Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review > Climb It > Black Mountains Set A

Is it bad to "borrow" from a school? When I say this I mean... we got some holds that may have been for a school project... luckily they were cool as they're friends of ours and they came over to play :) What you're getting is a set of 10 crimps of depths varying from thin to just about 3/4 pad depth.... will they go on the 45?
See what we mean? These holds aren't much bigger than the palm of your hand in most cases...We were filming a little sponsor thanks movie with these holds as Climb It sent them to us to give to a local schools gym and when you get that many sets of holds in and you've got a blank wall well then what's going to happen is we're going to play about :)

These holds were primarily set on the 45 from the get go, using some of our small Motavation volumes to ease the angle of the smaller holds so that they'd be easier to grab; normally when someone says "crimp" we shudder at the finger abuse that's about to happen. This time it wasn't so bad, most of the holds are more positive than you think... and setting them on that angle wasn't so bad; well not so bad in the sense that you can stick and hold these little guys but you will notice that they're sharper than they look and you're going to want to move through any touch sequences on any kind of angle very very quickly... you do not want to be hanging around on them for any longer than you need!

Putting these guys on the 30 degree made them much easier, but again they're not something you want to be hanging on for too long; on the vertical they're simple enough and big enough that you can set some really interesting intricate hand movements... but we found that you can just match them and skip through a sequence without breaking a sweat. Sometimes less is more when it comes to setting.. look at what you want to do and then do it with the least number of holds possible, with the larger holds from the set we managed to get from the steps to the corner of the 45 / 30 wall with just half the set... it involved some pretty mental footwork and trust that you're hands weren't going to blow off

We'd not suggest these holds are for beginners as they're just too sharp, but you can make some really interesting arate moves with these guys as using them on opposing sides will allow the climber to cling on for dear life as they go for the send :)


Some of these holds are deep enough that they could be classes just into the edge category... the main majority of the holds are crimps, small sharp evil crimps... most people would probably use these holds for feet (and they do make some bomber footholds) us, straight out of the box they went onto the steep wall because that's where we figured that they'd make us work the hardest but they've been on the shallower wall and on the vertical.. most of us don't mind climbing on these on the shallow or the vertical and even on the 45 for short periods of time.. why? Because they are pretty positive on the whole but they're also sharp, and considering that these holds are pretty thin as well it's the "bite" that keeps you on the wall.

For home wall use unless you have a lot of very shallow terrain or you're really trying to work on your open hand crimp strength we'd suggest leaving these guys in the gym and just rocking routes on them. Gyms on the other hand are going to have a hoot with the tricky hand / foot match sequences that can be made with these, they're not going to be matched by anyone so having people skip moves on your sequence means that they're either a) 7ft tall or b) the next Chris Sharma or c) both :)

We lessened the harshness of the holds by putting them onto volumes... we wish we had a 20ft arete to put these on either side of!

  • Number of holds: 10
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): 45/10 = $4.50 per hold
  • Color: These were green, the color wasn't completely even
  • Bolt placement: Middle
  • Sanding: Great, nice and flat
  • Texture: Good, the nature of these shapes makes them sharp
  • Set size: Small
  • Versatility: Low, these holds are crimps and are very thin
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No
HA! Zach is having to do some work... the guy that normally pours the holds had a bad accident so he's out of the pouring room for a while (Speedy recovery Tyler), so Zach is back in the room making your holds. Considering Z-Man hasn't poured in a loooong time he's still got the skills! All of the holds are well built and there aren't any shallow pours, the only real flaw with them is that the color gets a little thin towards the edge of the holds :(

As always there's the inset Climb It logo, nice center washer and most of the bolt holes are straight and true, there are two of the holds that have slightly oblong holes drilled. The texture is classic Climb It but it's the shapes that will make your fingers ache as they are sharp little buggers.

Urethane, we have a lot of Climb It holds and we've not broken one thus far

Could have been better, the holds were wrapped well but there was a lot of space left over in the box. No damage luckily

Argh got to love hard drive crashes :( We lost a bunch of video that we'd taken before we cleaned these holds and took them to their new owner....

Crimping sucks! That's why I try to avoid it as much as possible, so I set the route that was the start of this video:

Climb It have been good to us, sending us lots of their new holds normally before they hit the market.. it means as something new comes out we can be right on top of it. So we make some videos from time to time with just a company's holds... we like to say thanks is all

These holds I'll come out and say, I no likey! I don't like crimps, but I'm strong on them... they make my forearm injury from years ago flair up and it sucks for weeks afterwards. I can and do appreciate what these holds offer to climbers and setters thou, they're brutal and kind at the same time... everyone has to hit the crimps from time to time... and when you do blast through the sequence and then find something nicer to hold onto.

Some company's say that a set is a crimp set, most company's actually get it wrong and have holds that are more edges or open handed crimps than what a true crimp actually is.. these holds (Like the Project Kreases, the E-Grips Double Disks, Teknik Aphids and a whole bunch of sets that I can mention) are m***er f***ers on the fingers... I'd suggest warming up a lot and taping all of your joints before getting on them but they are a set of CRIMPS on the whole, there are a few "larger" (hahahaa!) holds within the set but as soon as you route go's past 15 or 30 degrees you're going to be holding on screaming yer face off... but they're nicer than you think

Oh, did you see the way I went through the 45 degree part of the problem? Did you? That's because I didn't want to hang on to them for any longer than a needed to!

Crimps on the 45? Even I don't like to venture into that domain very often but we managed to get out of the overhang. Was it fun? Yes. Did it hurt? Yes. Was it hard? Not as much as you'd think.

The holds are small, but keep in mind that they are crimps and the texture and shape have a good in cut and have a lot more give than I would have expected. So I was a little apprehensive at first, because the holds are small, but they are much more forgiving to the fingers. The in cuts are pretty deep (the images don't show it too well) and with the angles of the pinches you can squeeze the hell out of the hold.

I'm a big fan of textured holds. They don't need to have the same "feel" of real rock but when a mold is made with a texture on it, it makes the hold more interesting off the bat. These holds feel like plastic, but they give the same burn as climbing outside.

I guess it comes down to if I like the holds or not. Well I do. I think that this crimp set is a good size for setting problems and working on crimps. They will hurt if you work a lot with them, but they're crimps, and I'll reiterate that they are more forgiving than you'd expect.

  • Good sized set
  • Friendlier crimps

  • Colors a little off
  • Not for long sessions on the wall, these guys burn

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