When someone says that a hold is "hard to hold on a 45" we'll test that, when a set of holds comes enclosed with a note saying "if you can hold onto these on a 45 then you're strong" you know full well (as should we these days) that someone is issuing a challenge, someone is laying down the gauntlet and that we're going to try to do it for good or worse.
The holds, ah the holds:
When you read the Uncarved Block website and the brief blurb they have there they offer this advice:
"Lucky 7 Incuts. There is nothing lucky about these subtlety incut holds at all, if you are using them on steep ground and hanging on, it is because your skilled and not lucky, but we needed a name and there is 7 in this set! Built in screw holes to aid in rotation prevention to boot!" and then you watch the video:
And you realize apart from one of the start holds they're not even pulling THEIR OWN HOLDS ON A 45 lol
So what this review is going to boil down to is going to be "can these holds be pulled on a 45?" and "Why aren't the makers of these holds pulling down on these holds on a 45?"
From the get go we knew what we were in for, you just touch these holds... read the note and know that you're in for a rough time on a 45, on a 30 it's plain to see that that's where the positive (if you can call it that) pulling is going to be over. These holds are incut, but not to the degree where hauling on them on steep angles was ever going to be easy! Uncarved Block as we've pointed out time and again make some of the most ergonomic shapes on the market, the only people that beat them is Teknik for finger friendly hard as hell but so nice to grab onto holds. Uncarved Block is the Teknik of the Southern Hemisphere... they both are stand out company's, and now UC has switched to urethane the climbing is so much better; but there is a small contingent of one person here that still loves their resin shapes (and that's funny as I'm writing the review :P) UC has a huge line of holds and there isn't a single line of sharp rip your finger tips off crimps in there, they have crimps but even those holds are nice to grab onto.
Whatever Uncarved Block are doing, they're doing it well... if you need further proof read some of our other reviews:
I don't think the word sharp is even used in any of those reviews (Some of the reviews need to be reformatted btw, sorry about that).
So the Lucky Seven Incuts.
Seven: there are seven holds here
Lucky: ah that's the point is it not? You have to be lucky to hold these holds on anything over a 30 degree wall or you have mad core strength and fingers of steel... we tried, oh we tried and most of the footage hit the floor. BUT I was feeling a little bit spicy from writing this review so I decided to give it that one last go, I decided to limit the route to something not completely mental and to not throw myself at it for hours at a time... so just 30 minutes of trying to unlock a very simple sequence on our 45... thankfully it's pulled first attempt... so the holds can be climbed on a 45 but the "oww" from me says it all, they're bloody hard
Fred came over and saw these, even without climbing on them he stated that they'd be great holds to use on volumes in a comp setting. That's some pretty high praise from our sponsored routesetter (he's asked to borrow them for an upcoming comp already)
So first impressions do make an impression, we'd agree, without the note saying that they would be hard on a steep wall we could see that without even bolting them up, how hard was the question... bloody hard is the answer. We'd also agree with Fred, these holds (much like the rails and the Mickey Finns) would make great competition holds but they'd also make a nice addition to anyone with shallow walls because they're small but on a shallow angle positive enough to allow most people to grab them. If your commercial gym has a wall where you top out then these holds would be perfect up there, likewise for any gym with a slab. Don't put them anywhere near a wall that's over 45 unless you're super mentally strong or they're being used as footholds!
- Number of holds: 7
- Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
- Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds):
- Color: Ours are orange and blue
- Bolt placement: Middle
- Sanding: Good
- Hollow backed: No
- Soft back (Rubber backed): No
- Texture: Skin friendly
- Set size: Small / Medium
- Versatility: Limited
- Pre-drilled screw holes:
- Shaper: TBC
- Weight: 0.80kg
Every time we see new Uncarved Block holds it brings a smile to our faces. We know that we'll have to stretch to find something to pick on; in this case it's one minor detail that we'll come to.
When you get these holds the texture is just superb, grippy but not madly so, it gives you confidence in your hand placement without having to brush the route after each attempt; chalk also comes off easily when you do need to clean them a little. For us finding them on the wall isn't a problem as the colors that they came in (blue/orange backed) shows up well against what is sometimes a wall of blue holds.
The shaping is great, the holds are friendly to grab and fit well into a fairly natural position when you clamp down, even the inset logo is nicely placed so that it doesn't end up under your thumb when you're pinching down, even if the logo is under your thumb it's flush to the gripping surface and isn't a problem. These holds are also small, so they don't clutter up your wall and all of the holds have a nice pre-drilled set screw hole to stop them from spinning (these holds are pretty hard to spin)
So wheres the problem? Aha! The sanding on two of the holds isn't quite perfect, there is a small lip that if you were so inclined you could use of a little bit of extra purchase. Too be honest it's a minor point and if you're using this edge then chances are you're working hard and need it :)
All of the holds have well placed and square bolt holes and they take a normal bolt as they're nice and well sunk into the hold so there's no chance of catching anything... the holes are so well placed and drilled that when you use a normal bolt it also eliminates the hole as a sneaky cheat!
WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM:
PACKING / SHIPPING:
Every time I write about Uncarved Block two things spring to mind. Men at Work and VB oh and nice shapes... yeah yeah that's three things, whose counting?
I love a good challenge, and I love a good hold; I think that both have been well documented by now :D When these holds arrived with the challenge I figured that we'd take it up... hell, we'd crush it and laugh. How wrong was I? Pretty damn, ass kicked... kind of...................................
Uncarved Block keep upping their game they put out lots of holds and thus far they've not deviated from ergonomic shapes, friendly holds or a fair price (apart from one of the pockets on the 30 degree set that I think should be destroyed and kind of refuse to put on the wall anymore, not because it's not friendly, but because it's so friendly I want to do stupid things with it and then end up hurting myself; plus if I'm training I'd rather not play with pockets) What more could you want from a company? Hell their website seems to know that I'm from Canada and helpfully changes all of their prices to Canadian dollars and i'm not even logged in; how helpful is that??
Would I suggest people buy these holds is what these comments basically boils down to? Yes, they're small non wall cluttering holds that are great to 30 degrees. They'll test you and your skill if you want to push yourself and you'll have fun doing trying whatever you set, as per usual I'd like there to be more of these holds... can you imagine the Lucky Seven Slopers? I can envision the note that will come with that set " you'll never even hold onto these" and again I'd take up the challenge... when are they arriving? I'll chill some VB :D
I tired the 45 route (thank god the footage got thrown away) because it was a session of ass, mat, ass, met and repeat. It wasn't fun, maybe we set too hard, maybe we weren't strong... maybe maybe maybe.
On the 30 all of the routes that i've climbed have been pleasant, super fun to climb and more importantly as I don't have time to climb so much any more.. finger friendly. Even on hard routes on the 30 when I have to reach I've always been able to clamp down
How Jeremy pulled those few moves on the 45 is pretty good, he didn't even use the side wall (read: cheating) sure he only pulled a few moves but a few moves was enough, non of the holds were huge the biggest one is the last one of the set. I'll be trying that this weekend that's for sure.
So small, well made, finger friendly holds... enough said right?
- Great comp holds
- Don't clutter your wall
- Finger friendly and texture friendly
- Sanding was a little off on one hold