Luke Maggs Luke Maggs

Ben is a fantastic coach, full of enthusiasm and a genuine psyche for climbing which is truly contagious!

After quite some years, I felt like I’d hit a bit of a plateau with my climbing having got locked into a cycle of over and under training, p*ss poor performance and more bad habits than I care to list.

Having been slightly apprehensive of my first session (not wanting to step outside the usual comfort zone and admit a few home truths), I quickly got stuck into trying to absorb all the tips, advice and sneaky trickery that I could learn from Ben and his years of experience both as a coach and as a competitive climber. After only a few short sessions, he immediately picked on my areas of weakness (physical & mental), which movements I needed to correct, how to generate better momentum and I felt an instant renewal of psyche and desire to improve.

A few months later, and after what has been my first real concerted effort at following a longer term ‘training plan’ which Ben designed, I can honestly say I feel like my climbing has had the ‘hard reset’ it so desperately needed.

Here’s to a productive 2014, and hopefully following Ben’s advice I will finally be able hit some long held climbing goals this year!!!




Hannah Slaney

I was spotted by Ben at the age of 8 when attending a friends birthday party. This was my first time climbing and I’ve loved it ever since. After speaking to my mum after the party I had a couple of sessions with Ben and it wasn’t long until I joined the Undercover Rock climbing squad, set up by Ben.

During my time climbing, Ben has helped me work on both my physical and mental game. This really comes in to play with competitions.  Since I started competing, I have been on the British Junior Climbing Team, been BMC YCS Champion and competed internationally in Austria.

I’m 14 now and still fighting hard! All thanks to Ben, without him I wouldn’t have had the amazing opportunities that I’ve had.  I would be nowhere without him!




Graham Ellis

After climbing and bouldering for a number of years, I had noticed a certain pattern emerging as to the types of routes / problems I would choose. I had planned a trip to the States and wanted to at least have a go at some classics, but knew that I didn’t have the required skill-set on steep problems. So I started researching and asking around as to whom my fellow Boulderer’s would recommend for some 1-1 coaching to firstly identify the ‘why’ I was subconsciously steering away from certain types of problems, the ‘what’ I could do to improve and the ‘how’ to achieve it. They had to be relatively local and they had to have insane amounts of patience. One name kept on coming up time after time, Ben West.

I had heard of Ben before, World Cup Boulderer, Bristolian legend, all around genuine nice guy, so I contacted Ben via facebook and he responded almost immediately, which was a nice touch. Ben was incredibly flexible around timings and venues so we arranged for an initial session where the real reason why I didn’t get on steep stuff was revealed (obvious when it’s pointed out to you right?) I had a chronic lack of power endurance, exacerbated by the fact that I never actually tried steep stuff. A self-fulfilling prophecy if you like.

The coaching is never forced, the feedback is given via demonstration and he utilises video feedback incredibly well (Have you ever seen your climbing via someone else’s eyes, it’s a bit of a revelation). I come away from every session exhausted, but I figure that you’ll only get out what you put in.

Ben’s years of experience really shows through in his coaching, the biggest compliment I can give is to say that a session with Ben is like having a session with your mates at your favourite crag.  The style is so incredibly relaxed that you are absorbing little tricks and approaches subconsciously and it’s only when you’re out and sending does the realisation smack you that the tiny flick, that little shift in balance, that use of momentum wouldn’t have happened pre-Ben…and it’s what got you the send.

Regular sessions with Ben have become a staple of my bouldering makeup, it allows me to gain feedback as to progress and until the methods that Ben teaches become second nature, it stops me from regressing back to bad habits.

Book a session, I reckon it just might revolutionise your whole approach to bouldering, it did mine.

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