Puild a campus board

Building your own Campus Board

I have a campus board to my wall as a training aid. Before I made the board I asked questions on the climbing newsgroups about dimensions of rungs, spacing and angle, etc. and received many varying replies (thankyou all who replied).

The campus board was made to suit my requirements and was made according to the diagram below. The main board is a piece of timber packing case approximately 2m by 0.75m. Attached to this by means of woodscrews from the rear are 9 horizontal rungs placed 200mm apart. The rungs were made from 50 x 50mm planed softwood. The rungs were planed on the top to be slightly incut (about 10 degrees) using an electric plane and then generously radiussed on the front edges using the plane and sandpaper or electric sander.

The whole board was mounted by exterior door hinges to the apex of my garage roof. The angle of the board is then fully adjustable and held at the desired angle (I use 25 degrees) by means of a hinged timber bracket to the wall. The first rung is at about 1.5m above the ground and away from the wall which is ideal because you don’t have to start off by being all crunched up and there is space for your legs to swing under the board which is a problem if the room is not high enough. The whole thing can be swung out of the way when not in use for access. My board has only one size of rung which suits me. I opted for this because I am a beginner with this extreme form of training and want to try and avoid injury as much as possible, hence the large rungs and low angle. The board is easily adjustable for smaller rungs if I ever want to change it. I was advised that many people make an unusable board by making rungs too small and that the larger rungs make the board more versatile for a wider range of exercises with less risk of injury… this all makes good sense.

Campus Board arrangement

Using it
Make sure that you are fully warmed up before using the board and stop using the board when you become fatigued seem to be the advice I have received. I intend to start this winter training just by ladder exercises matching and leading with alternate hands before missing out rungs and plyometric stuff.

I guess if you use one regularly you will either be quite strong by next year or totally wrecked by injury the choice is yours so “do not bite off more than your body can chew!”