Thursday, February 7, 2008

Review > Climb-It > Sediments

climb-it
Question: What do you get if you feed the Hulk radioactive tacos, poly urethane and green dye?
Answer: The Sediments in dayglo green from Climb-It Holds.

Do you think i'm joking?
Do you think i'd bolt a Hulk doll to my wall for fun?
(well if you answered yes to bolting a Hulk doll to the wall you'd be correct...)
But i'm NOT JOKING about day glo green holds...
Nope, not one bit...I really do need to get a black light into the wall one day soon, between Holdz and Climb-It it's getting a bit trippy, and we love it!

Straight out of the box you know you've got your hands onto something completely different, but you're not sure how different until you see the whole line, get out your bolts and start getting them onto the wall.. let's see what they look like...What you're going to see is a whole bunch of holds that look like they have pebbles stuck to them, and you look and you wonder "Can I really climb on this?", "Aren't those pebbles going to rip out when I hang on them?" The simple answer is yes, you can climb on them and no the pebbles aren't going to rip out... we did a quick field test with Seb who weighs just over 200 and he was dropping bombs on them, we even had a few "stamp" tests where I'd bang down onto the pebbles from above and they're solid.Looking at the holds once you've got them on the wall shows you how much choice you have.. and its a LOT! It took us a while to get into the flow of the holds, just grabbing a rock that's attached to the main face of a hold is a little weird to start with, but once you realize that the best part of the hold, generally, is the pebble/rock then you get with the program.
I like to set very specific sequences, so I was intrigued to see if there were any of the holds that could be used with just the base as the hold (avoiding the obvious pebbles) and yes there are, if you like a good sloper, like I do, then you're going to have a ball on these holds. The texture on the base and the lines that are scored into them is just enough to hold onto... and because of the rocks you've got to be exact with your hands.I think these holds should be thought of as bolt on features, because sometimes that's what it feels like. You're climbing on a hold, but you're pulling on a feature of that hold... it's different, not a bad different, a good different. The base of the hold has the same texture as the normal Climb-It holds, good and solid but not overly textured, add the cracks that are scored into them and then you've got a pretty good combination for hands and feet. Add to that the fact that the pebbles are essentially a holdable smoother texture feature and you're onto a winner!

We've chucked these holds all over the walls, and they're good no matter where you chuck
them..
The only place you have to be really strong or very careful is when you set them on a ceiling. Then the holds become really really hard, even the largest holds become a maybe (for us anyway), if you set the holds as opposing then you can get away with it, with some careful foot placement... some good spotting and some brute strength :)

RATING
NOODLES SAYS
A setter's dream come true, you want to set something easy? Sure go right ahead, use the holds with the big pebbles and rock on... want to set something hard? Grab the smaller holds with the smaller pebbles and have a ball :P At first glance the holds look like they're confusing to climb on, but once you've spent a few hours grabbing and pulling you're going to see that there's nothing quite like this set on the market, and that's a good thing! I've said it before and I'll say it again... "variety is the spice of life" and climbing indoors can (and will) get static after a while. Give your friends and your customers at your wall a treat, give them something to think about, put your hand in your pocket (or the wall owners pocket) and order the Sediments, you'll not be sorry. The sheer amount of moves you can set will make your brain hurt, any route you set will make the climber(s) think. Again Climb-It have done something amazing, they've designed something that no-one else is doing and they've executed the holds that have a style and feel like nothing else out there!
I do have one minor point to say and that is they do take up a lot of surface area on a wall, not a problem if you're a commercial gym, but a slight pain if you have a relatively small home wall... if you are going to have these at home the large, mediums and smalls (possibly the xl's) will be perfect for you.. well unless you're a complete hold junkie like me and you HAVE to have the bigger holds as well..

CHRIS SAYS
"Question: What do you get if you feed the Hulk radioactive tacos, poly urethane and green dye?" looks like Noodles is on the drugs again, but he's not far off of the point... these holds are green, he has a lot of holds over here but nothing quite as vibrant as these! First time we climbed on them we just chucked them all over one wall and it was fun to see how many different ways you could hang off of the holds, there are loads and loads it's stupid how many ways you can grab these things!!! We even managed to get a hand / heel hook on the 3xl, it's cramp but do-able :) Putting them on the roof is off of the cards unless you're Chris Sharma or possibly insane, we have a route across the roof right now and its super hard, we're getting stopped on the roof!! We'll get it in the end it just takes time.
I can see beginners and hardcore climbers really enjoying these holds, turn them any which way you fancy and just go nuts. Climb-It is fast becoming one of the companys I check to see what new stuff is coming out, mainly because they always pull something amazing out of the bag! Yeah the Sediments are great holds, can't really fault them.

PROS

  • There's nothing like these out there!!
  • Great for setting, there's enough choice on them to make everyone happy
  • Order a really nutty color like the green we have or the day-glo orange and they'll stand out
  • These holds are great for matching, most of the holds have at least two places to hold on them, and therefore when you're setting just with these holds you have plenty of foot placements
CONS
  • The whole set isn't the cheapest thing out there, BUT (and its a BIG but) the 3xl and 2xl are very big holds
  • (Minor point) They do take up a lot of surface area on a wall, but if its a commercial gym you're using these holds in then its a "mute" point. Think of the holds as bolt on features (especially the big holds) and you'll be smiling
  • (Minor point (again)) The 3xl needs a really long bolt, probably a bolt thats longer than most holds, make sure you order this when you get this hold, you'll only have to order the bolt if you're ordering wholesale, the hold prices include bolts otherwise!!
PRICE
  • The 3x-large is 1 hold at $60
  • The 2x-large is 1 hold at $42
  • The x-larges are 4 holds at $78 = $19.50 per hold
  • The larges are 4 holds at $40.50 = $10.10 per hold
  • The mediums are 4 holds at $28.50 = $7.10 per hold
  • The smalls are 4 holds at $19.50 = $4.90 per hold
  • The feet are 8 holds at $15 = $2.00 per hold
  • The full range is 26 holds at $283.50 = $10.90 per hold

6 comments:

DrexelTech said...

I'll admit I was really confused when I saw these holds come out. It seems like they are huge holds with small usable sections, and it left me wondering what you gain using one of these holds as opposed to a smaller jug, crimp, or shelf the same size as the "pebble" on one of these. It kinda seems like they are inspired by the old trick of attaching a screw-on jib to a larger hold to provide a better grip, only with less flexibility since those little grips are attached permanently.

You guys obviously seem to like these holds quite a bit, so I was curious what it is about them that makes them better than one or more smaller bolt-on holds with a similar grip

ntmb said...

The problem for me with screwing holds to other holds is that when you remove the screw on thats you attached to the hold you used it now has holes in it.. and it's essentially ruined. If you've got a slightly knackered hold then it's cool to do this, or if you want to set a move that is super specific then by all means, grab a screwdriver and go mad! I've done this many many times, but I normally go out and make sure I have two of the holds first as I like to have the original in its natural form :)

One of the reasons that the Sediments are so nice is because you don't need to do this, it's inbuilt. They're different. Like I said in the review I see the holds more as features than as holds, because there is a lot of choice, and as some of the pebbles are barely usable (on some of the holds) it makes them nice for setting for people that aren't that good at route finding, they'll have to find their own way, everyone will probably hold them differently

If you have a wall that's completely flat, the holds add an extra dimension to it. If they're part of the route or not, you can unbolt them and move them around to make semi natural feeling terrain... that's what I've been doing the last few nights. Just having them as features that are in or out on a route... and seeing how it goes and it was good fun, adding and subtracting the holds from the routes to see how they felt.

That being said, yes they are like the old trick of screwing a jib to a hold. And on a home wall they are less flexible than adding to existing holds, but for a commercial gym they'll be great (we'll see as they hit the local wall tonight) as they'll add a degree of realism that (some) walls lack! For a home wall looking to add a little realism I'd suggest not going past the large or medium sized holds unless you have a lot of space or are a hold junkie like myself :)

I really like the fact that if you set route with the pebbles excluded you have some VERY exact hand placements that essentially have no way of cheating, the hold will be held whichever way its placed. This makes them super hard, but great fun at the same time.

I'll let the shaper know about this comment and let him have his say.

ntmb said...

Oh, I forgot to add these holds made me remember what it was like pulling on some very specific sandstone in the UK that had weird pebbles embedded within the rock. There wasn't much of it, but the routes were like these holds.

It also reminded me of some other rock that I'd climbed on in France (if I remember correctly, it was over ten years ago), not in terms of texture but in the way the holds felt to climb on

Louie Anderson said...

When shaping these, I primarily wanted to do something that was different visually, but also something that replicated a rock style not yet seen in plastic holds.

Here in SoCal there is a climbing area called Devil's Punchbowl. You'll find entire walls like this there. There are a number of other areas across the US I've been to that have similar features.

Your point is valid though as the majority of the climbing usage will occur on what amounts to a small portion of the entire shape.

I think these things shine when it comes to matching sequencing and of course the same thing could be accomplished by piggybacking multiple smaller holds onto a large sloper. Or, if you didn't care about changing the plane of the gripping surface the holds are mounted onto, you could get a similar usage by positioning a few smaller cobble shapes close to each other on the wall.

I told the guys at Climb It when I was doing these that folks would either be big fans or not fans at all. We'll see how it all plays out.

They are an awful lot of fun to climb on though. If you're sitting on the fence about getting them for your gym - order the 3XL and throw it on a steeper wall. You'll like it, I promise.

DrexelTech said...

I appreciate the reply, Louie. It helps to hear the motivation behind the creation of the holds. I agree they are definitely some visually striking holds, and I can totally envision a climber walking in, seeing a route made up of all sediments, and saying "WTF - I wanna climb THAT". I have a long list of holds, a lot of them seemingly shaped by you, that I'd like to get when we find the money to do so, but I'll definitely add a set of sediments to the list so I can check them out.

If nothing else, I applaud you for always being willing to do something different.

The Billings Climbing Team said...

We ordered a set of these just the other day, so I've yet to climb on them. I think they're a more climbable version of SoILL's Kidney Stones.

We're sold on Climb-It now purely based the hotness that is their Hueco Series. The XL and L sets are the number one most realistic rock set we've seen. I'll add our comments after we climb on the sediments for a while.