Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Review > Woodys Holds > Gauge Cluster

Woody's sent us a hold from their lineup called the "Gauge Cluster", and we stuck it on the wall a while back, grabbed our chalk bags and had a pull... to see what was up. At first glance the hold grabs your attention, it's pretty big with five of pockets clustered about the shape, upon climbing its obvious that it can be approached pretty much from any direction and that there are a multitude of ways to grab it, and then you grab it and then quite quickly (in some cases) you let go again, look at your fingers and wonder what happened!

So you try again, you move into the hold, grab the same pocket and let go again. If you're anything like us you're pretty quick to grab a wrench and to get it off of the wall so you can closer inspect what’s going on... and here's what we found:

A texture that's not only some of the roughest we've come across in a long while but areas of imperfection in that texture that is just plain painful... very painful. Now add this into the fact that the pocket lips are pretty sharp and not rounded and you start wondering whether it should be bolted back onto the wall...

We're troopers over here... so back it went:

Overall it's a good hold to grab onto, anyone from a 5.5 climber or above are going to have little or no trouble pulling down on this monster. Moving dynamically into this hold does require some attention to where you're going to hit but that's just a case of practice more than anything else.

I went on over to Woody's holds and checked out their entire line, and there's a fair few holds that I've not seen before, they also have a kit that allows you to design your own hold! For $50 you will get a 3" x 2" x 7" foam blank and some sandpaper with which you can shape your hold. Once done you send off the blank and 2-4 weeks later your hold will arrive, it will be added to their catalogue of holds and you'll earn store credits for everyone sold to spend at Woody's. Now that's a pretty neat idea... we'll give it a try some time soon!

Any way’s back to the hold (I got side tracked) all that's really left to do is to rate the hold, our rating system has changed so we'll use our new "Pro's and Con's" system... with our usual comments!!

For $24.99 you're getting a pretty big and versatile hold, unfortunately you're also getting is a bunch of imperfections that go along with it, now I'm not really into getting holds and then having to get my Dremel out and sanding down the imperfections, I don't expect to have to do this so it's a pretty big negative for me. I also found, like we said above, that the edges on the pockets are sharp and could cause someone that's not aware of tendon injuries some harm, I've nailed a lot of my finger tendons at one time or another so I was pretty careful when I climbed on this hold.
I've seen some stuff on the web from people that are super happy with the design a hold stuff that Woody's does, they looked well finished and smooth. I'd be interested to see how our hold turns out!

Like Noodles said you want to be careful when committing to this hold. Its big enough to do chin ups on but I wouldn't recommend doing dynos with it. On the positive, when this hold is on the wall you just want to grab onto it. So that got me interested in what other designs Woody's has to offer. I took a peek at their website and was impressed with what they have to offer. They take the time to design most of their holds around real rock. Hey Woody's: Ever think about making mold's of the real thing? All things considered, other the loss of some skin, I think this hold is a good addition for any wall.


  • Easy to hold, and lots of options to hold
  • Quite light
  • Unique design
  • You must used a deck screw to stop the hold from spinning
  • The general texture is pretty full on
  • There are bobbles for texture flaws in areas that you're going to grab, that do need to be sanded down...
  • Pocket edges are quite sharp and could cause an injury if you're not careful
Speaking to Woody's about the review they have pointed out the below:

"Regarding the imperfections you referenced, we make our holds through the design your own hold kits. This hold is in the texture and design of the person who designed it. Our design your own hold kit allows for climbers to break away from the everyday that is out on the market and create something aggressive and different. Our holds are not for everyone. The smallest imperfections simply pick off with a fingernail. Anything that does not pick off is supposed to be there!"

I like this kind of honesty from people, I'm going to sand down some areas of the hold to make it a little more "me" friendly, but this is my personal preference.


EvilJelloMan said...

The ridiculously sharp edges was the first thing to strike me about woody's holds the first time I saw them. No way would I want something that potentially dangerous to the tendons on a climbing wall. Might as well scatter some big chunks of broken rock around the bottom of my bouldering wall to make the landings more realistic. I want comfortable, tendon-friendly shapes for my indoor training - leave the sharp stuff for the rock!

Louie Anderson said...

The sharp lips make me nervous.

No real reason for this on modern holds.

Visually it's nice, but I can't get past the lips.

shawd01 said...

We have a lot of Wood’s Holds on our wall and we really like them. Yes some of them are a little aggressive, I think they are working on that, but they have some real good shapes that outside of the norm from crack simulator, slopers, rails, ice climbing holds, and some awesome edges that are not sharp. As for the texture it is nice, it holdup well over time, and you real stick to it.