Friday, October 2, 2009

Review > Element Climbing > Ions

Element Climbing sent us a box full of their new shapes. They’re a relatively new company and are working hard making their mark on the climbing community. From our experience climbing on their holds in the past, Elements shapes are unique, versatile, finger friendly and from our first impression of these holds we expected no less from this weeks featured set, the Ions:

The Ions are an eight hold, medium to large pinch set. The Element medium and large size have a wide range of sizes and if you compare the size to that of some other companies holds, you could say that the set incorporates three different sizes, small, medium and large. The smallest of them all is two finger pinch with the largest, make that the two largest, are big enough to match. The design of each hold is based upon the same theme: an incut pinch with a bulbous area to grab that helps keep your fingers in the groove of the pinch and prevents your nail from scratching along the wall when executing the more dynamic moves. As similar as they are, the shapes are all different, ranging from size and the angle of the incut and our first thought was to get them up on the 45... but Nick got them first

Nick was given the rare honor of getting the holds brand new, straight from the box without anyone touching them other than us with our usual walk through shenanigans. Nicks a new climber and he's never set before, so we let him play and helped him on his way with a wrench and some bolts. The one thing that we forgot is that Nick, like Seb, is have quite the span on them and they've got way more reach than either Noodles or Chris, so what Nick set was quite a surprise as the last move was pretty damn long :) For someone that's been climbing for 3 or so months he's setting some stuff that's pretty hard, and if he can do the moves and can complete the route then it means that they're pretty beginner friendly

So we went to work setting another problem on the 45. After taking a closer look at the holds we realized that we may have been a little over zealous on our assessment. Our original idea was to get them all up on the overhang, traversing across and finishing up high; but the smaller holds from this set could set off a finger injury and we decided to use the larger holds only. These pinches aren’t for the faint of heart, they’re narrow and you might let out a grunt or two when climbing on overhanging terrain. What saved us was the incut, they have an incut on either side that will allow you to get your thumb around the underside of the hold and you can really clamp down on the hold. Getting the route from start to finish was really hard and quite taxing; but as always we carried on and got the job done.


We probably went a little overboard with putting these holds up on the 45, but what’s life without a little adventure. We’ve had other pinches up on the 45 and Chris has spent weeks trying to get up the problem, without any luck. We set a very similar problem this time with the Ions and it took us a couple of tries before we got to the top of the wall. They’re hard, but not impossible.
They're pretty interesting to climb on, pretty friendly for people that have trouble with their pinch strength these are a good step to getting some power on shallow angled walls, if you're strong then crank the angle up and bring the pain

Put the holds flat in the horizontal plane means you're going to get some nice semi incut edges that have a round edge, they're not the most comfortable but they work pretty well, the good thing about these holds in this rotation is that you can match most of them much easier than when they're used as they were intended

Versatility: Pinches or edges
Screw Holes: No

  • Beginner friendly pinches
  • Good price
  • Unless you're strong you will be looking at shallow angles for these holds
Eight holds will cost you $47.95

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