Saturday, April 9, 2011

Review > Climb It > Tufas (All Sizes)

Ah Climb It... their new website (Drops next week (April 11th)) with all of their new sets will be online very soon... so here's another sneak peek of what's going to drop very very soon... the Tufas as you can see there are a lot of them.

Photos: Aidas Rygelis | Ruby Photo Studio
That when you think about it is a lot of holds, from small to 2XL+, there is enough urethane here for some of the tallest routes around and if you use the sloping holds you're not looking at an easy route at all, you're looking at some stiff ol' grades :) We were told by the shaper to pinch these like men because we mentioned that we were going to make a whole lay back route out of them... so we went one further and stuck them across the roof which meant some really mean pinches, to make things even more interesting Noodles decided that the move into the roof should be a sloper. The route was described as "not doable" by Bobby... ha! Once you figured out the beta, which was a right hand bump three times and then a big old toe hook on a hold on the roof it because really doable, pumpy as all hell but totally doable... sure it took some working to get the moves down but it wasn't really that bad.

Was that pinchy enough for you Mr Anderson?

Once that route was put to bed we set some traverses and some lay back routes where the only holds you could use were the same for your feet, thank god some of the holds are deep because it would have become impossible if they'd not have been.

Those of you that read this site a lot will have noticed the pictures that we're using of the holds in action... Dustin was in town to do some setting some months back for Allez Up and he wanted to borrow the Tufas for a couple of finals routes at the Tour De Bloc when it was held at True North in Toronto. In true Dustin style the finals problems were just crazy, one of the mens problems and one of the ladies problems were set with just the Tufas (and a couple of extra footholds, considering the steepness of the walls that True North have at their disposal the problems look pretty damn stiff! (As usual all of the images are click for larger)

There are more than enough holds when you look at the entire set for any angle of wall, you just need to shop carefully when you look at what you're looking to buy. From the get-go apart from the holds being slick and needing time to "bed in" because of the release agent that Climb It uses to get the shapes out of the mold the holds received lots of praise from everyone that climbed on them. Everyone was kind of sad to see them disappear for a couple of months whilst they were off on loan, we have them back and we know full well that they're going back onto the wall as soon as we make some space :)


Stick them wherever you want! There's a little of everything on these holds with the exception of pockets, they do feel pretty rock like, well more rock-lite feeling, they all have nice rounded edges and even when you're hitting them hard and at speed you're not going to have any problems... hell if you're in the wall for hours and hours these guys don't trash your hands, Noodles and Bob hit the same route at the end of a long session for about three hours and they both walked away with their skin intact.

Some of the larger holds may end up being too big for a small home woody, but thankfully you can just choose a smaller set of holds that will fit your needs

  • Number of holds: 28
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt on
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): TBC
  • Color: Neon green
  • Bolt placement: Centered
  • Sanding: Great
  • Hollow backed: On the larger shapes yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed):
  • Texture: Awesome
  • Set size: Small to 2XL+
  • Versatility: Not bad
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes in ALL the holds
  • Shaper: Louie Anderson
  • Weight: Various
Climb It have done a superb job with these holds, from the hollow backs to the set screw holes in every hold... the sanding is perfect and the color is even throughout the shapes. From inset washers, to bolt columns it's like they've gone down the checklist on what to do and have ticked every box.

There are a few problems with the holds but they're minor, the holds do take a while to "bed in" because the release agent that Climb It uses makes the holds super slick, so don't expect to be cranking down right away; we actually pre-chalked the holds before we climbed, it just makes life a little faster :) Despite the holds all having set screw holes pre-placed, not all of them were drilled through; this is something that is a minor point that is going to become major in the future for us, if you have a set screw hole go that extra step and drill it all the way through, don't half measure this little step, it does make a huge difference. Pre-drilling the holes is also important as it will lessen the likely hood of the hold snapping when you chuck a screw in once the hold is on the wall. The only other minor gripe is that some of the bolt holes on holds that have center columns are drilled a little off center... they're straight but not right down the middle, again another minor point but something that should be pointed out

Overall the holds are superbly built, good job... considering some of the issues we've had in the past 


One huge box, super well packed. No damage en-transit

Right off of the bat I'm going to state something. Something that is interesting.
"These are the best holds that Climb It make"
Do I need to continue after a statement like that?

Let me explain a little

a) The holds came through with no defects
b) They were well packed
c) They look gnarly but are super comfortable
d) There are enough holds for really tall walls and long routes
e) Some of them are massive and have well formed hollow backs
f) Even the small holds had screw holes

I could go on and on. We've seen a lot of Climb It holds, almost their entire range in bits and bobs and there's always been something wrong... some little thing that just isn't quite right. The Edges were a little too sharp, the Blockys cracked etc etc, but these are perfect. They're hard enough for a 5.14 but useful enough for a V2... hell they were lent to True North for a Tour De Bloc finals route that was in Dustin's words "pimp"

Now the best set of holds is a BIG BIG statement, the Power Domes are some of my favorites as well. So maybe I'll refine my statement a little. "Of the new sets that Climb It are releasing in 2011, the Tufas should probably be in your gym"

Again, another statement that warrants some explanation...

You want long lay back routes? Tufas
You want to work your pinch strength on a variety of rock like pinches? Tufas
You want holds that you can hook and hand match on? Tufas (the big ones)

You want interesting slopers that are evil? Tufas (only some of them thou)
You want to hear me show you the holds? Watch the walk through, it's super long :)

Photos: Aidas Rygelis | Ruby Photo Studio
By far of what we've seen from Climb It over the last three odd years these are the best holds that we've seen from them, of course there are a couple of complaints :) The release agent they use makes the brand new holds hard to hold onto and they do take some time to get chalked up and in working order. One of the screw holes (and we used all of the holes) did crack, but that was us (Mark) with the wrong sized screw. Other than that they should be checked out, soon as we have some space they're going back onto the wall.. and lets face it if they make a Tour De Bloc finals problem like the images we've kindly been allowed to use (that are all over the review) then they're something special... read Dustin's comments for the full break down on the problem and how he used the holds


Wow! Like usual, Climb It has molded some awesome shapes. They're all pinchy and kinda look alike but each one has some hidden features. The other thing is, like the gym, we have quite a bit of Climb It holds and we can get the feel for all the different sizes Climb It has to offer.

So I would say if you don't like pinches, you should pick up a set of these holds (and if you're like us, you'd have the full range ;) The versatility of this set will keep you setting over and over but you can also train on these holds since their open hand and comfortable.

I would have to say that these holds are some of he coolest pinches I've seen from Climb It. The shapes are versatile. If you want a slope or a pinch, you'll find it with these holds. The ridges and intricacies in the mold make for some interesting grips and are really great and fun to match, you can even get digits from both hands onto the smaller guys.

All that said, I love this set. We had them up on the vertical, 45 and roof and they always had something to offer. The shapes have a lot to offer and even though their pinches, you could pass them off as crimps and even slopes. Another winner from Climb It.
These green tufa's were a pleasure to climb on. The versatility and size of this set was leaning towards spectacular.  To top it all off, the negative aspects of the holds were almost non-existent. This set came with everything from massive to tiny slopers and pinches.They could be used as said holds, you could hang on them on almost all angles and some of them had in the rippling features miniature sloping crimps to work off of. The toeing and heeling on these holds were great, you could bicycle them, sit on them or pretty much anything.

The downsides of these suckers are that when new they are pretty slick and they absorb a fair amount of chalk before you start sticking them properly. Though on the plus side; even though we kept slipping off of them we never destroyed our hands since the texture wasn't too porous. They also only have one set screw hole and it isn't drilled all the way through making it a bit of a hassle to screw them the first time.
What I really would of loved on this set is that the large pinches would of had screw holes all around the hold so that you could place them without a bolt. These big pinches would make great hand jam cracks if only they could be placed properly. For sure you could make a cool hand jam in a roof with a couple of those to spice up your route or boulder problem style.

As for actually climbing them as tufa's we unfortunately didn't have the chance since our room is too small.  I would imagine it'd be pretty wicked and given the real tufa's I've had the chance to climb on I'd say these are pretty realistic. I look forward to climbing them as they should be climbed one day, I'm sure it'll be a wicked line!  

Photos: Aidas Rygelis | Ruby Photo Studio
So the Climb It Tufas... Lets talk about one of the best damn sets of holds I've ever laid my hands on, tightened onto a wall or watched someone else fondle! These holds are the best that Climb It has put out, by far and I'm a big fan of all their shapes, Black Mountain crimps give you some heinous crimpin, they've got giant jugs for haulin on roofs or for the gym's classic 5.8 route, power pinches for your simple thugged-out bouldering, simple shapes, natural shapes, all of it, Climb It has one of the most diverse line in the biz, and these shapes are the fucking pinnacle of this shit! I swear to you, I borrowed these to sample them on some finals problems for True North's Tour De Bloc, and I had to give them back to Jeremy since I borrowed them for the comp and a month afterward from him, and my setters will not shut up about when we get our order.

Let's just get down to basics, I know that I'm supposed to write some bullshit about how they worked on certain angles and shit like that but honestly, that's what Jeremy is for. I'll be honest, I am a Climb It athlete and this shit is not biased! As a route setter, as the comps head route setter, the problems that I set with the tufas, (men's and women's final #4) were a bit too hard, I know but still, they consisted of some dope holds with some cool movements but the thing about these holds, is diversity. If someone asked me about the Climb It Tufas I'd say that the word tufa, doesn't really aply to this style of hold. When I think of Tufa's I really think of long pinches. These were not only that but bad slopers, moderate ledges, slopey pinches, incut crimps, all of it! If you are looking for a style of hold that perfectly rounds out your gyms selection or your home walls versatility, look no further! These would be perfect on steep, to slightly overhung to even vertical, just use your imagination.

I used these holds as positive pinches, bad slopers on a triangle feature, big feat, ledges, the works! On top of all this, the quality of urethane is unreal! Most solid and durable urethane on the planet. Believe me, we at True North have broken everything, every climbing hold company that we have, we have broken at least one of their holds, Climb It is one of those offenders, yet these holds, with their hollow backs, have stood up to the best and worst, that we have had to offer and use and abuse. If you don't have these holds, get them. Jeremy, I'm waiting for mine.

  • Huge size range
  • Lots of grabbing options
  • Take a while to bed in
  • Some of the larger matchable holds might be too big for a home wall

1 comment:

Louie Anderson said...

Glad you liked the shapes.

Thanks for not being a wimp...