Saturday, November 1, 2008

Review > Fricton > Moon Rocks & Organics

Friction Climbing

Along time ago we were sent some Friction holds, at the same time Routesetter had just run a fairly long expose on the company so we decided to hold back and review the holds later. I just checked and the review on Routesetter was in February, so we've been more than slack :( Now this means we've had these holds for over 6 months, Luigi was one of the first people to help us out in getting started and really helped by letting me chew his ear off on the phone about problems that we experienced with the site and how we went about reviewing the holds that people were sending us.

So let's get rolling and talk about Friction a little!

Hailing from Toronto, Friction has been around since 99', but their shapers have been around the block a few times, most gyms that I've visited in Canada have a good staple diet of Friction holds, and rightly so when they're so skin and tendon friendly. Luigi who owns Friction is pretty well know in climbing circles because of the Tour De Bloc, the Canadian bouldering league that's running right now... and I've always loved their comp posters (on the left) and the comps have always been pretty well run, and same go's for his company, I've always found him to be very approachable on any subject that springs to mind.

We've had our holds since the beginning of the year, I'd brought a bunch from Le Mec before I started running this site, so we're pretty well versed on the holds... and we have a great variety of shapes to choose from... today we're looking at two sets, with some extra bonus holds :P
The Moon Rocks:
and the Organics:As per usual we looked at the suggested uses and saw that they're not recommended for the roof, and yes you've guessed it... we set a route across the roof. Thankfully as we've got some bonus holds from Friction that are prototypes of their new urethane range that will be dropping in 09 we had a couple of extra jugs to play with :) Looking at the video of what we set and the way we set it I was super happy that the Friction holds are so skin friendly as there is one roof move that stopped me dead, and this is a comment that will probably come up more than once... the shapes even though they may look that they're going to be mean on the fingers and skin are really really nice! Sure when they're new they do take a little bit of skin off of your hands, but once they've got some chalk on them they really do become nice to hold onto, the resin is just good on the skin.

Now when Luigi sent us some prototypes of the urethane mix and their shapes I was worried that his shapes would loose the feel that is unique to their brand, the holds feel very very sandstone-esqe, which lets face it is a good thing for me as I spent a great number of years in Font and climbing on Southern Sandstone in the UK. We compared a resin hold and urethane prototype hold side by side and here's what we found:
  • The urethane is lighter than the resin, by a country mile
  • Thankfully the proto uretane actually took the texture so they don't feel all that dissimilar to the resin holds... and remember there has been lots more work done since we got our holds!!!
  • Urethane.. well this mix is just plain STRONG, these holds are light (and I know I've said that already) but these holds are two things that we love... STRONG AND LIGHT
I was really worried about the pending switch to urethane and I talked to Luigi about the pro's and cons of what I'd seen with some urethane holds, thankfully their holds look like they're going to be sick, and with being so light you're going to save a bunch load on shipping costs :)

(there's no sound, we know, youtube was being a pain)

As you can see from the video we set some fun moves, with the roof being the crux (as per usual). Whichever way you put the holds they're pretty bomber to grab onto, or course there is always going to be an exception if you're being completely crazy, but we've found that from vertical to steeply overhung there's more than enough space on the holds (even the small ones) for you to grab and then haul on. If you're looking at getting some holds we'd suggest you look at the Friction line.

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