Bouldering is a fun, spectacular branch of sport climbing. Without ropes you climb to a maximum height of 4.5 meter. Because of the thick safety matress, falling down is not a problem and does indeed happen regulary.
A bouldering problem consists of start, end and additional holds. The challenge is to get from the start ot the end by using only the available holds. These problems come in varying levels of difficulty. The easiest problems can be tackled by anyone with a basic level of fitness. The most difficult problems seem impossible for mere mortals.
Bouldering is a good all-round training because climbing requires the use of your entire body. Next to power, flexibility and balance, bouldering is also very much about your mind. What seems impossible at first can suddenly become possible by hooking your toes behind an edge or by clever use of the wall.
Since the problems are a sort of puzzles, bouldering is also a social sport. You can do it by yourself, but it is a lot more fun to climb together with other people of your level and solve the problems together. You often find that you can do a lot more than you would have though.
Because it is a fast sport and the problems are a real challenge at the right level, bouldering is a very satisfying experience. No wonder that it is such a fast-growing sport in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe.