Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Review > Contact Climbing > War Of the Worlds 2

Contact Climbing

When we posted these holds on the news section there was a reaction to them, some positive, some negative. So much so that Dale (from Contact) offered his email address and phone number so they could bitch at him rather than anonymously on the comments section, the neighsayer didn't get the number and Dale stood by Contact's creations... and know what... rightly so.

Seeing the images of the holds doesn't really do them much justice. I was expecting some weird looking jugs, and what I got some people would class as a novelty hold but what these holds are is function over form, yes they've been sculpted to look like alien space ships, and yes some people may find this a little weird, but what the sculpting doesn't take away from is their function. Contact made some huge ass jugs and then made them look like alien space ships, hell So Ill mold telephones, so alien space craft isn't really out there...It doesn't take 5 seconds to guess where these holds were going, it's obvious once you see them that these puppies are roof dwellers, they can be put absolutely anywhere and you don't need to worry about how they're going to be... bomber is going to be the word of the day!
As we've got our new box up and kicking we figured we'd come out from under the box to one of the holds set as a side pull and then have a chuck across the roof (it's about 4ft to the hold) and see how that went... getting across was fine, getting back was a different kettle of fish!! It's easy if you use the side wall, so we took it out for fun.
The biggest of the holds is a huge double handed butterfly that has huge jugs on either side, that are more than matchable whichever way you fancy grabbing them. The other holds are just as large, except they're single sided not double sided, but whichever way you do look at the holds (and we'll say this a lot) they're huge, they're some of the biggest boltons that we have and have seen. Barring stuff like Climb-It's "Sleeping Giant", but that's a piggy back hold that takes other bolt ons!


The answer to this question is "where not to put them!?!", they're one of those holds that is a gimmie in any situation, roof's, super steep overhangs, they're going to be great pretty much everywhere. If you have a roof and want to set an easy route for beginners these will bego to holds for your setters, anyone should be able to haul on these holds pretty much anywhere

Incut is not the word I would use for these, hand eaters is a better description on what these holds are... super comfy once they've got some chalk on them bomber monsters from another planet.

In fact I'll go so far and give them a film rating, yup, they're rated E for Everyone! No parents needed, no having fake ID, just get them and you'll see just how big these holds are!

Excellent, which is what we've come to expect from Contact. Even with these holds being big the backs are well sanded and sit flush to the wall. The bolt hole and screw holes are nice and clean and well situated (we're yet to put screws in). Even with the intricate design of the holds they're well molded and look great. Texture does take a little bit of time to even out with chalk build up, but its in no way a bad thing and the holds don't rip your hands to shreds

There are a couple of minor points, I'm not all that keen on the color. As these holds are huge I'd want a brighter color if I was buying them, but bear in mind we didn't specify a color, ours are the green you see in the images. If I were you ask for the brightest color that Contact rock as it'll be worth it.

The final point is the way the holds were packed for shipping, they were in a box surrounded by paper, which means the holds can move about when the post people use the parcels in their care as a party pinata. It's something that they need to look at, but nothing that can't be fixed in a few minutes.


There's not much I can really add, it's been hard to review three holds, but that being said it was a pleasure to do so. Bug jugs are always tricky, they're holds that you swing about on and if the texture isn't just right you end up taking skin off, thankfully Contacts texture translates well from their small holds to their big holds, add chalk to these holds and then it's not evennoticeable ! When I added these holds to the news section there were some negative comments, and these I feel have been put to bed, yeah Contacts made some holds that are a little funky, but they're better than if they were up there and we're just plain old hunks of urethane, this is especially the case with these holds are they're massive and you notice them right away!

My one gripe is the color, but it's super minor and nothing that's worth much of a mention. These holds are the same color as the Hex holds we reviewed a way back so in essence we're extended the set and now it's easy to rock both sets in longer routes. If I were buying them (like we said) I'd go for a brighter color so they really stand out, the red that Contact does will really make them pop out.

If you're looking for some monster jugs for beginners, or something you can chuck to and not worry about having to be super exact with your hands then these will do the job and then some.

Definitely function over form. These green invaders will spice up your wall, aesthetically and in function. I don't know if the guys from Contact did it on purpose but I realized that if you invert the holds you can use the features as crimps or better yet a massive (there it is again, MASSIVE) pinch. As noodles pointed out those same features can be used to match or bump.

When we set for a review we try to user only the holds from the set.
We're lucky on the fact that we have a massive box on our roof so we could do that interesting move from under the box to the front. Even when we set for long moves, these holds are huge and it would take a blind man to miss these monsters.

In the roof, the holds are bomber. If you're like me and freak out a bit in roof sequence, these holds will help in getting rid of that psychological hex. One, two, three moves and you're on the other side.

As for the colour I don't really have any problem with it other than the fact that many companies do not carry this shade of green so if you set in a gym you can'texactly match the colour....no big deal.

What else can I say? They're massive, huge, juggernauts, monsters...you get the picture.

  • Texture doesn't rip your skin to shreds
  • Nice shapes with no burrs, you can even match some of the alien features if you're feeling up for it
  • Good for any angle... ANY ANGLE!!
  • If space is low then these could be too big...
  • Colors not the best (but this is upto you)
  • Packing needs a little bit of a look at
Three holds for $85, but they're monsters!!

Because of the comments we recieved Dale sent us some pictures to show how big the holds are, hopefully this will put the (as Dale puts it) haters to bed for a while... any comments can be addressed via the comments under the post or via our contact address. Next review we're going to take waaaay more photos, we didn't this time as we felt that the video showed how large the holds were! Our bad, we'll make sure to sort this out!! (and the pictures are of holds BEFORE sanding)


Anonymous said...

those holds do not look like huge holds. I mean you keep saying how big they are but in comparison to a feature hold are they really that big?

It sounds like you guys work for contact, come on lets hear a good review! Be harsh.

I think they look like good jugs but look to decorated.

ntmb said...

...Compared to say most of the "jugs" on the market they are much bigger and more positive than most. Now it depends upon what feature hold you're talking about, give me an example and I'll tell you.

If we go side by side with the Met Huecos that are up there on our roof, there more positive than all of the set except the hold that is ring (you can hold onto it like a bar), and for surface area on a wall they do take more space. So yes they are huge.

Work for Contact? Nope. Sorry no brand loyalty. The review sat half written for over a week because we we're trying to find something that was wrong with the holds. And there's not much that can be said about a) three holds (it is hard) b) holds that are well made and despite being a little funky still perform very very well c) holds that are good for every angle
If there was something we could have faulted the holds on we would have, we've been given enough s**t over the months (from Contact themselves in some cases!!) about not being harsh enough with our reviews. We have a list of things that we look at, and we go through the list every time we write a review, we tick the boxes, dot the I's and cross the T's. Contact quite simply made some really nice monster jugs, the color I don't like, Chris doesn't mind. We could bitch about the price, but $85 for holds this big isn't all that bad (Some holds from other company's are $30 to $50 per hold for something the same size)

If we could have faulted them we would have... if per chance you're a hold maker then send us on over some holds, we'll have a look :)

I'm sure that Dale over at Contact will answer any specific questions you have on the holds, or if you want to talk to me some more feel free to drop me a mail, the contact button is on the page.

I'd like once again to point out that we don't have any brand loyalty, the company's that send us holds do see the reviews before they go live, and they are able to talk to use about what we've written before you (the readers see it). There have been no cases of us changing a review (apart from errors) from a single company to date, if we write something bad, like we have done on some of the reviews we don't change anything, despite being asked from time to time. Because we want you to see what we found wrong

I could go on for hours, but I've got to get some work done on another review


P.S: Do you know what, despite the fact that you think they look too decorated to be honest I was climbing on them last night and I didn't even notice the alien motifs. It isn't that pronounced

Anonymous said...

What is too decorated in todays climbing hold market?

Are So-Ills holds too decorated when they put cell phones or light bulbs in them?

Are E-Grips Armordillo and Happy Jax too decorated?

Come on people, love them or hate them, they holds are super-positive and quite large. The decoration does not affect how these jugs climb in any way.

Gotta love the haters!


Louie Anderson said...

They look to be basically generic jugs when it comes to function. Nicely shaped with rounded and comfortable lips. These are the types of things that make for good run-of-the-mill training shapes. If that's what you're looking for - these look to fit the bill.

For me though, these shapes take it a notch upwards by providing an interesting visual motif as well. As the reviewer said, the decoration does not seem to interfere with the usage at all, so why is this a problem? If I were a gym owner looking to buy jugs, I don't think I would want all of those jugs to be plain jane. Having some visual variety helps to keep things interesting for those climbers that are destined to climb on jugs exclusively.

From one shaper to another, I say "Good Job!"

James said...

These are definitely a set of big freakin' jugs, but I would sort of agree with anonymous that they don't really qualify as huge. A huge jug is something like the Orbship from etch (you can easily get two hands and a heel on it at the same time), or the Crystal from Stone Age, or if you want truly massive, the giant Hueco hole from Halo.

On a different topic, hold decoration is one of those things people will either love or hate - there are lots of people who DESPISE the funky artistic shapes put out by So Ill, for example. I personally think they are fun. Some of these funky shapes are able to give you a climbing experience that is, quite frankly, impossible to find outdoors. In some peoples' eyes, that's a good thing - indoor climbing isn't outdoors, so why try to emulate it all the time? In others, it's stupid - indoor climbing, to them, is simply training for outdoor climbing, and in their eyes holds should climb like real rock, and look like real rock.

There are so many hold companies out there, that there is plenty of room for all types of holds - both the crazy artistic stuff and the practical, rock inspired grips. I'm glad there are companies that focus on all aspects, because it gives me a wider variety of stuff to climb on.

ntmb said...

Ah there is a slight difference here.
Etch Orbship is classed as a feature, the WOTW2 are just large. And for jugs they are huge..

I suppose its horses for courses! They're big jugs, not big enough to be a feature

Halo, they're out of business and I still don't have my holds....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments guys,

Contact never labeled these holds as "features", the one thing that we have always tried to do, is make our sizing more towards the generous side. Our "large" holds are some other companies xxl and xxxl size. There is no standard in the industry (unfortunately) we just want to give value for the $$$$$$.


newton said...

i own a set of these holds, so i'll weigh in. they're big, they're bomber, and they feel good. they feel like resin, have the weight of urethane, and work well in any application we've thrown at them - roof, dyno launch & landing, slabby kids stuff, intermediate overhanging...

and, no, i don't work for contact, but i like dale & luke and the way they do business. i like contact enough to ditch nicros to add contact to my monthly subscription list.