In between jobs and with help from his daughters, owner Tom Shpakow found the time to build his dream, 40-degree spray wall that’s through the roof (literally) of his garage in Goshen, IN. Check out past HWOW here.
When did you build your wall? Was it a COVID baby?
Yes, November, 2020.
How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?
It took me 2 weeks. I was in between jobs, so I was able to work on it full-time. It’s my second home wall – we had one at our previous home in Kansas City.
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there? Most/Least expensive part?
About $500. No surprises, except lumber is a little more expensive than it use to be.
What are you doing for padding?
Crash pads and some multi-purpose mats.
What was your primary incentive for the wall? Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
I really enjoy steep powerful bouldering. As a former route setter, I also like creating my own problems, so a spray wall at 40 degrees hit the sweet spot for me. I built it according to the Moonboard/Tension board specs in case I ever want to change it over to one of those setups in the future.
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
Getting the wife’s approval, haha 🙂 No, actually she is amazing and was for it after a budget meeting. Since this is my second homewall build I had some experience under my belt. I also have helped design and build commercial walls, so along with my remodeling and carpentry skills, the design and building aspects didn’t intimidate me. I did have to cut a hole in the ceiling of my detached garage to make it fit, but that was totally worth it!
What would you do differently?
I love the way the wall turned out. I wouldn’t change anything concerning that. I do need to insulate and heat my detached garage now. It gets REALLY cold out there during the winters!
Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects? If so, what?
I had to trim a little bit of the 4×8 sheets of plywood to make them fit, but other than that, it went really smoothly.
What is your favorite aspect?
The paint job! I am really happy with how it turned out, and it was so simple. I did 2 coats of a base color and then just formed geometric shapes with a chalk line and painter’s tape. My daughters (ages 5 and 2) helped me paint it too. It was really fun!
How often do you use the wall? Do you think you’ll still use it as much now that gyms are open again?
In the dead of winter I used the wall 2-4 times a week, when it’s warmer I use it more. Even now that the gyms opened up, I still use it regularly because it’s convenient for me to climb at home with my family and friends who come over.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
There is a homewall Facebook group I am a part of. That’s been a great place for discussion, ideas, and encouragement. If you’ve never built or climbed on a homewall before, seek the advice of others. They can help you build a wall that will meet your needs and help you achieve your goals.
Do you have any connection to climbing brands or gyms?
Yes, I helped write the Kansas City section for the Missouri rock climbing guidebook called MO Beta. Jeremy Collins put the book together, it’s really cool! While in Kansas City I helped design and build Apex Climbing Gym where I was the head route setter. Currently I live in Northern Indiana where we are trying to start a couple gyms. It’s been tough with Covid, but one of them is under construction right now in Goshen, IN (where I live). It’s called The Warehouse Climbing Company and Ryan Borntrager is the owner. I helped design the wall layouts and I will be doing their opening set for the grand opening. There is another one in the works spearheaded by my friend Michael Dickens that will also be called Apex Climbing Gym (totally coincidence, seriously). I am helping with this gym as well and will be the future operational manager of it.
Want us to consider your woody for a future Homewall of the Week? Submit your homewall here to be considered. Winners get a $100 giftcard to Atomik to pick out some goodies for their homewall. Thanks Kenny!
Climbing Business Journal is an independent news outlet dedicated to covering the indoor climbing industry. Here you will find the latest coverage of climbing industry news, gym developments, industry best practices, risk management, climbing competitions, youth coaching and routesetting. Have an article idea? CBJ loves to hear from readers like you!