Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Review > Atomik > Sandstone Jugs and Patina

The long wait is over. We took a little vacation due to injuries and the call of the outdoors but we finally got around to the second installment of the Atomik reviews. This time around we have the Sandstone roof jugs...

...and the Patina's.

The holds vary in size from XL to medium according to Atomik's website. The roof jugs and regular size jugs not only get their shape from sandstone cliffs but have the texture to match, like all of the Atomik holds, these ones will also remove a few layers of skin (see our earlier review here for our views on the texture) As for the patinas, they look like something from the oceans floor, some kinda hybrid crustacean coral looking thing. I felt that the texture on the Patina are a more forgiving, when in fact it's just the shaping of the holds that makes them feel this way, even thou these shapes do have some nice dual-texture areas. Its obvious that the Sandstone roof jugs are huge (not huge like the War of the Worlds, but two hand huge just the same) so it came to my surprise that the first time Noodles hangs on the hold he hurts his hand, followed by two weeks off on the doctors request (Editors note: it wasn't a request, she told me I'd rip the entire tendon if I climbed), now you know why it took us so long to get this review out :P
We actually had this problem up more than two weeks ago and in the video you can spot the exact moment that things go wrong. The hold has a sharp edge, and combined to lack of feet may have helped with the injury, these holds do have some sharp edges (not super sharp) in places, so care should be taken when doing high stress moves! Some of the sandstone holds are sharper than they need to be...

We didn't let the size of the hold dictate where it was going to be placed on the wall so we have roof jugs into patinas back to roof jug, this makes for an interesting traverse across the roof. The Patinas are big enough for the roof but I can't manage to hang off of one hold, it feels like it's big enough but just isn't, you can see Noodles hit the floor and look back up! THAT'S the hold that is very deceptive. The regular size jugs are quite deceiving and it says right on Atomiks website "the design concept offers a deceiving jug that forces the climber to learn how to hold it on steep terrain" There are a couple of jugs in our roof sequence and at first we figure that it was going to be easy (Bear in mind we didn't expect an injury either!) but the layer effect of the sandstone can make the holds feel mediocre on the roof.

And now its onto the overhang! We put in some long moves to make things interesting.and my only complaint is texture. When you throw yourself at the hold, you're bound to lose some skin, but at this point it's the nature of the beast. The holds we first reviewed from Atomik have been at Allez Up for a month now and now that there have been lots of traffic on these holds they have mellowed out an awful lot!!


We're saying you can put the Patinas and the Sandstone jugs anywhere you please on a wall. The sizing means that they're fine on roofs and pretty much anywhere you want to chuck these holds. Most of the holds can be matched, especially the Patinas that in some cases are nice double jugs.

All of these holds are incut to a certain degree. The smallest set are the Patinas and we have one on the roof but I wouldn't consider them a roof hold, although we've had smaller holds up there :), it's more than big enough to hang off of! As for the jugs, they're good everywhere. The regular Sandstone jugs vary in size and are all made for one hand. You could match some of them, and others would be sketchy in the roof if you're trying this.

Again, look at the original review because there's not much else to say other than what we've already said: None of the holds have any problems with their backs, they're smooth. There were less bubbles in the urethane than in the Font sets, so the mix is good and strong and these have been tested to over what you're going to do with a wrench, so you're probably not going to break any of them when setting a route!

These holds are RED, not RED, so they're going to stand out! I'll say it again, Atomik have their base colors down. They do have an amazing hue to them, if we could get the red and the yellow in a swirl then we would because that would be some seriously loud holds... like peoples dress sense in 1985! That's how bright they'd be!!!

If you want to see what we say about Atomiks texture go here, and read it. We're not going to go on about it again :) But put this in your mind, climb on the holds... if you don't like the texture, sand them down! The holds are a great price, so if you need to fill a wall with holds but don't have a huge budget the Atomik shapes should be a place to start shopping

Some of the holds do have some sharp angles that could cause injuries, we've had a bunch of mails from people stating this, and we had it in the review, but it got left out due to some PC errors at the time. Care should be taken on these holds when doing high stress moves!!! Some of the sandstones and Patinas do have sharp edges that make climbing upon them a little more harsh than needed, although edges like these are true to the real world, radii that's not comfortable in a gym / home setting is a no go!!

Argh, ripped tendon!! I'm not saying that it was the hold that did this to me, it was partly the move and my complete lack of footwork that did it!! You can hurt yourself on any hold, on any move, climbing is a dangerous very tough sport on the body, we had the video rolling and you can see the look of pain on my face. It wasn't fun, and it's still not healed completely but it is getting there. I've never fully made it across the roof on this route, I've got close but no medal for me thus far I'm afraid.

The original route which is the first part of the video was changed whilst I took a few weeks off to make it easier with more feet, there was no way I was going to attempt that move again and risk killing my finger again. Now its "slightly" easier, but not much and getting into the roof is nicer and much smoother! The holds are all positive to a degree, and I'll agree with what Atomik say about the jugs being hard to read, they are, and it does take a few attempts to learn how to catch a hold the correct way for a sequence! I like this, I think that having holds that are a complete gimme are good, but part of climbing is learning how to read sequences and finding the most efficient way to cruise through that sequence, so I'm applauding Atomik on that, I was caught out and I've been hanging off of walls for 22 odd years!!

I'm not going to lie, the texture tore some skin off, so these holds are going to the gym so that other climbers can give us their opinion on the holds... and so they can make the holds smoother for us :P I like the holds, they're not the biggest jugs, but they're also not the smallest, they're a good size for beginners or for someone that has a steep wall and they just want to run circuits to get super strong, the fact that you have to think before grabbing is a good thing that in the long run will make you a better climber!

I'd like to say again that I was shocked when noodles hurt his finger. I honestly thought that he was putting on a face for the camera. Since we had jugs to play with, we set the route to be a warm up and after we sorted out our foot holds it was just that. To say that the roof jugs are huge is an understatement and if you`re novice climber you shouln`t be using these anywhere except on roof or very steep terrain in my opinion. Of course you could set a wicked dyno on the jugs if the height of your wall permits :)

You can get your fingers into the jugs right up to your second joint and even deeper on the roof jugs, but the Patinas will only allow you to get the tips of your fingers (or to the first joint) into the pockets and are more like pinches than jugs. It's an interesting mix of shapes :)

The holds that we received are all in bright colors and they stand out in the gym. We set a couple of routes last month at our local gym and they`re getting a lot of traffic. My ego says that people are climbing them due to the setting but my intuition says its the colors. Now that the holds are getting a bit of traffic they`ve evened out on the texture front, no sanding for us :P


  • Good for any angle...
    • Jugs are good every where
    • Patinas are also good on any angle
  • Packing was second to none!, no breaks or burrs
  • Good for beginners, they can be put anywhere and the Sandstone jugs aren`t a gimmie hold, they`ll make the climber think more than a normal jug
  • Price, most the the Atomik ranges have a great price!!
  • The texture will need some time to wear down or you'll have to lessen it on some holds
  • Some of the holds aren't for complete beginners, as they're a "thinking mans jug" rather than a grab on and haul jug, so you'll have to be careful with what and where you set with these (but not too careful!!)
  • Some of the shapes do have semi sharp angles, so some care is needed when dynoing to these holds
  • There are some sharp angles on some of the holds, so care must be taken when climbing on them!!
Sandstone jugs are $59,99
Patinas are $46.49

UPDATE!! Since I've had a lot of mails about the sharpness of the holds we've added what we missed the first time (Our bad, we did write it but for some reason it was left out of the review :( ) Atomik are updating their site about crimping in general on all sets that have semi sharp angles, and we'll add a word of caution of our own about the holds. Sorry we messed up, we've now got the correct review up!!

UPDATE 2!! Atomik are now sending out sanding blocks with their holds and an information sheet that informs people how to do this. It's a step in the right direction of being able to remove the sharp edges on some of their holds that could cause injury! We'd like to tip our hat to the guys for taking on the comments and for making adjustments to their ranges as needed!! Good work!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, I was climbing on these this weekend at a local gym and I think that the shapes have too many sharp angles. I'd advise people to be careful when climbing on these holds.

Noodles, I don't think that is was so much your footwork that hurt your finger but more of the shape of the hold and the sharp angles therein

Keep up the good work