I invented the Freedom Climber out of a natural inclination to climb. As a boy I loved climbing trees. It was the one expression of self-elevation that no one seemed to look down on. As a father, I took my family to Africa to do volunteer work. We lived in Kenya on the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley where rock formations and steep hillsides invited you to scramble your way to top. Our climbing was not technical, but it was upward.
When we returned to the States after seven years of service, the idea of a rotating climbing surface came to me as I was having one of those moments when my body wanted to climb. I could see it all quite clearly in my mind. The goal was to provide continuous, safe climbing in as small a space as possible. I went to a junk yard, pulled a hub from an old car, headed to the lumber yard and hardware store and, before the sun set that day, I had an ugly prototype hanging on the outside of a garage.
After prototyping and securing a patent, my son Matt and I did some trade-shows and the initial response was very favorable. Since then we have installed Freedom Climbers in over 25 countries, have been invited to partner with and be featured on television shows like ‘Extreme Makeover Home Edition’, ‘The Man Cave’ and ‘The Gadget Show’. We have installations in fitness centers, universities, military bases, rec centers, schools, corporate offices, homes, apartment complexes, etc.
Our goal is to provide fitness enthusiasts around the world with the ability to climb in spaces unimagined as capable of supporting climbing.
And our goal is also to use proceeds from the company to support education and community development in Kenya where we used to live.