Saturday, May 23, 2009

Review > Metolius > Drips

So the Drips are a set of five little pinches. There all incut but just enough to get the tips of your fingers around the hold. Now there is a noticeable difference between the smallest hold and the bigger one of the set but its only by appearance only, its really the difference between a three finger and four finger pinch. My first impression was they COULD be finger jugs, but once on the wall they're more useful as pinches. Being a small set (there's 5 holds to the set), the problems ended up having long moves and due to the shape and texture of the hold it was easy to commit. No finger pain on this session. :) The rest of the hold takes up space and gets in the way of your fingers.

This hold was set horizontal and you can see the part of the hold that gets in the way. it makes so the hold is divided into mini finger jugs but there is one good placement on every hold. What the shape has going for it is that the hold has a round shape, easy to hold onto and the texture is nice on the skin. Metolius has always had good friendly holds and are one of the few companies that still work with resin. There are very few companies who have simulated the feel of resin holds with urethane, and despite the downside of resin holds, Metolius can make holds at a good price.

The first problem was set with long moves. It was a fun sequence and it was Bob's first time setting. The holds aren't as big as you'd expect, but with the long moves we were and the shape of the hold we had no problem throwing ourselves at the first hold. ourselves at the first hold. Bob set the holds as sidepulls but the shape is incut from all angles and we managed to get a couple of fingers at the top of the hold. On the 45 the holds are just big enough to hold and when you have the long moves you need to be precise because there is only a small part of the hold that is big enough to catch. Once you're on it, the hold is solid. A vertical or slight overhanging wall is ideal for these holds.

For the second problem, we set a route going the other way and ending on the overhang. The route was much easier than Bob's and we weren't breaking too much of a sweat. The holds feel bigger and better on a vertical wall, but there is still little to no room to match the holds. The holds were set on different angles, some as sidepulls, others for gastons, and we ended up in some uncomfortable situations. There is only one side of the hold that is ideal for your fingers and this forced us to use proper sequence.

From the first time we set, the Drips didn't see much game time on the wall until Joel was in town. We had the same idea as Bob, using long moves across the overhang only we went across the 45 instead of up. We underestimated the holds and we were never able to get the original sequence so we got out the wrenches and switched the holds up. The problem went through more facelifts than some Hollywood stars! We found that it was either too easy, or too hard and the problem needed a lot of tweaking before we found a good middle ground.

The angle of the wall greatly effect the grip of the holds. On vertical terrain you can grip the hold with an open hand as well as a pinch. The shapes make so setting specific sequences and forcing a climber into a move yet they're big enough so it won't discourage people from trying again and again. Their shape lends itself to the more advanced climbers but could help beginner climbers with their technique if used sparingly on a route.

Ergonomically the holds are going to suit climbers with smaller hands more than their monkey pawed brethren, they are matchable, but one some of the smaller holds we did find ourselves doing the "finger creep" on some of our trickier moves that were set on the smaller holds.

To throw a quick and interesting problem together comes slowly with these holds. When we set for reviews, we try to stick with the same set, so getting a route that was as fun as Bob's was a long task. Unlike many of Metolius's sets, the Drips only come in one size, modular (that's the size, who would have thought). It would be nice to see other sizes from this line. So if you've got some purple holds that can set with, or don't mind taping your routes, the Drips will be a good set for you.

Versatility: Depends upon how you set / strong you are
Screw Holes: No

The holds came attached to store backing, with t nuts and bolts holding them to this. There are plus' and minus' to this. The holds don't touch each other, which means no scrapes or dents, but if you've got more than one of these boards in a box and there's not enough packing between them means the bolts that are holding the holds onto the boards can scratch the other holds. This set of holds got away unscathed, but some other holds that were in the box did get a few little dinks
I didn't get much of a chance to play on the drips, and the route I did try was fairly easy. However, I REALLY like the purple blotch design and had never seen shapes like that before. The Drips from Metolius have a shape which makes it seem like the way to hold them is obvious but going through the footage we took, I came to the conclusion that I was wrong! I honestly still don't know if there is any form of directionality to them. I have fairly neutral feelings about the texture, it's not too slick and doesn't feel like it can cause much skin damage, although I reckon you can bust your tendons out real nice if you want (look at the boys work on the 45).

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