Disclaimer: hanging around like a vampire can be dangerous. When practicing this technique, make sure to have either a spotter or a crash pad beneath you—or both, preferably.
For the next entry in the How It Works Series, I want to teach you one of rock climbing’s most underrated moves. It’s a move that few people can achieve, and that most people write off as useless—which is utter poppycock. Many have tried to learn this technique in order to enter the upper echelon of our mystical subculture . . . and most have failed.
It is the Bat-Hang.
What It Is
The move itself is incredibly simple: hang upside down from the wall using only your toes. Pretty easy, right?
Well, not necessarily.
Achieving perfect form is a difficult task, and any error you make in the setup could be the difference between hanging stoically and falling on your head. You must let go of fear, empty your mind, and let the spirit of the bat flap and screech into your soul.
How To Do It
All you need to pull off a bat-hang is a steep wall and a large hold to hang from. Look for a flat or incut jug wide enough for both feet, from which you can envision yourself dangling. Now, follow the lead of FrictionLabs Athlete Ty Fuller, clearly a master of his craft:
There are four essentials to keep in mind when attempting a strong bat-hang:
Why It’s Important
It’s not important.
No no, it is. It is. There are two (somewhat) practical applications of the bat-hang:
Polish Your Skills Safely
As I mentioned already in the disclaimer, the bat-hang is somewhat risky. There is an offhand possibility of falling awkwardly—possibly on your head or neck. So practice the move from a safe height, with a spotter and a pad beneath you. And before you actually hang upside down, just pull your feet up into the position. If your mind automatically says Nope!—then stop! If your gut says it’s possible, give it a shot.
The gratifying pleasure of a successful bat-hang borders on the absurd. It’s fun. Tell us about your favorite bat-hanging experience and share your photos in the comments!