SLO Paddie Camps are here!

Pad Promo Color (34 of 77).jpg

Paddie campers are given instruction on the many fun aspects of climbing including: basic climbing technique, bouldering fundamentals, belaying, knot craft, and much more.

They’ll try out many other high energy activities such as climbing games, slacklining, and a miniature competition at the end of each weekly session.

Our instructors work with each camper to both motivate and help develop problem solving skills, self-awareness, and self-confidence in a fun and supportive setting. This isn’t a place to park your kids for the summer - you’re starting them on a confidence, athletic, and self-motivating journey!

Ages: 6+

Time: 9-12pm

Weekly Sessions

  • July 8th – July 12th

  • July 15th – July 19th

  • July 22nd – July 26th

  • July 29th – August 2nd

  • August 5th – August 9th

  • August 12th – August 16th


  • $225 Member

  • $250 Non - Member

Santa Maria gets a youth climbing team!

Summer’s out and it’s time to get strong!

Pad Promo Color (37 of 77).jpg

We are so excited to announce that we are forming a competitive team for the Santa Maria area youth!

While climbing can be a solo or partner sport, teaming up is a time honored tradition. These are not after-school programs. They are for kids serious about climbing.

Competitive seasons are:

  • Bouldering - September to February

  • Sport climbing - February to July

  • We will be offering mini comps throughout summer as well

Great attitude and willingness to be coached is all we’re looking for. 90 min/day 2 days a week. $110/mo (includes membership) - limited scholarship opportunities are available!

Tryouts are scheduled for May 30th (Thursday at 4:30 pm)

Practices will start the following Thursday at 6 pm.

Email head coach Eddie for more info or sign up at the front desk!

YES - The Pad Climbing is expanding!


by COO - Kristin Horowitz

Yishai and I are the kind to go public as soon as we can but growing up from a loosely organized wall in a storage unit to a world-class rope gym has caused some major changes for how we’re used to operating. We get inquiries weekly or more from different locations about expanding and rumors (mostly because, again, we like to make sure our staff knows what’s up, and our friends) - and we want to get ahead of things:

Is The Pad coming to Goleta/Santa Barbara?

Yes. Yishai has been looking for an adequate building in the area for ten years, but none seemed to play out. In the meantime, we built the Santa Maria location (partly to stop anyone else from coming in - partly to support a totally underserved community with the Paddie love), and then expanding into our new digs in SLO. It was a good thing. We’ve learned a lot and stressed a ton and are now in a good place, with a good team, to bring the love to Santa Barbara. We do not intend on putting anyone out of business, nor killing what good has come from existing programs there - but there is a market that’s not being served, and that includes all of our friends, the original climbing area founders, and more. We’re not about money; we’re about community, and we’re locals - believe it or not, friends and family teem in SB. And we’re damn lucky because they’re the ones who are backing this expansion, too.

What’s the timeline?
We accidentally had the new project leaked when a reporter put it in Noozhawk. This also prompted us to make a Facebook page to communicate news as it came. Yes, it’s been kinda quiet - because we had a lease agreement nailed down, but then the landlord changed his minute when it came to pen on paper and we were looking again.

Good news is that the city of Goleta, the climbers, and even the construction firm we are looking at is pulling for us and we’re looking at a few places - just need to nail down the best location. Goleta/SB is a HARD market for a climbing gym to come into - that’s why we’ve been looking for 10 years. We probably wouldn’t keep going with this as aggressively if the community wasn’t coming out of the woodwork to support us. That’s what motivates us, you. That’s what made us get this far.

So, once a lease is signed (we’ll post on that Facebook page) - the MINIMUM opening date will be about 9 months from then as that’s how long it takes Walltopia and team to come together. It takes a long time to permit, engineer, and build a gym - luckily we’re great at pushing things.

Are there investments available?
We are still working on this - there are other locations in the works both immediately and in the future, so structuring things right, and making sure we take care of everyone the right way is important. We are looking at moving away from a community of small investors to larger ones who are scaling-minded and can help us there. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for you to be involved if you’re not that. We’re still - at heart, at least - the people that brought you the country’s first non-profit bouldering gym.

The point is, yes, there will be investments available in the form of shares. If you are interested, get on our notification list and we’ll email you info.

Santa Maria Open House 1/21 - 1/31

Paddies! No excuses! Bring as many friends as much as they want!  Members who get people to sign up get $10 per sign up off their membership  Yoga clinics: 1/20 @ 1 pm, 1/23 @ 5:30 pm - This isn’t just a class, it’s an immersive “why do this, how to do it well, and why you don’t have to stress” class.  Bouldering clinics: 1/21 and 1/29 @ 6 pm - learn from our friendly CEO how to get started and have fun!

Paddies! No excuses! Bring as many friends as much as they want!

Members who get people to sign up get $10 per sign up off their membership

Yoga clinics: 1/20 @ 1 pm, 1/23 @ 5:30 pm - This isn’t just a class, it’s an immersive “why do this, how to do it well, and why you don’t have to stress” class.

Bouldering clinics: 1/21 and 1/29 @ 6 pm - learn from our friendly CEO how to get started and have fun!

The Pad Climbing offers gym-to-crag instruction!


Looking to hit the rocks outside but don’t know where to get started?

We’re pleased to announce that we’re now offering two courses to get you going in San Luis Obispo:

First classes:

1/19/19 1:30pm - Essential Knots for Rock Climbing and Rappelling

1/26/19 1:30pm - Anchor Building 101

Essential Knots - $45

Spend 90-minutes learning essential climbing knots and their applications in outdoor climbing. It’s not just about tying in, it’s about being able to do ALL the things!

Material covered:

  • Terms: What are knots, hitches, bends, and bights?

  • Knots for tying in: Figure 8 followthrough vs Bowline (Single, Double, Yosemite, Edwards)

    • Stopper knots and the Yosemite finish

  • Knots and hitches for anchor building: Overhand knot on a bight, clove hitch, friction hitches (prussik, kleimheist, French prussik/autoblock)

  • Knots for rappelling: Double fisherman’s, Flemish bend, in-line overhand (aka Euro death knot), and figure 8 on a bight

  • Other knots and hitches: Barrell Knot, Square Knot, Alpine Butterfly, Girth Hitch, Munter Hitch, Water Knot

  • Understand and evaluate how knots fail- pinching, rolling, and slipping

Gear you will need: Harness

Anchors 101 $80

Anchors keep people alive. Sometimes just barely... Ideally not just barely. That’s why we’re going to teach you everything you need to know to build and evaluate single-pitch anchors in our local climbing areas. Make sure your anchors keep you and your friends alive!

This three hour course will cover the considerations one needs to take into account when safely building an adequate anchor in a single pitch scenario. Material covered:

  • The gear necessary to build anchors in single-pitch scenarios

  • How to decide on the appropriate anchor configuration and anchor material to use in different single-pitch climbing scenarios

  • How to tie and evaluate several knots and hitches that are useful in the anchor building process

  • Anchor building etiquette and safety considerations

  • Acronyms and other tools to double-check yourself as you begin putting these skills to use in the outdoors

  • How to safely clean a single pitch anchor before rappelling, being lowered, or walking off

Gear you will need

  • Harness

  • 20 feet of 8mm cordelette

  • (2) Double-length slings

About our instructor, Pancho Gomez:


Pancho fell in love with rock climbing while attending Cal Poly in 2008. Throughout college, he worked as a guide with Poly Escapes, Cal Poly's outdoor adventure program. He joined Slo Op when it was still just a small storage warehouse near Trader Joes and immediately came to love the camaraderie and support he found in that small die-hard climbing community.

Since 2008, Pancho has developed a repertoire of technical ropes skills adventuring and participating in technical skills classes as a climber, canyoneer, and mountaineer. He hopes to ensure our rapidly growing community climbs safely and responsibly, both in the gym and at our local crags. Pancho is a certified Single Pitch Instructor by the American Mountain Guide Association.

4 Tips for climbing with extra pounds

Let’s get real. It can be pretty intimidating to walk into any setting where there are people who are tight bodied and train hard.

You feel judged. You judge yourself. You feel guilty. You feel watched. We get you.

We strive to be the most inclusive community you will ever find. We don’t care what you look like, we care that you send (climb to the top). And if you can’t, we’ll help you get there.

Here’s 4 tips to get you climbing if you’re overweight:

  1. Fancy footwork - don’t rely on your arms. As you get started, put all your weight in your feet. As you continue upward, keep looking for your next foot placement. Your feet hold you up! They do that when you walk so why is this any different?

  2. Get your hips into the wall - this goes along with the footwork - if you hang back, or if you try to hold up your weight with your arms, you’ll get tired and you’ll fail. Putting your hips into the wall distributes your weight properly onto your feet and makes going up easier.

  3. Fall with grace - don’t push yourself to the point of panic! Feel free to test the waters of a fall by jumping off right before you get there. Land with bent legs and go backward. See how easy it is. Shed those fears.

  4. Don’t chase the numbers. Try lots of different climbs. You might be best at small holds, overhangs, or what have you. The number is an estimation of difficulty - but every person is different. Don’t limit yourself!

And here’s a bonus tip:

Ask for beta (help) - we all started somewhere, too! Nobody gets better without asking for help unlocking a move and getting better technique - the person you asked will be psyched to start you on your journey!