Friday, January 8, 2010

Review > Atomik Holds > Font Roof Jugs

Woo hoo! We have more roof jugs! Atomik (that's Atomik with a K. There are two climbing companies out there named atomic, one that is spelled with a K and the other with a C) sent us a whole bunch of font holds a while back of various shapes and sizes but the range lacked some big roof jugs. Out of the sets that they sent us we received some smaller jugs that ended up on the roof but they weren't the most comfortable holds to grip on aggressive terrain, so this time Atomik sent us some proper roof jugs.

We've been supplied with some pretty nasty holds lately. Our suppliers are putting our tendons to the test when they send us small holds, and our local gym recently bought some crimps that they've been setting with, so between review and our regular climbing sessions, our fingers needed the break that came in the form of roof jugs. These holds were actually meant to hit us 6 to 8 months ago but once the holds had been molded and poured for the first time, Kenny (Atomiks head honcho), didn't like the way a couple of the holds felt so two of the holds were reshaped... that's QA for you right there people... 6 odd months to get a few shapes right!
The set consists of five large one hand jugs, with one of the holds actually taking two hands, don't get us wrong, the others can be matched as well but there won't be much room left for your pinky finger... of course this depends upon your hand size, Eve can easily match all of the holds without worry :)

We set some holds on the roof and to make things interesting, we started on a slope, went into the roof and the descended on the 45 degree wall. The weird moves on the 45 and the sloper (Which is Sebs that he won from Teknik) hold at the start gave the problem an added challenge, but the holds are big and easy to hold on to. The first hold in the roof is the most challenging. the jug is on a weird angle and it's harder than the rest to grip, but we did put it the wrong way around to make it slightly more tricky than a plain ol' roof hauling exercise.

From there we went all over the wall, Dave made an unscheduled stop over so he grabbed them and hit the 45 degree wall... putting all of the holds into undercut mode and they do make wonderful undercuts... but as you're gripping so hard on them they do feel as Noodles says "a little bit grippy", we'll come back to that point later on :) And then... ah then we did something that put Noodles back out for a few days... go and watch this video for that one :P

Overall there's nothing here that you can really complain about, they're good for everyone, great on all angles and if you can stick the dyno then you don't end up walking funny for a few days :)


Wow it's not often we get some jugs in... and even then sometimes we don't suggest that some of those holds actually get onto the roof. This set of holds is a different case! they should go on the roof and they perform well up there... they're not by any means perfect as there is a grip issue (which is talked about in the overall build)

These holds can and should go everywhere, do you have kids on your wall? Here you go, knock yourself out... they'll be able to haul about as much as they want. Do you want to monkey across the roof? Again... here's your set, go nuts. Want to hit the floor because you missed the holds on a dyno? Don't let Noodles near it as he'll miss the holds and will hit the floor really hard :D

The holds might seem to be expensive at first glance, but remember the price does include bolts and shipping if you're in the states

The holds are very Font like, as all of Atomiks font ranges are, they're some of the best Font-esque holds we've come across and they do keep expanding the range little by little so you can add to our own mini-font as you see fit.


  • Number of holds: 5
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt on
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): 78.99 / 5 = $15.80 per hold
  • Color: Standard Atomik, red, green, blue and yellow
  • Bolt placement: Right in the middle
  • Sanding: Super super flat
  • Texture: Ah yes... see below
  • Set size: X Large
  • Versatility: Undercuts / Jugs / Sidepulls
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Nope
Ah lets get right to the point, if you've seen our reviews for Atomik you'll know that they now only pour from G2 (generation 2) molds as the G1's made holds that had a texture that was just brutal. These holds we're guessing are G2's... but due to the shapes means that sometimes the amount of skin you have in contact with the surface of the hold means that they feel super super grippy... almost "ouch that hurts" grippy! The two holds that you'll notice on the most are the yellow and green holds that we have at the top of the review, the yellow hold because even though it's super incut you have a lot of (we mean all of) you palm skin on it and then the green hold only when it's in undercut mode for some reason... So were wondering about the grip so we talked to Atomik about this and this is what they said:
"These holds are G2. Our feedback from gyms was to have the texture this way. It seems we get negative feedback from woody owners doing explosive moves on them such as yourself and positive feedback from gym buyers. When a beginner climber is 25 feet off the deck on their "project" in the local gym, they want the texture there to ease their sweaty palms. We opted to offer the texture this way leaving the option to "comfortize" the holds by the user with a sanding sponge. This way the climber can get exactly what they want. You can't but texture on a slippery hold but you can smooth down a textured one."

That's the only negative point (for us) with these holds, the sanding is superb.. there's not a single bubble in the backs so the mix has been agitated well so it's good and strong. Washers are all where they need to be and the bolt holes are straight and really well drilled (no oval shaped holes here)

On the color front Atomik have stuck with their tried and tested basic colors, the yellow is still one of the brightest out there and the holds are well shaped and tendon friendly. Cleaning the holds isn't too bad as the pockets where you're grabbing are large and friendly so getting a brush into any little nooks and holes isn't an issue as there aren't any :)

Urethane, strong ol stuff

Bomber, nothing to worry about as usual

Jugs are needed on any wall, they're a staple... part of your climbing diet if you will. We don't actually have enough jugs (if you can believe that) and it's always nice to get some and it's even better (for me anyway) when they're styled after one of my favorite climbing destinations :)

As usual Atomik have well built, well formed shapes, I'm trying to remember of late if there are any of their holds we had last year that we could really have a good moan about... nothing comes to mind. The only down side to these holds is a strange one, these shapes are big friendly jugs that have a nice large grip area and then as you'll see in the video I stop climbing on simple moves and point out that the holds are grippy.... really grippy, I'd like to say that Atomik made a mistake and gave us first gen holds but I doubt that this is the case, it's the shapes and the amount of skin you have in contact with the hold (which is a lot) that makes them feel so grippy... on a roof where these holds are intended this is my no means a bad thing... but sometimes climbing on these holds it's a little too much. Put these holds into a commercial setting where they're going to get gunked up with rubber and chalk and the texture will shine through and give no problems, there's just going to be an initial "bedding in" period for these holds to get to where you want them. We've had them on the wall over a month and have climbed on them a lot, every session in fact and we've not got to the sweet spot yet... but we're sure we'll get there soon enough

Anyways, jugs are something every wall needs, these do exactly what you expect them to do... but with a little extra bite to start off with

Finally, some nice big holds got delivered to our door. We have tons of holds but we don't have too many roof jugs. It was nice to have some nice big holds to climb on and set some easier problems.

I've had a landmark year. My climbing has improved more this year than ever before. Now that I'm finally able to send a V6, the problems that I work on and set tend to have smaller holds on them. The fonts forced me to get creative with the setting so it would be at a certain level of difficulty. Noodles and Dave set most of the problems and I had my chance on the third set. So I went on setting with my mind set on giving us stronger climbers a fun problem to warm up on, but my main focus was to set some difficult sequences with easy holds so Eve and Nick could have something to work on that they could work on. I forced a heel hook and Eve needed to work that one move and she was able to get through the sequence after a couple of attempts. Yeah Eve! Mission accomplished.

So all in all, I've always likes Atomik holds. The shapes are simple and the colors are great. I'm happy that we have a full range of font holds from them:)

I like the fonts!!!! Yea they're big jugs and it seems easy... But not worrying about your fingers means you can push a little harder on the core and technique. Varied colours you'd think would make it hard to follow a route but they are pretty identifiable shapes!

I don't actually know what type of climbers they are meant for (don"t tell the boss - I didn't do my homework) but I'd presume they were made for beginners and if that's the case, the Fonts texture is WAY too rough. I know, we were playing on the 45 and on the roof (seriously though where else should we test jugs) and that might make things harder to hold on to but ripping off the Fonts is like a REALLY good finger exfoliation. Either way they're a blast and like Chris said: Yea Eve! ;)


  • Great for any angle wall
  • Kid and beginner friendly
  • Texture is a little rough to start
  • Could do with pre-drilled screw holes
$78.99 gets you 5 XL holds

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