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How to Earn a Douchebag Demerit

A douchebag demerit is kind of like points on your driving record.  If you accumulate too many, then your license to climb should be taken away.  Most of these offenses tend to take place in the gym, but can also occur outside.

Red card offenses:

  • Noticeably altering the natural environment so as to make the problem easier (or for any reason).  If you can’t send, either get stronger or go find another problem.
  • Plopping down on a mat or crashpad when someone is bouldering right above you.  Or walking directly under a climber.  Just because you’re dumb enough to potentially get hurt by a flying boulderer doesn’t give you the right to put us in danger.
  • Tossing gear, such as your belay device or other metal objects, onto a mat or crashpad, especially when someone is climbing above that mat or crashpad.  Ankle breaker anyone?
  • Tossing sharp objects, such as pointy scissors, under places where people are bouldering.  If you can’t rip your climbing tape and need scissors, then maybe your fingers are not strong enough to climb.
  • Pulling a mat or crashpad away from a climber who is on the wall or rock.  Chill out, the problem you want to do will still be there in 10 seconds.

Yellow card offenses:

  • Excessive PDA.  The mats are for falling on, not humping in public.  Get a room.
  • Sitting or laying on the mats even if you’re not humping.  There’s plenty of other space to sit.
  • Beta spewing.  Whether it’s the next move or medical advice, if someone doesn’t ask for it, don’t give it.
  • Extreme beta spewing: Running up right next to a person who is climbing while shouting and pointing wildly at holds is not exactly helpful.
  • Using the bouldering cave as a daycare center.
  • Standing and staring for an excess amount of time right in front of the wall or rock while others are patiently waiting their turn.
  • Completely hogging the wall even if you’re not just staring at it.  We rotate turns, okay?
  • Standing and staring at your friend as they almost fall on their head.  Even though this might not affect us, it’s really bothersome watching someone get injured.  It’s not that hard to spot!
  • Tossing all your gear on the ground right under the downclimb.  There must be some other place to put it.
  • Not looking where you’re going before starting a problem.  Almost everyone makes this mistake at some point, especially when there are long traverses in the gym, but hey, just look to see if your route crosses into any others before jumping on it.
  • Showing off by climbing a problem in your bare sweaty feet when gym rules require shoes if your feet are touching the holds.  We’re not impressed, just grossed out.

Things that are just plain annoying:

  • Thievery of another climbers hot date by flashing his/her project and subsequently flirting with his/her date.  Bonus douchebag points for being shirtless while doing this.
  • Warming up on someone’s project when there’s a ton of empty wall space.
  • Using a stranger’s chalk without asking.
  • Using a stranger’s chalk without asking and then chalking up in other people’s faces.  Or just blasting your own chalk in other people’s faces.
  • Just being plain stupid.  Sometimes you just have to admit that you can’t do that ridiculous sideways dyno or that you’re not yet at the V5 level so continually attempting certain moves could be dangerous.  Again, this might not affect us, but watching someone get injured can take away from our climbing enjoyment.

Have other bouldering offenses to add?  Let us know in the comments section below.

**Disclaimer: Boulderers are generally very nice people.  Well, except when someone’s being a douchebag in the bouldering cave.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2012 7:23 am

    Tossing pointy scissors onto a crash pad? Guessing that’s not just hypothetical…wow. So my suggestions include:

    -Getting mad at beginners who are taking too long to finish a problem.
    -Refusing to talk to someone until you’ve seen that they climb at a certain level.
    -Telling someone an ascent doesn’t count just because they found beta that makes the problem easier than the rating.
    -Arguing about the rating.
    -Reporting a send on your online list (this by itself is a borderline offense), talking about how it felt 2-3 grades below the given rating, then taking full points for it.
    -Shouting things in any language you don’t actually speak (not douchebag, but annoying).
    -Being rude when non-climbers ask what your crash pad is.
    -Blasting music while climbing outside.
    -Excessive screaming by both climber and spotter, to the point someone can’t tell who is exerting more effort (though extra points to a spotter who is working so hard they actually have to scream).

    • January 3, 2012 6:16 pm

      Yeah, unfortunately this list was based on real events – that actually happened in the gym. And the guy got super pissed when someone told him to remove the scissors from the bouldering area (although he did apologize later). Love your additions. Although I am guilty of blasting music sometimes – oops! I guess no one can be completely free of douchebagery. 🙂

      • January 4, 2012 7:17 am

        That’s okay, we all get a free pass on one offense. I choose to use my pass on constantly complaining about how much chalk people leave on the rocks. Everyone loves the chalk police, right?

  2. Thomas permalink
    June 10, 2014 11:03 am

    -Getting really angry when you can’t send the route you’re working on. Like, what are you mad at? You’re climbing, so what’s the matter? The only one who takes you seriously is yourself. It’s not like you’re letting anybody down. Just enjoy the climbing.

    -Siege cragging

    Here’s a question for you Pebble Wrestlers. I wasn’t sure where to put this since there’s not a contact page or anything. Are you guys from Maryland? because nobody travels to climb here haha. I’m from Frederick.

    • June 13, 2014 12:54 pm

      We’re from MD & VA (DC area). So Frederick is some of the closest climbing!

      • Thomas permalink
        June 15, 2014 2:23 pm

        Awesome! Can you send me an email at thomas dot w dot carson {at} gmail dot com?


  1. Climbing shoes are not snow boots « Adventures in Pebble Wrestling

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