Hi everyone, Cragdaddy here with a guest post. A lot of people have been asking about why we chose a Brewer Fitness Treadwall over the other available options like a home woodie (custom built home wall) or maybe even a full Moonboard. We had considered building a Moonboard at our house in the past to give Cragmama an at home option when I am traveling. We do live in the south, therefore wee really wanted it climate controlled and we didn’t have the space to build it inside. We looked at enclosing a part of our attic and putting in a window HVAC unit or something but could never justify the cost since we have a fantastic gym in our area, Inner Peaks, with one location 10 minutes from our house and the other location 10 minutes from my office. When COVID-19 hit our area and everything closed down, it didn’t take us long to decide that we needed an at home climbing solution.
The first thing we considered was the fact we have very limited carpentry skills and would need to probably pay someone to build us a Moonboard. We probably could have cobbled together a home woodie but since a home option had been discussed well before COVID-19, we wanted to have something that would work for us in the long term and compliment our gym training instead of just being a solution during quarantine.
One of the things that attracted us to the Moonboard was we could spend more time climbing than setting, as the Moonboard app has thousands of different problems set by people all over the world. A home woodie we felt would require setting often because once we send a problem, we are probably wanting to move on to something else or set something new. We determined that the goal for us on the Treadwall would be to not just send a problem, but after sending, start stacking problems in different orders to basically build hard routes that we can work. This means that we aren’t going to be setting as often. We were guessing maybe 2-4 times a year since endurance and power endurance were our main goals. We are mainly sport climbers so we often do a training cycle of 4x4s at the climbing gym and we felt like we could accomplish a very similar thing on the Treadwall.
I had just learned about the Lean Method of Choosing By Advantages (CBA) at work so we decided to try it on our home wall decision.
The main purpose of the CBA method is to help decision makers to differentiate alternatives and to understand the importance of those differences. In CBA, decisions are based on advantages of alternatives, which are positive differences, not advantages and disadvantages; this avoids double counting.
We put all of our factors in, and for each factor, determined which option was the best and which was the worst (red is worst and green is best in image above). We then scored the advantages based on importance to us (the worst doesn’t get any points). Afterwards we were able to add up the advantage points and then graph it against the cost to help us make a decision.
We decided that the 4 options were:
We decided to group Moonboard, Kilterboard and Tensionboard all in one category because for us they seemed similar and if that category won, we could do another CBA exercise to pick which one we liked the best. One key factor was that we felt like we could NOT build a Moonboard, Kilterboard or Tensionboard ourselves and would need to hire that work out. Considering the quarantine state at the time, this option wasn’t really viable. When it was all said and done, the Treadwall came out on top (see full analysis in the image above or click here) but was also the most expensive. Since the second place option wasn’t really an option because of COVID-19, and the Treadwall had much more advantages over the other available options, we decided to bite the bullet and go for it.
We decided to go with the Kore model which is made for the home vs their other models which are made for more commercial purposes. The height of our ceiling required us get the 10 ft model because if we set the unit at -35 degrees, it will be slightly shorter than 8 ft. We also opted for the 6 ft wide version to give us a little more climbing space in addition to being able to accommodate a larger climber like myself. As for options, we purchased the electronic display and the holds set which Brewer Fitness helped create but is actually molded by Rock Candy Holds. We did not buy the mat thinking we could use our existing bouldering pads.
Overall we’ve been very happy with our purchase so be on the lookout for future posts on how we’ve used the Treadwall and what we like and don’t like about it. If you are interested in learning more about our Treadwall, I’ve made some videos showing the assembly, a walk through of the unit and a talk through of the assembly. See the YouTube playlist below to view.