Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Review > DRCC > ESC / DSC


We're looking at the dual texture line of holds from the DRCC, there's a bunch; so here we go!
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!!


Louie Anderson said...

Seeing as how I've commented on this elsewhere, I should probably do so here as well and hopefully clarify my thoughts a bit.

For the record, I'm in the group that doesn't really think these should have been produced. The climbing (and more specifically climbing hold) industry is very small and this just doesn't show much respect for another company's offerings in my mind.

I have nothing at all against Vince or DRCC; I think he's an good shaper and they're a bright new company that shows a great deal of promise.

I also will concede that by Voodoo limiting their market presence that they left a possible opening for someone else to fill, but I do so hesitantly since the original Talus holds are still available to the public.

As a shaper myself, I understand completely taking inspiration from something else, but I always try to make my shapes different enough so that they complement the originals or offer sizes or difficulty levels not available with the originals.

Your review makes it sound as though these are a step up the evolutionary ladder from the Talus shapes. I'll give you the point that DRCC seems to have done a great job with the dual-texture finish. I've seen these results on Voodoo holds before, but not with the consistency lately that DRCC seems to be achieving (although their molds are new - we'll see if they really do incur the remolding costs to keep them that way in the long run). As for the bolt hole location: I like the placement better on the Voodoo models. It's better placed to avoid it being used as a thumb catch and it's better positioned to avoid spinning on a long edge shape like this (the DRCC placement has a greater distance from the bolt hole to the outer extent of the edge, thereby providing greater leverage when pulling or standing on the outer edge of the shape).

All in all, the Talus shapes are great fun to train and climb on, and have been extremely popular over the years. I have no doubt that these newer shapes will continue enjoying that popularity. I am happy to see that the comparison was addressed in your review as I think Voodoo (and the shaper of the Talus holds, Rob Mulligan) deserve credit for the original idea behind these.

As an aside, Rob also did a whole line of smaller Talus shapes and crimps that could be compared as easily to the DRCC's other dual-tex holds as their larger ones were to the larger Talus shapes.

Anonymous said...

i think you meant to quote iron maiden...

ntmb said...

As always it's a pleasure to hear someone else's thoughts on what we've said, especially from someone that is well respected within the industry.

The holds (Force Edges A & B) are different sizes to the Voodoo holds, and therefore do compliment the Voodoo holds. Our bad, that's more what we were aiming for.

A leap up the evolutionary ladder is incorrect, they've taken something that has been around for years and in most areas made it better. Look at the color options for one; Voodoo don't offer colors anymore, especially wacky colors like the DRCC since they've moved the production of their holds off site and they don't pour them themselves anymore... in this case the DRCC has taken that area back to a level where Voodoo left it.

Bolt placement well we could argue on that point, I prefer that the bolt placement is more centered as it spreads the stress over a greater area, and in the holds we reviewed they take the champagne shaped bolts so there is no thumb catch.

It took a lot of re-writes for this review, and a whole bunch of thinking to make sure we got it right. With more comments like yours and others we'll get to a point where we're better and stronger at what we do!!

Oh and on a seperate note... the Halos kicked my ass last night.. but it was fun :)


ntmb said...

and yeah, I got the band wrong...
how much of a rocker am I??


Joel said...

"For the record, I'm in the group that doesn't really think these should have been produced. The climbing (and more specifically climbing hold) industry is very small and this just doesn't show much respect for another company's offerings in my mind."

I agree whole heartedly on the above thought. Especially since the Talus sets are still available from Voodoo, and I don't think their customer service is lacking.

More or less, why even directly copy Voodoo's Talus? Colors don't count as an improvement in my book. Come up with a better idea. E-Grips' bubble wraps are a unique twist on the design priciples of the Talus set. So is So-Ill's Skin Graph set. Either way we already bought our Talus sets.

Anonymous said...

There is only so much back and forth we;ll probably do on comments, but I'll answer Joel.

The holds we reviewed are the ESC and the DSC, Noodles comments are because some of the larger holds the Force Edges are very similar. The sets we reviewed not so much. We brought up the issue as it's a good talking point and because it's something that in some cases shouldn't have been made, hense the comment about someone leaving a gap in the market... it will get filled.

Colors do, count. If i'm being honest, flat boring colors aren't the best... and Voodoo don't pour custom colors anymore as they don't make their own holds in house. It's something that gym owners rather than home wall owners should take note of because you're going to get your Talus in yellow, heaven forbid you'd like them in say red, or swirls to fit with other holds you have and would make a kickass route. Sure this in some peoples minds is a minor point. But getting what you're given isn't all that much fun

On bolt placement, I bow (as always) to Louies wisdom on this fact, but he was addressing the larger holds not the ones we reviewed. And for the record if you take me, who isn't all that big I can turn the Voodoo hold by standing on it, because I just did, and I can turn the DRCC, but I had to really force it to move. (Yes the Voodoo is older and the rubber is old)

It's one of those things, they're out there now and maybe the holds won't sell. The ESC and DSC are going to be a great compliment to your Talus holds (just get them in the same color) you'll have fun

Soon we'll review the Force Edges, and that's where these comments count! Vince is reading the comments, I gave him a heads up and I'm sure that he'll weigh in himself at somepoint


Joel Anderson said...

Yeah, I will admit the crimp sets do seem semi fair game to produce as new and subtly different from what Voodoo offers. I was largely commenting on the larger force crimps shown in the photo.

"If i'm being honest, flat boring colors aren't the best".....
that is pure opinion. We prefer flat colors, please stay objective, in the end this is about hold shapes. The last time we ordered from VooDoo about two years ago we got an email asking if we preferred a certain color.

As someone in the design profession this is great discussion about design rights. Example; James Blunt (whom I care nothing for) totally copied Beck for his album cover a couple years ago, and nobody stopped him......where is the line drawn? thanks guys keep it up.

Vincent said...

I shaped the holds, they are not copies, and in my professional opinion they are much better in many ways then the other holds in question. Jeremy and all of the folks at CHR do great work. They have the holds and seem to agree with me. We'll know more about that when they do a full review.

Jeremy and I are in fact correct as far as the bolt hole placement goes.

Louie, we just started shipping these holds and it's unlikely that you have seen them in real life. If your simply basing your assessment on these low-res images, you're missing an awful lot. Let me know of your mailing address and I'll be happy to send you a set of the holds for you to see and use. Your opinion matters to us..

Vince at TheDRCC.com