How to supervise younger climbers | boulderbrighton.com

// HOW TO SUPERVISE //

Children aged 7-15

All U16s must be properly supervised* when climbing at Boulder Brighton. We recommend that first time young climbers join one of our instructed sessions as an introduction to the sport. However, parents can supervise their children at the centre without an instructor present as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum 1 non-climbing adult supervisor per 2 children, or 1 climbing adult supervisor per 1 child. One-to-one supervision is strongly recommended for under 9s.
  • Close and active supervision is essential - supervised climbers and their supervisors must stay together at all times
  • Groups of 6 children or more MUST book in advance onto an instructed session
  • Opening hours for under 12s are restricted - see here for details.
  • We recommend 7 as a good age to introduce children to the sport - see below for more info.

Supervisors will be expected to walk around the centre with their children and keep close them at all times. The biggest risk to children's safety comes if they run or stand on the red safety matting underneath other adult climbers who could fall and hurt them - any running in the centre is therefore strictly forbidden, and children must step off the red mats when they are not climbing. Supervisors must keep their supervised children together and close to them at all times to make sure they follow the rules of the centre - this is extremely difficult to achieve from a seated position!

We require a minimum of one non-climbing adult supervisor per two children, and strongly recommend one-to-one supervision for children under the age of 9. Any supervisors who wish to climb themselves can only be responsible for one child, and must climb together with their supervised climber at all times. Minors may not be left unsupervised in the cafe area or elsewhere in the centre.

Supervisors must complete the normal adult registration process in order that they receive the same safety briefing as all other climbers using the centre. There is no charge for this registration process if completed online in advance, and it need only be done once.

We take our supervision rules very seriously in order to maintain a safe climbing environment and any climbers or supervisors who do not follow them may be asked to leave.

*except youth who have passed through the Youth Boulderers Award scheme.

Young adults (aged 16-17)

Young adults aged 16 or 17 need signed parental consent to use the centre, but otherwise can use the centre under the same terms as other adults. A parent or legal guardian must complete a registration and consent form for the young adult before they visit. Registration is free if completed online in advance of their visit – follow this link for more details.

Small children (aged 4-7)

Bouldering is not a "soft play" activity and our minimum recommended age for centre use is 7, which is also the minimum age which can be accepted onto our instructed sessions. Children aged 4-6 require particularly intensive supervision and should normally only be brought by parents who are experienced climbers themselves. Under 4s are not allowed to enter the climbing areas for safety reasons, and minors may not be left unattended in any part of the building. If in any doubt, please call the centre in advance of your visit to avoid disappointment.

Frequently asked questions:

I want to supervise my older child to climb, but I also have a 2 year old with me who won’t be climbing, is that ok?

No, unfortunately under 4s are not allowed to enter the climbing area for safety reasons, so supervisors cannot simultaneously supervise a climbing child and an under 4 year old.

Can I leave a child unsupervised in the cafe while I supervise my other two children to climb?

Unfortunately not, minors cannot be left unsupervised in the cafe or elsewhere in the centre.

Do I have to book?

Instructed taster sessions, clubs and courses should be booked online in advance. If you are coming to supervise your own child, there is no need to book – although all children and supervisors should register online in advance of their first session.

How long is a session?

There’s no time limit to your session, though climbing can be quite tiring and new climbers will normally be done after about an hour or an hour and a half. Please note that session times for under 12s end at 2pm on weekends, with last entry one hour beforehand.

Are there any time restrictions?

Session times for under 12s end at 2pm on weekends, with last entry one hour beforehand. There are no restrictions during weekdays, although weekday evenings are generally busy with adults. See our opening hours page for details.

How many children can I bring?

One non-climbing adult can supervise up to two children, with one-to-one supervision strongly recommended for under 9s. Adults can climb with their children as long as there is one adult climber per climbing child. Additional children in the group cannot be left unsupervised in the cafe or other parts of the centre. Groups of 6 or more children MUST be booked onto an instructed session.

Can I climb with them?

Yes, adults who wish to climb with their supervised climbers may do so as long as there is one adult climber per climbing child. You will still be expected to supervise carefully and climb in the same area as your supervised child.

What should they wear?

Just get the children to wear non-restrictive, comfortable clothing. Trainers are fine to have a first session in (as long as they’re clean!), and climbing shoes are available to hire if people want to get the full experience. Flip-flops, sandals, and other flimsy footwear should not be worn, and climbing in socks or bare feet is not permitted. Any rings or jewellery should be removed before climbing.

Do I have to pay to supervise?

There is no charge for non-climbing supervisors. If supervisors wish to climb as well, normal entry fees apply.

Do I need previous climbing experience to supervise?

No, but supervisors must complete the normal adult registration process in order that they receive the same safety briefing as all other climbers using the centre. There is no charge for this registration process if completed online in advance, and it need only be done once.

Can I book them onto an instructed course if they enjoy it?

Yes of course! We have some excellent regular courses which are perfect for aspiring young climbers, primarily our Bouldering Academy which aims to take children aged 7-15 through a fun and challenging 5-level achievement scheme. Online booking is available.

Can I register at the centre rather than doing it online?

Yes, although you can save time and money by registering in advance through our online registration page.