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Meet Luke Livesey: Head of Instruction at Brooklyn Boulders


Head Instructor, Luke.
Head Instructor, Luke.
Luke Livesey is the Head of Instruction at Brooklyn Boulders. He’s English, as you’ll notice from his accent when you meet him – or at least, that he’s definitely not American. He’s led an interesting life to say the least – he was a carpenter, prop builder, set builder, milkman, worked in a cemetery, ice-cream factory, was an electroplater, model-maker, a potter’s assistant, a bartender, a waiter, and wrote for a local magazine. He’s responsible for creating all of the amazing classes here, and for incredible moments of individual accomplishments. Case in point – this one-handed V4 climb:


Where are you from and how did you end up at Brooklyn Boulders?
I’m originally from England. I moved around the UK a lot, but grew up mainly in Chippenham. I studied fine art at University in Wales, was a woodsman for three years and then lived in London for five years. I started at Brooklyn Boulders as a volunteer in 2010, and then started working at the front desk. At that point, I’d be climbing here for over a year, and it was amazing to work within such a great community. I naturally gravitate towards teaching people, so I love my job.

Luke, bouldering at BKB.
Luke, bouldering at BKB.

How long have you been climbing for?
A friend of mine took a local learn the ropes class in London, and realized he needed someone to belay him. I went and was hooked immediately. I started to climb three times a week  – which has been consistent for the past seven years. When I got to BKB, I started focusing more on bouldering.


What’s your climbing philosophy?
I love the process of figuring it all out. Whether that’s how to ascend a particular problem or how to train better – it all starts to feel like one big fun experiment. I enjoy training hard and becoming stronger, but I’m more interested in being a good climber than a strong climber. Form and technique is essential. Trying is always good too – even if you’re failing, you’re trying, which is good. Recognizing and identifying a weakness is good: it’s room for improvement.

Climbing is great because it’s not something I’ll ever completely master; there’s always something different. It’s open-ended and will always present new challenges.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I know how excited I was when I started climbing – I enjoy seeing that fresh enthusiasm. When you first start climbing, you get that rapid progression of learning new skills and techniques – it’s great to help them develop a greater understanding of how their moving and the techniques.

It’s problem solving. How to address an individual’s strengths, weaknesses. It’s that feeling of triumph – it doesn’t matter if you’re climbing V0, V1, V4, V10s – it’s watching that individual accomplishment that makes it all worth it.

Take a class with Luke! Learn to Boulder is great for beginners, Foundation for climbers who want to up their skill levels, and Core for climbers who really want to improve their grades.