Lizenz zum Bouldern

the Art (and Science) of Bouldering…

In Art of Bouldering, Bouldering, Climbing Media, udinishop by Udo Neumann

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Here are some reviews of Lizenz zum Bouldern, the german printed version of the Art and Science of Bouldering:

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„I, you, he, she, it boulders. We, you, they know: Bouldering is great. Generally, you don’t need to know more, if anything. You can do it just like that. If you (or others) try to find out what bouldering is all about, some tested catchphrases, nowadays found in almost any outdoor guide book, are usually enough by itself to create an appealing image. And that’s a good thing.

But what if you want to know more, if you want to explore this topic in depth and say something about the phenomenon bouldering that differs from stereotypical views: then you write a book about it, like Udo ”Udini“ Neumann did. Why he named this book Lizenz zum Bouldern, in connection with another book by this author (Lizenz zum Klettern), is understandable. It goes without saying that this book is not about fancy words, but about providing a deeper understanding. Its pinch of scientific content is well dosed. However, Lizenz zum Bouldern, just like another book by Udini, Der XI. Grad, also is not a training guide. What these two works have in common, however, is their evocativeness, conveyed by fun-to-look-at layouts and graphics as well as intelligent and humorous, but in no way know-all texts that make your fingertips sweat.

This page-turner makes you want to know more, to go out there and do it – bouldering.

Complete novelties are the elaborately arranged video analyses of various bouldering world cups. Sounds boring, but it’s extremely interesting to take a closer look at the approach of people that know how to do it. The accompanying analyses are enlightening and may be relied upon: as a coach of the DAV national bouldering team Udo knows, what he is talking about.

Overall, a gem with an unmistakable Udini-style that belongs on every bookshelf, not far from the latest issue of CLIMAX.“– Climax (Austria)

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„A textbook from which we can learn a lesson. Udo Neumann ”scored a major goal“ in writing about small differences.

Since his success Lizenz zum Klettern he is regarded as the Siegmund Freund of climbing; and now Udo Neumann is about to follow the examples of Albert Uderzo and Wim Wenders. ”For the visual types amongst us, a good image offers more information than an entire climbing technique guide does”, he wrote in the preface.

This book is indeed partly like a comic strip; partly it comes across like a movie. Pictures, pictures, pictures, often in high-speed sequences, text usually just in captions along with mind maps to illustrate interrelations. With it’s non-linear concept the book doesn’t need to be read from first to last page.

Also in other ways Lizenz zum Bouldern is not a normal textbook. First, because it assumes a certain level of climbing technique, know-how and theory. If you are looking for basics on training and techniques, you should consider ”Lizenz zum Klettern“. And second, because it invites you to think about it. ”Lizenz zum Bouldern“ is different, an interactive, didactic toolbox, an eye opener that focuses on supposedly small details: Udo explains, on the basis of picture sequences, how Akiyo Noguchi slightly changes her body’s center of gravity by means of changing a heel hook into a toe hook, which in turn is the deciding factor for decreasing momentum. Or when a shoulder’s position is the key to a successful movement or not, or when he calculates the impact of the body’s center of gravity by means of physical formulas. This gets pretty close to the heart of top-class bouldering, in a fast and lively package. A bouldering fact is: If you don’t like to engage yourself in details and nuances, you won’t come very far and will miss the best about bouldering.

A fact about this book: If you don’t want to study this book, you’ll miss the best-written content about bouldering.“– Klettern (Germany)

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For many Udo Neumann’s first work Lizenz zum Klettern was a relevation. Also in the editorial office this ”climbing bible“, as we affectionately call it, has a firm place on our shelves, right next to Güllich’s ”Sportklettern“ and Pause’s ”Im extremen Fels“. Since these books were published, quite a lot has changed in our sport: Today, nobody wonders about a herd of boys and girls roaming the woods with huge crashpads, reducing the essence of climbing to a bouldering block with three meters in height. Many a devoted climber has put the rope aside and completely committed himself to bouldering. For Udo Neumann, a qualified sports instructor, bouldering is the supreme discipline of climbing. 

His new masterpiece views this passion from many different angles. The result is a new bible, the bouldering bible, so to speak.

Because Lizenz zum Bouldern is refreshingly different and not a ”normal“ textbook. The pedagogic style of a raised index finger – ”you must“ – is nowhere to be found here. Instead you receive a good measure of inspiration by means of the powerful visual language of bouldering sequences. Precisely outlined motion sequences and captions with analyses convey, almost in passing, the famous ”aha effect“.

 Thanks to the ingenious images with popular climbing hotshots and a cool layout not only bouldering freaks start dreaming. Also climbing editors become engrossed reading and forget time while browsing the pages.

 In short: This book is instructive, entertaining and motivating at the same time – something to be read and re-read. This is why Lizenz zum Bouldern deserves a special place in the bookshelf.“

– CLIMB, 2/10