National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme (NIBAS)

NIBAS courses are suitable for kids aged 7+ (NIBAS registration requirement). Your kids will learn to boulder in a safe, supervised environment with one instructor to six students. Our NIBAS courses run in line with the National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme. It has five progressive levels, from complete novice to expert climber.

Bouldering is a form of climbing usually practised on small rock boulders, or on indoor walls. Bouldering is carried out at lower heights than roped climbing. The boulderer is able to jump or climb down from the wall (so ropes and harnesses are not required). All bouldering sessions are supervised by our qualified instructors who will ensure your kids learn in a fun and safe environment. All our courses are inclusive of equipment hire.

All courses must be booked per term (10-12 weeks).


NIBAS Levels

Maidstone’s newest indoor bouldering centre offers NIBAS instruction up to Level 4.

1. New Boulderer

An entry level award for candidates who wish to learn what bouldering is as a physical activity and how to use a bouldering wall safely

2. Foundation Boulderer

Aimed at helping candidates understand how a bouldering wall works, and basic preparation and control while bouldering, with an introduction to equipment and movement skills.

3. Competent Boulderer

Corresponding to most bouldering-only centres’ membership standards. This level is aimed at ensuring candidates possess the knowledge and skills to boulder safely at any bouldering facility and operate in a responsible manner.
Passing this level is one of the ways under-18s can boulder unsupervised.

4. Skilled Boulderer

This level is aimed at developing you into a self-motivated boulderer with a wide range of skills and a high level of competence, with a desire to progress by identifying and setting goals.

Competent boulderer test

This 30-minute test checks that you know how to use a bouldering wall correctly and safely. After the test you can then use the bouldering wall without adult supervision. This test is for over-14s.  The test is free if you hold NIBAS Level 3.

Find out more about NIBAS

Fun clubs

The Climbing Experience fun clubs are less formal than NIBAS courses, with more of a focus on fun. This type of course is great for kids and teenagers who want a more relaxed indoor climbing experience with less pressure to attain grades. The courses involve lots of climbing, climbing games and of course, plenty of fun. Your kids will learn how to climb safely, as well as developing climbing skills and techniques and maybe a lifelong love for the sport.

All The Climbing Experience sessions are supervised by our qualified instructors, who will ensure your kids learn in a fun and safe environment. Instructor ratios of one instructor to six students are exactly the same as for our NIBAS classes.

Little Climbers
For ages 7-12

Young Boulderers Club
For ages 13-17


Courses for Adults (16+)

Bouldering induction/ taster

This one hour session for adults (16+) gives you an introduction to the sport of bouldering, as well as to The Climbing Experience’s facilities.

The lesson will take you from a complete beginner to being able to use the centre and to boulder unsupervised.

No previous climbing experience is required. Instructor ratio is one instructor to a maximum six participants.

The lesson fee includes a free coffee in The Social Climber Café, and 10% off your next two lessons.
A bouldering induction includes shoe and chalk bag hire.


“Climbing may be hard, but it’s easier than growing up.”

– Stewart M. Green

Adult improvers’ course

Have you tried bouldering or climbing a few times, been bitten by the bug and want to get better? This course is ideal for anyone who has just started climbing, or has only been climbing for a few months, and wants to push their grade and see just how far they can go.

Private lessons (for kids or adults)

Whether you want a general introduction to bouldering, or to work on particular aspects of climbing, private individual or group lessons are tailored to your personal needs. Private lessons can be tailored for any combination of kids and adults, for a group of up to four people or a 1:1 coaching session. All our courses are inclusive of equipment hire.

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