And this weeks winner is Noodles by a long shot. At first I had my doubts and thought that maybe it was a fluke but he sent the problem over and over again just to prove to us that it was possible; but seeing Noodles lap the problem didn't make it any easier to clamp down on that hold. The first few times I managed to keep my feet on the wall the hold felt solid until my feet broke off and my hands would slide right off the holds. Now I don't want to make any excuses but the holds are slick, and after a few attempts we needed to brush the holds off. Did this make it any easier? Not the slightest. The trick here is to squeeze the holds with everything you've got. I thought that I could get around that by crimping the top and doing the move static but the holds are flat or slightly incut and when they're on a 45 degree wall and you really need to rely on your pinch strength. My lesson learned: I need more pinch strength.
Remember when I said that these were some of the thinnest shapes out there? That was a bit of an exaggeration and when we handed the pinches off to Seb he set the route with big gaps between the holds. You need to keep in mind that Seb has at least a hand length more than us, we ended up being full stretch on some of the moves and the holds felt much nicer (and bigger) than they were on the 45.
The holds were set up flat on the wall and there won't be any lack of friction, the holds are big enough to get all your fingers on them. We even skipped some of the holds to make the route harder! Lately, to make the easier sequence a little more fun, we've been getting into the habit of rotating holds for the reviews and we did the same for Sebs route. Once again the holds were solid and the problem was sent with ease. Now that this review is done, the holds are going right back onto the overhang.
Right out of the box we slapped these babies up on the 45. I was confident that it could be sent but my ego took a blow on this one. A 45 degree wall is the steepest I would go and on my second session on the problem I could feel the strain in my fingers. The holds for the most part are flat edged pinches, with the largest of the holds being slightly incut you can see from the video that Noodles caught the hold and then could hold on and look at the camera without too much trouble.
On the complaint side we'd suggest these shapes get a look at on the edges front, they could be a little rounder to stop any finger pain that could occur, and some people will find that the wide pinch grip isn't for them.The holds are more than big enough to be matched, either when they're in pinch mode, or even when you're using them as edges (90 degrees to how they should be normally set), so there's some variety to be had, there would be more if the holds had a side that sloped more, but this isn't the case... you're going to get some matchable pinches / edges with these.
Now when Mike was running Sequence you were always going to expect some high jinx with your parcels or when the phone rang you may get called my the Police... yup! One time he phoned pretending to be the Police and then one of my parcels was addressed to something like Jeremy "Big Dog" Dowsett, the postman thinks I'm a loon anyways.. now Brock is the CEO what do we get?? SHOTGUNS! I suspect the Mike was involved somehow :) It's good to see and feel Sequence's new mix, now no one can complain about their holds breaking; we're going to look at them side by side fairly soon so we can show you the difference in the holds that you're going to get, so stay tuned.
Overall, I'm impressed. These are pretty old shapes that we'd not seen before and they climb well with the new texture being a treat for the ol'fingers. What I'd have liked to see was someone other than me getting up the route on the 45, we have video of Jacky falling off a whole bunch (It wasn't just Chris) and there are some attempts at the end of a session where I tried it and failed, it happens sometimes :) Giving the holds to Seb to play with was a treat, he wanted a warm up stretchy route, and that's what we got, nice long reaches to the holds as pinches, and then we rotated them by 90 degrees to change it up a little. Both ways the holds were fun; infact I'd go so far to say you could have the same shapes but half the thickness and you'd still be ok with the moves. I like the texture, its there and it's good enough for a 45 (Chris disagree's he thinks it's too slick) without ripping your fingers to shreads and when the holds are on a vertical wall they're just big... on the 30 degree wall again they're huge.... you can hang on them all day and not worry. Sequence is back, they're shooting stuff and putting out new holds, keep an eye out (Especially if Mike is holding the gun!)
Testing these holds raised more questions than answers in my case. But, before let's state the facts before the questions:
-LOOK: Average as they have nothing special, but don't look bad
-TEXTURE: Liked it a lot actually. Don't requite that much chalk and I've still got all my skin
-VERSATILITY: They don't do much, but what they do... they do it well
-ARE THEY FUN:
Yeah no doubt
-PRICE: A little expensive from my point of view
Now the questions: Does a set of holds always need to be combined with other holds in order to see it's full potential? Let's leave the huge features and foot holds out of this discussion. The reason i'm saying this is that I've often seen sets that were self sufficient in the art of creating potential and variety in routes. And when I'm thinking about the Matter Nows all I can see is that they are a great addition to an existing collection. Now don't get me wrong; I am not saying that a set of holds needs to be self sufficient but when I pay $72 (I know I didn't here) I'd like to have that little value on top
My final question: Would I buy them? My answer is iiiccch. I usually REALLY like the Sequence holds but these are a little expensive for what they have to offer me. And the me part
- Good for all levels of climbers, depends on angle of wall and sequence
- Skin friendly texture (even on the overhang)
- Virtually indestructible