Saturday, August 27, 2016

New review kids... some wooden volumes for you to enjoy

Busy summer at work; Noodles is in crunch mode and Chris is working his ass off... BUT we're still trying to get reviews out

Oooo big wooden volumes from Motavation Volumes... two of them.. one slick and one is shiny!!


August 2016: Go check out Binary holds from the Great White North and Vertex


Full post here!

Review > Motavation Volumes > Teton S & Eldo S

We have history with Motavation Volumes.. we go waaaay back from when they started making wooden volumes! It doesn't mean we're not going to be our usual selves BUT if you want to see where they started and where they are now we suggest that you look at our older reviews:

Small and medium GEN 1 volumes: here
Waylon and Billy's: here
James and Pele: here

So that's starting back in 2009; that's a bunch of reviews on a company that started out small (two car garage) and has now grown to a 8,300 sqft facility that now boasts a C'N'C machine and probably air conditioning. They've sponsored World Cups and now they've added some more stuff to their already great line up which we'll get into later

Lets talk about what we're reviewing:

Full post here!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Review > Solve Climbing > Granite (Various Sizes)

It seems that last year, 2015, was a big year for climbing hold companies. A lot were created from no where and we lost Revolution and Pusher, if there is space in a void then it will be filled.... we lost two but we gain many many more!

One of the new guys to come to our attention is Solve Climbing, and although their line up wasn't really that huge we contacted them to run a review. In fact this is something different for us, we teamed up with The Proving Ground (there review is: here) so we could drop both of our reviews at the same time!! It's something new for us (and for you!) so be sure to read both of the reviews to see what we think
Right, so we contacted Solve to grab some holds... we gave them the usual "whatever you think we should see" and they were right we'll get some stuff out to you then, and they did... 7 sets and one feature of their granite line so this review is going to be a fun ol' mish mash because there's a lot to talk about.

Lets get to it:

Full post here!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review > Enix Climbing > Pumps


Right first up let us have a little confession session; these holds are called the Pumps and not the Bumps like we called them in the walk / climb video.

Why did we make such an easy mistake on the name?

Because of our special guest... he said "these holds would be great to bump to" and it totally stuck. So we'll obviously give negative points to Brian who owns the company for naming these holds incorrectly :)

Lets look at what we're talking about first of all:

Five simple, clean holds that look like they're going to be a simple, easy time...

Full post here!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review > Metolius > NEW URETHANE SHAPES

Polyurethane Climbing Holds

Stay tuned kids this is going to be a long one.. and when we say long you're talking about two (actually three) reviewers and a walk through video that is 30+ minutes long!! Grab a cup of coco or tea or whatever is your bag and sit back and have a read...

For reference we're a little way from what we usually write as there are many people in many different places for this review... when you see SUGGESTED USES we're also going to talk about what we did with the holds here and some of the build issues that we found. 

We've also broken down the sets to their themes to make it easier for you to read! And when you look at FULL SET INFO we're giving a general overview on the whole set and then we're talking about the full set price not just what we received. We will talk more about the holds we received in the ALL SETS wrap up at the end :)

When Metolius switched over to PU (don't worry they still pour their old stuff) and the opportunity arises for you to review said holds, you jump at that opportunity. It's a no brainer for sure; we've had a long relationship with them since the beginning of this site and when you get an email saying "hey would you like to see our new holds" you're brain goes in two directions... are they just going to remake the old shapes in a new medium or are they going to have new shapes to add to their already large hold line.... well it's a bit of both and whichever way you look at it... it's gooooooood

Full post here!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review > Holdz > Chewed Slopers

Holdz sent us these chewed slopers back in the spring. And, the review is well over due. We blame Nick. When it comes to holds, his not into one night stands. He type of fella that gets into long intimate relationships with holds; you know, takes them for walks in the park and stuff. We've always said that reviews take time because they do; with a walkthrough you can pretty much tell how a hold will be but until you get it onto a wall a bunch of times and actually set with them you're just blowing hot air and that's no good for anyone... thankfully Nick has the eyes of Noodles all over him all of the time (there's probably some strange webcam action happening somewhere) so he's been taught by the best in the business.. Enough about Nick's weird hold fetish and waxing lyrical about how to review some holds..... lets look at some bad ass Chewed Slopers by Holdz.

Smooth Slopers Chewed
And Boom:
Smooth Slopers Chewed
And... BOOM!:
Smooth Slopers Chewed

Full post here!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review > Artline > Stone Line > Jugs


You know after the last Artline review (here) which of course was on those Freshline slopers aka: these feel exactly like Font we wanted something, well, bigger. Something that would allow us to monkey around a bunch; something that most walls need more of and basically something that more people would actually buy

Now there's nothing wrong with the Font holds... nowt, they're awesome... but they're hard as hell and this will exclude most people from buying them unless you have a really large slabbed wall or you're training for a trip to France

Jugs are more for everyone; everyone loves a jug... beginners love them, people leading after a crux section like them... everybody loves a jug and every wall needs jugs

So let's get to see what Artline has in store for us this time:

20 jugs that despite the images shown here we're so bright that you almost needed sunglasses to look at them!! Seriously we were worried about the white balance on the camera and how they'd show up when we went to edit the video

Full post here!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review > Artline > Fresh Line > Mini Slopers 1

When some one drops us a line and asks us if we want to review their holds there are generally two answers...

Hell yes

When Brice asked us to look at what we wanted to play with from his company Artline we had to make some pretty hard decisions... arguments happened but in the end we all decided what we'd want to see that would give us a pretty good overview of what they're offering

Noodles in all his wisdom chose these:
Hailing from the "Fresh Line" these are the Mini Slopers 1... lets take a closer look:

Full post here!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review > Atomik > XL Font Pinches

This review we've got some more holds from Atomik and get this a guest climber; Ol' John Bowles was hanging out at Wallnuts Climbing Center, here in St Johns, NL. He joined in for the review when we were filming so that's kind of a win win!!

The good thing about having John around is he certainly gave me some beta to get my ass up the climb; what's embarrassing is I set the problem and I needed the help :) Those of you that's not from Canada may not recognize John, he won the Tour De Bloc a few years back and he's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet!! He just happened to be in town so we took him out to some of Newfoundlands untapped rock potential!!

Atomik is no stranger to Climbing Hold Review; Noodles and Chris have reviewed tons of their stuff over the years and our new partner Chris Simmons just did a review in conjunction with us. In fact Atomik is probably the most reviewed company on the page as they're always happy to send out their new holds for review.

These holds are actually something that I brought and paid for myself... I ordered them back in October 2014 when I was ordering some other holds for review. I have a pretty large home wall in my back yard (see the walk through video for that) and Noodles pointed me towards these holds, I wanted some slopey pinches, he trawled through his memory (seriously the guy can name most holds and companies from a picture) and he suggested these:

These holds may look innocuous but they're a little bit special... anyways where was I??

This being my second order from Atomik I'll say that they're batting 2 for 2 on shipping; both times I've ordered holds from them I've received an email the same day saying that my holds had shipped!! The emails always had a tracking number and a rough date for delivery. Atomik is seems keeps a large stock of holds so when someone just orders a single set if it's in stock they just send it out the door, of course if they don't have the color you want then they'll have to pour it but from what I've heard from the boys this is no more than 48hrs!! What more could you want really?? I order holds, they're in stock and then they ship, worst case it's 48hrs before my order ships (And Atomik ships and pours a boat load of holds daily)

48hrs; yeah! That is customer service for sure

I received the holds a couple of weeks after ordering as it is international shipping from Utah, from the US to us as far east in Canada as you can go means that shipping takes time! My friend and route setter came out as soon as the holds arrived this was a pretty good sign, as soon as he saw these holds the wrenches were out and we were away. He set a problem on a 15 degree angle that kept spitting us off for a few sessions.

Seeing as it was November when we got the holds and my home wall is outside, we only set once with these holds before Winter had gone down south to bother some other people. We headed indoors to escape the cold but the holds remained outside for the season; considering the temperature changes that we receive I was wondering how the holds would fare through the winter; winter here come with alot of precipitation varying from rain to snow to rain. When I did check in the Spring, the holds looked almost exactly the same as I'd left them, there was even some chalk left on them. I do have a tarp hanging over the front of the wall which means that the holds are spared from the full force of the elements... but the temperature issue is still there, I'm amazed that they didn't crack! Let me tell you the Winter was one of the wettest I've seen in a long, long time.

We did eventually bring the holds inside to our local gym, Wallnuts Climbing Center, we set with them on every angle possible, These holds make some nice lay-back heel hooking routes on lower angles and the holds holds are placed in a horizontal position. Very early on we discovered that you need to decide when setting how you want the holds to be used, whether it be as a sloper, pinch or as a crimp; it's really up to the setter and what they want to set. As we all know (or should) Font is a texture that's similar to a tortoise shell, or elephant skin (depending upon the region of Font you're climbing in so Noodles says); depending upon the angle of how the holds is set you end up crimping on the creases. Using them as pinches is generally you're best bet, what makes these holds a little tricky is when you hitting them is getting your fingers into the optimal position in the Font pattern.

Just like in the infomercials... there's more! If the slightly tech gripping positions wasn't enough for you, did I mention that these buggers are savage to hold onto? Let's put it this way; when I took these into the gym one of the setters said the review should be like this "these are do good because they're so bad to hold onto" and this guy climbs 5.13; so yeah they're pretty challenging!!


These holds aren't easy; if you're an intermediate to experienced climber then you're going to want these on any wall to set anything from V2-V10+ with them; as usual it's all about the feet :) The real beauty of these holds is the value, if you're a lower grades climber with a wall then you're going to be challenged by these holds for a long time without getting bored with them. The steeper you go the harder the grade (which is generally the case) and it's easy to set double digit problems with these guys on a 60 degree overhang. If you want something easier then Atomik sells different versions of these holds in sets ranging from #1 (incut) to #5 (slopey) Set #5 or #4 (neutral) are going to let you set with more finesse in your harder problems and they still come with a hold that's possible to make a dyno to; if you want sets to purely chuck to then look at #1 & 2.

  • Number of holds: 5
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $15.23 per hold
  • Color: Mixed bright tones for us
  • Bolt placement: Center 
  • Sanding: Great
  • Hollow backed: Yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Lightly textured sandstone; needs a brush from time to time
  • Set size: XL
  • Versatility: Good from 10-60 degrees
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No
  • Shaper: TBC
  • Weight: TBC
  • Where can you get them:  here
  • Distributors: Japan; Israel (Hard Rock Climbing Walls)
These holds are very well shaped, the design despite them just being pinches is tricky which is a nice benefit for spitting your friends off of a problem that looks easy. As usual the hollow back is taken pretty much to the max so these holds are light; there's always that compromise between strength and being light and Atomik has always walked this line very well

The color on these holds (and others that I own from Atomik) is solid with no fade away towards the edges.

Missing a set screw hole is something that should be on any hold and would have made this set perfect; when climbing and setting with them I managed to spin them a few times... we've always said (or Noodles has) that set screw holes are a must on anything like this. For now you're going to have to drill your own.

You should probably buy these holds, unless you don't like fun and then you should probably stop climbing :)


Great not even a mark on the box

I love these holds, heck for me these are going to be a staple on my wall... from the start of your climbing career to the end these holds are going to create great problems.... these may even be my favorite set from Atomik! Well ok, Atomik has a lot of holds to choose from, but between these the Yarino sets and the simple slopers (review: here) or the set that our new partner in crime Chris Simmons just reviewed (review: here) I really think that I'd choose these guys. They are just so delicate to hold onto it's what makes them special in my mind; they stand their ground against other hold companies pinches that's for sure.

Sure other companies make Font pinches but these are different; most of the others are more rounded, these holds have that hexagonal pattern that's a little flatter and these holds are WIDE!!

For me it's about the hard burly problems, throw in some finesse and a touch of funk and I'm happy. You want these holds for your wall, gyms should look at multiples of the whole range because the variety of what can be set for the price that they're at (considering the size) you can't really find much better IMHO

  • Technical meets burly
  • Easy to set a wide range of grades
  • Great price
  • Choose your color
  • No pre-drilled set screw holes :(

Full post here!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Atomik Climbing > Steep Wall Slopers

As you should all know we partnered with Chris Simmons with the Average Climber to make sure we could get you more content faster... better content and more reviews generally. This is Chris' first review for us, or partnered with us.

There's no reading to be done; just sit back and watch.... it's pretty good:

Full post here!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Review > Enix Climbing > Small Pocket S2

Hey Hey Hey.... So I'm the new guy here at climbing hold review. This time we got the Small Pocket Set 2. Man.... small really is a general term..... This things are the size of my outstretched hand which is like 7'' by 7". Lets check them out...

Full post here!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review > Rockstar Volumes > Various

So 2014 was the year of the volumes or so it seemed, the trend seems to be continuing into 2015. We wanted to review some volumes from these guys because of what we saw them doing on Facebook; they're not shy to show off their products but these guys do it in more of a CHR way than most people.

They don't just show their products in a nice little 360 degree video, these guys go out and then you know, part a forklift on a volume, drive a truck over them... their R&D is more like someone that owns a wood shop, is sure that their product is strong so then they go out and just try to destroy it!! You've got to love that kind of confidence, we do... so lets look at this reviews victims from Rockstar Volumes
Candy Bar
Soccer Ball

Full post here!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Review > Blank Slate & Atxarte's POWERBOARD

So a long time ago Blank Slate (our favorite doesn't bolt onto anything home training device) sent us a couple of hangboards for us to try. Hang boards take a long time to review; you need to have them in a program where you're training and using them in the correct way otherwise you can just write any old rubbish and misinform people (not that way we do it over here!!)

That being said this review has taken a long time, longer than usual because we were kind of taking a break after many hard years of charging. Today we're looking at the Powerboard and it's something a little more for your intermediate climber than for a beginner, the other board which we'll look at in the next review is something more for the beginner climber

Lets look at the board:

Full post here!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Big Deal Volumes: How To!!

Jace W. (or J depending on who I’m talking too)

What do you do?
Well, by day, I fix airplanes at my local airport with a handful of other salty mechanics.
In my free time I climb and design volumes.

You contacted us with this ( which is a manual for creating volumes... why?
I finished making the manual a few days ago and instantly thought of you guys as a good place to start spreading the word.
My opinion, your reviews are practical and to the point, and its probably best to ask the group that's been doing reviews for 7 years.

You're giving it away for free? Why?
Well, climbing has given me so much in my life, so many great stories and true friends. It only seemed right that I give back in my own way.

Story time, I was out climbing at the local crag about 2 years ago. As I approached the wall, it hit me I completely forgot my harness. No spare, no webbing to fashion a harness out of, no options but to call it a day.
Just as my rather disgruntled partner and I where about to head out, the local rock hero (will remain nameless) rounds the bend heading back to the parking lot.

I go all deer in the headlights and try not to stutter when talking to probably one of my greatest idols.
Meanwhile, my partner explains (with expletives) why we are heading back. Without even a second thought or prompt, (local rock hero) stops and pulls out his personal harness and hands it to me, with instructions to drop it off at his house in town at the end of the day. By this point, you could have mistaken my voice for that of a pre teen I was so excited. It was a great day and we got lots of great climbing done.

That act solidified in my mind that I have been the recipient of my fair share of good climbing karma, so I better start paying it back.

So if this manual answers any questions to someone trying to build a volume or just figure out how to get started, then it was all worth it.
Besides, I love designing these things.

It's a pretty full on manual: What was the impetus to make it so through?
At the end of the day I would feel much more validated if the manual could be used by all skill levels of craftsmen and craftswomen to build not only the volume I describe but to use the knowledge to build other cooler and bigger pieces.

How many iterations have there been?
Sigh* I think about 12 that haven’t ever gotten further than my laptop. But public manuals, this is the only one we have ever put out. Its almost funny, I look at the older versions of this manual and its like looking into a super dry stack of raw data with no pictures.

Will there be more in the future?
Absolutely! This manual and others will be published by Big Deal Volumes, as part of the DIY series.
As of right now, the next planned manual should be in final draft some time in mid February of 2015.

If someone has questions how do they contact you?
To BDV directly is best.

We handle everything to do with our volumes through that email.

Full post here!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review > Etch Climbing Holds > Big Stuff

Etch is one of the companies we're been trying to review since we began this little roller coaster ride that is CHR!; they began in 2004 so they've been around for a while... there have been some ups and downs and at one point we thought that they'd actually gone away for good... our worries were unfounded and they're pouring some of their classic shapes for all to enjoy again

If you don't know Etch or have never climbed on their shapes you may actually recognize one of their ads:
 "Only mother nature makes better shapes" is their tag line so lets dive in and see what we're playing with this time:

The Big Wurm (6XL Feature)
 Hueco Flake (3XL)
The Egg (5XL)
Erosion (4XL)

Full post here!