If you’ve ever wanted to try rock climbing but were intimidated by the skill involved or the dangers of falling, The Pad Climbing Gym in Santa Maria is your chance to try it out.

What most of us think of as rock climbing is actually referred to as “bouldering” when it comes to gyms like The Pad. Bouldering is rock climbing without the ropes, harnesses and helmets we’re used to seeing.

Those devices are not used because the climbing walls are shorter and the floor is padded.

Climbers of any age can find something at The Pad. In addition to bouldering, The Pad offers yoga classes, barre classes, fitnesses classes and climbing clinics.

The Pad is located off of Betteravia Road at 2399 A St. While Pad members enjoy 24-7 access to the facility, day members can get into the gym from 6-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

This location features:
5,000 square feet of bouldering terrain (no rope climbing)
Free rental shoes
Rings, ropes, and a hang board
Basic weight room, including dumbbells, multiuse rack, medicine balls, and more
Free yoga classes for members

Dustin Wise of The Pad said the climbing courses are color coded to easier find the way up the wall, and each route is rated in difficulty. Toward the back of the gym there is a “cave” structure where you can literally climb upside down like Spiderman.

While on some walls you climb up and climb down the same route, other walls have a platform at the top where you can come down on stairs.

Wise said climbing is a great workout for the body, but it’s surprisingly mentally engaging as well as you strategize how best to move from one handhold and foot placement at a time.