Champ Pidarangsi has been climbing for 10 years starting in Krabi as a college student. Today he's a gym manager at Bangkok's Urban Playground. With a degree in graphic design, he utilizes his skills to create communication tools that help beginners and experienced climbers better understand the risk involved in the sport, pushing the safety standard and expectation for climbing gyms.
He went to go to Australia initially to study English but quickly landed an opportunity to work at a climbing gym where he met many great climbers, advanced his route setting skills and see how gyms were operated in a different country. With the new knowledge that he learned while in Australia, he came back to Thailand with a burning desire to create the same environment and experience for Thai climbers. However, without the necessary funds, opening his own gym hasn't been possible, but he was crucial to the foundation of Rock Domain, Bangkok's largest climbing gym. He worked there from the very beginning, helping to put in the panels and designed the pattern of the walls. After 8 months, he landed another opportunity to become the manager at Urban Playground where he now has more control over the operation and is free to truly express all of his idea and vision for a climbing gym.
Under Champ's management, Urban Playground has been setting the standard for both safety and professionalism that truly match gyms in any other countries. Camp continues to add new features to the gym whether it is safety check signs, QR code route beta, and beautifully designed route grade tags. Champ has been able to combine two separating skills and passions in both designs and rock climbing, and he wants to invite any climbers to apply the skills from their career and jobs to help push the climbing industry and community in Thailand forward.
Here's the full interview video with Champ.