Chances are, you have already heard of Rockworld, an indoor climbing gym located just 20 minutes from Johor Checkpoint, and what it has to offer. If you haven’t, don’t worry! You can check out the Rockworld video HERE.
To understand why anyone would start a climbing gym among the factories and away from the city, we had an inspiring interview with 2 of the founders of Rockworld; So meet the men who want to rock your world!
Han (The one listening) and Mr Ong (The one thinking about his climbing project)
When was Rockworld founded and how did it came about?
Mr Ong: Rockworld was founded on 2015, Sept. The idea actually came about back in 2011 when Han was already renting a small shop with his own boulder wall to climb with his friends in Kulai, Malaysia. That is also where I met Han, who has been climbing for the past 7 years (So 13 years now in 2017, wow!). Han is a crazy passionate climber and I was also crazy enough to accept his invitation to start a climbing gym together because it was something interesting to me. We chose our current location because it is in the middle between Kulai and Johor city center, after realising that there are more climbers looking for new extreme sports places in Kulai.
Mr Ong (To prove that he is indeed listening)
How did Rockworld first started?
Mr Ong: Rockworld started off by hosting events for Kindergarten (unexpectedly) and slowly venturing into constructing a mobile wall for charity, outdoor events and family days. Along the way, as we also brought along our banner during the events, people started to be curious about where we are or even what we are. Together with using the power of social media on Facebook (Over 6000 likes!), we slowly got more attentions from the public and also the corporate. Rockworld also helped to build a top rope and boulder wall for Marlborough College Malaysia when the teachers saw one of our mobile wall in our event.
Marlborough College Malaysia top rope wall built by Rockworld
Did you build your own wall from scratch?
Mr Ong: Yes, we designed and constructed our own wall even though we know that it may be easier to just leave it to the contractor. We believe that only a climber will understand the needs of another climber, same for safety; we strongly believe we can provide a safer environment by designing it from climber’s point of view. As I am an engineer by training (A real one folks, not paper engineer) and Han had experience in building wall, we combined our capabilities to build the safest and most ideal wall to us. We also incorporated our design with high elements to provide more variety of activities.
Rockworld roof wall (Looks so fun!)
What is the concept behind the design of Rockworld’s wall?
Mr Ong: We visited many different gyms in places like Singapore, Japan and also KL to get ideas. We always try to be different from others by providing challenging routes we gathered from climbers’ feedback. We want to be a place where future Malaysian Olympic climbers will be groomed from! (Ambitious but great goal!) However, because the climbing culture in Johor is not that strong, we started off by providing easy routes to encourage people to climb on. As years went by, we managed to see improvement in many of our beginner climbers who are good enough to be an advanced climbers now. We even opened a cafe now for climbers to rest and fill their stomach with good food after hearing the feedback from our climbers! Eventually, we also wish that we can be one of the ‘must-go’ attraction in Johor, allowing passing-by tourists to have a day of exciting fun before travelling to another city.
Rockworld Cafe! (They really like Anpanman)
What would you do differently if you can start all over again?
Han: Build more boulder wall to cultivate better techniques for beginners.
Rockworld new boulderwall beside the cafe
What is unique about Rockworld compare to other gyms?
Mr Ong: I would say the interaction with our climbers is our unique point. We don’t want to be a gym where you just pay the entry fee and climb by yourself. We want to teach skills and proper techniques to the beginners or share knowledge with the advanced climbers. We also like to talk to our climbers to understand their expectation of Rockworld and do our best to meet them. In all, we always try to provide a personalised experience for all climbers to make sure everyone gets the best of sport climbing safely.
With such passion and dedication to cultivate the culture of Sport Climbing in Johor, it’s only a matter of time before they really have an olympic climber from Rockworld! For all you know, it may even be you! All you have to do is to visit Rockworld and climb on!
The Rockworld team awaits you!
Friday – Sunday: 10am – 11pm
Psst! Don’t miss out the great deal offered by Rockworld to all MOA climbers!
See HERE to find out more!