Ah Climb It are always an interesting company to write reviews for, mainly because they always do something different, this week we're looking at a set of holds called the Edges:
It's rare that you see white holds, really rare but whats special about these is that they glow in the dark... they never told us they just poured them this way. How did we find this out? Well after we'd been filming the Blockys (that we reviewed here) the Edges were laid out on the floor and when we closed the door and switched off the floodlights they just started glowing.
Now normally when you see a glow in the dark hold you can tell because they have that slight green tint to the material (kind of like a glow in the dark watch face), you can normally spot a glow in the dark hold from a mile away. This time you can't, the holds are pure white, and if they're in the dark they glow.... at the time of writing this some of the holds (maybe two or three) have started to turn that tell-tale glow in the dark greenish tint, probably because the material is curing more.
Now there are of course some up sides and down sides to white holds, the upside is that you've probably not got any white holds (sure you have a bunch of chalked up holds, but they're not really white) so they show up on the wall really well, the down side is that chalk is white so you can never tell (visually) if they're chalked up and are in dire need of a good brushing. You take the rough with the smooth :)
We've noticed of late that Climb It's holds always take a little while to "bed in", this is where the holds still have a little bit of release agent on them (from when they're taken out of the molds) and are slippery; generally it's not a huge issue as all you have to do is get them nice and chalked up and then you're set to roll. With these guys, because some of them are huge, we've noticed that as the holds are pretty flat we still have areas where the shapes are a little slicker than usual... the simple solution we've found is to chalk all the holds before climbing on them... do this more than you really think you need to and then you'll be fine
A couple of things were wrong with these holds when we received them (things that should have been taken care of since)
- A couple of the hollow backs were just too thin and we were able to bend the material with our fingers
- The set screw hole placement is less than optimal, it's directly below where the bolt sits rather than off to the side
When it comes to climbing on them, like we say in the walk through, if you're doing static moves then they're really fun to play with, the slopers even though they are massive are hard to stick on a vertical wall and when you really start being nasty with them they make some pretty tentative pressure move cruxes. As per usual we tried using the largest most incut holds on the roof and even Mark who's the tallest and by far the strongest of us couldn't make it the route work, the term sketchy still comes to mind when we think of it.
The best place for a lot of the sloping holds is going to be slabs and shallow angles, the holds are big enough that you can get up and over them and then stand on them. Of course the huge incuts are good up to 45 or maybe even 60 degrees (although at 60 you're over what is comfortable), they do make for some powerful climbs that despite the sharp(ish) edges work really well.
We don't suggest putting these holds on anything much over 45 degrees, sure some of the incut holds could go this steep (and they do perform well at this angle) but at that point they're just a flat edge, still fun to climb on but a little boring. Grab these holds, use them as underclings and go mad trying to stick some of the slopes on a vertical wall... it's going to be a very balanced affair that's for sure.
One of the great things about the larger, super matchable, shapes is that you can play with some monster heel hooks, or just try to track your feet on the entire route... we tried it a bunch of times and sometimes it was hard, others it was just plain crazy... but it sure was fun watching Chris try it (see the video for that hand / foot match)
If you gym has a large slab grab the larger sloped sets and then use them for mantles, your clientele will thank you once they come back from a slab route outside!
- Number of holds: 48 (split between slopes / incut and flat)
- Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
- Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): TBD
- Color: White (glow in the dark) & two orange holds
- Bolt placement: Center
- Sanding: Good
- Hollow backed: Yes
- Soft back (Rubber backed): No
- Texture: Grippy, but they will be slick to start with
- Set size: Small to 2XL+
- Versatility: Ok
- Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes
- Shaper: Louie Anderson
- Weight: Various
So apart from the slightly sharp edges, the screw holes in a weird place and some thin hollow backs... what else is there to look at?
As always the holds have nice inset washers and logo, the sanding is as smooth as you could possibly want on a hold. The texture is grippy once it beds in and there is a huge range of sizes to pick from.
Glow in the dark isn't something we've seen before, especially from holds that look like they're pure white. Since getting them and having them on the wall (and out for demos at a few places) they have begun to yellow in a few cases and they do look like they're glow in the dark. White holds obviously show up shoe rubber quite a lot and they do need to be cleaned to make them really stand out, thankfully this is easy as there aren't any huge dimples to deal with on the climbing surfaces
Considering their size the larger holds are pretty damn light, so shipping these monsters is more a question of size rather than weight.
NOTE: all the issues we found with the holds have been rectified before their official release should be before the end of March 2011
WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM:
PACKING / SHIPPING:
Glow in the dark, you can't help but give someone 10/10 for that little gem! It was a nice surprise to see that when the lights went out :)
The big question for me is whether Climb It dropped the ball on this one, with a couple of bad hollow backs, iffy set screw placements and sharp edges. Of course logic dictates that you should get a good slap on the behind and a C- on their report card, but where (and let's be honest here) they fucked up they made up for in other ways. How? Let me tell you!
As soon as we noticed the hollow back issue we phoned them, and it was on a weekend and it was late by the time we'd done this. Zach being the ever reasonable (and ZZ Top look-a-like contest entry) listened to our concerns and addressed them one by one. The hollow backs were re-done and the screw placements should have been moved.
That, is customer service and that is also someone that listens to the bad that we have to say and then gets the job done.
I'd have really preferred these holds to have softer edges, even though the edges on these aren't sharp sharp you do have to be a little careful with crazy all points off dynos to them, not super crazy careful... but just a little. I like the way that the holds are split between angles (sloper / flat and incut) it means you can get exactly what you want when you order and you know full well that when Climb It say incut they mean INCUT... some of these holds are almost big enough that you could (maybe) use them as a small seat (not that you'd really want to)
There is a little something for everyone in this set of holds, they're simple and they set out to do a very simple job. We paired them with another Climb It set of holds (the Sliders) that we've had for donkeys years and what you're looking at (if you're familiar with the Sliders at all) is pretty well an expanded range of these holds.
Slab-monkeys: look at the large slopes for all the mantling fun you're ever going to want
Overhang dwellers: get the incut / flat versions there is no way you'll hang the slopes on anything too steep
Overall I'm a little meh on these holds, there was a lack of finesse to them that left them a little lacking for my tastes. Considering they are simple simple shapes there could have been slightly smoother radii to the holds (which is strange as some of the slopes are nice and round) and it would have made a huge difference. These aren't the best work I've seen from Climb It... those are yet to come and they're called the Tufas!
I love getting a box of holds in from Climb It. They usually send us a better part of their range so we can get a feel of all the different size holds and it was no different for this set. The range has everything from great big incuts to nasty sloping death. I like the fact that Climb It took a simple run of the mill shape and created something unique in each hold. There are a lot of these half moon shapes out there: from DRCC Force edges to the old Voodoo holds they have at the gym. Even Climb It has something similar in the Sliders. When it comes to shapes, these guys are awesome.
What I was a little surprised on was some of the details that were overlooked in the manufacturing process. I can understand that they are trying to get the shapes to be as light as possible, and they have done a great job on the hollow back that they didn't leave enough material on the edge of the hold. The other was the location of the screw holes. Some were located directly under the bolt hole and the hold would still torque under load. They still prevented the hold from spinning but I feel that the screw hole should be located in a place where it would have a mechanical advantage. Lastly, and for me the biggest issue, the screw holes are not completely drilled out. It's an added step in the process that is the difference between a good shape and a great hold. And besides, why should we spend time pre-drilling screw holes when we could be climbing?
By now you have all read about the problems and resolutions involving these holds, so I`ll let slide the repetition and get to the good stuff.
Personally, I love these holds, they made me work hard and the angles and positions they were put in or put me in were great! The texture I find to be fairly porous but that ended up being a plus when I flipped a couple of holds upside down on a slightly slabbing section and was able to open palm the rounded side with a thumb on the edge for extra squeeze. Flipping these holds upside down makes for perfect sandstone top outs and great core tension as you squeeze down on them.
Of course, the usual manner of putting them on the wall also worked great, they have a great range from flat slopers to incut jugs. Noodles might never of been a fan of the edges of these holds but I really don`t mind the sharp angles on the jugs. And to top it all off these holds stick out in a gym with their whiteness and if ever you were to climb in the dark (highly suggested if you are wise about it!) then you`ve got yourself a proper fiesta.
Overall, a most inspiring set that gives a bit of everything with some proper style.
- Glow in the dark yo!
- Hold range is split three ways, slopes, incut and flat
- Hollow backs needed looking at, they were too thin
- Screw holes aren't in the optimum places