Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review > Planet Holds > Crimps Set 2

Planet Holds
Planet Holds from the UK sent us a set of holds at Xmas called Crimps 1 (review: here) that too be honest aren't crimps at all. They said that set 2 was waaaay harder... were they right?
Let's get this one right out there, straight from the start.
Are these holds harder than Set 1, hell yes

Are they crimps?
Well yes and no, you're going to end up in some cases bearing down more on these than say with Set 1, but we've never ended up crimping crimping on them. That's a good and bad thing... it means you're not going to kill yourself and it also means that the set is mislabeled as crimps. See? Plus' and minus'

What you are getting is a large set of holds that has a lot of variety within it, some holds are similar but different (same shape, almost the same size) because the incut is slightly more or less and these can be swapped out on routes to make it easier or harder to give people a fright (that's what we did on one route between sessions and people that were just walking the move got stopped :P) Variety people is the spice of life!

Straight out of the box these went onto a long route all the way around the wall, starting on the 45 and ending on the steps.. the beta to get through the 45 was a little trickier than we expected... we thought that we were just going to bite down and fly through the overhang and into the next wall... we had it all wrong, and once we found the secret we started just blasting through it... until one hold (the first hold in the first shot of the climbing video)

We were shut down by one move repeatedly, and then as we were having trouble we added some extra holds into the route so other people could have some fun. One thing was for sure, there were some trickier holds in this set than we were expecting...
But there was no way we were giving up, we wanted to see what mischief we could cause with these... the answer lots.

What we found during our sessions is that you do actually end up crimping on these holds! BUT only when you're on the 45, the rest of the time you're no where near that hand position... so technically these holds are crimps... on one angle, the rest of the time they're not really crimps they're more like little slopers and edges.

(If you're in Germany you can't see the video because youtube won't let you!)

Yeah, you read it right... these holds will go on a 60; but it'll be hard as hell and you'll end up not liking yourself for a while! We set from the 45 all the way around the wall, back and forth using the holds in as many different orientations as possible, one thing is pretty clear.. some of the holds (about 5 of them) do need to be crimped down on, the rest not so much. (I'd see our comments for a follow up)

A good majority of the holds are incut, not super incut (that's why the symbol isn't up there) but positive enough that they're pretty easy on the 30 degree wall and hard but totally do-able on the 45; unless you set something that is completely mental that is :)

On a slab, these holds are pretty beginner / intermediate climber friendly; vertical you're looking at intermediate and that goes the same for the 15 and 30 as well. Where you'll start to separate the wheat from the chaff is on the steeper angles, 40 through 55 and the strong climbers will have to work and then anything over that as it's going to be some pretty tough going

There is a wide variety of shapes in this set, so therefore there are lots of possibilities with them.This means you get your moneys worth because chances are if you're going to be climbing / setting a lot this set comes into it's own because of it's variety... and despite their small(ish) sizing they are pretty positive


  • Number of holds: 20 (17 small and 3 medium)
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): 20 / 51 GBP = 2.55 GBP (about $4 per hold)
  • Color: Ours are blue
  • Bolt placement: Well thought out on all of the shapes
  • Sanding: Flat
  • Texture: Rough at first
  • Set size: Small and medium
  • Versatility: Some holds more than others
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes on all the holds
we look at the difference between crimps set 1 and crimp set 2 the hold build varies a little, the second set that we've received have bubbles in the backs through about 1/2 of the range, and the sanding is a little off or overly aggressive on a few various shapes. There's also one hold that is completely out of place is the set, and that's the largest one of the bunch... this hold should really be in a range of it's own; it's also the only hold that was chipped during shipping; it's actually only a really small nick from the side and it is super tiny (it's not a bubble from the back that's popped)

Speaking of bubbles, a good majority of these holds do have some bubbles on the back and that's not something we're really used to. It's a rare thing to see and it means the mix hasn't been agitated enough in the mold, they are pretty small but if there are bubbles in the centre of the shape then it could cause some structural failures :(

The texture on the holds is aggressive but it does bed in very quickly and when the holds are fresh they will take chalk off of your hands like a vacuum cleaner... it really does disappear quite quickly. One other thing we noticed (from this set and from set 1) is that the texture really does like to hold the chalk in as well; it's a good / bad thing as brushing to get some texture back takes a little while but sometimes there's still enough chalk on the hold for you to stick the move :P

Color wise these are a good shade of blue, not too light and not too dark.. it's even across the board so you can tell the color has been mixed very well. Planet has a dual bolt system (the holds can take all of the usual bolts) and there is always a set screw placement on holds that need it. Their logo is only out of place on one hold otherwise they don't get in the way and to be honest we had the hold up the wrong way when we were playing with it. All of the bolt holes are well drilled and straight with these holds taking pretty much any bolt you can throw at them to get them on the wall

Overall (as this is what this section is about) very good quality holds, there's a dent in my table and even though Noodles threw the holds onto the sofa during the walk through there was no damage... therefore they're strong and most setters should have a problem breaking them. A couple of the holds have been kept aside for the next installment of drop tests


Bomber, best packing so far. Despite this, the largest hold took a chip during it's journey

Oh if only you could see the out takes from the walk through.
You'd laugh
Actually you'd be shocked as some of the language (even for us) is really bad.

It seems that after editing the Tour De Bloc videos for two days straight we thought we'd take a break and film the walk through for these holds. The walk through, although long (it's actually two parts due to the number of holds in the set) is a good one... the bits you miss, because we took them out is me having a rant. What was I ranting about? I was ranting about crimps... again! Why?The above is a crimp hand position, you don't (or I don't) actually use this hand position on these holds, in fact I don't use this hand position very often... the only time(s) are when I'm outside... or the holds is so thin that it's the only way I'm going to be able to hold onto it... and then lets face it... then that holds no really good for "training", routes maybe and if you're a masochist! These holds do not use this grip position.. so my rant is about should they be called "crimps"? I don't think so, and I'd say that both sets of holds should be labeled as "mixed" or as "mixed edges" That being said, you do and will find yourself crimping when some of these holds are on a steep angle; mainly because you have no choice! So these holds on anything upto 45 degrees are edges and 45 and then over they're crimps....

This set is actually harder than the first set and like Chris says it's not by much... the set is very varied; like the first set. Which is a good thing, it means that you can set a lot of different routes without having to look for different shapes... this set has a little of everything; OK there aren't any jugs in here just some fairly positive one handed edges some interesting little slopers

Again bouncing off of what Chris says about the texture there's some dispute about why when we've been pulling down on these holds our fingers are feeling pretty sore and tender to the touch.. the first set of crimps have the exact same texture as this set, the shapes are a little friendlier and a little nicer so you don't feel the "burn" so much. This set you do seem to get more burn even though a lot of the shapes have smooth angles upon them, why? Probably because you can get quite a lot of skin onto them when you're pulling, and it's not a burn where you'd expect a crimp to burn, it's lower down on the fingers (between the first and second joint)... the good thing about this for gym owners is that cleaning the holds isn't going to be a big problem. If we can climb on them for over a month (we we use chalk like it's going out of fashion) and then you can still get a good grip on a hold, without brushing, it means the 1000's of hands and feet that are going to touch these holds are still going to get the grip they need... not some slick piece of glass :)

Overall, if you forgive the naming :P, this set of holds is something that setters are going to enjoy playing with, get both sets and then you've got years of routes as there are a lot of holds between the two and combined there is a lot of variety... nothing massively bomber but enough that you pull down and have a bunch of fun.

We are always up for a little controversy with the holds we keeps life interesting...and Noodles has a good point with the name Planet Holds has given this set. All small holds aren't all crimps and some big holds only have crimps on them but most of the holds in the set could be crimped, if need be, it all depends on the angle of the wall. The slopey holds of the set are easy as pinches on a vertical wall but when you have them on a steep angle wall like our 45, the crimp comes in useful. But buyers beware! Not all these holds are 45 degree friendly. There are some shapes that are more open hand than crimp. What Planet Holds can do in naming their set, is too use a suggested angle degree instead of a grip type.

Even though Noodles has an issue with the naming of these holds, I must dispute his point by adding that after working our problems, my fingers felt as though they've been crimping down hard. We both agree that this set is are not all crimps, but they are small and this just leads to finger strains.

Also, the texture is very rough. We reviewed the Crimp set1 from Planet Holds and the texture is not the same (mainly because of the shapes) We commented that the first set was easier than expected, so they sent us the second, more technical and difficult set of the two, so the added friction is welcome. Also these holds are better suited for harder climbs and there won't be too many novice climbers trying their luck on these guys. If I were to compare the two sets, the second set is harder, but not by much. The biggest difference I noticed was with the pain in my fingers.

Usually, when you buy a set of holds, you look at one and the rest...well...they're pretty much the same size and similar in shape, where as large set like this will have more variety and more fun to set with. This is the kind of set you'd want if you have a home wall... unfortunately, they're only sold in the EU and import although it isn't that bad could be expensive... shame :(


  • Holds don't take up that much space on your wall
  • Good, but slightly aggressive texture means that there's not much brushing needed
  • Lots of variety in hold shape

  • The largest hold is kind of out of place in the set
  • Could be expensive to import to anywhere other than Europe

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