Thursday, September 3, 2009

Review > DRCC > Double Barrel & Trip Hole

The DRCC, love em or hate em they're churning out some very interesting shapes. What arrived in the post was a surprise; a big old box... goody we think, as there's DRCC tape on the box we know where it's from. Now came the next surprise, we opened this box and we found these:

The Double Barrel
The Trip Hole

Now there is a reason that there are arrows and the word slick on these images, and it is a simple one! These holds are dual texture, which if you click the images is plain enough for everyone to see but what they've done is they've made some of the areas that you'd want to grab from time to time slick. Do you see the word "SLICK"? Good, because it's a word we're going to use a lot in this review!

Both holds do a lot of things very very well; they're nice to look at, hollow backed so that they're light, rubber backed to stop the dreaded spinner and look like Dennis the Menace's jumper (google Dennis, it's an old comic book character) The holds have a lot of variety to them as well, there are different sized areas for your grabbing enjoyment from incuts to slopes to pretty bomber jugs and it's all fun and games, oh you'll enjoy climbing with these... until... yes people there is an until...


you grab the slick part of the middle of the hold because someone has spun the hold when you went to the bathroom. The route you were merrily walking now became nigh on impossible as the beta completely changed. Herein lies the beauty of these holds, if you're a route setter (or just plain evil) you can up, or lessen, the grade of your route with a deft spin of your wrench but maybe a number grade depending upon what you've set. Trust us, we had an entire evening where we just spun the two holds by a little to see what the difference was and in 50% of the cases, generally the 180 spin scenario, the moves we were merrily nailing turned into a different proposition altogether.

Is this a bad thing? Nope, not in our mind, it's a good thing. Setting a route is a wonderful process full of trial and error, there's lots of tweaking involved and it's generally time consuming. We had a good route set, but we didn't want to strip the entire thing... so we played spin the hold and managed to have a whole afternoon of fun with essentially what was a 6 move route, the crux of which ended up being these two holds.

One thing that can be said is that unless your wall is pretty big these holds could be a little to large for you to play with, they do take up a bunch of space that could be used in different ways. We're lucky in that regard as we can put what we want where we want it and not worry too much, some smaller slightly more home wall friendly versions of these holds like the DRCC's Single Pockets but in dual texture would be nice to see and would compliment their every growing range of slick evilness.


Ah the meat of the review is coming. What would we suggest to do with these holds? Now that is an interesting question and one that's been brought up a few times over the weeks as we set with the holds and climbed around.

The smaller of the two holds, the Double Barrel is one of those holds were you can hold onto it no matter which way it's been rotated, the outside is slick and the inside radius of the holes (two of them as its a DOUBLE barrel) is textured and varies from slightly incut to slopey... it's the angle you're on that's going to determine how you hold it :)

It's almost the same with the Trip Hole, except it has areas that are much deeper and therefore can be used on steeper terrain. The use of dual texture on this hold is nice, some areas of the middle of the hold are slick... so the climber would expect to be able to grab around the middle are in for a rude awakening :P Noodles prefers the hold to be orientated vertically and Chris / Seb etc prefer the holds to be horizontal, it's a question of taste and what you'd like to do with the hold, god knows we all spent some time on the floor after thinking "I can use this bit of the hold if I'm gentle" and then have been on the floor.

Versatility: You need to be creative with these holds
Screw Holes: No
Quality it seems to be a key benchmark of the DRCC's holds and this was demonstrated through a couple of things that happened with these holds. Chris noticed a small color defect... well defect is a little strong a term to use! In one of the pockets (where it can hardly be seen) some of the red had mixed with the black color and made a swirly pattern. This "blemish" is about 1cm across; so I mentioned to Vince that there was a slight error and he immediately offered to switch the hold and pay for shipping! Now this isn't a cheap hold to send around and it was pointless to even consider sending packages back and forth just for an area of a hold that can barely be seen. Now we figured that as we're a review site that that was how the DRCC worked, they don't want any negative feedback so they'd go above and beyond to please us!


We speak to a lot of climbers all over the World and this has been the general feedback on the DRCC. If (and it's a big IF) there was something wrong with a hold they change it, no questions asked, no mucking about... they just do what they're supposed to do and they switch it out. That people is great customer service!

Right... onto the holds, the above fact aside, lets talk about the holds. The dual texture is what we've come to expect from the DRCC... brutal, don't even think about trying to stick it; there's no point you'll just end up on the floor. The holds other texture is smooth but grippy and blends well with the flowing nature of these holds... once chalked it does give away the places you want to grab the hold in but people have still been caught out and have tried to grab the slick part of the hold much to our amusement.

The colors are nice, the segregation of the red and black stripes is well defined and these holds, even though they're pretty big, will stand out on your wall; the backs are flat and we've had no problems with the bolt hole placement. Spinning? Well that's something you'd expect especially on the Trip Hole, but the rubber back sucks the hold to the wall and we've had no issues with that... kind of surprising because of the size of this hold you can put a lot of force on one end of the shape! Needless to say, we suggest the rubber backing on these shapes

  1. Drool over holds
  2. Visualize a cool sequence
  3. Bolt holds onto wall
  4. Try the problems, without getting off of the ground
  5. Change the holds around
  6. See #4... and so on until I set something I can climb
With only two holds to play with (and the Trip Hole is HUGE!) I found it hard to get the most out of the holds. The Double Barrel has plenty of matching options that I couldn't really tap into. I found that some of the moves ended up being too easy, same goes for the Trip Hole. There are plenty of options on this hold and the smallest "pocket" is really what is is, a small pocket. It's just deep enough to get a few fingers in and move moves ended up being easier with the use of that little pocket. Vince at the DRCC is a visionary, the way they mold the dual texture is amazing. That pocket on the Trip Hole only has texture on the one side.. if you try to get your thumb under the hold it'll slide right off the smooth part; so any time I wanted to make things interesting I would put the smooth side up making the pocket useless.

So I guess I could sum it all up with this. The Double Barrel and Trip Hole are really cool designs. If you're looking to set hard sequences and want to train hard then these holds are for you. As for me, I'm going to go practice setting and hopefully get my ass off of the ground.

1 comment:

Louie Anderson said...

I really like the Double Barrel - nice, clean, simple lines. Beautifully done!