Clip ‘n Climb is an indoor climbing centre filled with over 40 unique climbing challenges, promising an exciting variety of empowering and action-packed fun for every member of the family! Find out what happened when the OM team caught up with Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth Manager, Ian Stocker, a year after our first visit.
Based in The Ship at Derriford, the indoor activity arena is a great way to build self-confidence, balance, problem solving and perseverance skills in all ages. Since our visit to Clip n’ Climb in February last year, the venue has undergone a variety of exciting new changes, including: the arrival of a state-of-the-art interactive climbing wall, a selection of brand-new party packages and some eye-grabbing new wall art.
Although there are over 60 Clip ‘n Climb centres in the UK, the Plymouth branch is the largest in the South West, with 42 indoor climbing walls and fun additional extras like the Drop Slide and Leap of Faith. Plymouth Clip ‘n Climb is also home to the tallest wall in all the UK branches, The Big Cheese!
The newest edition to the already action-packed centre is ValoClimb, the world’s first interactive game platform for climbing walls. This active play technology invites anyone, from the youngest of kids to hard training adults, to have fun while keeping fit! Ian Stocker, Manager at Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth, explains that the concept is relatively new:
“I believe this is the third one in the UK, so we are really excited to have it here in Plymouth. It’s designed for everyone; there’s hard challenges for adults and then easier ones for children, like Whack a Bat!”
ValoClimb is an augmented climbing wall with graphics projected onto the surface to create interactive games and challenges. Your movements are tracked and speed is essential to winning some healthy competitive games!
Another aspect that has changed since our last visit is that all the climbing walls now work on an auto belay system. This means that people can now clip themselves in at the bottom of the climbing walls, rather than a member of staff having to do so.
The belay picks up the slack as you work your way up and when you are ready to come down, participants can simply let themselves go and the auto belay will control their descent. This dramatically cuts down waiting time and gives people the freedom to use the walls as they please.
“Of course, we still have trained staff members circulating around at all time, so there will always be someone on hand should you need them!”
Clip ‘n Climb has safety at the forefront of everything they do – before you get to go wild on the climbing walls, you are first taken into a room for a short but important briefing. An instructor explains the safety procedures and you are shown how to wear your harness correctly.
If climbing isn’t your thing, you can always relax and watch the fun whilst having a bite to eat in the café overlooking the arena. Plus, if you are visiting with children under four, there is a brand-new soft play area that has been designed for little tots to enjoy whilst their older siblings take part in the challenges!
Ian tells us that their party packages have boomed in popularity in the past year, and they generally come through word of mouth:
“On average, we host about 15 parties a week. There is no minimum amount needed, as we want to give parents flexibility. Being parents ourselves, we know how pricey things can be!”
The birthday child receives a free go on either the Leap of Faith or the Drop Slide, and a free turn on the brand new ValoClimb, all of which come at a small additional cost for general entry (with prices starting from just £2).
Clip ‘n Climb offer great party packages for both adults and children. After tackling the indoor climbing challenges, sit down and enjoy some hot fresh food from the onsite café in a private party area.
Our team all had a turn and we have to say that they are so much fun! The Drop Slide is fundamentally in reverse – rather than sitting at the top and letting yourself slide down, you hold onto the handles as you are pulled up the drop wall. Your upper body strength is tested – when you can’t possibly hold on anymore, simply let go and you will fly down the drop.
Ian tells us that they are keen to encourage more adults to try out their facilities:
“I think, because we have such bright colours, people think its predominantly a children’s activity. We want to encourage families, but we also want mum and dad to have a go!”
Ian explains that they are in the process of introducing an ‘adults only’ session on Friday evenings, to further entice keen climbers. Make sure you keep an eye on their website and social media pages for further updates.
There’s a place at Clip ‘n Climb for everyone. It doesn’t matter what age, size or level of fitness you are.
“It’s great for confidence and anxiety” Ian explains. “One of my favourite things is watching people grow in confidence, even after just an hour! People will start only a few feet off the floor, scared to let themselves go and by the end of the session they are right up there and jumping off with confidence.
“Something I’ve always loved is when you get an experienced adult coming in and they struggle. Then their son or daughter will come along and smash it! I think it’s a general rule in any sport that no matter how good you are, there will always be a four-year-old better than you!
“A lot of thought went into the design process at Clip ‘n Climb. The different walls will teach you a range of skills without you realising. Some teach you how to use undercuts or lay backs, how to move and balance your body; others have overhangs to tackle. It’s a sneaky and unique way of learning – I love it.”
It’s not surprising that climbing is an effective way to get fit and, although there’s nothing set in stone yet, plans are in the pipeline to put together a ‘Climb Fit’ programme.
“Our aim is for it to be similar to circuit training, but combining the climbing walls. Even after just 10 minutes, climbing can be very tiring! It gets your heart racing and is much more fun than standing in a gym and lifting weights, or running on the spot.”
Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth has free parking spaces on site and the best way to ensure there are sessions available is to book via their website. The sessions run for an hour and cost £12.50 per person. However, if you book online in advance you will receive a 20% discount.
Clip ‘n Climb has also launched their own branded merchandise including a selection of branded hoodies, t-shirts, hats, water bottles and bags; all of which can be purchased at their activity centre.
The team at OM Media had a brilliant time revisiting Clip n’ Climb and take it from us, whether you are young or old, it’s a great experience that you will want to keep trying again and again!