Thursday, June 4, 2009

Review > Holdz > Undercutz

Holdz are from the UK, they make some of the strongest holds out there :)
The Undercutz are no exception, this hold is granite like, hard on the hands but fun to climb on

Holdz hails from the Uk, Noodles home country, and their holds are in gyms all over Europe and the Uk... it's rare that you'll see them in North America; this is where we're lucky, we've looked at their holds before:
  • Mini Jugz: here
  • Dual Texture Pockets: here
This time we're looking at the Undercutz, there are four in the set.. but we've only got one of themThe reason we were sent the hold is because Steve has changed his mix from his bombproof, and when we say bomb proof we MEAN BOMBPROOF polyester resin to urethane, lots of people have done this... but as usual Steve has done it and he's done something different. When the hold turned up we simply couldn't believe how light it was, then we turned it over... there are hollow backs, and then there is this:
Now as it's only one hold it's a bit of a pain to review, a one hold route is basically you just hanging off of the wall... no real fun. As we've got some new volumes in for review from Motivation we decided to play with them and add theUndercutz in a position where it could be spun about and used in as many ways as possible.

What you'll notice about the hold, other than the hollow back, is that it feels like grit stone; the texture is aggressive on the undercut area and thenHoldz slick texture on the rest, this means it'll be hard, if not impo ssible, to stand on if you're using it in it's intended form as an undercut. Now if you've not been near grit stone we suggest you go and buy the DVD Hard Grit and watch the climbers there to see what it's about and then come on back and continue reading :)

Did you like the film? Right, grit stone as Noodles tells us is a discipline in itself, it takes time to get your skin used to the rock and your body and mind used to what you have to go to get to the top of a route.
Grit is hard on the skin... very hard on the skin and these holds are a pretty good representation of grit, it's what Steve intended and it's what you'll get. But it isn't so harsh that you won't want to climb on them.

As the name suggests the holds are best used as undercuts, but you can rotate the hold for some great side pulls or as a jug. You can go pretty steep with the hold in whichever way you want to place it, go high, go low, rotate it.. no matter what you do with it (and we wish we had the other three holds) you're going to have fun... you skin will take a slight beating but you'll come back for more. We paired this hold with some others that we're reviewing so we could get a good sequence rolling, we tried it all over the place and there's on thing that you'd have to note, the dual texture is slick... how slick? See Noodles falling when he tried to stick the shiny side, nope, wasn't going to happen!!

The hold is rough on the skin, but
sometimes when it's in an awkward position that's what you need to inspire a little confidence.

Versatility: Just rotate as needed
Screw Hole: Yes
These shapes are four odd years old, taken from an old medium (Polyester Resin) to a new existence in urethane. All of as they have the same feel but are much much smaller.
I had my feet well placed and my hand on the good part of the hold and I could lean back on it to reach the hold on the adjacent wall. The challenge is pulling on it when you're bellow the hold and need to pull yourself up.

We like bright colours when it come to our holds and Steve didn't disappoint with the Undercutz. When it comes to quality, Holdz is on the leading edge and is meticulous with their quality control. Granted the holds will cost to have them shipped from the UK but I'm thinking that if Holdz gets a North American dealer that they could put a dent in the market, a much bigger dent than the one left by our drop test from the second floor balcony.

This Holdz hold most certainly cutz.... the skin right off of my fingers!!! I mean, I can't complain about the realism of this texture. It's pretty much exactly as sticky as some rocks I've been on and if you are going for a quick 'just been climbing outside' look mid-winter, you will be served. The advantage is that a texture this aggressive gives you a powerful enough adherence to place theUndercutz on slight overhangs without making things impossible but you'll remember slipping off. The shape on the other hand is pure gold! All the little nooks and crannies are absolute fun to sneak into to stabilize yourself. Also, the thing is stupidly solid... Noodles says its the urethane, I say, Noodles threw it out the second floor window and I think I heard the cement let out a slight moan of pain....

Another incredibly fun asset is the dual texture, without using the bolt-hole, it is absolutely impossible to hold on to the slick side, allowing setters to force certain moves. I really like thisUndercutz, enough to want to see the others, but I also think it would send beginners crying about their fingers.


Anonymous said...

" I also had a few too many beer like drinks later that night after we'd finished climbing and I was talking on the phone with Charles from Project holds and I was talking about the hold and the hollow back, mentioned that it was strong and then went to the wall unbolted it and then threw it out the window,"

that is a sign of true passion for the climbing hold industry. drunk dialing another hold afictionabo and then throwing holds out the window. hilarious

ntmb said...

If we were true professionals we'd have filmed the hold being chucked out of the window

Alas we did not :)

Anonymous said...

Just a point, but Steve's holds are not made by himself. This is no big deal as many manufacturers do this. My point being that he selected a material from the company that made his holds and didn't do the research himself.

Holdz are very well made and have a nice texture. However the shaping leads a lot to be desired. Especially on the 'bobely' holds

ntmb said...

We know that they're made elsewhere, but he had to choose the mix at some point.. assuming the company that he went with (or is still with) had more than one mix. Yup lots of people outsource their hold making, Teknik / Voodoo / So Ill and E-Grips are all made at the same place.

The bobbely shapes especially the Slopez are great holds to have, I enjoyed having them in the UK. Are the mini jugz considered bobbely?

Anonymous said...

I made that comment as you posted info like 'steve has pushed hollow holds forward' etc. This is not true. All that he has done is shape some holds and then send them off to be moulded and finished by someone else. No problem with this, but you should credit the person who makes the holds and not Steve.

The holds that are not stupid bobbles are a bit rapey

Holds don't have a cu rating, there is an en reg coming in, but not yet btw

Anonymous said...

How could Climbing Hold Rvw know that Steve didn't shape the hollow back? And bu the look of the bck of the hld they are a step forward in hollow bk dsgn

ntmb said...

Sorry you are correct (whoever you are... I wish people would at LEAST USE A NAME!), they don't have a rating, I checked with Steve and it's the "mix number" and the person that poured the hold for QA purposes!!

But there's a rating in the works we guess