We've reviewed a crap ton of Atomik Holds over the years and on the whole they've always come out with a good rep, these guys even stopped using the first mold from their pours and switched to the second mold to lessen their texture on their holds waaaaay back because they listen to us :) This time what can we pick apart on these holds... lets see them and lets see where it goes:
If you look at these holds as mini jugs then you'd not be far off because for anyone that's climbed for a few weeks is going to grab these and sigh with relief, they're positive on a flat wall and big enough to haul on when the terrain gets a little steeper. Even if you're setting something in the low ten's then these guys can be used across a roof. They're a jack-of-all-trades, too positive for anyone except a beginner to take seriously but when the angle creeps up on you the the divots are going to be a god send.
What these holds do really well is teach someone that a thumb is something that should be used for climbing. If someone is struggling on a route set with these chances are it's because they're not using their thumbs at all. I've seen it, currently there is a V1 that's set with these holds at our new base at the Shakti Roc Gym in Montreal and I've watched beginners get confused a) by my sequence and b) by the moves. I set the route and it's left right, left right all the way up, but if you don't use your thumb then it gets harder than it needs to be... oops there is a small bump in there as well if you want to use it, you don't have to; it's the climbers choice.
So when I see someone struggling on the route I've watched their hands and have seen that they're not using their thumbs... next try 90% of the time they get the route and walk away happy... that for most people is what indoor climbing is about. Indoor climbing is a sport in itself these days and Atomik are making some of the (cheapest) best holds out there for someone that needs some holds
What else did we do with them?? Well all the holds we review will always hit the CHR wall first and we'll play with them before we put them out into the big wide World to see how they hold up under rubber and chalked hands 7 days a week. Well
So what do you want to use them for? These guys are pretty much as versatile as you want them to be. Because of the divots you can get these guys on the roof and it's kind of though going but that's all part of the fun right?
We've had them at the local gym for the last month or so on a V1 problem: The wall is slightly overhung and the sequence involves a tricky little sequence that has caught a few people out from time to time. We've been asking people what they thought of the holds and no one had a problem with them, some of the beginners when they tanked off of the route took some advice about using the divots for thumb catches and then they just killed the route
- Number of holds: 15
- Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
- Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $65.99 / 15 = $4.40 per hold
- Color: Mixed floro
- Bolt placement: Center
- Sanding: Great
- Hollow backed: No
- Soft back (Rubber backed): No
- Texture: Grippy but not abrasive
- Set size: Medium
- Versatility: Great
- Pre-drilled screw holes: No
- Shaper:Andy Knight
It seems that Atomik have stepped up their game again, not only are the colors vibrant but the mix seems to be a little bit lighter than it used to be, we've seen their medium sized holds and before they seemed a little heavier.
All of the holds have a nice radii that gives a good grabbing area that is smooth and well formed, the circular divots allow for a myriad of thumb catches no matter the angle that you use them on. They're also surprisingly light for their size.
The colors have stepped up a notch as well because we always saw their holds in normal flat colors and never in such a bright color. You can tell from the pour that the holds are well made and the mix had been well made because there isn't any color fade anywhere, the sanding is also bomber (which isn't anything unusual for Atomik)
On the texture front these holds allow you to train on them without the pesky skin burn that some holds give. We've used them everywhere and there's never been a problem; the only minor problem comes when you're cleaning the holds, if you use a jet washer then you really need to hit both sides of the hold because the dimples get chalked up. That being said they really take a long time before they need to be cleaned because of their positive incuts, on a side note shoe rubber really comes off well on these holds
WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM:
PACKING / SHIPPING:
So we tinkered with these on the home wall and when it came time to reset at Shakti Rock Gym I moved them there to see how they'd stand up under day to day use. To be honest after more than a month of people running up and down two routes they're covered in rubber and pretty well chalked up but a quick jet wash and they come up spanking new. So that's one in their favour.
Then you look at the fact that they're all positive and incut and comfortable on any angle then you have another winner and another point in their favour
What the kicker is is really the price, $4.40 per hold, that is a good price no matter how you look at it.
Then you look at whats been said by my associate above and then after many hours of playing with them myself I've had no problem with them, so basically they're a big thumbs in my book. I'm going to reset them next time we reset the wall and see how they work in the long long run. It's something that we've been doing behind the scenes for a long time and now we're making it a little more public.
Kenny (who runs Atomik) is someone that gives a bunch away to the community from time to time so you should probably pay close attention to their site for their give a ways and deals
There were two routes that I climbed, the Figure Four route with extra holds from this set (it was one of the last reviews we wrote) and a new route that Noodles set. These holds make the Figure Four route waaay easier than before, dropping it from V4 to V2 this means that it got more traffic from the beginners and it's something that I've climbed as a warm up a bunch of times and I've also climbed the other V1 a bunch as well.
What I've found is that you can climb them with or without the thumb catches; they're so positive that it's kind of ridiculous... if you're strong these holds will give you a treat on a roof section otherwise you're kind of just semi-jug pulling the whole way through. That said; considering their size and if your wall has close t-nuts then they take no space and turning them upside down always makes them a little more interesting to play with
- Cheap, look at the price
- Great colors
- Super light