Climbing Comp Tips that Will Help Maximize Your Score
Always Room for Improvement
I know we've talked about tree climbing comps many times in the past so for those of you that don't like them, we're sorry, but for those of you that love them as we do, hopefully, you can pull some useful climbing comp tips out of this blog for your next competition! Tree climbing comps are a great time to meet new climbers, as well as meet up with old friends that you've met over the years. On top of that, they are a great way to refine some of the skills that you've been using at work to make your days a bit more efficient and maybe improve upon some of the things you do, like ascending faster!
It's All In the Details
Some of the little things that I've found that help separate yourself from the rest of the pack at climbing comps are all in the details. The old adage 'the devil is in the details' certainly applies to climbing comps. Of all the climbing comp tips I could offer, making sure to read through the rulebook and actually understand it is the best way to maximize the points you are looking to score. Don't look at the climbing comp as a general day at work. You are here to compete and the only way to win is to understand the rules that govern the way the game is played'and scored. Whether that be understanding the need to call an 'all clear' before descending with the rescue dummy in the Aerial Rescue event or the need to hand off the victim to the EMTs. These are all things that will help ensure that you score maximum points during an event and they can all be found in the rule book.
Communicate with the Judges
Another climbing comp tip that will help ensure you are maximizing your chances of scoring points in an event such as the Work Climb is to relay everything you are doing to the judges on the ground. If you are going to have loose gear while aloft, tell them! If you are going to be making a big swing, tell them! If you are using two hands on your hand saw while ringing a bell, tell them! On top of that, be sure to use two hands on your hand saw because that gains you maximum points for ringing the bell and it makes you look more confident in the tree, which in turn helps you gain more discretionary style points!
One thing that I've found to be useful when getting to the log toss station is grabbing two logs at one time. Now you are prepared to drop that second log into the ring if you miss on your first throw. This will help save you a little bit of time, which helps out on the scorecard as well! Another thing to really keep in mind is once you've thrown that second log, don't just sit there and watch it float through the air hoping it hits the target. Once that log has left your hand, you can't do anything about it so you had might as well start moving to the next station to keep your time down!
Your Landing Doesn't Have to be Pretty to Score Well
When it comes to the landing station in the Work Climb, if you don't feel like you are going to stomp the landing with both feet, land with one foot as close to the bullseye as you can and then pivot on that foot so you can land your second foot in the center of the bullseye. Though this might seem like a cheap way to gain some extra points, it is totally allowed in the rulebook and is something that would totally happen in real life if you were trying to avoid landing in some sort of water hazard or maybe avoiding landing in a flower bed!
Keep It Simple
When it comes to the Throw Line event, the best way to lose out on potential points is to not call your audible warnings. This is a huge downfall for some competitors and will cost them major points in the event. Throw Line is one of the best places to score valuable points that will surely get you into the Master's Challenge. Another thing that I have personally found is the best way to score points is to put that throw line straight through the targets. There is a time for double bagging and, in my opinion, the Throw Line event is not that time. More times than not, the lines will get confused and you'll end up pulling the rope up on the wrong one and have a huge disaster on your hands! Keep it simple and slam your targets!
Set that Line!The Master's Challenge is one of the most nerve wracking places you'll go as a comp climber. Hands down, one of the most NERVE WRACKING! Especially sitting in the quarantine area waiting to compete! However, once you're in the ring, all the nerves fade away and you get to do your thing! You deserve to be there and it's your time to shine in front of all your friends! The best advice that I have for you is to try and get that line set on your first throw. If you are nervous about setting by hand, by all means bring in a Big Shot and GET THAT LINE SET! There are some points to be had on the ground, but almost all of your potential points are in the air. Once you are in the tree don't get too overwhelmed with getting every bell, especially when time is running thin. Your best bet might be to pull your gear and not get the 20 point deduction, instead of trying to go down a hero! In the heat of the moment it's hard to judge these things because at times our pride will get the best of us, making it really hard to not want to chase down that last bell!
Good Luck at Your Next Comp
In the end, climbing comps are a great way to have an awesome time with your friends and peers and show the public how awesome our jobs really are! Hopefully you pulled some good ideas and climbing comp tips out of this blog that can help you at your next comp and if this year is your first comp, go have fun and climb some awesome trees!