Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review > Metolius > Woodgrips

Back in the day eh? I guess we're going a bit back in the day as I Noodles, Jeremy, whatever is the person writing this review.... it's been a while since I've done this, normally I just edit the videos and edit the videos... add my comments etc. This time it's all me... so back in the day for me, back in the day for you because last time we looked at these holds was 4 years ago and we only had a few of them and then there's Metolius, one of the oldest companies out there for when it comes to making grips for climbers

So it's back back back in the day :)

This time we have 24 of these holds, 24! That's a bunch of holds... so before further ado lets show you what we're talking about:
We have a mixed bag as the walk through shows, a little of column A and a little of column B... 24 wooden holds that well with the way we set kind of put us through the ringer. First of all we set a very long route with all of the holds that was a pump fest at best. Then because I'm a genius I decided to set four boulder problems that could be linked together as one nice long problem.

 Were either of these problems a wise move?

Well yes and no, and this is on no account of the holds being the problem. Normally we have a process for playing with new holds, we set simple problems and then string them together and then we set the long route. This time we went the other way with it and normally we get to grips with the holds and then we kind of know what we're getting into; this time we fk'd up a little. We learned in the process of this review to keep to what we know... do it the other way :)

So wood grips, some people say that they're no good, some people love them. We've got some of the heavy varnished ones and now we have the non varnished ones and we love them equally; for long sessions where you just want to work endurance on the wall there really isn't much to complain about, sure you don't get the grip and they're no good for really training for the outside (texture wise) but for pottering around and just working hard there are few holds that really come close.

Of course like the above says there are downsides to these holds but they're really minor things that aren't that much of a problem... you can't use these guys outside, they'll just suck up moisture and will become useless quickly; if you loose the little washers then you need to get some more (we glue ours in because we got fed up with loosing them) but they're all comfortable holds and wood takes set screws easily.

Wooden holds, like I said in the walk through "is mother natures dual texture", it really is and these holds although not being dual texture are no texture... good for the skin, no harsh chemicals are used making them and as they're made from off cuts of wood from a furniture factory they are kind of recycled. So generally it's a win win situation that's for sure.

So obviously changing our M.O around didn't work out.. but how did the holds climb?

You can see, once you get past the epic titles (that someone will complain about, sorry I was having some fun) that the holds climbed really well, we, well I, set hard and nasty to start with because we're all of a grade over here that it should be possible to take the four problems and then link them into one route. Thus far that hasn't been done because you're so pumped from the first third of the route that when you actually get to the last "problem", which is also the hardest, you're just done. Even Mark D couldn't finish it and he's the strongest tallest guy that comes to play.

Overall we had fun, no one got hurt and our skin stayed intact.


Stick them anywhere indoors, the 24 holds we have have been all over the place since we received them and the shapes are so big and friendly that you can hold 90% of them on the roof... it may not be easy going but it's not impossible. There are actually 50 holds in the entire range and they come in packs of 5 or 25 (maybe we lost one of them... hmm); so there is a bunch for you to choose from, we've had a blast playing with them because as we all know variety is the spice of life and these holds when set properly can be super easy or super hard, it's your choice


  • Number of holds: 25
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): 179/25 = $7.10 per hold
  • Color: Wood
  • Bolt placement: Center
  • Sanding: Good, it's all over the holds!!
  • Hollow backed: No
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Wooden texture
  • Set size: Small to large
  • Versatility: Great
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No
  • Shaper: TBC
  • Weight: TBC

These holds are a little rough and ready, but that's part of their charm; they're not the best finished holds on the planet but they do get the job done. They could be sanded down to be a little smoother in places to make them just look at little better, it won't really make much of a difference to how they climb

All of the shapes have nice rounded profiles that are nice to your digits, you're not going to get off of the wall complaining about your skin being ragged to hell. When you're really bearing down on the holds you can get a really good grip even when the holds are chalked up. If you look at the texture it's pretty even across the board, you're grabbing onto wooden shapes so if you want texture grab some sand and glue and add it where you want it, it's pretty simple and these holds are probably the easiest to customize for your needs, if you want a little more incut?? Grab some sand paper and go at it!

These holds aren't the cheapest out there (we thought that they were a little cheaper to be honest) but our original holds have been around for four years and they're still going strongly, there's no reason why these holds won't do the same.

No set screw holes is something we always complain about and as usual we'll give you our normal rant. These holds don't have set screw holes, but you can add them yourself and as per usual it's something that we feel should be added at least to the larger more prone to spinning shapes.



It's going to be tricky for me to write comments because I actually wrote the review this week. All of the above has been talked about with the crew for a while with people adding their little bits and pieces of things that they feel should be added.

So, what to talk about?

Sod it, lets talk about these holds.

I like them, I actually asked Metolius to send them to me because I wanted to add an addition to one of our first reviews which to be honest this is something that I'll be doing from time to time on here. I'll try to look at at least the first years worth of reviews and will try to update them, either through putting the holds through the process again or be just updating the original review; I haven't decided which way I'm going to roll with this yet.

So wood, it's an interesting medium that's for sure, it's one of the best for making home made holds when you don't have the budget to buy new shapes and it's something that over time gets better and better to hold onto. Our original wood grips didn't get to be fun to climb on until we got them all dirty and chalked, now they're still hard as hell on a steep wall but they're a little more doable on the whole. As these holds aren't varnished they climbed really well from the start, there wasn't a bedding in period before they started to climb well.... and that's why we set smaller routes before the big ones!

The holds, when we review them, are used from new for months at a time before we actually weigh in and write a review.... holds, like a new set of home speakers need time to bed in, these don't, straight out of the box they were just good to climb on. Sure they're not the best looking mofo's on the planet but they're simple and clean and at times when the moon is just right, the music puts you in the right mood and the candles flicker in the breeze a little... that's what you need, you just didn't know it :P

Now the all important question: Do I like them? Yeah I do, I don't like the over $7 per hold price tag for them that's for sure because they're not that hard or complex to make, but I do enjoy climbing on them!!

Mark D:
So, what we have here is a set of classic climbing holds, just this time they're wood. I have to say, from my experience on them, they don't have the problem that I usually get on wood climbing holds; and that is that they don't seem to get slick once I start sweating. Some wood holds become ultra-slick as soon as I heat up or it starts getting warm and so far I haven't seen this happen with them.

The texture isn't a problem, they don't weigh too much and they fit pretty much everywhere. For a go everywhere set, I like them. They weren't created as the most creative holds shape wise but given their purpose they live up to it.

On top of their overall good quality, I also like the fact that we are using wood here, because I am getting tired of climbing on plastic come this time of the winter. Good holds, more ecological than the classic urethane or resin hold and a fine addition to any gym or home bouldering wall.

  • Clean, simple shapes
  • Recycled wood
  • A little more expensive than we expected
  • Can't be used outside

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