Boulder With A Twist

The Boulderbox. Photo: Boulderbox

The Boulderbox.  Photo: Boulderbox
The Boulderbox. Photo: Boulderbox

The idea for the Boulderbox was already on Terry Brochard’s mind for years but he never had a reason, time or money to actually build it. Then, with the impetus to create a little fun activity for the European Ultimate Frisbee tournament he organized, Brochard decided the Boulderbox would be exactly what he was looking for.

Brochard, a theater consultant and industrial product designer who lives in Amsterdam created The Boulderbox with two friends; one an experiential artist, and the other a design and development consultant. Together they created a 3D climbing game based on the classic game of Twister.

In addition to their careers, the friends also worked at a local escape room in Amsterdam. This diverse group, with far reaching interests and hobbies tackled the challenges of what the box should be made out of; what the dimensions should be; and the positions of the colors and holds. They then transformed their solutions into a working prototype. “We wanted the game to be a challenge, but not impossible,” Brochard told CBJ.

If you’ve played Twister (and who hasn’t) then you’ll understand how to play in the Boulderbox. Two to six players attempt to stay on the walls (and roof) of the box as hand and foot positions are called out. The difficulty of the game can be modified by switching out the size and type of the holds in each color.

At first the group just wanted to give the spectators of the Ultimate Frisbee a fun activity to do and didn’t think much beyond this first ______. The box turned out to be insanely popular and a video was posted to social media where it quickly garnered over a million views.

“OMG, where can I play this!”

“After reactions like these we knew we had something special on our hands,” Brochard said. After talking with climbing industry experts in Europe they protected their idea and set out to make a home for the Boulderbox. In America, the box would have easily ended up in county fairs, schools and kids summer camps. Instead, Brochard and his team wanted to take the box to the millennials and make it hip thing to do while sipping cocktails rather than just for kids.

The Boulderbox waiting for action at the TonTonClub in Amsterdam.  Photo: Boulderbox
The Boulderbox waiting for action at the TonTonClub in Amsterdam. Photo: Boulderbox

So after much searching, the first Boulderbox is now prominently placed and ready for action in an outdoor patio at the TonTonClub in Amsterdam. Could the Boulderbox replace cornhole as the backyard brewery game of choice? If it comes to America, it’s quite possible.

Until then however, the team is working on improving the design to be more accessible easier to transport. And though it’s currently only available in the Netherlands, Brochard is getting requests from people all over the world interested in playing, renting, or buying it. “The most awesome request so far has been for Burning Man Festival in Nevada, USA,” he said.

Taking the Boulderbox global is the next logical step for the group and the friends are looking for business partners that can help take this simple yet unique idea worldwide.