Friday, July 24, 2009

Review > DRCC > Force Edges A & B

Is the Force with you?? It should be, infact it should probably be on your wall! Check out some holds that caused some controversy
Like "Who killed JFK", these holds are surrounded with controversy. When DRCC first put the images for the Force Edges up onto their website we received a phone call about how these particular holds look a lot like some other duo textured holds that are on the market. So with Pandoras box open, the debate over whether DRCC had copied shapes from other companies started. Take a look for yourself:
What holds? Do you know? Do you even care? Thought not :) Read our comments if you'd like to know, because we don't... actually won't talk about the oter company until later :P

When we took a look at the holds side by side, they look very similar in shape but the quality of the hold and DRCC's duo texture is better. The million dollar question is if DRCC copied the design and we say that these holds are similar, there are some minor difference in shape and size, but what DRCC has done is taken an old idea and made it better and it seems like the competition can't keep up.

A while back we did a review for the DRCC Force Edges ESC and DSC, the smaller versions of the Force Edges A and B. The whole line consists of duo textured holds and they are SLICK, so slick that you can see your reflection, we mean how many holds can you groom yourself in:P

The Force Edges are purely a open hand hold. The holds have no friction and when you get the thumb down on the slick part there is a good chance that the ground is the next move you make. Then we tried putting the holds into the corner upside down so we could palm the slick part of the hold thinking that we could wedge ourselves in the corner and keep ourselves of the ground. That ended as a fail (Well I'd like to weigh in here (Noodles) I did stick that move!!). DRCC is a young company and has only been open for business a very short time, but they have done their home work and have damn near perfected the duo textured hold.

These larger Force Edges are mostly slopers but there was one that we received that has a positive edge. We figured that we could haul ourselves off the ground on the 45 degree wall but when you watch the video, that the holds should just stay away from any steep overhanging terrain.

So these holds are not for the kick about climber, the go once a week to the gym to check out the chicks kind of climber. These holds are HARD! Every time we set with the holds (we try to set without any fore running) we looked at the problems with doubt, then fell on our butts trying to get through the sequence. You can't move too dynamically to the holds or you're hand is sure to slip off. So it made for some interesting setting on our part.

What we haven't included in our videos are those few problems that were just un-sendable. With three holds, they fit perfect on the vertical wall and we could get right under the hold and get our weight on them as you need all the friction you can get:) So we moved onto the 30 degree wall.... and that's where it got interesting, but look at Jeremy's face.... he's not having fun on the vertical wall, and what's climbing? It should be fun, it's nice to see him suffer :D

Vertical? Yes! 15 degree over hang? OK!!. 30 degree wall, OK, but be careful with your feet..... 45 degree overhang? Ok? Well, ask yourself this... is your name Ben Moon?

Although they lay flat on the wall, these holds are slopes and any over hanging terrain will increase the difficulty of the holds. We had them up on the vertical wall so we could set long moves. It wasn't the easiest of sequences, we had the holds down low and we got a good ab workout, but after we found what feet to use we got around the problem. The 45 degree wall was a no no, we tried starting low on the holds and their near impossible to pull on! We could make a problem with another set (Force Edge Easy anyone?) with longer moves and the same shapes but slightly more incut will give you a fighting chance!!

These are the kind of holds that will make you work for the move, and even though they're chalked up like no bodies business they still suck chalk off of your hands :) If your foot work is bad then these holds are going to teach you to use your feet as you're going to have little or no hope of hanging them otherwise

These holds are very specific and setters will find that they can set their sequence without much worry about people cheating the moves. You can only use the hold as an open hand slope. They would be a great addition to any gyms boulder wall but may not be suited for a very small home wall.

Versatility: Open handed dual texture slopes / flat edges
Screw Holes: No

First thing that struck us: Colour. Wow. It takes us back to the 60's when love was in the air and tie die was in. Now personally, I'm not into the whole tie die t-shirt fad (if there really ever was one) but when it comes to holds we're not complaining (but matching these holds into a route unless you're taping is going to be hard!!) The quality of he holds are like no other. DRCC has perfected their mix for the dual texture holds and the smooth part of the hold feels like glass.....seriously, there's no other way of describing it. This is so much of a pride point for the DRCC that when the molds that these are poured from stop giving super slick shiny holds they make a new mold so the shapes stay consistent.

The holds could use a screw hole but DRCC sent us the holds with the optional rubber back and the hold didn't spin on us (When I say Us I mean me!). There's nothing to complain about with the build they're solid, we'll see how strong they are when we run our strength tests later on next month

Get out the bong and take a hit, these holds come straight out of the era of free love and great music. The tie die color scheme gives the Force Edges a WOW factor of ten. I've been impressed with the holds coming from the DRCC. The shapes are specific and can be tricky to stick so that climbers will find themselves a little weary when they come up to some of these holds. I've never felt confident on the Force Edges. We've had them set as long moves on the vertical and we had to move dynamically from hold to hold.. it's not very comforting when you know that there is a good chance that you're going to end up on your ass. Bringing in the holds a few bolt holds made it easier.. thou not by much

So on to some controversy. IF the DRCC blatantly ripped off some of Voodoo's design we will never really know, but I've climbed on Voodoo's holds in the gym and they have a wide range of half moon shapes that are just horrible to hold onto but at the same time it'll improve you're climbing. It doesn't surprise me that the DRCC has made half moon shaped holds, they reflect other shapes that they've created in that they specifically force the climbers into a sequence, they're winners in my books (the Force Edges)

OK, I know I'm probably giving the DRCC a little too much praise so I'll talk about what I don't like about the holds (other than falling on my butt!) I found that even on Noodles home wall (which is pretty big) it was hard to tap into the potential of the Force Edges. The shape of the hold wants to you to force your body down low to get all of your weight onto the hold, mind you we did do a pretty good job on one of our traverse. The next test for the FE's is the gym!
  • Some of the best dual texture holds you'll ever see
  • Any color you want, just ask Led Zeppelin
  • Price VS size why the price difference between the two sets? The size isn't that much different!
  • These holds suck chalk off of your hands even when covered (Is this a pro??)
  • No screw hole
  • If your wall is steep (+30 degrees) good luck
Force Edges A are $29.99 for 2 holds
Force Edges B are $54.99 for 2 holds

1 comment:

Louie Anderson said...

I have given Vince and DRCC a bit of grief over these holds in the past in relation to their similarity to the Voodoo Talus shapes.

In one of the online forums, Vince offered to send some holds my way so that I could see them "in person" and better evaluate things.

I stand by a lot of what I've said in the past about the similarities. No one ever suggested that they were exact copies. They are in fact slightly bigger (or smaller in some cases) than their Talus counterparts. Also some of the angles of the usable part of the holds are different than what's found on the Talus holds. Overall, I think that they can be seen as complimentary shapes to the Voodoo versions in that they might provide slightly less or more positive versions of similar styled holds. When coupled with the Talus sets, these and DRCC's smaller versions will offer setters a broader range of options when setting with this type of shape.

Would I have shaped them? Probably not, as I still feel they're too similar overall in shape, style and appearance. That said, Voodoo has been up and down in their market presence over the last few years and some of the newer gyms may not even realize they are still in the business and that the Talus sets are still available. I guess there's nothing wrong with a little competition, I just personally would have tried to find a way to make them look a little more different some how.

One thing that I do have to give DRCC kudos for is their quality. The material seems on par with what I expect from a modern hold company. Where they really shine though is their finish. They offer easily the smoothest and most polished dual-tex surface I've yet seen on production holds.

Vince and DRCC are obviously here to stay and I look forward to seeing what else they bring to the market. I'd also like to offer a public "Thank you" to Vince for the open discussions we've had on this and other topics and for sending some holds my way to check out. I'll probably end up giving them to one of the local gyms, which could lead to an order at some point.