Sunday, December 2, 2007

Review > Sequence > Virus, Power Blox and Sugar Plates

Sequence Climbing
The triple threat today, reviewing the Virus is kind of apt as my girlfriend is sick. So as illness seems to be todays theme let's get started...
This is the Virus 1 set, there are actually two sets but Virus 2 is undergoing a face lift, I have them both and they've been a staple on the wall since the day they were shipped.
On the whole the holds have a texture that is quite fine, but doesn't get slick and the sets are sold as pinches and I find that its rare that we actually set with them as pinches because they make such nice open hand slopes. We've set routes with these on their own, but normally we end up mixing and matching between sets..

Like this, what we end up doing is having a mix between the Virus 1 & 2, the Power Blox and in the above image the Sugar Plates. This makes for a route that have either mean slopes, mean pinches or really mean crimps / side pulls. At the moment we have some of the Virus' on the roof (!), yup the roof and we're doing a silly pinch / layback hand traverse, its marginal but do-able. There's no way these holds are meant for the roof, unless your last name is Sharma, first name being Chris.

Which ever way you turn these holds gives you a new problem on how to hold it, slopes, pinches, ledges they've got it all...

These holds are pretty big, but built strong and are hollow backed. If you over torque them you could easily crack em, so be careful when tightening. I've set many a warm up route with the Virus' and have spent hours pulling on them, the texture is amazing and for open handed problems they'll make you strong. They do need some brushing from time to time as they can get slick from all the chalk, but we do use alot of chalk, and checking with my local gym where they get alot of use it doesn't seem to be a problem.

I'm waiting to see what Mike pulls our of the bag next.
These are pinches? We always use them as slopes... whoops! I'm off to set some pinch problems :) Some of the holds are hard to hold, but that just means you have to try harder!!! Try to set some problems where you have to lower onto the holds and see how that feels...

Onto the Power Blox..
Who sung the song "Anyway You Want It"?
That's a song about the Power Blox, turn them any which way you want and you'll have a different pinch, of if you're going at the holds dead on a sloping edge.

The great thing about these holds is you can set a route and then change how hard it is with just a few wrench turns, just spin the hold about and its the same route... just a different pulling experience. The texture is slightly rougher than the Virus, but as some of the sides are so slopey thats a good thing, the set gives you five holds but I think that Sequence should make some more variations.

The texture is rougher, but you can pull on it as long as you can hold on. On a vertical wall these holds would make some fun routes that would test a beginners skill at holding sloping pinches, on an overhang (which is where we normally have them) it makes for a far more interesting time, and when I say interesting I mean HARD! But you can dial in the difficulty really easily, so you can set how you feelCHRIS' FINAL WORD
These are pinches? That's twice today, we need to go and get the wrenches out again! I generally set with these as slopes with long moves between them, or as a traverse section as they're interesting to hold whichever way you come at them. I wish there were more of these, some a little larger some a little smaller. If you're looking for some devious sloping feet then I sometimes chuck these up, they make big feet but the slope of the hold makes all the difference.

Time for some Sugar...
Lets get something straight from the start, there is nothing sweet about these holds. They are HARD, HARD, HARD! If you're looking to train your balance on a vertical wall then these holds are super technical, on an overhang they are finger rippers.. it may sound like we're being harsh here but they are some really small holds.

But... there are some that are.. I_can_hold_this_if_i'm_gentle.

See! On an overhang :)
Where we find these holds to be great is when you mix them up with other Sequence holds and use of the Plates as feet, really technical horrible, horrible_my_foots_going_to_rip feet. As soon as you see a route with these holds and then you look at where you feet are going to go you start thinking carefully about how you're going to get through the moves.

Ok, the above review sounds a little harsh, but there is good reason. If you're training then you don't want to injure yourself, climbing on anything other than vertical with these holds is a burly experience for sure. Soon as these holds are on anything past about 15 degrees its just a matter of time before you rip off and possibly pop a finger. I love these holds (and I did use a wrong bolt one time and took one to the face (not done that since)) they're great, just be careful when you set and climb on themCHRIS' FINAL WORD
Wise words from the Noodles there... let's ignore him for a second. I love these holds, I love pulling on small holds and these are some small holds. They ARE hard to pull on, and I like that. Noodles likes the big sloping holds so its nice on his hands. I don't mind pulling on the smaller stuff, so its give and take on this review. I'm going to go and smack Nud's in the head, and we'll figure out a score from there.


Climb8B said...

I can't find any of the Virus 1 holds on the wall in any of your pics. How big are they? They look really cool, assuming the texture is good.

ntmb said...

The texture is super nice, it's smoooooooth, so they're nice to climb on.

They're just under the size of a six pack of beer. Hollow backed and highly recommended


ntmb said...

Drop me your mail address and I'll send you some close up photos when I get home

ntmb said...

Oops, the Virus 2 is much bigger than the Virus one...
If you hover over the picture with your pointer you can see a hand appear to give you a rough size.
That's Chris on two of the Virus 2 holds

Anonymous said...

Hi, I think that the Sugarplates score is way too high, they're no where near as versatile as you guys say!