Thursday, January 22, 2009

Review > Teknik > Svelt Pinches

Teknik Handholds

The Svelt pinches are new shapes from Teknik, (so new in fact that even though they have been released you won't find them on the Teknik website and you'll need to contact Seth and Zoe to put in an order) and ours came in a bright fluorescent orange. We like it when holds stand out on a wall and these holds stand out and you can easily see the sequence but don't be fooled, they are pinches with no positive edges and you'll be scratching your head trying to figure out the right beta. The holds are shaped with one flat side and one slopey side and this makes them super hard to hold onto.

We first set the route with the pinches on vertical into the 30 degree overhang. We set them quite low and we needed to squeeze hard on the hold so as not to fall off. Our local gym held a mini competition and they requested the Svelt pinches for the finals (Editors note: they asked for holds, I lent them the pinches because I wanted to seel people suffer :P). Personally, I think that these holds would be great for training purposes, but the opinions are mixed on the subject. If you're strong on crimps you'll find that these are still pretty hard to pinch and you'll be cupping and squeezing the hold like we did on the 30 degree. That being said, if you lack pinch strength you'll be struggling to hold on and the texture is quite smooth which makes it even harder to stick and those who lack the strength will be frustrated with these holds but if you're looking to increase your pinch strength, these are the holds train on. One thing that we all agreed on is that a 45 degree wall is too steep for the Svelts. We proved this to ourselves by setting a short problem on the 45. After repeatedly falling off, swapping the holds around and trying out different beta we were convinced that they will not go back on the 45. So the best place for these holds are on vertical terrain or slightly overhanging. On a vertical wall even those who struggle with pinches can work on the sequence without tormenting themselves, add some angle and they start to get harder, add more angle and you're just going to get pitched off onto the mats.

The good thing about the holds are where they come from, Seth and Zoe or Zoe and Seth have their shaping down, we can't think of a hold from their entire line that isn't nice to hold onto, the immediate sets of hols that you may have seen from Teknik that compare well to the Svelts are the Fat Pinches; if you know these and are thinking about getting the Svelts then bare in mind that these are about 25% thinner and about 1 million times slopier!!

When we put the holds on the 45, we thought that with a little work at least one of us could make it to the top but after falling repeatedly, we decided to call it a fail. Setting a full problem on pinches isn't the best for your hands and I could feel the strain from the session in my joints. There's a fine line between sticking and falling off these holds and we need On vertical and overhangs up to 30 degrees is ideal placement for the holds and are a whole lot a fun if you set a low traverse.Setting the holds so they are angled flat (rather than in pinch mode) gives you some serious sloping / pinch fun, that most people will be able to muscle their way through.

attractively or gracefully slim; and these holds are probably that, they are svelt in shape and form, they're probably more "merde" for most people when they grab them :) Yup they're not easy pinches to get a-hold of, good on the hands, sweet on the skin but soooo hard to stick if you get it wrong; is this a good or bad thing?? It's tough to say, we've been criticised for not being harsh enough on peoples holds (we're trying trust me) and we sat long and hard thinking about the pros and cons for these guys; there's not much you can say that's wrong with these holds, Teknik (as do a lot of company's) have their game down, they don't put out half baked shapes and these sure as hell aren't half baked, they're full on cooked.

The holds have a solid centre for the bolt to run through, and some of the holes are off centre a little; I don't know if these holds are sanded and then drilled or drilled and then sanded; but there was a slight lift on one hold that allowed it to spin til we tightened it more than the others. This didn't affect the holds performance in anyway, it's just a side note. Why more companies don't do this with their holds is a wonder to me sometimes, it helps with overall strength for the shape and braces the bolt somewhat.... (I asked about this and the holds are poured with the bolt hole in place, there must have been a slight mistake with the sanding, nothing major as it's really only slightly off)

Overall, I thought I was strong on pinches, have realised that I need to be stronger for the competition scene as if these holds start popping up (and I'm sure they will) I'm sure to have a hard old time getting to the top of the route; good work, I / we and maybe you will have a set of holds to work on your open hand pinch strength
The feeling when you first see the holds is that you really want to touch the floro orange shapes, they're the kind of holds you see first when you enter the gym... then you take a couple of seconds to look at them, just so you can see the route and then you realise that these are probably the kind of pinches that are going to make you sweat and swear. I went onto the routes what were set once the holds had been chalked, so I cannot comment on the feelings that have been expressed about the holds when they are clean, but it doesn't matter, each time you arrive to a route in the gym, it's always chalked up. I'm the kind of climber that likes to climb long moves where you use a lot of strength and where my hands are on big holds, almost near slopers. The Svelt pinches are tiny and will make you use your open hand strength when they're used on vertical walls.. these holds work your body but you can't tell which muscle til the day after, but they're forearm sappers for sure!! Yeah baby I like it! The routes we set my favorite was the Svelt set as a sloper to a long more to a small hold, my favorite!!! I don't think that Noodles ever finished the route :D

We set a route on the slab with the Top Outs / Patina's & Teknik: Svelt Pinches, a nice technical sloper / pinch route on a slab. Lot's of the real good climbers got stumped despite the lofty grade of 5.9 :P Here's some images of the holds from when they came back:The holds were used as pinches either in the vertical or horizontal plane, and they took a lot of rubber as one of them was a used as a real big rock over / match move. Using soapy water and a nylon brush the holds came up like new, with only a small ammount of shoe rubber being left, we could get it off with another dunk in hot water but we've left it on there, we're not too worried about it. Texture is like new, and there's no damge to the holds

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