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The 10 Best Wooden Hangboards

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A hangboard is one of the best off-wall climbing training anyone can use, and if you’re on a quest to find some of the best hangboards in 2023, you’ve landed in the right place.

Best Hangboard - Beastmaker 100

My Top Pick

Beastmaker 1000

The benchmark for hangboarding, the Beastmaker 1000 is the beginner board of choice.

So iLL wooden fingerboard

For Variety

so iLL Iron Palm

Want to work more than your crimp strength? The Iron Palm can work your pinch power and slopers.

Beastmaker 2000

For Advanced

Beastmaker 2000

The most popular choice for advanced and elite level crushers, complete with slopers and mono pockets.

YY Penta portable hangboard thumbnail

For Travel

YY Vertical Penta

The Penta packs an impressive variety of grips into a small package. Perfect for training on the go!

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Hangboarding, also known as fingerboarding, has become a staple of climbing training since John Bachar first introduced us to finger-specific training – along with his early interpretation of the hangboard –  in the 1980s.  Over four decades later hangboarding still remains one of the best ways to increase your finger and grip strength. 

The humble hangboard is undoubtedly one of the most simple and worthwhile training tools you can use. If you follow any professional climbers on social media, I am sure you have already seen plenty of world-class crushers incorporating a hangboarding session in their training regimes. Even Eric Hörst, the internationally renowned climbing author and researcher, states in his Training For Climbing book that “the straight-armed, weighted hang is the single most effective isolation exercise a climber can do.”

So, if you think your climbing ability has plateaued due to the lack of contact strength, then it might be time to start getting some hang time in your regime. There’s certainly no shortage of brilliant hangboards available in 2023, but if you are looking for a board that offers a comfortable, lightweight and training variety, then a wooden hangboard might just be the perfect tool for you.

The Best Wooden Hangboards

I have researched and tested dozens of the best wooden hangboards available right now to help you find your perfect training tool. Here are 10 of my favorite wooden fingerboards that will help you crush harder. 

Remember that overzealous hangboarding can cause significant strain and injury to your fingers. Climbers of all abilities can benefit from some hang time, but if you are new to fingerboarding, be sure not to put excessive strain on your fingers too fast. A low-intensity hangboard protocol is a brilliant way to get started. Stay safe out there, kids.

My Top Pick

Beastmaker 1000

Beastmaker 1000 Wooden Fingerboard

We Like

Allows for quality and varied training
3 different edge sizes
Good for intermediate climbers
Sustainably sourced wood

We Don’t Like

A little pricey

The Beastmaker has earned a reputation as being one of the best hangbaords ever made, regardless if you are looking for a resin or wood hangboard.

Made in Sheffield, UK, each board starts as a solid block of North American tulipwood, and through a combination of machine and handwork, it is made into a finely-tuned training machine. The layout, ergonomically designed to increase finger strength, has become the global standard for fingerboards in the 21st century. 

These fingerboards are designed with beginner and intermediate climbers in mind, so the Beastmaster 1000 is ideally suited for climbers who are working on grades between 5c -7a. With a fantastic mixture of crimps, edges, and slopers there are plenty of holds on this compact board that will help develop you into a V10 crusher in no time. The holds on a Beastmaker 1000 include:

  • 2 Jugs
  • 35 Degree Slopers
  • 20 Degree Slopers
  • 1 Very Deep 4 Finger Pocket
  • 2 Deep 4 Finger Pockets
  • 2 Deep 3 Finger Pockets
  • 2 Deep 2 Finger Pockets
  • 2 Medium 4 Finger Pockets
  • 2 Small 4 Finger Pockets (10mm)
  • 2 Medium 2 Finger Pockets
  • 2 Medium 3 Finger Pocket

The huge variety of holds on this board gives you unlimited training possibilities and the slopers are a brilliant addition that isn’t found on many wooden hangboards. Another cool feature is that Beastmaker also has its own training app to help you make the most of your board.

The creators of Beastmaker are big on sustainability and minimizing their impact on the environment. Each board is made of FSC approved wood and their packaging is made from recycled cardboard. They also use renewable energy to power their workshop to ensure they are having as little impact on the environment as possible.

Best Value Board

Metolius Wood Grips II

Metolius Wood Grips II Climbing Board

We Like

Budget-friendly price
Great Training Variety
Good option when space is limited

We Don’t Like

Lacks a smaller edge size

The Metolius Wood Grips board is a tried and tested tool for generations of US crushers. It comes in both a compact and deluxe model, but it’s the compact board that gets me excited.

For a very reasonable price, this board gives you all the tools you need for a sufficient and varied finger workout, offering a really variety of pockets, edges, slopers, and jugs. They also have a couple of beginner training guides that will help you get started in the world of hanging. The Metolius Wood Grips board consists of the following edges:

  • 1 x 29mm 4 finger pocket
  • 1 x 19mm 4 finger pocket
  • 1 x 56mm rounder sloper
  • 2 x 56 mm flat sloper
  • 2 x Outer jugs
  • 2 x 29mm edges
  • 2 x 29mm 3-finger pockets
  • 2 x 29mm 2-finger pockets
  • 2 x 19 mm edges
  • 2 x 19mm 3-finger pockets

In my opinion, the Metolius board offers a very similar training variety as the Beastmaker does, but for $30 cheaper. If budget is a big factor for you, then it’s hard to argue with this one.

Best Advanced Hangboard

Beastmaker 2000

Beastmaker 2000 best advanced wooden hangboard

We Like

Extremely versatile
3 different sloping degrees
Ideal for advanced climbers
Sustainably sourced wood

We Don’t Like

Unsuitable for inexperienced climbers
A little expensive

The other hangboard in the Beastmaster range is the 2000. At a glance, the 2000 looks similar to the 1000, but if you take a closer inspection, you will notice plenty of differences between the two.

The Beastmaker 2000 is designed with advanced crushers in mind and was even developed with the input of some of the UK’s elite climbers.

The jugs have been replaced with some heinous 45-degree slopers, and there are also 4 mono pockets scattered around the board. The holds on the Beastmaker 2000 are:

  • 45 Degree Slopers 
  • 35 Degree Slopers
  • 20 Degree Slopers 
  • Medium 3 Finger Pocket
  • Smaller 3 Finger Pocket
  • Mouth Jug
  • Big, Little & Incut Rungs
  • Back 2 Pockets 
  • Big, Little & Sloping 2 Finger Pockets
  • Sloping and 1 Pad Monos

The Most Unique

YY Verticalboard One

YY Vertical One Hangboard

We Like

15 different edges!
30° sloping pocket
Affordable price
Centre handle

We Don’t Like

Not sustainably sourced wood

YY Vertical has churned out a bunch of wooden hangboards over the last few years, but their flagship VerticalBoard One is the one that stands out. The board consists of the following features:

  • 4 finger pockets : 45mm, 25mm, 20mm, 18mm
  • 4 finger pockets + inserts: 35mm, 15mm, 10mm, 8mm – Inclined holds: 25mm/30°
  • Two-finger pockets: 50mm, 30mm
  • Slopers : 35°, 20°
  • 2 buckets + central handle

This board has a really impressive range of grips, which is made possible with the help of the magnetic inserts which bring the sizes down to a desperate 8mm edge. The 30° sloping pocket is also pretty rare to find on even the best hangboards out there, and the central angle allows for assisted one-arm exercises.

Best For Pinches

So iLL Iron Palm

Climbing Wooden Fingerboard

We Like

Slopers and pinches allow for a nice training variety
Nice aesthetic design

We Don’t Like

No pockets

Crimping is only one of the many types of grip positions in a climber’s arsenal. If you want to train more than your crimp strength and three-finger drag, then the So iLL Iron Palm is here to help. This board has the following grips:

  • Slopers
  • 2 Pinches (wide & narrow)
  • 44mm edge
  • 30mm edge
  • 25mm edge
  • 12mm edge

While it suffers from a lack of pockets, it does have a decent variety of edge sizes. The main selling point here is the sloper and pinch, which allows you a bit of variety that you won’t find on your average training board.

Best Travel Hangboard

YY Vertical Penta

YY Penta

We Like

Lightweight and portable
Great variety for its size
Use for dead hangs or finger curls
Good value for money

We Don’t Like

Needs to be arranged before use
Limited progression

If you’re looking for something a little more compact, and less pricey, then take a look at the Penta from YY Vertical.

Training grips like this are a great option if you want a climbing-specific training tool, or just don’t like the idea of drilling a permanent setup above your doorframe. You can easily hang these from a pull-up bar, a roof beam, tree branch, or the first bolt of a sport route, or use finger curls instead of dead hangs.

When it comes to portable hangboards, the Penta is up there with the best of them. The Penta offers the following grip positions:

  • 30mm edge
  • 25mm edge
  • 20mm edge
  • 15mm edge
  • 10mm edge
  • Mono pocket
  • Duo pocket
  • Handle

Weighing only 220g, you wouldn’t even notice the extra weight of these attached to your backpack!

Cheapest Board

Metolius Prime Rib

Metolius Prime Rib

We Like

Very budget-friendly price
Enough for beginners to get started
A good option when space is limited

We Don’t Like

Limited variety progression

If you are looking for the cheapest hangboard, then the Metolius Prime Rib could be the one for you. Although it doesn’t come with the bells and whistles of the other wooden fingerboards on this list, it one of the cheapest boards you will find, and still has enough edges here for a basic finger workout.

This board consists of three edges:

  • Large (38mm)
  • Medium (23mm) 
  • Small (18mm).

As the board is just a little over 10 cm it’s the perfect size to hang over a door frame. It also only needs 4 screws to mount, making it an easy set-up. At around the $50 mark, you will be hard-pressed to find a better training board around this price range.

Best for Style

Dudes Vs. Gravity’s Gravityboard

Dudes vs gravity hangboard

We Like

Most stylish board out there
Small edges up to 5mm

We Don’t Like

Lacks variety
A little expensive for what you get

Bridging the gap between training equipment and interior design, the DUDES vs. GRAVITY’S GRAVITY board is about as fashion-conscious as climbing equipment comes. These boards look like something straight out of a modern art gallery, with the natural curved edges mincing the edges and contours of the rock.  

This wooden hangboard doesn’t just look good, it has a nice variety of edges hidden within its contours too. The edges seamlessly morph from 5mm to 20mm edges, which offers a nice variety. There are also a couple of hidden slopers on the top that range from 20° and 45°.

The GRAVITYboard comes in two different types of wood. The birch model is lighter in color, and retails for $50 dollars cheaper, but the dark and rich color of the walnut version is pretty awesome, so might be worth the little extra.

Best of the Rest

Buddyboard Hangboard

BuddyBoard Wooden Hangboard

We Like

Great for 1 arm progression hangs
Budget-friendly price
Sustainably sourced wood

We Don’t Like

Lacks smaller edges
A little expensive for what you get

Danger Buddies might not be a big name in the world of climbing but their BuddyBoard is a great option for climbers of all abilities.

For starters, this fingerboard is made in Wisconsin using sustainably sourced US hardwood, which I can vibe. But the board itself also boasts a great variety of holds and a bunch of great features. The board boasts the following features:

  • Phone Stand
  • 2 Practise Anchors
  • 2 Jugs
  • 20 Degree Sloper
  • 2 x Small 40 mm Pocket
  • 2 x Small 30mm Pocket
  • 2 x Medium 30mm Pocket
  • 2 x Medium 20mm Edge
  • 1 x Large 35mm Edge
  • 1 x Large 25mm Edge
  • 1 x Large 15mm Edge

I like the variety of edges and pockets the Buddyboard offers, but the reason we think it is one of the best hangboards currently on the market is due to all those awesome extra features.

For example, the built-in phone stand is a cool addition, and the practice anchors are also useful for counterweighting, practicing clipping, or assisted one-arm exercises.

Best Of The Rest

Awesome Woodys’ Cliff Board Mini

Awesome Woody Mini

We Like

Awesome variety for a travel board
Handmade in Australia

We Don’t Like

Difficult to buy outside of Australia

I first tried an Awesome Woody Hangboard in a bouldering gym in Brisbane and I was really impressed by the versatility of these little guys.

While the Awesome Woody Mini certainly doesn’t offer the same range of holds as the Beastmaker 1000, there are still enough crimps and edges to keep things interesting and give you a diverse workout. Each board has the following holds:

  • Top rail, 30 mm rounded open-handed in-cut
  • 2nd edge, 20 mm rounded flat
  • 3rd edge 15 mm rounded flat
  • Back edge, 12 mm rounded edge
  • 2nd-row pockets
  • 2 x 3 finger pockets 25 mm
  • 2 x mono’s 30 mm
  • 1 x 2 finger 25 mm
  • 3 x hand holes

The open-hand holes are great for building your pull-up and lock-off power.

How to Choose a Hangboard

There are a few things to look out for when finding the best hangboard for you. The first thing you will look at is the holds and the variety of grips the board offers. What are you trying to improve? And does the hang board allow for the training you require?

Because the purpose of a hangboard is to build grip strength, you should be looking for a board that has a variety of holds, some that you can hold for over 10 seconds, and others that you aren’t able to hold at all. This allows you to progress once you start to develop your finger strength. 

Another factor to consider is the size and weight of your prospective hangboard. If you are planning on hanging yours above a door frame, you will probably need a board that is less than 20cm high, although this ultimately depends on your doorways. Wherever you decide to hang yours, make sure your wall is strong enough that it can hold both the weight of the board and you hanging from it.

Fingerboard Vs Hangboard – What’s the difference?

Throughout this article, I have referred to both fingers and hangboards. To set the record straight, fingerboards and hangboards are the same things and both names are often used interchangeably. 

Rock Rings Vs Hangboard

Hangboards aren’t the only option to build forearm strength at home. Rock Rings are also a great option for house-ridden rock monkeys looking for climbing-specific training. 

Hangboards, just as the name suggests, are designed for the specific use of hanging on. Despite many climbers also using them for pull-ups, this is not what they are intended for and can actually cause serious injury. 

Rock Rings, on the other hand, use a hanging design (as opposed to a mounted one) which allows them to move freely and prevent stress and injury to your joints. 

While hangboarding has been proven to improve your finger strength, Rock Rings will help improve your core strength too. Check out some Metolius’ training programs here for more information.

Campus Board Vs Hangboard

As we have already discussed, the goal of hangboard training is to improve finger strength and grip strength. Campus board training is designed to fundamentally improve your explosive power as well as your ability to move between holds under tension and speed.

Wooden Vs Plastic Hangboards

Generally, hangboards are made from two different materials, wood and plastic. There are distinct characteristics and advantages to both of these styles.

If you are looking for the best wooden fingerboard there are a few things you need to know. Wooden hangboards are favored by many climbers. The pros tend to use wooden hangboards because they are a lot smoother, and therefore a lot more gentle, on your fingers. This makes them more skin-friendly due to their softer texture, but also makes them more difficult to hold than their plastic counterparts due to the reduced friction. 

Another characteristic of wooden hangboard is that they are often lighter, smaller, and often built with a flatter design, making them easier to mount over a door or somewhere similar in your house.

While using a little chalk can be beneficial, be careful to not over-chalk as this will make your board slippy. Cleaning with a soft brush every now and then will keep your wood fingerboard in good condition. 

Plastic hangboards aren’t actually made from plastic, but rather from polyester resin, similar to what you would expect most gym holds to feel like. One of the coolest things about these styles of fingerboards is that they can be made in some unusually shaped molds, giving you a bigger variety of grips, pinches, and slopers to play with.

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