Friday, July 9, 2010

Review > World Cup Climbing Holds > Morbs Set 1

It’s been a hot week in Montreal, luckily the wall doesn’t get too much sun and we had our first review on the wall with the Morbs from World Cup Climbing Holds. 

This set is made up of a series of pinches, of varying shapes and sizes but why this set is called Morbs is anyone’s guess. Some of the holds are simple in shape, while others are more intricate in design. The smaller hold are a plain and simple one pad pinch where the larger ones which are sculpted with more and more grip options. The manufacturing of the holds are consistent and the texture of the holds is like those we’ve received from them in the past. (As in we have a bunch of their stuff that we're currently reviewing!) The texture is smooth and nice on the skin and even though some of the holds may be small, there is plenty of friction to keep you on the wall.

Even though there are only seven holds in this set, the shapes worked well with all the angles we have on our new wall and it made for some great problems all on their own. It can be difficult to set a fun problem with a small set of holds, the size of the set limits you to the amount of moves you can make in a problem, but with the Morbs, the shapes of the holds create more options and as a setter you can easily force moves. On our new wall, we have three different angles, vertical, 45 and 30 degrees (Actually we have five angles... the roof and the 70 degree) and we’ve had pinches up on these angles and Noodles has always liked to see me fall on those routes so he set.

The Morbs are much easier than you would first think. With the exception of the smallest hold, there was plenty of space to get a second hand on the hold. Although you’ll be getting a lot of weight onto the hold the shape gives you edges and features that will give you more friction, they're skin friendly little shapes that can be trickier than you think, especially if you let Noodles loose on the wall with a wrench.

Small holds with lots of variety is a good thing for people with limited space and these holds certainly hit the mark! If you're running a single panel wall, or something that's small then space is always at a premium and you want to get as much stuff up there as possible... Morbs anyone? Hell both sets (there are two)... check what we did with just seven holds... you can set some pretty interesting stuff. Easy or hard, your choice


Well, as usual someone suggested that we put these on the roof. Our common sense kicked in and the Morbs didn’t make their way on the roof. Granted the larger holds of the set could be big enough ;) but we never tried

The set is best for vertical to slight overhanging terrain and once again it's the variety of shapes and sizes in the set make it versatile and can find a place on any angle even though the holds aren't large. These holds are going to be good for beginner to intermediate climbers and even though we're saying that we had lots of fun on the 30 degree wall trying different ways to get through just one move... there's something to be said for that, the move was fun but the fact that Jeff, Noodles and Chris all stopped and started playing on one move of a pretty short route means there was something there. Even Nick who's only really just started climbing had no problem with the holds and was getting pretty far on the one route that we filmed.

Putting these holds onto the 45 is probably not the wisest thing, but having them there does start to show the holds true colors... simple to look at and really when you get down to base facts pretty plain to look at, and despite that and the fact that they are pretty basic shapes they are pretty tricky on a steep wall. Again nothing completely crazy, but for someone that's just starting to climb and has a steep wall something that will test them and will give them good value for money to boot


  • Number of holds: 7
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): 35 / 7 = $5 per hold
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds):
  • Color: Semi swirled purple on purple
  • Bolt placement: Middle
  • Sanding: Good
  • Texture: Pretty grippy
  • Set size: Small
  • Versatility: Better than you think
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No, they're too small
  • Shaper: Jeff Lemaster
Overall build is pretty damn good for a new company! The sanding is right on, the texture is not bad and the holds don't need constant brushing... the color is a good one as our holds are purple on puple (two tone) and they do look pretty neat. Material wise, Noodles threw them around the wall and they've been chucked into a box and moved across town with nothing adverse happening to them... so they're pretty strong.

The holds are too small for set screw holes so they obviously don't have any and each hold has the World Cup logo on them.

Shaping... ah shaping. These aren't amazing holds to look at, that's for sure, but they are nice to grab onto... they look a little plain and in some cases they're actually deceptive to grab (or to find the correct way to grab the hold) and for sure it's not going to be to every one's taste, but that's a matter of person opinion. Given the size these holds are good fillers for any home wall, they're cheap and they're pretty versatile with sneaky thumb catches on most of the large shapes. What these sets need to be really is one large set (rather than two) as it will give route setters a chance to set routes and will give the home wall owner a bunch of hand or foot holds for a cheap price. So the shaping is pretty basic, no mad flourishes and no new leaps in handhold design... but they do get the job done well without hand/finger pain


Bomber, the box was padded with foam around the inside and the holds were all perfect

World Cup Climbing Holds are pretty new kids on the block, we've had a bunch of their stuff for a while... and what did we choose to review first? The Morbs, the first set of holds that Jeff shaped and that was just a weird coincidence! So our first review for a new company is also on the holds that were first shaped... ah this could be interesting!

There seems to be a running theme through the World Cup lines and it's something you'll see us repeat over the up coming reviews and that is the thumb catches... it is something I noticed from the start when we were running the walk through is that there always seems to be (more often than not) thumb catches on the holds.

The Morbs are an interesting little set of holds that are kind of hard to classify, there seems to be everything in the set; they're not focused on any one style or shape and that's a pretty good thing as it means you can really play around with the seven holds and will end up making some fairly varied problems with them. We had them on both walls, our old wall in a rough set (where we took all the World Cup holds) and just set something set by set in one long route and then we became more focused on the new wall on the 30 degree wall; setting something that go's from the Diablo dual texture holds into the angle and the Morbs... it looks pretty simple and given the easy nature of these holds it is easy... until you get to the one small sloper of the set on the side wall. Matching this hold is pretty hard, doable, but hard to do. As you've seen from the video we played around with one move of the route to see how many different ways we could get through it.

On the 45 degree wall for me 5 of the holds are fine, the smallest sloper and it's bigger brethren are always going to get relegated to footholds, there isn't enough to catch and hang on..

Overall being another new company World Cup Climbing Holds waited for the bell and then came out swinging. Not having the biggest line out there but also not having the smallest, they're trying to make a name in a market that has expanded a lot over the last two or three years... it's a good for us (the hold buying public) but hard for them to get noticed. The Morbs aren't the most creative holds out there, but there is some great variety within the set... you know a little something something for everyone and the price is pretty good; I'd point people looking for some cheap holds towards this set (there are actually two Morbs sets) they're pretty good filler for a wall that needs some holds, pretty beginner friendly and very well made. They're not for everyone, as hold shape / size / style is going to be subjective to the person looking at them... I'm honestly 50/50 on them because they don't give me the degree of challenge I looked for in a set of holds (that's just my personal taste), I enjoyed climbing on them but they're not a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

So that's the end of Round One with World Cup... we kept the more interesting stuff for Round Two... we really wanted to kick the crap out of the next set of holds that we've got coming up sooner rather than later (and for us to do that we needed a new wall... well now we have no excuses :P)

Stay tuned, there's some more stuff coming and it's pretty jaw dropping

Ok…I was pleasantly surprised with these holds. At first glance I didn’t think much of them and passed them off as “just another set of holds”, but after a setting with them I changed my tune. We had these holds a while and they’ve seen some time on the old wall. We used them mixed in with other holds and they’ve been one of our staple sets lately. It all comes down to the fact that they’re fun to set with. They're finger friendly and have more options than less that's for sure, I came back from BC and was thrown on a route that Noodles set on the 30 degree wall... we ended up getting all caught up playing with just one move of that route as it really captured our imagination; a lot of fun was had that afternoon!!

From 45 to vertical these holds will serve you pretty well, they're not much to look at but they do get the job done that's for sure. I'd have liked to have both of the sets at the same time so we could have set some longer problems

  • Small sized holds that are great for small walls
  • Pretty versatile shapes, there's a good mix of styles
  • Good price
  • Well built
  • Shapes maybe a little too simple for some peoples tastes
  • 7 holds isn't a long boulder problem


Sarah said...

MORB = Mid Ocean Ridge Basalts?

ntmb said...

I have no idea! I'll ask