Thursday, September 10, 2009

Review > Summit Labs > Granite Slopers & Large Granite Sloper

Holds that are cast from real rock, it's not a new thing... but it's something we've seen more and more of late. It seems that people are trying to replicate "real rock" for indoor use; it's not a bad thing, sometimes these forays into the realistic holds is a good thing... sometimes not so much.

With that being said let's look at something that works pretty well, the Granite Slopers and the Large Granite Sloper:
Five holds that are going to test your grip strength... and when we say test we mean test your grip strength... really test your grip strength because these puppies are hard to hold onto. Now these holds have been molded from real rock (much like the Climb It: Silverado Cobbles), those were from river rocks... these, ooof these, well these are from granite rocks. Now I'm from the UK and I've seen slopers on the grit stone, and I've spent my time in Font where it's all slopers pretty much but these holds are unlike anything you're going to see in a gym anytime soon.... they're mental, big smooth holds; some with slight dimples and a smooth texture that is so skin friendly it's not even funny, but I'll say it again they're going to make you work to hold on to them, even when they're covered with chalk!

So the concept isn't new, and Summit being a new(ish) company; one that believes that the best place to climb is indoors and that's something we agree with. Another thing we also agree with is that big smooth shapes are the best for climbing on, they save your hands and your skin will thank you at the end of a session... and these holds are in the right vein for that; smoooooth smoothy smooth texture of doom :)

What's funny about the Summit site and their holds are their ratings of the holds, they made us laugh! The Granite slopers are rated "G" and the Large Granite Sloper is rated "PG", now most people will get this as it's a film rating, "G" is General Audiences and "PG" is Parental Guidance Suggested.... but these are used as "Flapper Ratings" ie: the chance of you getting a nice big chuck of skin ripped off of your hand whilst climbing... these holds are probably rated incorrectly! These holds aren't "G" or "PG" these holds are lower than that... these are "U" for suitable for ages 4 and over, there's no chance you'll get a flapper on these holds... ever. IF you do, then you're doing something very very wrong.

Setting with these holds is an interesting process of trying what works, somethings do work really well, other things don't. It depends upon your strengths and weakness', we've been playing with lots of low traverses of late so that's what we did with them. Then we set something a little spicier to see how far you could go with some undercling matches on the shapes... the final route (that's in the video) turned out to be waaaaaaay harder than we expected. The granite slopers are good for setting hard routes on the 45, real hard!, but what we did on the new wall extension was bordering on stupid. Who'd set a no hands start on the Large Granite sloper into a no foot campus on the Granite slopers? Well that'd be us then, we wanted to use the new wall and we figured that we'd christen it with some fun (the wall is actually built for hang board training).. and boy did we get the first couple of moves wrong, we did manage to do it (in the end) but we had our ass' handed to us... really badly!

From vertical to the 45, we set problems all over the wall although these holds are best suited for vertical to slightly overhanging terrain. With the smooth texture we were able to work a sequence over and over again without any loss of skin.

We set some pretty hard moves and the smaller holds from the Granite Slopers line can be used as pinches and they are great holds to work out that pinch strength. We had a pretty long session working on problems and then resetting and trying something new. The session ended with a campus problem on the 45. We started on the large Granite Sloper and we needed to move it around a bit before we found a good placement so we could hang off the hold. Other than a tough start, the rest of the problem went down without a hitch. Our session ended and we still had lots of energy to spare but when we woke up in the morning, our hands felt the strain. It was a little hard to stay away from using the holds as pinches and we ended up using this grip through out our session which led to our agony the next day. In the end the pain was worth it, the shapes are great to climb on with the added bonus of improving grip strength.

Versatility: Tricky
Screw Holes: No


  • Molded from real rock gives that authentic feel of climbing outside
  • Good for training pinch/slope strength
  • Texture and shape make it skin and tendon friendly

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