customize them completely to the need of the client. A bag that small could definitely be done and after the right amount of testing, we’d be more than comfortable to promote that as well. We’re always willing to work with athletes to work on future developments. They know best what they can do and try the things that need to be done for the product to fit their needs. Maybe we should organize an outdoor boulder session with a small bag together?

A small bag of course can’t match a bigger one in terms of softness. A boulderer that uses a crashpad, however, will be more than comfortable to switch to a bag. It most certainly reduces the risk of injury! The question is, how does it react to a fall. That’s what we’d like to test. Like you said, in the short run and now already, our airbags are a great addition to climbing facilities of any kind, and for the future, we will be working on more solutions to make airbags a part of outdoor climbing and bouldering as well."

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