When we get a mail that says:
"Heads up, there are some heinous slopers coming your way"
We're going to wonder whats going on! Then when you get the holds you figure out what's going on... and then you look at the name of the holds (which changed from when we first got these)... you kind of sit back and wonder just what you're going to do with them!
From the get-go on these holds Zach was very nervous about us reviewing them; why? Because these holds have a specific use, and he was thinking that we'd not be able to do much with them... we don't have a slab or a boulder we can top out on... but holds are just holds; aren't they?? Surely even though Louie Anderson has shaped some holds built for the tops of boulders so people can practice their horrible belly flop exits to climbs, there's no reason that they can't be used else where?? Really??
Noodles, was not worried, he set (for want of a better word) one of the most brutal balance / tension / foot popping traverse across the wall... and that's just where the fun began! Once we realized that there is no way in hell that you can use these even on the slightest over hang (well maybe a 10 or 15 if you're into double digit V grades) you get to thinking, how far can you push them on the vertical??
The answer is pretty simple, not that far, unless you have ninja like balance and hands like Spiderman; these holds are hard, but remember, these holds are for the tops of boulders!! So as there was a warm up comp happening at Allez Up we dropped them off for the evening to see what someone that was setting on the boulder would think of them. TJ and Alex used them at the top of the wall where the holds were meant to be, and the move into them was pretty damn hard, but once people dyno'd and caught with a hand they stuck and were able to pull up without a worry, even with the holds being thin. So it seems that if you have a boulder that needs spicing up then these will give you hours of setting and climbing fun, these holds were made with a purpose in mind and they fulfil that purpose as intended. Overall great holds for top outs, everywhere else it's a toss up as to how useful that they'll be, that being said look at last weeks video, do you see the Top Out Slopers in there?? They're the move out of the 45 degree wall, and then back into the wall and then the final hold you hit on that route... like we said, you can use them, hell before we figured out an easier beta on the start Noodles was matching on of the holds and then going into the top of the 45 wall; they can be used, but they're very wall / body position specific
Overall: we tried, we failed, but we had a laugh trying; that's for sure...they're a 50/50 not because of texture or size, but purely because they are meant for one function and one function only, that being said there are some more shapes coming that are in the same vein, but they'll be deeper and better for normal walls.... thank god :)
These holds are so specific that we don't even have an icon for them. The holds are best for top out and slabs but they also work well in corners like we had them set on our wall.
We like to find the full potential of the holds that we get and when we set them on the slight overhang we were surprised that we got as far as we did. But that wasn't very far and we were being very very creative with the setting and the moves; if you need something on a vertical wall that will allow you to hold yourself in place then these were a nice surprise. Putting them under the box and then matching was harder than we expected, you end up with so much pressure on your feet it becomes really hard to move. These holds could be used for some balance routes, but if the wall is vertical or overhung they're just going to be used (we think) as holds that will allow the climber to adjust their postion on the wall but not to pull on. Use them as intended; for the tops on a boulder and you'll have no complaints, elsewhere... avoid unless you're super super super strong on vertical thin as hell can I hold onto this slopers.
Climb It has taken the path of many companies and make their holds from urethane. If they were made from resin they would not have stood up to the abuse of the saw, we'd have shattered it all over the floor. Thus far we've not broken or chipped any of the Climb It holds that we have
- If you have a boulder and are in need of some holds for top outs, then these are what you're looking for
- Good color, strong mix. We even took one off of the wall with a saw and there wasn't that much damage to the hold
- Given the ammount of skin we had in contact with the surface of the holds the texture is good enough that you can feel confident when you're trying an impossible move but not enough to allow you to haul on the shapes on a vertical wall like a monkey.. these are some setters dream holds
- Does anyone else make holds for the top of your boulder? Nah, we couldn't think of one either
- Totally specific holds, these are brutal on vertical walls... they are made for slabs or tops of boulders
- Holds could be a little smaller in size, given the area that you can use on some of the holds the hold could be dropped in area by around 50%
The medium set costs $33 for hour holds
AFTER A MONTH IN THE GYM
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:Unsurpisingly due to the holds nature and lets face it slopers are pretty hard to stand on sometimes the holds have a huge ammount of rubber on them... a quick dunk in a bath (actually my bath) with some soapey water and a brush and they clean up pretty well, the rubbers pretty much gone. We're using a nylon brush, washing up liquid and just hot water!
There's no real damage to the holds, and considering the ammount of hands and feet that hit these holds the texture is still the same