Kilter Board Rules & Tips

Q: What do the lights mean?

Green - Start holds - one or two green holds mark the start. If 2 holds are lit green, you are supposed to use both to start. In colorblind mode the start holds are marked with green squares. Green holds can also be used as feet as you progress in the problem.

Yellow - Feet only - only to be used by your feet. Do NOT grab yellow holds.

Blue - Hands and feet - can be used for hands and feet. These are blue circles in color blind mode. We are aware the blue circles are hard to see for some types of colorblind and will change that in the app.

Purple - Finish Hold or holds - one or two purple holds. If 2 are lit up, you must hold both at these same time to finish the problem.

Q: What should I climb? 

We strongly recommend using the filters in the app to find climbs that fit the criteria you are looking for. The default sort order is "best" and if you simply hit the search (blue slider icon on right side of search bar) and adjust the grade filter to suit the grade range you are looking for, you should get a nice list of problems to start with.

For a detailed list of the filters and what they mean and some tips for using them, scroll down this FAQ. There is also a video with some basics at the bottom of this page.

Q: How can I find my nearest Kilter Board?

There is a map on our website and also there is a map in the app when you open it up. We are constantly updating them with more boards so please add your board if it is missing.

Private owners can add their boards as well and we won't put your address, just your town or state. If you want to allow visitors to your private wall, leave some contact info so people can reach out.



Q: What are the rules?

We get a lot of questions about what the "rules" are for climbing on a Kilter Board problem. Basically, you start on the green start hold/s and pull yourself off the ground before you progress to the next hold on the climb. Only lit holds are on. To finish, you must grab the purple lit finish hold/s. 

Q: Can I match?

Yes you can match. You can match on climbs outside and you can match on the Kilter Board.

Some setters like to set problems and designate "no matching" so we have accommodated this with the app. It is up to you if you follow this rule but if you don't, it's polite to note in your comments when you log the problem and also consider that when grading (i.e. don't match a no-match and also downgrade it).

No Matching is shown by an icon under the problem name. You can also click on a problem's info button to see if "no matching" is specified in the description.

To set a problem and designate "no matching" write "no matching" in the description when you are saving the problem. The icon will show automatically.

Q: What are legit for feet?

You can stand on any hold that is lit up for your problem -- any yellow, green, blue, or purple hold is fair game.

You can also smear your feet on the wall itself -- on the kick board below or between the footholds and on the upper board between holds.

Q: What are not feet?

Any hold not lit up for your problem is NOT on -- all the kick board feet are not on for every boulder. The holds must be lit up to be on the problem.

You should NOT stand in the seam if one exists between the kick board and upper board--this is not on.

Q: What if there are no footholds lit up?

The problem may be tracking (i.e. feet follow hands) and may require you to smear on the wall to get off the ground or do something fancy like campus, figure-4, start upside-down, or do a super high foot. The problem could also have a campus start or be a full campus problem. If you are starting upside-down or climbing upside-down, make sure you have a good landing and falling plan!

Video beta from other users may also help you unlock the beta. To see beta videos, you can click the instagram video icon on any problem to see if it has videos or to add your own video.

Q: Do I have to sit start?

Many problems have low starting holds, meaning they are intended with a sit or squat start. This can be different for different sizes of climbers, at different wall angles, and because different gyms have different heights of kick board exposed. Many things may may affect your ability to sit start or not, so we can't give a blanket rule. We recommend starting as low as you can on low start problems (i.e. if makes sense to sit on the floor and start from there, do that) and if you're not sure watch other climbers at your gym and any available beta videos to see what others with similar kickboard heights/wall angles have done.

The biggest note on starting "properly" is having both hands, both feet, and your body off the ground before moving your hands off the start hold/s. 



Q: Adding a video

Navigate to the problem page in the app for the climb the video is of. Click the Instagram icon on the top left side of the problem page. Copy the caption. Go to Instagram. Paste the caption in your post or reel with your beta video. It can be pasted at the bottom of your post or modified but basically the post should include: Problem Name, Angle you are climbing it at, Layout - Kilter Board Original or Kilter Board Homewall, and then Tags @kiltergrips @kilterboard @auroraclimbing #kilterboard #climbing #bouldering

Q: Why is my video not showing up?

Videos are added to the app manually 2x a month, so if you've properly tagged it it may just be between add days. If you feel it has been missed, please message us at @kilterboard on instagram and we will find the videos! 



Q: What is the Kilter Board Festival?

The Kilter Board Festival is an annual, world-wide online event where Kilter Board climbers add Kilter Board beta videos to Instagram during the Festival.

Every week we draw from all eligible entries to send out prize packs from Kilter and our Festival partner Evolv including shoes, crash pads, hang boards, and our special Festival Shirt and stickers.

Each year's custom Festival Shirt and stickers are also available for a limited time on our website.

Q: Are there other Kilter Board Comps?

Yes! Gyms around the world host Kilter Board comps. Ask your local gym if you're interested in organizing one. Sometimes we can do custom stickers for comps like this so let us know if you're planning one and need logos or other support.



Q: How do I set a boulder?

Click the + button and then click "add boulder". Click on holds to cycle through the light colors until you've got the correct colors on the correct holds. Test the climb. You can save as draft until you are happy with it, meaning you can open it later and edit it until it is right. Once you are happy with it, name it and publish it so everyone can try it!

You can pinch and zoom on your screen to make it easier to select the right holds.

Q: What are Routes? How do I set them?

Routes are animated sequences that you can climb. You can adjust the speed of the sequence. They can be up to 100 moves long.

To set Routes, email to get your account enabled and get instructions for setting Routes.

Setting Routes can be difficult at first but the app has great tools for easily editing the set and you can save it as a draft until you're happy with it!



Q: How do I log a climb?

When you try or send a boulder, you can log the attempts/ascent and they will be saved to your logbook.

To log an ascent, click the checkmark at the top of the problem page. You will have the option to "Quick Log" (this saves your ascent at the existing angle and consensus grade) or "Log" (this lets you give your opinion on the grade and quality of the climb and add notes. You can also change the wall angle on this screen if your phone is set to a different angle than the wall is at.)

Q: Why should I log my attempts and ascents?

There are a few reasons for logging:

1) Logging helps you track your progress over time. In your logbook tab, you can see the climbs you have tried and done on any different session and also a graph of your sends over the past week, month, and year. You can also see the grades you gave each climb and any notes you made.

2) Logging helps you find climbs you liked again. This can be huge, whether you are projecting, re-projecting, remembering something fun you did, or trying to share problems with your friends.

3) Logging helps the Kilter Board database grow and improve through more opinions from users on the quality and difficulty at different angles of different climbs. This one is super important to us -- when you log, we really appreciate it and so does the community as a whole!

Q: What if I log at climb at the wrong angle or grade?

You can edit climbs in your logbook by swiping left on them and clicking "edit". This is a great tool if you did a session with your phone set to a wrong angle, or if you change your mind about a grade. Some people also climb with friends and then log on their own phones later, and you can use the clock feature to make the time of your session correct even if you log later that night.



Q: How are the grades decided?

The grades are consensus, meaning they are made from all the logged grades on a problem at a specific angle. Please make sure to log your grade opinions to make the consensus as good as possible!

Q: But I don't know how to grade climbs...

Grading is subjective and can be difficult as we all feel differently on different days. Comparing to other climbs in the gym can be difficult as gyms can be all over the place as well.

Grading is basically educated guessing -- using the tools at your disposal to give the grade that most accurately reflects the climb (in your opinion). Your tools will be your experience and ability, comparison problems, and then objective criteria.

Objective criteria can be great for helping you grade. Objective Criteria are things that are fixed -- the wall angle, hold type, hold size, move type, and move size. Whether you think a specific hold type or move type or hold size or move size is hard or easy is subjective however, so you should take the fact part -- 1/2 pad edge for most adults -- and then apply empathy in your consideration -- how would this feel for climbers of this grade, or for climbers on average vs just me who is great at 1/2 pad edges?

Empathy is seeing the climb from the perspective and experience of others. You can think like this -- if a climb says it is V2, do you think someone who maxes out at V2 could climb it? What about if they climb V3? How hard would you have to climb to make this climb feel V2? How hard would that hold or move feel for someone that only climbs V2? 

Remember that gym grading is not standard around the world and a tool like the Kilter Board is a great way to get some standardization by the community agreeing on what certain grades mean and then using that to apply backwards to gym grades to understand if the gym you are at is on average sandbagged or soft or somewhere in between.

Also, remember grades are just a guideline and everyone has different experiences. Climbing is supposed to be fun, and you know if a move is super different for you than others. Use the grades as guidelines and make your experience what you want it to be.

Q: Are there Benchmark Problems? 

The Kilter Board database is awesome, but at nearly 100k problems, can also be overwhelming. We are working on Verified Climbs (like benchmarks) but at 15 angles and all the grades it has proven to be quite a bear to get a list we're happy launching with. We're working on it though and will have those hopefully soon!

Once they are launched, Verified Climbs should help you get an idea of the community agreed spectrum for each grade on the Kilter Board which can help when you grade your ascents also.



Q: How do I find a specific climb?

Use the search tab at the bottom of the app and write the problem name. Note that capitals and special symbols can throw off the search, so if you're having trouble try versions of the name or try searching by the setter and then find the problem you want.

You can also have a friend text the climb to you using the "share" feature in the meatball menu on any problem page.

Q: How do I filter climbs? 

Sorting filters are a great tool in the app to find problems to climb on. Click on the little blue square with the slider bars in it (or just the blue slider marks if dark mode) on the right side of the search bar.

A simple way to start is to adjust the grade sliders to a range you want, then order by "Best" or "Most repeats".

You can sort by difficulty range, by setter (try all the climbs from a setter you like!), by boulders and/or animated routes, by established problems or projects, by problems you've done or not, tried or not, climbs you've liked, climbs with videos, and also by tags that you have assigned to climbs or tags you want to exclude. The last listed filter, "order" will organize the results by "best" "newest" "most repeats" etc...

Play around with the filters and you'll find out how useful they are! 

Filter Details:

Filters may change/evolve as the app does

Climbs: how many climbs suit the criteria you have set. If the number seems unusually low, make sure you don't have text entered on the "search" tab. You can also reset everything and try again if you aren't getting results (for example if it says 0 climbs but you know that the setter you have chosen has set some).

Setter: search by setter username. Kilter Studio is a good one to start with.

Difficulty: Slide the slider pins to create a difficulty range. The results will show all established climbs of this difficulty, and then will show projects that may be close to this difficulty based on their grade at nearby angles. Bear in mind that problems with just one ascent will be graded based on that person's opinion, so please log your ascents and add grades to help the database reach a good consensus for each problem.

Climb Types: Boulders and Routes. You can turn off one of these sliders or leave both on. Boulders are single climbs. Routes are animated routes where the lights go on and off in a sequence and you have to stay within the lights.


Established - The problem has been graded at the angle by at least one person

Open Projects - The problem doesn't have a grade at this angle

Drafts - Your problem drafts

Special: Climbs you've done, liked, blocked, or that have beta videos.

Tall climbs - climbs that use up the majority of the height of the board, i.e. if you have a 10x12 Homewall it will filter climbs that use up more of the wall than just the 7x10 section.


These are tags you have added to boulders. To add tags, use the meatball menu on a problem page and click "tag". You can create tags and add and edit tags for the climb. Tag lists function like playlists on your profile page, and you can make them public or private. For example, you can categorize climbs as "crimpy" or "compression" or you can add personal tags like "good warm-ups" and "projects" or you can make training playlists for yourself.

The tags filter lets you sort by tags or exclude certain tags from the sort.

Order: What order the climbs show up in.

Best shows most climbed with most positive ratings

Newest is most recently set. If you've saved a draft for months and finally published it, it won't show up as newest as the set date is when you originally saved the draft.

Oldest is oldest set

Easiest is easiest to hardest (this will show graded climbs and then open projects)

Hardest is hardest to easiest (this will show graded climbs and then open projects)

Most repeats/Least repeats sorts by number of repeats

Randomize randomizes

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