The Force ESC and DSC
From the start, the colors of these holds is going to grab your attention, from the the crazy green and white swirls of the ESC and DSC's; it's not a color combination you're going to see very often on holds.. of course what else you're going to notice is the fact that the slick part of the hold is very very reflective
The next thing (if you know holds) is that they're similar to some other holds on the market... sim-i-lar, but not the same! From thin positive crimps on the ESC (Easy Side Crimps) to evil non positive crimps on the DSC (Dark Side Crimps) you're going to have a blast setting, but remember to play nice as hauling off of crimps isn't the best for your digits!
We had a couple of routes about the place from the instant you get onto the holds you're either going to love em or hate em; we gave them to Marty to set with as he loves the small stuff to see what he'd try to get us to pull off, in all honesty the route wasn't that bad the horizontal pull on the steps is actually that bad, the cross over on the super thin edges on the box ok... what was hard was the undercling on the 45 degree walls feature... and getting across the 30 degree wall without getting spat off on to your ass (Bear in mind, the large holds we're using are also from the DRCC and will be reviewed at a later date)
Next up we took one of the large holds and put it upside down to gauge how slick the dual texture part of the hold was... answer? Pretty damn slick, it's a shame we didn't have the camera rolling when Noodles got onto the hold he just put his weight onto it, got his thumb onto the textured part of the hold and then swung under the box to the small crimp that was there... it looked precarious to say the least!
So you can manage to get your weight on the holds when they're shiny side up and move, if slowly, through the move you want.. put your foot onto it and it's a different case altogether.. it is not going to stay, even when you have some nice new 5.10's on your feet and you dig your toes into the top of the rubber backing.
We have two different kinds of shapes with similar uses. The Force (DSC) are flat and slopey and because of the dual texture you need to rely on the friction of the edge to keep you on the wall. We had the edges on the 30 degree wall and they were hard to stick, so we'd only recommend these holds on walls no steeper than 30 degrees. They're hard to hold onto when you're on anything more than about 15 degrees overhung, but are more than ok to climb on if the moves set are delicate and you're not forcing a dynamic move of any kind.
The more positive holds (ESC) could be set on steeper terrain and once again because of the dual texture setters will be delighted to force moves. We personally find them kind of small and have taken it pretty easy with these holds, well easy is hard to define, we used them a lot all of the place but they never went anywhere near the 45 degree wall, but we did set some interesting underclings, laybacks on essentially a roof section and other cross over monkeying about that used the holds every which way but how and then some.
Both sets of holds are nice to set with side by side, we did set some short problems with the ESC's and then switched the holds to the DSC's to see if the moves we're still stickable; result? You can but you're going to find yourself being so much more delicate than you were on the Easy Side Crimps... that's the difference in the holds.. slightly dynamic and can get away with it; to slow and gentle. Together they make a pretty formidable team to play with, kind of like Contacts Hex and Rex holds... oo oo get all the holds from Contact and the DRCC and you're got a route of crimps and semi crimps that you're going to have to tape up and work for for a long old time!!