No mandatory ABD in SG climbing gyms

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A few Singapore-based climbing gyms want to make the use of ABD (assisted Belay devices) mandatory.

We feel there is no compelling evidence that this move will make climbing safer. Stronger even, ABDs may well cause complacency and bad belay habits, and the devices are costly.

If a gym feels that it is necessary to use such devices (an unusual move, internationally speaking), then it should make these devices available free of charge (as well as the courses to use them), rather than asking their customers to pay for either.

Belaying habits can improve indeed, but a far better way to achieve this is by stimulating a culture in which climbers gently monitor each other, and actively correct each other if they detect sub-standard belaying.

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