Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review > Rock Candy > Guppies

Rock Candy
Sometimes people make something that the market has been needing, without knowing it Rock Candy have made something that from a climbing hold point of view was there but not there... something that we all love to hate, something that we’ve all pulled on and then... well then they’ve done something that makes you sit back and wonder why no one else has done it.

What are we talking about?

We’re talking about the humble “I don’t really want it on my wall” finger pocket. The pockets we’re talking about are these:

These are the Guppies, yes Guppies, the name may sound like a type of fish (because there is a fish with the same name) and from the images it may seem that these are just another set of finger pockets... and truth be told that is exactly what we thought when we saw them.

Let us (because there are more than one person writing this review) tell you a story. As usual the usual band of merry misfits were setting and filming some routes for a review, but it wasn’t this review it was a review on another set of holds from Rock Candy... we were filming on these guys:
There holds are the Trilobites (don’t Rock Candy have great names) and we were having an awesome time, and then a new member of the team asked if he could play with the Guppies. We thought nothing of it, we let him play and then when he was done he let us have a play.

OMG! Sometimes when we’re reviewing holds some sets are harder to play with than others, and maybe that’s why the Guppies were put slightly on the backburner, not because we weren’t reviewing them but because we were trying to do something else with other holds at the time... what Martin set was something you probably shouldn’t do with finger pockets, it was certainly something that we’d discounted doing because a) there are only four holds in this set and b) doing what Martin did seemed to be a little crazy, what did he do? Long moves on the ceiling, yes you heard that right, finger pockets on the ceiling. We’d already had a route on the 45 degree wall that had some tricky beta that was pretty hard; we’d done a couple of traverse using the pockets at different angles that were really fun but after pulling on the holds on the 60 degree wall we never thought of putting these holds on the roof... why? Because finger pockets aren’t the natural choice for setting on a roof

When was the last time you actually climbed a route in a gym that had finger pockets on the roof? The answer is probably never, or rarely. There is a reason (well a couple of reasons for this)... no one likes injuries and if you look at the current market and at the holds that are available, especially the finger pockets that are available none of them are deep enough to safely set on this terrain... when we say safely we mean something that is fun to climb and won’t kill your fingers. Don’t get us wrong, there are some holds out there that can go across a roof, but for four holds from one set that are roof friendly, and we mean ROOF FRIENDLY Rocky Candy gets a 3 out of four. They almost, almost, pulled out a set of holds that could all go onto a roof and make bomber routes


Yup, we kind of swore a little bit when we sat down and thought about it. Nathan and his team almost pulled the Holy Grail of finger pockets out of the bag. Why almost? Because one of the pockets is flat and not incut enough. These holds are something that you can lovingly sink two or three fingers into, crank down and haul ass on. The Guppies if we had to choose one word to describe them, well, they would be deep, these are some deep-ass-finger-swallowing monsters... and then there’s the black sheep of the set. Damn, Rock Candy, how dare you come so close, so close to finger pocket heaven

Does it sound like we’re complaining? Maybe a little, but we’ve not even mentioned the best bit yet. So these pockets are good, and they almost get a “use them anywhere rating”... and then we’ll tell you what else sets these holds apart. They’re dual texture!! Now can you see why we’re upset about the roof? These holds are textured on the inside and just the outside tip and then the rest is nice and smooth. FINGER POCKET SETTING HEAVEN just about got dropped on all of youse.

Damn talk about hitting it out of the park, dual texture deep as hell roof friendly finger pockets

About time


Right, we have given these guys an E for everyone and an E for everywhere. Yup we gave them the roof (despite the black sheep hold). Kids will loose their arms in these holds, they’re good enough that you can let everyone play with them without too much worry of injury. Sure if you set like an idiot and make super hard moves there’s nothing a hold can do to stop your fingers getting tweaked, but if you play nice you can set some fun routes that will teach people that finger pockets aren’t something to be feared and at the same time you’ll teach people some foot work along the way

  • Number of holds: 4
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $69 / 4 = $17.25 per hold
  • Color: Ours are green
  • Bolt placement: Well placed
  • Sanding: Awesome
  • Hollow backed: No
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Slick on the outside, textured on the inside
  • Set size: XL
  • Versatility: They’re pockets that can go anywhere
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes
  • Shaper: Tony Reynaldo
  • Weight: 6lbs
  • Distribution:
From the get go these holds were eye catching, dual texture monster finger pockets... it was always a question of how far can you go with them. Rock Candy are one of the companies we’re reviewed before that always have awesome colors, their pours are always consistent and so far we’ve not broken one of their holds.

Sanding is super flat, the pre-drilled set screw holes are well thought out and then you get to the meat of the hold, the bit you grab. These pockets (apart from the flat one) are super incut and have obviously been well thought out, there aren’t any sharp lips to tweak your fingers and the inside texture is grippy enough to inspire confidence but not so aggressive to cause skin pain... it’s right in the sweet zone. The dual texture isn’t DRCC quality, but it is enough that you can’t use the outside of the hold to cheat a move; but if you’re careful as these holds are large you can stand on them. You do have to be very very sneaky to do this and it can be done but there are a few bruised shins in the house that came from doing this J

As per usual these holds are great quality (Amazing for a small company to consistently do this) the urethane and the holds have a good weight to them and the bolt holes are well drilled and the washers are square to them.



So close, so god damn close... technically these guys do have a trifecta going on because three of the holds hit that bomber "anywhere" rating and then there's that other hold that doesn't really fit. How many times will people do this to us?

Damn you Rock Candy, damn you all to hell... but thanks for something that was very surpising!

I hate pockets, I also try to avoid them unless I'm outside but this time well this time it was different. It's going to be hard to not make this sound a little weird and dirty but sometimes sinking your fingers into something knuckle deep and then hanging on it is fun. (see what I mean?) Rock Candy have pulled off a sublime mix of friendly doesn't kill your fingers pockets and dual texture, that's not something you see everyday that's for sure.

These holds are rated E for Everyone, you'll loose your keys / small children / household pets, hell most things in these pockets. The only real problem I have with them is their name, isn't a Guppy a fish? If it was a wide mouthed fish I'd get the name, but this time I'm at a loss. If you're a pocket-a-phobe like me I'd look at these because they're a pleasant surprise

If you think that i've gone slightly mad then you'd be right...
That'd be me working on my phobia with my fingers deep in the Guppies with my head pointing pretty much at the floor :)

Cool and clean pockets, good to match up to 45degree, a pain in the *** to match on a roof but still doable. A nice possibility to crimp the outside of the inside texture to match the hold for a clean two handed finish on a route. You need precise footwork to get your feet to stick on these if you are tracking and cutting loose on steep routes.

The dual texture is perfect and not too abrasive, the radii keeps them comfy to hang onto with 1 or 2 finger full body weight, if you can manage it !

Well what is there to say about these pockets, they are pockets and therefore I hate them! why, well pockets tend to hurt! But if there was ever a set of pockets I didn't hate as much as the rest then this set by Rock Cansy would be it hands down.

The main reason is simply they didn't hurt as much as they could have, in most of the holds you could get two pads in the pocket and they were big enough for at least two fingers. I have even hung with just one finger on the ceiling because of a stupid move involving a match, but not even that hurt! There is a variety of difficulty in this set because of the size of pocket (two or three fingers, and if your lucky then all of them), and how in cut or positive the hold is.

Another cool thing about this set of Pockets is that they are pockets that must be used as pockets! this is because they are duel textured, and very slippery everywhere that is not in the pocket. even feet don't stick to the outside of the hold. There is no chance of pinching or crimping the outside of the hold. Basically it means No cheating, use the Pocket!

All in all they are pockets and I still hate pockets, but no wall is ever complete without pockets. Because these really didn't hurt my fingers at all and I do still like to climb on them I give them a two fingers up! 

I like green, I like holds, but I hate fkng pockets like theses when I have to make a long reach.  these holds and the roof moves are maybe the reason why my middle finger hurts my middle finger. The texture inside the pockets is good no so abrasive and gives good grip. Dual tex stops on the outside of the hold. Personally i have big fingers, so I was not able to do the matches Jeremy and Bob did

I think that they are perfect, pockets for angle walls even  on the ceiling...  but becareful if you're coming back from an injury don't hit these holds early in the session, warm up first....

If you're looking for solid holds that can bring you on the next level these could help bring you there. Quality is here and all the little details that we like (screw holes etc) hell what we expect are perfect... just try it

  • Bomber finger friendly pockets
  • Solid construction
  • Good for any angle wall!
  • Pockets are bad for you warm up

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