Monday, February 7, 2011

Review > Summit Labs > Bejeweld Feet and Comfy Crimps

summitlabs
Summit Labs sure do have some interesting ideas when it comes to climbing holds, they also have some interesting names as well!! We've said it before but when we see the word comfy attached to anything climbing related then you kind of have to worry... then when you see the word Bejeweled you really start to worry ;) This week lets look at the Bejeweled Feet (orange) and the Comfy Crimps (blue):

Summit Labs: Bejeweled Feet
Summit Labs: Comfy Crimps
 
Bejeweled work in progress
Sometimes people get an idea into their head and they run with it, Jeremy just got a tattoo of a monkey on his back (yes it's the CHR logo with a jungle in the middle), but we remember seeing the Bejeweled feet when Morgan was mocking them up and the first thing we did was laugh our asses off at the absurdity of what these things looked like, it was like someone had given them a bejeweling kit and then Morgan stuck them across the face of some of the holds.... and then we thought "hang on, that might just work"... and then you look at the Comfy Crimps, a while back we looked at their Comfy Pinches (here) and they worked pretty well... so why not Comfy Crimps? See what we mean? That's a mental idea right there coming to life! If So Ill can mold light bulbs into their holds and Three Ball Climbing can mold fruit then why not some gems?

These holds were sent together so we could play with them at the same time, and you know what it was a pretty good idea... yet again the word comfy can be used for a set of Summit Labs holds, and then add in those feet and you're set up for some very interesting routes

Lets look at the hands first:
One thing has to be said we're not sure that Comfy Crimps are really crimps, sure you can crimp them, but it you can open hand them why would you bother crimping on them? They're definitely comfy though, so one part of the name is correct :) It could be said that they're a little to deep to be proper crimps, they are meant to be comfy... that's what they were made to be and that's what they are... pretty well every hold can be pinched in one form or another or rotated if you're climbing flat onto the holds with no thumb catches to make different crimps.... so these guys are pinchy-edge-crimps. It really depends upon how disciplined you are to use them as crimps, some of us here use them as they're intended and others don't... they are very versatile considering their small stature.

And now the footholds:
The feet on the other hand, well, they kind of come down to how humble do you want to be, we thought that the Holdz Comp Foot Holds (here) were going to be hard to use as feet but these be-gemmed buggers are a whole different ball game. These guys are dual texture, the gems are the slick part and the base is a small round, shallow circle type affair that make you think you can just ignore the dual texture and use that instead... nope, you kind of have to use both.... pray that your foot hits a good part and then hope your feet stick. Base line these guys are bloody evil :) Did we mention that we sort_of_maybe_kinda_used_them_as_handholds? Nope we didn't, we tried, and the only way you can stick these holds is a) if they're on a slab and b) if you put them onto an arete and c) both times it's just bloody hard and a little bit dangerous mainly because the gems are a little sharp on your fingertips.

Overall we stuck to playing with the feet and the hands together, sometimes we played with just the hands others we played with the footholds with other routes... overall they're a pretty deadly combination of hands and feet... if you add the Comfy Pinches into the mix and maybe double the feet you're going to have some pretty mental routes... next up I'm sure there will be some Comfy Mini Jugs coming... home wall owners should start mailing Summit Labs now and get them to make them :P
We've put these holds all over the wall, well everywhere except the roof, we did try but we decided that it was just too hard for most of us to even attempt, you can get up into the horizontal world but moving was so hard that we just gave up and reset the holds. Mind you we did reset the holds to the 45 degree wall and then into the 60.... we found that you can hang the Comfy Crimps quite well as you can pinch them on a 60 degree overhang but when you consider putting the Bejeweled feet onto anything past 45 degrees you're just asking for a hard hard time, they do become just about unusable on 45 degrees and then anything more they're just wall candy.

Some of us like the holds, some of us love the holds. The hands have gone down very well the feet, well if you mention the feet someone will probably swear so in our books if we're playing with some evil routes you can pretty well guess what's going to be used :)

SUGGESTED USES COMFY CRIMPS (HANDHOLDS):








Although you can pinch around these holds past 45 degrees the level of difficulty goes way up past what you might want, we can hold onto most of the holds on the 60 but it's hard going and rough pinching down that hard on something so small. There are a lot of options with these holds as they're all multifaceted so just rotate a hold on a route for a new flavor!

Super small in size so home wall owners don't have to worry about their wall being cluttered


SUGGESTED USES BEJEWELED (FEET):











It has been suggested that we set fire to these holds by one of the patrons of Climbingholdreview :) They just don't like them, but they were trying to use them as a handhold at the time, something we'd not suggest AT ALL.... the gems are sharp and you will hurt yourself. As footholds mind you these border upon the sadistic and are fun to play with... they're by no means whatsoever easy to stick; therefore perfect for making you use your feet and your core.


OVERALL BUILD COMFY CRIMPS (HANDHOLDS):
  • Number of holds: 8
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $32.95 / 8 = $4.11 per hold
  • Color: Orange
  • Bolt placement: Center
  • Sanding: Good
  • Hollow backed: No
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Smooth but grippy
  • Set size: Small
  • Versatility: Great
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No, not needed
  • Shaper: Morgan Barnes
  • Weight: 3lbs
When it comes to small(er) companies sometimes quality can suffer, this isn't the case when it comes to Summit Labs or the products that we've seen over the last few years... it seems that their QA is up to par and there is rarely a problem with their holds. The sanding on these holds is great, no worries there, the texture is smooth but grippy giving the shapes a nice feel as you grab onto them, all of the edges are rounded so there's never a worry about ripping your hands to shreds as you climb.

Our holds are orange and although it's not a neon color the holds do show quite well upon a packed wall. Given the holds small size it means that ordering these holds is easy as Summit Labs could easily use a flat rate mail box and send out three or four (probably more) sets of holds really easily, so it's super cheap!

The holds have their SL on them and although it is distinctive it does lack the class of their original raised logo a little bit, but that's really just splitting hairs :P The bolt hole placement is bang on center for all of the shapes and the washers are set well into the holds... considering that these holds are "quite" thin it's a surprise that when we cranked them up the washer didn't move a bit... testament to the materials and Summit Labs build quality

OVERALL BUILD BEJEWELED (FEET):
  • Number of holds: 8
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $26.95 / 8 = $ 3.37 per hold
  • Color: Green
  • Bolt placement: Center
  • Sanding: Good
  • Hollow backed: No
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Dual texture
  • Set size: Small
  • Versatility: Ok
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No, not needed
  • Shaper: Morgan Barnes
  • Weight: 1lbs
The quality of these holds are the same as above, except for the color (green) and the fact that they are dual texture. There was one problem with the holds (other than being mentally hard to stand upon) is that some of the gems so stick outside of the radius of the base and are therefore a little fragile. So fragile in fact that Noodles was able to break them off with his fingers.

There aren't any logos on these holds, but lets be honest here, no one makes anything quite like this and people will know where it comes from

WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM:
Urethane

PACKING / SHIPPING:
Awesome

RATING:
Noodles:
Right... yeah I may have the CHR monkey filled with jungle on my back... blah (looks bloody awesome btw)
I'll start with the Bejeweled Footholds... bloody hard, super technical footwork and balance is needed to stick on these guys, they also work your smearing in a weird way as well because you're never quite sure you're on them... well you know you're on them, because you put your foot there but you're never really really sure you're on them. A helpful hint is that if you're on your ass looking at the problem then you weren't on them! That happened to me a few times on a couple of routes my foot kept slipping and slipping, it made my climbing look very sloppy :(

On the handholds, I'm not sure I'd call them crimps, the Teknik Aphids are crimps, the Holdz Comp Footholds if you use them for hands are crimps. These if they are crimps (which they can be used for with some self discipline) are more pinches or edges, multi-faced edges is probably more where I'd place them in the grand scheme of things. Crimps make you crimp, these don't do that, they make you pinch or open hand them... which to be honest I prefer.

Sure use them as crimps, I'm not, even thou they live up to their comfy name and the quality is amazing. Great holds, add the feet and it's an interesting route... thank god the hands are so big otherwise the feet would have been even more useless (or my footwork worse (depends upon which way you look at it)) than I made them look. I'd love to see some of these footholds on a big ol' slab route, that would be a very interesting climb!

Chris:
The Bejeweled feet are hard, very very hard, they will work your core strength and your footwork to the absolute max, whatever handholds you use you are probably going to be worrying about your feet more than your hands; that's what we found anyway. You have to place your foot on them and then really jam it onto the hold and then you're going to need to start praying  that they're going to stick... they're fun

The Comfy Crimps are for me more pinches or edges than crimps, which is a real shame as I was hoping for some Contact Hex or Rex style action, maybe a bit of Teknik Aphids lunacy, or if you're really really lucky some E-Grips 2-Tex Pure Crimps, but these are larger, comfortably large. You can easily use these guys on steep angles because you can pinch them, that's a positive and a negative because they don't really fit the crimp namebut they sure are comfy.

PROS:
  • Small size means that they don't clutter your wall
  • Rotate for different edge/crimp options
CONS:
  • The Bejeweled Feet had some gems that we were able to break off with our fingers
  • Not really crimps, they're more edges or pinches

3 comments:

Zach said...

You guys should check out the DuaTex Nano Crimps, they are very thin little crimps. They remind me a bit of the egrips dual tex pure crimps. Shapes are different, but the edge you crimp on has a similar feel and depth.

I totally agree on the bejeweled feet being evil. I got a set and they are really tough.

Andy Mac said...

I had to laugh, after reading the review and hearing the talk through, all they said was the crimps were pinches. Then they climb on them and I couldn't see a single time the holds were pinched. And who uses their thumb to crimp? Me, every time I lurch! Then he talks about how he can break the foothold and tries to lever a gem off from the back of the hold. Honestly, did you break one on the wall, or just by applying force in an unnatural fashion?
The footholds are the devil, I love 'em. I think they come with the F-bomb guarantee. Keep 'em comin Morgan!

ntmb said...

@Andy Mac

Fair point, the route that is in the video was the first one we set (If I remember correctly) and most of the other footage we took wasn't really upto par with what we normally make... so we scrapped it and didn't have time to film more... sometimes you just roll with the punches

When I crimp I rarely use my thumb, it would be me in the walk through video, and that was filmed after we had the holds on the wall for months, so what I'm saying (rather than usual when we've not climbed on the holds) is what we found. There were other routes set where the holds were just pure pinches, and others where you get onto them and then dump your thumb onto the end and use them like an edge.

A crimp: is something were your fingers are very scrunched up and your thumb comes round onto the top. I think that after the video we used no one used them in this fashion because they're big enough to not warrant this abuse of the fingers (i.e: they are way bigger than a crimp), the Teknik Aphids are crimps, the Contact Hex / Rex are crimps, these are edges or pinches at best.

The Gems, yes, F-bomb guaranteed. Did we break one on the wall? Yes someones foot slipped and it took off one of the edges of the gems... most of the time I managed to break of the protrusions with my fingers. I'm sure that when I get home I crank down on the wrench I can break the hold, but this will be at a force that is above what is sensible to use on a hold this thin that doesn't have a washer inside of it

I'll keep an eye on the video monkey and his editing from now on. We're trying to get the walks done before the holds hit the wall these days, so it will be more of a "first glance" from here on in

thx for your comments