Thursday, March 4, 2010

Review > Motavation Volumes > Round Two

Mot Volumes
June 13th was the date that we reviewed some Motavation volumes... they were a new company making wooden volumes. What we said was wrong with the volumes was that they needed to have screw placements cleaned up, having an option of grip paint would have been cool and some other minor points that you can read about here.

Just after Xmas a package arrived with three new volumes, volumes that were way larger than last time :)
A Waylon variation (our t nuts are in different places to the image on their website)and two Billys...

One thing we're flat out happy to note about the volumes is that what we suggested should be changed have actually been changed. Our volumes are very well made, all the screws used in building them are covered and have had the heads filled, they are also painted with a light grip paint... so it's nice to see that what we've said has been taken on board! The holds even came in three different grip painted colors, red, white and blue... strangely the colors of our logo.

With glee we got the holds onto the wall and you notice the difference straight away, we've always been a big fan of large volumes, they're one of the easiest things that you can get to spice up an otherwise flat / boring wall.

There's not much you can say about a volume, they make a plain wall more interesting without in this case having to pull out a saw and make them yourself, that for most people is a good thing. Making volumes is time consuming (in our experience) and expensive, these volumes actually are pretty cost effective... and considering the fact that the volumes are in most cases pretty complex shapes that are hard to make it means you are saving money and time

Aha, but you're wrong! Where adding screw on holds to large urethane holds is hard, adding them to a wooden volume is easy, so that's exactly what we did! We grabbed the drill, stuck it onto hammer drill and grabbed someMetolius Blue Ribbon screw ons that we have kicking about and added them to the shapes (see the videos for the Project Holds Cubes from last week for the volumes in action on the roof!)... what you get adding screwons to these volumes is proper comp routes (as someone said the other night when we were climbing) and you can try to replicate some comp feeling routes by doing this, thankfully the surface of the volumes don't get to destroyed when you add them on or take them off, you may need to sand down some burrs but nothing major!

And now to the problems with the volumes and these are a few... here comes a couple of things that we've noticed and that can be fixed pretty easily, again it's the little things that make the difference.
  1. These volumes are much larger than before, so the need for a pre-drilled set screw placement should be added. Why? Well our big red volume takes a real loooong bolt and when we were hanging on it (without a set screw) it dropped despite being cranked to the wall super tight and moved a t nut, so much so that it cross threaded. So we ended up behind the wall with mole grips trying to hold a t nut whilst we got the bolt out :( We had the same problem with some of the super large Project volumes
  2. One of the t nuts cross threaded on us.... but it was easy to replace... thank god Motavation use screwed in t nuts
  3. The grip paint actually sucks the holds to the volume. Which resulted with us actually having to hit some of our holds with a hammer to get them off :( Once the holds had been safely removed you can see that some of the paint had come off of the volume itself. This could have been the result of new holds + fresh paint = stickier than you expect
Those three things aside, all of which happened in the same evening, made for a very interesting session... we ended up fixing the wall / removing t nuts more than we spent climbing :P

These have been all over the wall, upside down, spun around, on the roof and they've even been used as a skateboard obstacle, they hold up very well and are very very strong. Something that's as important for us as it is for you the home / gym wall owner.


Volumes can go anywhere, the only thing that we'd suggest on the larger volumes (the big red Billy) that you put a screw in each corner to give it some extra support; not that a bolt won't hold it up and make it safe but it's always better to be safe than sorry! These (and we don't want to sound like a broken record) are a hoot, the smaller volumes will add variety to home walls and the large volumes will be great for comps and large commercial ventures. They've already been a hit in the States at youth and some National comps... we might even lend ours to the Tour De Bloc at True North so they can spice up an already new gym for the finals.. if we do we'll let you all know :)

  • Number of holds: Three
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt ons
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): N/A
  • Color: Ours are red / white and blue
  • Bolt placement: In the middle on each volume
  • Sanding: Great
  • Texture: Light grip paint
  • Set size: Depends on what you buy
  • Versatility: Excellent, but the larger volumes could have more t nuts
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No, but they should be added
Overall build quality between the volumes we've had in the past and what these are now has gone up 1000%, we're not kidding, if Noodles can hit one of these with a skateboard and we can hand 200+ lb guys off of these, jump on these and hit them with hammers then they're pretty well bomb proof. Addingpre -drilled holes for the larger volumes is something we're suggesting, but as they're made of wood and not resin or urethane you can place them wherever you want, just let common sense be the dictator where you place them.

Grip wise, to be properly useful then more grip is needed, but in a competition then there's just enough to give hope. On the color front we were asked what we wanted and therefore we're always going to try to go for theCHR colors, red, white and blue (it's the English flags color so it makes Noodles happy, red and white for Canada and well we're in Quebec so the blue and white lets us show the home colors as well). The colors are bold and these shapes do stand out on the wall, their size being a big factor in this :P

The inset, burnt, logo is a real nice touch.. finishing off an already well built product... only complaints we have are from when we've destroyed our wall through not putting in a set screw on a huge volume and then hanging on it so it torqued a t nut... blame can be placed upon both parties for that... mind you it's rare we use a set screw on holds... we like to see what happens when you ignore what people suggest for their products.

These are wooden volumes

Could have been better, we had some scrapes on the shapes

I for one am glad that our comments were well received and Jared took them to make his product better for everyone that buys it. Props to him. There are improvements to be made, adding set screw holes; which you can easily add yourself... but having them would be less hassle... this would have negated a trip behind the wall for me with a hammer and some grips to get the volume down again. We can't blame the stripped nut on the volumes on them as Chris did mention there was some hammer work on the bolt when he was trying to take a hold off... chances are we destroyed the inside of it through repeated shock treatment :(

What's nice is some of the volumes will take the smaller ones that we reviewed the first time around... it means you can make some funky looking shapes and obstacles for climbers... it also means you can take a normal wall and make it more fun and angled and therefore more fun to climb on without breaking the bank. I know that on my wall these volumes will be up and down as my setting needs. Every gym that has flat walls should have a store room full of volumes so that they can switch up their walls and routes on a rotation so their customers don't know what to expect. If I had a gym that's what I'd do, that's for sure....

There are some nice touches on the holds, the burnt in logo is pretty pimp and not something you see everywhere, the colors are bold and the grip paint is enough that you can "just about" hang onto the shapes (depending upon the angle) and not fear falling off and scraping your arms or legs too badly... the texture is subtle... right in the middle of enough and not enough.

Is Motavation someone that i'd recommend to people if they're looking for large wooden volumes? Yes! Why? Because other volumes that I've seen are more expensive and because there isn't anyone else (apart from people making them themselves) out there that actually make them for you. Their line is getting bigger, the shapes more complex and hopefully the build quality will stay as it is, if not get better. My hat is off sir!... now I have to go and get the hammer I dropped behind the wall last night :(

With all the improvements made, these second generation Motivation volumes are a hit. The shapes are larger and look great in red, white and blue;) Sure, anyone can build a wooden feature, but who actually goes out and does it...well Motivation does! It's definitely a great idea and I'm surprised that no one else has taken the time to build and market volumes. Even with the hassle of stripping a t-nut or having the holds stick to the finish, unbolting and moving the features around didn't bother us too much. Just being able to change the angles around on the wall made for a fun session. I would recommend these volumes to anyone.

Now by changing the angles of the wall we were able to hang on holds that we never thought possible. Take for instance the pinches in the roof. The volumes made it so it was possible for us to get onto the holds, and it gave a different dynamic to the moves in the roof. I found that it they didn't make a big difference on the vertical wall since the volumes are pretty shallow and don't break up the angles of the wall as much. I think the best place for them would be the 45 degree wall.

From what I've seen thus far from Motivation, there aren't many complaints from me. We can pick on the nitty gritty, but essentially Jared is making some nice shapes at a good price. The branded logo gives the shape some authenticity and he's really cleaned up the overall look of his beta shapes that he sent us. Just make sure the paint is dry before bolting your holds on:)

  • Liven up a boring wall
  • Good price
  • Now have color and light grip paint
  • Build quality is massively improved over the first time we saw them
  • Set screws holes should be added
  • We stripped one of the t nuts
  • Grip paint stuck to the back of some of our holds making them hard to remove

1 comment:

DBS said...

Love the editing guys!

"In the eye"! nice Chris