Rockcity and no-code app builder February partner on climbing gym app

A new UK and international partnership between no-code app developer February and the Rockcity climbing gym businesses has released Rock IT Climbing, a new, custom designed app for UK and international climbing gyms.

Matt Robinson of Rock City and Tom Lewis of February

With a modern, super clean design and user interface, the new Rock IT app allows climbing gyms to create their own fully on-brand app giving their customers far greater flexibility for booking climbing sessions, signing climbing waivers and hiring or buying climbing equipment.

“We have developed and launched the Rock IT Climbing app to make it easier for climbers to check in to their favourite climbing gyms,” said the COO of February, Tom Lewis.

“Rock IT streamlines the check-in process, improving the climbing experience, making it more about the climbing and less about the check in.”

It has also been launched as a direct replacement competitor to the main legacy software booking systems used by most climbing gyms internationally. 

“With the current booking systems that climbing walls typically use, there can often be long queues to book and to sign in, to sign the waiver forms, and to rent or buy equipment, especially on a weekend,” added Tom, who runs February with sibling and CEO Ash Lewis, a keen climber.

“Rock IT should go some way to removing those delays, not only reducing or eradicating the frustration felt by customers and staff, but also reducing costs for climbing gyms and their customers while radically improving the customer experience.”

As the first ‘in gym’ booking and customer app by a climbing gym, Rock IT went live this month in Scotland and England in the Google and iOS play stores for android and Apple devices.

Costing £250pcm to climbing gyms, Rock IT has already been pre-sold into Belgium and Germany, where the app will be available in native languages. The new joint venture is also eyeing the lucrative North American market, where it launches in May at the SWA Summit Exhibition and Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

While February is a newcomer to the climbing gym scene, Rockcity is a relative giant, not only providing a climbing wall and skate park in Hull, but using its UK and international Rockcity Climbing Holds business to manufacture, market and sell climbing training holds, climbing macros, volumes and walls across the globe to Europe, Japan, the US and China, including providing climbing walls for the 2020 Olympics.

Matt Robinson, a Rock IT product owner at Rockcity, said: “Rock IT will finally help climbing gyms manage their customers the way they want to. Currently many of the membership systems available are from US companies and not adapted to meet the needs of British, European or international gyms.

“In recent years climbing gyms have grown into much more complicated facilities that require complex membership systems which Rock IT has addressed by creating an efficient customer experience from booking online to climbing at the gym.”

Rock IT was born out of a shared love of climbing by Ash Lewis and Mark English, the managing director of Rockcity, when the Hull-based entrepreneurs met by chance while on a climb together.

“The subject of the climbing gym booking systems came up in conversation and we both said how unwieldy, difficult and expensive the current system is,” recalls Ash.

Developed over 18 months since that first conversation Rockcity and February enlisted the help of 30 UK climbing gyms, putting together a comprehensive survey of business owners, staff and customers to get to the stage where they are now happy to launch Rock IT into the market.

“There are lots of issues with the dominant climbing gym legacy software system which the sport needs to get rid of and which Rock IT has been designed to overcome and improve on,” added Ash.

Big issues with that software system came up during their research and development such as the system’s limited software updates, the lengthy training required by climbing gym staff, its successive price increases, and difficulties with rectifying system errors and glitches.

Rock IT has been designed to have none of these problems and to make it as easy and simple as possible to use for staff and customers with weekly, no-service-disruption updates.

Climbers can link their existing climbing gym accounts to Rock IT, letting them transfer waivers, sessions and existing climbing details.

Rock IT’s design and functionality was developed totally inhouse by February’s tech and development team, including Tom and Ash Lewis, Henry Fawcett and Pepe Terry, plus Rockcity’s Mark English and Pete Barley, a Rockcity product owner.