The Best Climbing Fingerboards of 2021

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After you have been climbing for a while, you reach a plateau, and you feel you are not progressing to climbing higher grades. That is entirely natural, but it is also a call to give more attention to how you train. Apart from what routes you focus on while climbing, it’s also important to have a training routine for strengthening and endurance.

The climbing fingerboard or hangboard is probably the best training tool for that purpose. That is because it incorporates different types of holds that you may encounter, and helps you train the muscles required to execute those moves.

The fingerboard gives you the ability to practice moves that you struggle with repeatedly, or just to increase your overall strength and endurance. It especially helps with strengthening your grip, upper body, and especially the finger muscles, as they are rarely used outside of climbing.

Choosing a fingerboard for your personal training space is the next step in upping your climbing game. You will see an immense difference in your climbing if you start fingerboard training after every climbing session, or even outside your climbing sessions.

Choosing equipment for your climbing training needs can get messy. Wooden hangboards vs. plastic hangboards, rock rings vs. hangboards, doorway hangboard, or portable hangboard, we got you covered! We have compiled a guide on the best climbing fingerboards, to help you choose what best meets your needs, your climbing level, and your budget. We also share some FAQs and tips on fingerboard training, including a sample workout to get you started!

If you want to immediately start training, you can check out one of our top picks here.

Our Top Favorite
TRANGO Rock Prodigy Training Center Hangboard
Our Top Runner Up
So iLL Iron Palm Hangboard
Our Top Value Pick
Metolius Rock Rings 3D Blue / Blue Swirl One Size
Climbing Fingerboards
Trango Rock Prodigy Training Center
So ill Iron Palm
Metolius Rock Rings 3D
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
TRANGO Rock Prodigy Training Center Hangboard
Climbing Fingerboards
Trango Rock Prodigy Training Center
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
So iLL Iron Palm Hangboard
Climbing Fingerboards
So ill Iron Palm
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Metolius Rock Rings 3D Blue / Blue Swirl One Size
Climbing Fingerboards
Metolius Rock Rings 3D
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-09-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our Favorites for the Best Climbing FingerboardsOur Favorites for the Best Climbing Fingerboards

Climbing fingerboards in the market vary in terms of material, price, design, and features. We have singled out what we think are the best climbing fingerboards out there.

Trango Rock Prodigy Training Center

This Trango hangboard is designed in a way that helps a beginner, but also a more experienced climber to build an effective training schedule. The gradual progression of the holds will help you train systematically and soon see an improvement in your strength. It’s made of polyester resin and has a fine-grained texture that offers high friction.

What Makes the Trango Rock Prodigy Training Center Unique:

  • It consists of two pieces, so you can mount them to fit your body physique and have better form while training
  • Some of the holds can be used in multiple ways
  • It’s versatile and can meet the needs of most climbing levels

Why You Should Choose this Hangboard:

  • Great variety of edges, pockets, and pinches
  • Great progression in depth and difficulty of holds
  • Has 15+ different grips

Drawbacks to this Hangboard:

  • Challenging to mount
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • On the expensive side
TRANGO Rock Prodigy Training Center Hangboard
  • FINGER STRENGTH MATTERS - One of the most sophisticated hangboards on the market, the Rock Prodigy helps climbers build their finger strength and precision for the moments they need it most; Installation hardware is NOT included
  • ANY HOLD, ANYTIME - The possibilities are endless; With 2, 3, and 4-finger holds, deep and shallow, plus crimp grips and pinch grips with bumpers, no hand muscle is underworked; Set it up in your garage, living room, office, bedroom; Never stop hanging; Hang while you sleep
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN - 2-piece design lets you fine-tune the the board to your shoulder width; Joint-friendly, ergonomic radius on each hold allows for comfortable workouts and reduces the risk of injury

Last update: 2021-09-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Tension Grindstone Mk2

The Tension Grindstone Mk2 includes the utilities of the much loved previous models. It’s a very comfortable wooden hangboard, and the edges are well-designed for min-edge hangs. It’s also great for beginners. It has a full-width jug at the top, perfect for warming up, and the offset holds help with consistent shoulder positioning.

What Makes the Tension Grindstone Mk2 Unique:

  • The edges are sized in a way that makes it possible to train from one to four fingers at a time without the need for designated pockets.
  • It has a phone holder.
  • The texture and quality of the wood are exceptional

Why You Should Choose this Hangboard:

  • The wooden, rounded edges make training kind to your skin, as opposed to a plastic hangboard.
  • It has a variety of edge sizes.
  • It’s suitable for every ability
  • It’s easy to mount

Drawbacks to this Hangboard:

  • It’s on the expensive side
  • It only has edges and a jug

Beastmaker 2000

The Beastmaker 2000 is targeted to the more advanced climbers out there and has been designed with the input of the UK’s best climbers. So to be able to enjoy the Beastmaker 2000 you need to be taking your training seriously! It is made out of fine texture wood and offers a multitude of holds. It has a medium three-finger socket and a small three-finger socket, as well as 45,35 and 20-degree slopers. It also has a mouth jug, various size rungs, and two-finger pockets. It’s easy to mount and comes with six screws for installation.

What Makes the Beastmaker 2000 Unique:

  • It includes an app that makes repeater workouts easy
  • It has enough variety of holds so you will be able to target your weaknesses and allows for consistent gains, even if you are very advanced
  • It has slopers of different angles

Drawbacks to this Hangboard:

  • Not suitable for every ability level, targeted towards high-end climbers that can climb 5.13s. It doesn’t offer enough progression for less experienced climbers.
  • No pinches

Beastmaker 1000

The Beastmaker 1000 hangboard is designed for experienced beginners and intermediate climbers. It allows you to create a training workout to progress to climbing higher grades quickly. It covers the needs of both intermediate and advanced climbers. It has two jugs, 35 and 20-degree slopers, and pockets of various edge sizes for two to four fingers. The Beastmaker 1000 is made of wood of fine texture and is very kind to the skin.

What Makes the Beastmaker 1000 Unique:

  • It includes an app that makes repeater workouts easy
  • It has a great variety of pocket depths

Why you should choose a Beastmaker hangboard (for both the 1000 and 2000 models):

  • It’s made of wood, so has better natural grip than a resin board, great feel and is friendly to the skin
  • Compact, lightweight, and easy to install
  • It’s considered the standard for fingerboards
  • Reasonably priced

Our Runner Ups for the Best Climbing Fingerboards

Our Runner Ups for the Best Climbing Fingerboards

Metolius Simulator 3D

The Metolius Simulator 3D is one of the most popular hangboards out there. It’s made of resin, comes in different colors, and is famed for its durability. Metolius is a manufacturer that has been designing hangboards for many years. The Simulator 3D has jugs, slopers and pockets of various depths and widths. It comes with a training guide, comprehensive instructions and mounting hardware. It has a symmetric and ergonomic design. It’s also one of the most affordable hangboards.

What Makes the Metolius Simulator 3D Unique:

  • The holds are arranged along an arc that curves outward and downward for better ergonomics and reduced injuries
  • For a non-wooden board, it has a finely grained texture and is quite easy on the skin

Why You Should Choose this Hangboard:

  • Durability
  • Variety of holds for beginners and intermediates

Drawbacks to this Hangboard:

  • Needs an additional board for mounting
  • Not ideal for advanced climbers
  • Inexpensive

So ill Iron Palm

The Iron Palm has four primary edges of different angles and shapes, and two spheres used as slopers. It doesn’t have pockets, but you can use the edges as pockets with any number of fingers. Its slopers and pinches are its strongest points. It’s ideal for intermediate climbers. The top edge is deep enough to be used as a jug. It’s made from urethane, which is easier to grip than resin and is rougher on your skin than wood.

 What Makes the So iLL Iron Palm Unique:

  • Great slopers and pinchers
  • Targets strength of the whole hand

Why You Should Choose this Hangboard:

  • Versatile edges and holds
  • Special but functional design
  • Wide dimensions make training safer for your joints

Drawbacks to this Hangboard:

  • Oversized
  • It doesn’t have pockets
So iLL Iron Palm Hangboard
  • 2 Big Slopers & Pinches
  • Various Edges
  • Ultra Bomber Urethane

Last update: 2021-09-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Our Value Picks for the Best Climbing Fingerboards

Our Value Picks for the Best Climbing Fingerboards

Metolius Rock Rings 3D

The Metolius Rock Rings are an affordable and innovative option. Each ring includes a large jug at the top, a deep 4-finger-width pocket, a 4-finger flat edge, and a 3-finger pocket at the bottom. They are made from polyester resin.

What Makes the Metolius Rock Rings Unique:

  • They are lightweight and portable
  • Because of their free-hanging design, they allow rotation of joints, reducing the risk of injury

Why you should choose these training holds:

  • They are inexpensive
  • Consisting of two pieces gives freedom in installation making them more ergonomic

Drawbacks to this Hangboard:

  • They won’t be of much use to an advanced climber
  • Not a great variety of grips

Last update: 2021-09-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Metolius Project

The Metolius Project is a compact hangboard, made by polyester resin. It is precision CNC milled, which means it has a fine texture and perfect symmetry. The board is arched and curves downwards, so you don’t scrape your forearms while you train. It has jugs, slopers, and pockets of various depths and widths.

What Makes the Metolius Project Unique:

  • It’s probably the simplest and cheapest hangboard, but can provide you with an effective workout
  • It’s compact and is a perfect doorway hangboard

Why You Should Choose this Hangboard:

  • Fine texture, kind to the skin
  • Inexpensive
  • Holds that taper down ergonomically

Drawbacks to this Hangboard:

  • Needs additional board for mounting
  • Not ideal for beginners as it doesn’t offer enough variety for progression
  • Doesn’t have pinches
Metolius Project Training Board Green / Green Swirl One Size
  • Metolius
  • Designed for better ergonomics as the holds are arranged along a broad arc that tapers outward and downward
  • Save your forearms from scrapes as the board tapers from top to bottom in both dimensions for better forearm clearance

Last update: 2021-09-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


How to Choose the Best Climbing Fingerboard for You

How to Choose the Best Climbing Fingerboard for You

With so many different fingerboards in the market, it can be difficult to choose the one that fits your needs the best. Here are the main factors you should consider before choosing your fingerboard:

Price

What’s your budget? Do you have enough experience with fingerboarding to know that a more expensive fingerboard is a worthwhile investment for you? The price will differ according to the material’s quality, but you can still find affordable options. More expensive doesn’t always mean it’s better for you.

Ability level and Hold types

What is your experience in climbing and fingerboarding? What are the weak points you want to strengthen using a fingerboard? Do you already have training in your schedule and want to train more at home?

Key Differentiators of Climbing Fingerboards

Key Differentiators of Climbing Fingerboards

Material

Wooden hangboards vs. Plastic hangboards

Fingerboards are usually made using one of two materials: Wood and polyurethane resin (plastic). In the FAQ section, we will go over what we think is the best material for a fingerboard between these two. Resin is the same material from which climbing holds are made of and gives you more grip than wood, but it’s also rougher on your hands.

Design and ergonomics

Rock rings vs. hangboards

Rock rings are definitely the cheaper option out there, and they are easier to mount than a hangboard. They are portable, as opposed to most hangboards, that are fixed on the wall. You can find a few hangboard models that are also portable, however. Rock rings take up less space than most hangboards.

Another advantage of rock rings is that because they come in two pieces, they can be installed in positions that are ideal for your body, and also allow for joint rotation. However, you can find hangboards of better material and quality that will give you that option too. Finally, and most importantly, a hangboard will no doubt give you a much larger variety of holds and training exercises.

So the rock rings are a good alternative to a hangboard if you are limited by space or budget or want something very portable. If you don’t have these limitations, in terms of getting the most effective workout, you should go for a hangboard.

Other Important Things to Consider When Buying Climbing Fingerboards

Other Important Things to Consider When Buying Climbing Fingerboards

Location and Ease of Mounting

Before you buy a fingerboard, you should consider where and when you will train. Are you scheduling training sessions a few times a week, or do you want to have the possibility to play on your hangboard as you walk in your house? What kind of walls do you have? If you are renting, are you allowed to drill holes? What hangboard dimensions can you accommodate in your space? Narrowing down the possible ways you have for mounting a fingerboard will help you in making the right decision.

Portability

Do you want a fingerboard to take with you on climbing excursions and family trips? Or do you want something to set up in your permanent residence? Do you move houses often? If so, a portable hangboard might be a better fit for you.

FAQ about Climbing Hangboards

FAQ about Climbing Hangboards

When Should You Start Fingerboarding?

It’s better to work on your climbing technique and overall strength for a while before you start fingerboarding. When you feel that what’s holding you back is finger strength, that’s when it’s a good idea to start training on the fingerboard.

Some say you shouldn’t train on a fingerboard unless you have been climbing or bouldering for at least a year. A good rule of thumb is to start when you feel you have reached a plateau in the grades you can climb and need a strength boost.

Just having strong fingers will not help you climb harder, but having technique and coordination developed by actual climbing, combined with additional finger strength training will make an immense difference in your climbing.

The most important thing is to roughly know how the fingerboard works so that you can use it with safety. Fingerboarding is quite intense on the fingers, muscles, and tendons.

Wooden Hangboards vs. Plastic Hangboards: Which One Helps Most?

  • Wood is better than resin in terms of its natural properties of grip, porosity, and texture.
  • Wooden fingerboards usually cost more than plastic ones.
  • If you are a beginner, you may find them difficult to stay on in the beginning because they have less friction. However, if you want to train harder, wood is best for you.
  • Resin boards have a rougher texture, which can be hard on the skin. However, you can sand down the edges to smoothen them.
  • Resin boards can be molded into any shape, so they usually have a variety of hold types, while wooden boards offer limited grip types.

Beastmaker 1000 vs. Beastmaker 2000: Which is Better?

A Beastmaker hangboard is an excellent choice for a fingerboard.

The difference mainly lies in that the Beastmaker 1000 is ideal for beginners, while the Beastmaker 2000 is targeted almost exclusively towards advanced climbers.

The Beastmaker 2000 does not have any jugs, and has more slopers and monos (one-finger pockets), while the Beastmaker 1000 has jugs and more variation of pocket depths.

However, since their price is the same, if you are a very intermediate climber and you are very serious about strength training, you could go for the Beastmaker 2000 and slowly progress on it, with a lot of practice.

What’s the Best Way to Mount Fingerboards?

Most fingerboards come with installation instructions and equipment. Your biggest decision is to find the best place to mount your fingerboard. Firstly you should check the hangboard dimensions to see how much space you will need. How you will install your fingerboard will also depend on being able to drill holes in your house or not.

You can mount your fingerboard over a door frame, on a beam in your attic or garage, or on a wall (set up away from it so you can hang).

If you plan to use a wall, you need to find out how the wall is made. It needs to be a solid stud wall that will hold your weight and in terms of setting up this the most complicated way (if it’s not over a door frame).

Most importantly, if you are mounting your fingerboard inside your house, it’s best to put it somewhere that you pass by a lot, like outside your room.

How Often Should You Fingerboard?

You should limit intense fingerboard training to two times a week, and not replace actual climbing, but supplementary. Dead hangs put your muscles under a lot of stress, so give your muscles time to rest between high-intensity sessions.

What’s a Good Beginner Fingerboard Workout?

Before you start your fingerboard workout, you should gradually warm up. Ideally, you want to elevate your heart rate and do some mobility exercises for the fingers and forearms. Start your training with a few pull-ups on large holds.

You can train in different ways depending on what your goal is.

To train strength and endurance:

Do a higher number of less intense hangs, with just your bodyweight or less. Take short intervals between hangs to rest. For example:

  • Hang for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20-40 seconds

Repeat this sequence for two to four minutes.

If 20 seconds is too much, you can adjust accordingly. At the end of a max hang, you want to be able to release your fingers with control and not just to flop down.

To build maximum grip strength:

Do a series of brief high intensity hangs, with longer rests between hangs.

A sample beginner workout:

  • Hang on the larger holds, jugs if available, using the endurance sequence described above

Then use a decent-size hold with four fingers (open-handed) on each hand:

  • Hang for seven seconds, rest for three seconds.
  • Repeat six times.
  • Rest for three minutes.

Repeat this workout two or three times.

When this becomes too easy, you can progress on smaller holds.

As we highlighted before, fingerboarding can be quite intense to the muscles and tendons. Here are some tips you should keep in mind before fingerboarding:

  • To prevent injury, you should always avoid the full crimp position, and train with open-handed or half crimp instead.
  • Keep your shoulders retracted. That means they need to be locked down, away from the ears.
  • When you engage your shoulders and arms properly, you should end up with a small bend in your elbows. You shouldn’t hang by your joints.

Summary of the Best Climbing Fingerboards

Putting everything together, in this guide we reviewed the following:

Our Top Favorite
TRANGO Rock Prodigy Training Center Hangboard
Our Top Runner Up
So iLL Iron Palm Hangboard
Our Top Value Pick
Metolius Rock Rings 3D Blue / Blue Swirl One Size
Climbing Fingerboards
Trango Rock Prodigy Training Center
So ill Iron Palm
Metolius Rock Rings 3D
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
TRANGO Rock Prodigy Training Center Hangboard
Climbing Fingerboards
Trango Rock Prodigy Training Center
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
So iLL Iron Palm Hangboard
Climbing Fingerboards
So ill Iron Palm
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
Metolius Rock Rings 3D Blue / Blue Swirl One Size
Climbing Fingerboards
Metolius Rock Rings 3D
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-09-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want to take your climbing to the next level, bringing a climbing fingerboard into your life is one of the best decisions (apart from actual climbing). It’s the perfect addition in your training to help you get over the plateau.

Selecting the ideal climbing fingerboard that meets your training needs and climbing level, as well as finding a suitable mounting location can be tricky.

We have gone over our favorite options for the best climbing fingerboards, and here is our conclusion:

The best hangboard for beginners that want to take their training seriously is the Trango hangboard or the Beastmaker 1000.

For high-end climbers, the Beastmaker 2000 is the way to go. And for those who are on a budget and want the best portable hangboard, the Metolius Rock Rings 3D.

For a simple, budget doorway hangboard, go for the Metolius Project.

An honorable mention goes to the Tension Grindstone MK2, which is favored by many climbers as the hangboard that feels good.

It’s important first to consider what your training needs are, and that will definitely point you in the right direction in choosing the correct fingerboard.

If you found this post helpful, take a look at some of the other climbing gear reviews here:

> Best Climbing Holds

> Best Hangboards for Climbing

> Best Gym Climbing Shoes

> Best Grip Strengtheners for Climbing

> Best Belay Glasses for Climbing

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