Friction Bouldering is the passion project of owner/operator Jason Elshaug and his dad Steve. Born and raised in Ballarat, Jason, Steve and his brother Matt have been rock climbing and bouldering for the last 15+ years across Australia and New Zealand.
Ballarat has always had a strong connection with rock climbing. Being the closest major town to the Gariwerd/Grampians region, and Mt Arapiles not much further, means that world class climbing/bouldering was only ever a few hours away. With the sport of rock climbing and bouldering on the rise, especially being showcased in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics it was time to make this passion a reality.
COVID has also played a significant part as Melbourne is host to nearly all of the indoor gyms in Victoria and with it becoming the most locked down city in the world during the pandemic it means we were all cut off from training opportunities.
Jason's passion and drive for bouldering stems from the early days of visiting The Lactic Factory in Abbotsford. Back then it was the 1st and only bouldering dedicated gym in the country and doing the drive down and back after work, sometimes twice a week, was the paramount training experience.
Hanging out with people that all had one thing in common, their love of bouldering. Working together to figure out the beta, yelling and cheering for others who got their project despite the difficulty, supporting and helping those just starting.
The atmosphere and sense of community that was captured by Christian, the owner of Lactic at the time, was key to this.
Pumped, psyched, elated, crushed, sore these are all things we feel when we go climbing but what Lactic captured and what is hard to find when your training is arguably the most important thing: fun.
This atmosphere and sense of community is what Jason hopes to recreate at Friction.
Everyone knows rock climbing but what is bouldering?
Bouldering is a super fun, challenging and most importantly social form of rock climbing that takes place on specialised indoor bouldering walls over padded mats. So no ropes!
It can be done by anyone, anytime with or without a partner as a great way to build both physical and mental strength and have fun.