Thursday, February 5, 2009

Review > DRCC > Setters Delight


Between running gyms down in Michigan and mixing tracks for our videos, Vince and his brother Nick somehow found time to start up the Detroit Rock Climbing Company. We've done some reviews for these guys in the past and it took them some time to get the business off the ground, but with a little persuasion on Noodles part we were the first in Canada to get our hands onto some sweet, sweet holds, since their start less than a year ago they've shipped holds all over the WorldThe holds that we reviewed back in November were the BFD slopers (review here) and this time around we have crimpy purple edges that they've named the Setters Delight. And here's what the website says about these holds:

"Setters find these holds absolutely D-lightful! These low profile positive omnidirectional crimps make creating and forcing sequences a breeze. If setting is your job than these are an excellent tool to have in you bag! Fit for everything from 5.9s to 5.14s. "

You won't have much to work with when you're climbing on them, making them great for setting those forced sequences, as they suggest.. The area that you're going to grab are pretty flat edges, they're not incut at all, so we set to work to see what we could do with them. We set them on the 45 and we barely got ourselves off the floor, even when we switched the slightly more positive holds on the start we still couldn't get past the first couple of moves. So one thing about these holds: crimp strength is a must, but you can get a thumb catch on the little lips that are on the holds if you really bear down on them.... we failed on the 45, not managing to get past three moves, the holds just aren't incut enough for us to be able to stick and then move from them :(

We ended up giving the set to Eve in hopes that she would be a little less naive and set a sequence that we could actually get around. Despite being on a vertical wall the holds still posed a challenge in that you're never quite sure when you're going to pop off the holds, with a little work we all completed the problem.

After we'd all run a bunch of laps on the holds we gave the holds to Jacky; we've learnt in the past Jacky sets like a loon! Because of the nature of these holds the start of Jackys problem forced us to either bump to the next hold or cross over statically. As you can see from the video, the bump takes a certain amount of commitment and after seeing Noodles fail a few times I figured the best was to cross to the next hold. The move itself requires your crimp strength, balance and the weight shift needs to be just right making these holds a Setters Delight (I couldn't have put it better any other way), Jacky set something that made us all work to get the send, with him being taller and having a longer reach he did have trouble on his own problem (something we always like to see), during the session we were filming but we also had a photographer over taking some pictures for the site, keep you eyes pealed as we'll get these images up as soon as we get them.

Overall the holds are fun to play on, they're not painful and really not suited to steep overhung terrain, but if you're looking for some holds that are flat that are big enough to match on for that crimpy traverse you've been wanting to set we'd suggest these.

We'd not suggest going past 30 degrees with these holds, if they were a little more incut then you could probably crank the angle up some more.
As the holds are flat, with varying widths for your hands you will find that forcing moves will be very easy, from side pulls to gnarly cross over reaches you can set some really technical routes, the difficulty will be determined by what you want to do. Noodles wanted to work on some fairly low-wide traverses on these holds, Jacky wanted to set a cross and Eve wanted to play with the holds on our box feature. We all set with them and some interesting routes came out of the sessions, as we've had the holds for a while we've had them all over the place, shallow angles are where these holds shine, pitching the strongest climbers we've had over onto the mats as they try to figure out how to balance on the moves and pull through

Overall, the holds aren't sharp, but some people might find the edges even though they are rounded might dig in a little, but this depends upon how hard you're cranking down on the holds and what angle of attack you approach the holds at. Hitting them at speed is a little trickier than you might expect as you're going to need to be exact on where you hit them, otherwise you're coming off the wall backwards, you can see Noodles and Jacky getting spat off as they try to deadpoint one of the larger holds from the set when it was on the 30 degree wall.

We had the most fun on these holds on the 30 degree and vertical walls, but don't count these holds out for thin undercuts, they work well and you can really force a climber to have to lock onto the hold and then work their way up to the next hold. If pretty thin is your game, then the Setters Delight will fit nicely into you arsenal

Eve and Noodles found that the edges bite and are a little painful to climb on but I didn't have an issue with that (then again, I like crimps so I may not be the best person to comment on the subject). So if you want to improve your crimp strength or just like pulling with all your might on the tips of your fingers, look no further, the Setters Delight are for you

Setters Delight....sounds to me like climbers hell! But although these holds will leave you panting they are not that bad! They are crimps and I found myself having to tape because they eventually hurt my fingers, I'm glad we didn't have more, a longer route might have been painful. They are fairly soft on the skin though, the corners are nicely rounded and the color is bright and very noticeable on a wall. I set with them and they are fun because you can make climbers do funky moves with these, although rotating them might not be the most practical thing ever! I don't think beginners would appreciate these holds....unless you're the one setting ;) Setters Delight allows one to push their crimping and weight shifting ability to the limit, no matter your skill and therefore can quickly leave you on the mats. I will definitely get on them again....didn't finish Jacky's route and I can't let him have that!

At first sight, I was not particularly attracted.

Two weeks before, I had seen them on the wall but I never tried them, mostly because they were tiny, without even a beginning of porosity where fingers are going to hold… the hold.

This week, I didn’t have choice to touch them! Our first track was kind of a warm up track, and I was surprised to stick on that surface. The look and the feel aren’t the same, I can tell you. They are bigger then they look, when it set flat upright. The real fun part began when we tried them on the 45º and 20º wall. This is when, these holds became, to me, a potential good time on plastic. Once on the inclined wall, we started falling and pushing ourselves near our limits. We easily found a way to set them to get a technical track, as opposed to our initial warm up track. There are even some pieces big enough to match on, and there are some you would like to match on. It's a good variety of sizes. I’ve noted that the porosity is so fine that when chalked, texture almost completely disappears. As climbers, we need to get this half-slippery feeling to train our fingers. Therefore, the texture can still be a plus for short track home training, but, on a bigger track then ours, like at the gym, I wouldn't recommend it. I think they'd get shinny within a month! I guess we'll see…

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