Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review > Planet Holds > Footholds 2

Planet Holds
There are handholds and then there are footholds... and then there are footholds that can be used at handholds :) The footholds we're looking at this week are from the UK, Planet Holds dropped us a package of their new polyurethane screw on feet... this is what they look like:

Upon receiving these holds Noodles pointed out that they could easily be used for hands and upon looking at them closer they are prettyincut and despite being small they're not as small as some holds we've reviewed like Tekniks Aphids, DRCC ESC/DSC, or say the E-Grips 2-Tex Pure Crimps. We have to point out when we say small we're talking about how deep they are for your fingers not the overall size of the holds which in truth is just larger (in most cases) than the head of a number 10 sized deck screw... no when we see something that is about half a pad deep and is a foothold we laugh and then use them for hands... but would they work as hand holds??

There's something to be of note here and that this review is not going to mention us using these holds as footholds so we'll get this bit out of the way right now :) These holds when you use them for your feet are bomber, even when on the steepest angle and you're hanging by your fingertips you can just dink your foot onto one of these holds and get enough purchase to make the move. If you use them on a vertical wall they're just plain massive, we tried a route (that we didn't film) with a bunch of different shoes from stiff (5.10 Rock Wrench & Sportiva Scorpions) to super soft (5.10 Projects & Boreal Falcons) and found the holds texture and positive nature of the holds to make them just easy to use... the holds have a pretty gritty texture to them so they do gather shoe rubber if you really screw your feet down onto them. We know that we shouldn't be using these guys for hands we should be using them for feet but when we see something of this kind of size we just have to try you know :)

Right.. back to what we wanted to see with these holds... Can we use them as handholds?
Yup you can... and it's an interesting ride that's for sure!!
Like children with too many toys we grabbed the drill and went to work

Maaan those routes are hard, pulling from the floor is brutal until you get the right feet and then you're just in a World of balance and pain. One thing you're probably not going to notice is that in most of the routes we filmed we are actually using the holds for hands and feet, that's how big and how positive these holds are as feet (although in the real world they're not actually that big) and even though you're on finger tips and trying some stupid stupidly tricky matches your feet are something you're just not worrying about... they just stick, no matter what shoes you're wearing on whatever angle (although when you're on a roof you do need to be super exact with your toes) you feet just seem to stick to the texture and give you a nice positive piece of reassurance that you've got your foot on something


AS FOOTHOLDS: If you look at the above table of angles that relates to when you use them as footholds not when you use them as handholds.

What you should do (in no particular order):
  • Put them around aretes they're great like that
  • Use them as footholds
  • Not pretend that they're Skittles
  • Play about with them as they're pretty big for footholds
These are a good set of all around foot holds... they're bigger than you'd expect so chuck them on the wall for some beginner routes to inspire their footwork. Grip-wise these guys seem to have it in spades, even when you're being sloppy with your feet you seem to be able to not worry about what or how you've placed your foot... they just seem to stick!!

If you're going to play with the small stuff for hands then 45 degrees is probably way further than you should go, 30 degrees should give you enough of a challenge. We're in no way saying that you should do what we did with the holds it was just a test to see if you can hold onto them... you can, but it's not wise and unless you're training for some braille like hell routes you shouldn't really do this (Wait til you see the Holdz route with those holds.. these things are so big compared to those)

  • Number of holds: 22
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Screw on
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): 19.50 GBP / 22 = $1.38 per hold (roughly at the current conversion rate)
  • Color: Pink
  • Bolt placement: None
  • Sanding: Great
  • Hollow backed: No
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Very grippy
  • Set size: Extra Small
  • Versatility: Depends
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes
  • Shaper: TBC
  • Weight: TBC
These guys come with a QA stamp and a date of birth stamp on the back of them, so you can tell (and they can be tracked) if there are any issues with them. All of the holds are well formed and you can tell that they've all been across the sander, the holds texture is verygrippy and you have to be careful when you're using them as hands as you might loose some skin but that being said even when they're chalked up the texture does come through. No matter what shoes you wear these holds grip so well you almost feel like you're cheating... they're almost Grit-like but there aren't any Grit footholds like these :)

Given that these holds are super small and that their small size could mean that these holds could be weak. We've put them on and off of the wall a bunch of times, used different torque settings on the drill and just hammered them without any trouble at all. The only problem that we can see is the fact that they are held onto the wall by a single screw means that if the holds aren't screwed on super tight they can spin and in a couple of cases they did spin a little on us, it would be better if the holds had double screw holes rather than just a single

Our holds came in a nice shade of purple which is slightly more like violet more than anything else, it's a color you don't see too often that's for sure.



Screw ons footholds as handholds... hahahaha. Brilliant idea... the holds can be used for hands, they're actually be pretty big and given their grit like grip they are nice if a little bit tweaky on the old digits. Mind you they're a little tweaky because we set a bunch of routes (Mark, Chris and I) that were just plain hard because we wanted to play hard and we wanted to push the holds to a point where we could go "Yes! You can use them as handholds... upto this angle X"

What is the angle?

45 degrees, but only if you're using a bunch of the holds to make wide pinches / crimps. The holds by themselves (as all of them, except one take single screws) when on a 45 aren't going to good to hold onto at all as they're small as hell, but if you cluster them then they're hard,bitey and do-able.
If you play on a lesser angle then the single holds can be used, just don't try to match on them because this is bloody hard when you're trying to move one of the two finger tips you have on the hold to put on another fingertip whilst at the same time trying to not breathe too muchin case you fall off the wall :D

Bottom line? As footholds they're great, as handholds they're painful... BUT THEY"RE MEANT TO BE FOOTHOLDS, so it's not really surprising as we're using them for something that they're not really meant to do. But if you add them to volumes, or around the corner onaretes or use them sensibly in shallow angles you can pull on them and they do a pretty good job... be-careful if you're setting sequences with these guys as feet as people will cheat your moves... and good luck to them if they try! As footholds if you're just looking for something to put onto the wall or onto a route then these guys will fit your need, if you're looking to work upon your footwork then you probably want something a little more technical than these...

Purple little nubs. They have a super high texture that could be a bit much for the finger tips if you rip off. They're a bit large for foot holds as in they stick out too much and lots of climbers could screw the climbing sequences by using them as handholds. I don't know what would happen if you shoe peeled off one of these but I'm sure you'd lose a lot of rubber. They make for great screw on hand holds! Gnarly but different.

They're light weight! Seem mix seems strong despite their small nature and the screws work well with them. Thank god they're bigger than those other screw ons that we're reviewing soon :)

Screw on footholds for handholds....scary thought. Noodles might think it brilliant but my fingers will always say no. Anywho enough with the excuses, the holds are big and can be strategically placed as handholds. I thought it was surprising that each hold came with only one screw hole but the holds are so small that they don't require anything more. OK...back to using them as hand holds. Good idea or bad idea the holds are big enough to get some skin on and with some thought the holds can be placed so you can climb on as hand holds.

It was a surprise for me that we could get thought the sequence. You'd think that a foothold that can be used as a handhold is a bad thing but these are really great foot holds. The set had enough holds that we could set both hand and footholds. I could tell from the get go that the holds have enough meat to grab But my hands burned after the session for ripping off the holds. The problems set are not for everyone but as foot holds, it would be a great addition for any home or commercial wall. If its foothold your looking for, these will fit the bill. With their size, it will help develop precision footwork and at the same time be big enough to be used in an overhang without to much bother. Footholds or handholds? Well I think if you want some small holds to add to your wall, this set can easily find itself on your wall.

  • Big enough to be used as handholds on shallow angles
  • Light and strong
  • Cheap shipping rates as the set fits into an envelope
  • Great for introducing beginners to smaller positive feet
  • Screw ons are a pain to move and reset
  • Screws aren't included
  • Having a single screw rather than a double means that they could spin if they're not screwed on tight enough

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