Three walls, one pergola, and a Moonboard make up Paul Gotaco’s backyard bouldering space in Pacoima, CA. Despite a few slip-ups and some heavy lifting, Paul is in the process of curating his ideal training venue. Check out past HWOW here.
When did you build your wall? Was it a COVID baby?
I’ve had my moonboard for 4 years now. The 15° and 3.5° are my Covid babies.
How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?
5 months all by myself putting in an hour or two on weekdays and more on weekends. It’s not 100% complete yet. I’m hiring a roofing contractor for the roof then I’ll panel the sides.
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there? Most/Least expensive part?
Approximately 3K. The pergola is not included; that’s a separate 3K. I hired a contractor to build this to a certain spec and I used it as the main frame.
What are you doing for padding?
Using multiple Madrock tri-fold pads. I bought them at a discounted price and I’m buying their gym pads soon.
What was your primary incentive for the wall? Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
I wanted a moonboard and came up with the pergola design for future expansion, which I recently completed.
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
Drilling the wholes for T-Nuts. I messed up so many exit holes and had to repair them with putty and sanding.
Putting up 4×8 panels are hard to do alone. I had to use a pulley system with a gri-gri to hoist it up.
What would you do differently?
Recently, I found a better bit. In the future, I’d find someone to help.
Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects? If so, what?
Yes. A lot of mistakes. Simple ones were repaired with putty and sanding.
I made mistakes like putting the T-nuts on the wrong side and had to remove and put them back on the correct side. Then I had to putty the screw holes, sand, and touch up paint. Tedious process.
I also learned during the process to be patient and wait a few weeks before bolting holds if you painted your wall. I ended up with holds stuck to paint.
What is your favorite aspect?
Slapping holds on a fresh wall and coming up with problems.
How often do you use the wall? Do you think you’ll still use it as much when all of the gyms open back up?
I train on my wall 4 to 5 times a week for 1 to 1.5 hr sessions.
I haven’t been going to gyms pre Covid after I got my first wall. I just go to the gym occasionally to hangout with friends.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
Building your own wall can be quite expensive. Build one you would really use.
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