Saturday, July 17, 2010

Review > Summit Labs > Small Comfy Pinches

Small Comfy Pinches... read it to yourself... slowly...

Small COMFY Pinches. Whenever we see a set of holds with a name like this we're always going to think a couple of things; 1: Are these actually comfy? 2: Whoever named these is either completely mad or they've actually made something that is what it says.

Like Jeremy says in the walk through "naming a set of holds Small Comfy Pinches is like naming a hold large shi**y sloper". The name it self is a brave brave statement... and with that let's look at these so called Small Comfy Pinches :)
What we received is what you see above, five pink holds and they're certainly small!
They're obviously pinches!
The big question is are they comfy? This is where we hit the wall and see what's up.

These guys hit both walls (old and new) and we played with them an awful lot, probably more than we should have; from setting super simple problems to stuff that was just a little bit too far. Well I guess that's the way we roll, we take holds and we push them as far as possible to see where they begin to become useless.

Where did we decide to stop? At about 45 degrees if you like pain, 30 degrees if you want to work a problem for more than five minutes. We also set some interestingly long routes between the holds and they do allow you to get away with pushing the limits... all in all they're not what we expected.


Holds that are this size if you have multiple sets then they're going to be a pretty good addition for a system wall. But a system wall is 45 to 60 degrees overhung so these holds are waaaaay too small for that use, we suggest the exact same shapes but larger and then you've got some great system training holds. As usual that being said, if you're system training on say a 15 degree wall then these are something that should be looked at. (Chances are that system training on a 15 degree wall is going to be pretty well useless... we're not training gurus, so please read up on system training before you do it)

We put these holds on the 45 degree wall and they're just not big enough to be comfortable, you can just about get onto them but it's a very very hard send... and even then we were using them as crimps/edges. On a 30 degree wall they're super comfy and then put them onto a vertical wall and they're super nice to climb on.

These holds, if you're looking to set long pinch routes would be well paired with Element Climbings Ions and if you're ;ooking for something larger then probably the Teknik Svelt Pinches.


  • Number of holds: 5
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt ons
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): 26.95 / 4 = $5.39 per hold
  • Color: Pink
  • Bolt placement: Dead center
  • Sanding: Good
  • Texture: Slightly crystalline
  • Set size: Small
  • Versatility: Not bad
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No, they're not needed
  • Shaper: Morgan Barnes
Like we said in our last review it's a surprise to see holds like this from a company that started out making real rock like holds. It's not a bad thing to have both types of holds in their line up, it give us more choice when buying holds.

These holds are well made and there are only a few places where they can be faulted... the logo is a large SL and despite looking a little gangster is is more indented than it really needs to be and if this logo was used on larger holds then it would probably catch your skin and cause some pain, the other main complaint is that when in bright light (our new wall gets a lot of sun) you can see that the color isn't totally uniform, there are a few light patches towards the outer edge of the shapes.

Sanding is great, the texture is a little crystalline.. but that is what you need with something this is so small. If the texture was less then these holds would be 200% harder to grab on to; there is just enough texture to keep you on but not so much that you're going to get skin burn. The shapes are all very ergonomic i.e: there are no sharp edges anywhere, the radii of the holds are all nice, in fact the shapes are so uniform that if you're super strong you could use these as system holds...

All of the bolt holes are properly drilled and flat (90 degrees) to the back of the hold with the inset washers are all nicely placed... there's no need for set screw holes as these holds are too small to warrant them.



Yeah I swore, and I think I made a pretty good point in the walk through that if everyone named their holds what they are it'd be a different World we live in.. can you imagine? "Weird looking sloper thing"... "Utterly crap piece of BS"... HA! Maybe I'm on another planet (maybe not) but wouldn't it me nice if there was (and get this)...
You know as it currently stands one mans XL is someone else's 2XL and so on and so forth... that'll be the day.

I'm off topic again.. let me talk about the holds as that's what we're all here for...

These holds are actually pretty comfy, even if you use them as small edges/crimps.. they're not big by any means but they're not small. Would I suggest that they should be used on a 45 degree wall or steeper... sadly no... they just don't hit the mark as they're not incut enough to warrant this happening! Yeah I know we used them on the 45 and lets face it on the 60 as well and here's the problem... they can be used on the 45 and they could be used on the 60 degree wall as well if you're someone like Daniel Woods or if you just don't like your fingers

I'm suggesting to Summit that that make the exact same shapes but in larger sizes, maybe with some variations on incut so that people can pick and choose what they want for their wall and their training needs. More is good, even more is superb.

If you grab two sets of these and chuck them at a 30 degree wall you could have yourself the start of a nice system wall... I believe (off of the top of my head) that system walls should be 45 degrees and steeper... but I'm not 100% on this fact. Wether this is going to be of any benefit to anyone I don't know, I'm not a sports trainer or Eric Horst :)

Final thing, do I like these holds? Yeah, what I like more is that Summit Labs are getting a bigger range of holds, they're got some slick dual texture and some nice pinches. There will be more sets coming soon I'm sure. I don't like the SL logo on the small holds, it looks a little cheap (compared to their normal logo) but that's just personal taste really.

When we get a new set of pinches we're always wondering whether we can use them on the 45 degree wall. Usually we can tell right away if we have any chance to stick the holds on the 45 but most often than not the holds are in the shady ground between white and black. There were times when Noodles had a laugh when I couldn't get through a pinch problem on the 45, others when I got under his skin for the same reason. When the question of whether we bolt the Comfy Pinches on the 45 I was a little apprehensive with the idea. These holds are small, I can barely get three fingers on most and they're very narrow adding to the degree of difficulty of the holds. We went through a lot of trial and error finding the beta on the problems we set but we knew after the first attempt that our sequence was tough and painful, but not impossible.

There are a couple of things that helped us: 1) These holds are Comfy and we could try the problems over and over 2) The holds are incut. Considering the size of the hold you can imagine that there isn't much of an incut on the holds but it give a surprising amount of friction. One of our problems started with a throw to the first hold and after getting it the first time, we managed to get onto that hold every attempt there after. I was able to get through the two problems we set on the 45 but some of the moves were at my limit and it's hard for me to hang on some of the holds but all in all, I like them.

  • Could be used as system holds (you'd need two sets) as they're not left / right biased
  • They are actually comfy, despite their size
  • Color is a little faded towards the edges on two of the holds
  • The SL logo is a little cheap looking

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