Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review > EP Volumes > Various

So we seem to be in volume mode right now, first HRT and now these guys from EP. Now the HRT volumes were fun, but you're going to run out of options pretty quickly with them, there were plus' and minus' to them so we figured as we had them just kicking around that we'd look at some of the stuff that Sander from EP sent us... so we present to you....

EP 2XL Porta Ledge
EP 2XL Phat Lip

EP 4XL Earlobe
Just for a full run down, that's a 2XL, a 2XL and a 4XL.. yup, we're talking Project holds size kind of crazy except without the theme... well maybe the theme of holy lightness! Now you know how we said the HRT's are light, that Noodles was flipping them on handed; well these aren't HRT light but for their size they're probably the lightest thing that most route setters are going to see this side of Christmas. AND, yes there's an and, these holds are com-fort-able... like and old armchair comfortable, you're favorite slippers comfortable... those old ragged boxer shorts comfortable; Sander again has done a stand up job shaping these guys.

Lets roll through them one at a time quickly... we didn't do a walk through video because we believe that with Chris and Noodles video that they made that the holds speak for themselves (and Noodles gets knocked out in the video so enjoy that :D)


Think of this hold as the biggest thing that hangs off of a wall, you can actually sit on it (if you're small) when it's on a shallow overhang. Huge huge jug, so huge you can wrap an arm around it. Thin at the lip and ticker near the base... it's a jug, but set it right and it's a pinchy doom bringer on a roof!


This thing is so deep it's not even funny, you can loose you car keys, your wallet, your dog and your grandmother in this... watch the video, want to see two people dyno to this at the same time? Well it's in there, we did it and we still didn't find our dog :)


EP has a serious sizing issue, what you don't realize from these photos just how big this hold is, there needs to be a tape or something next to it in the photo. It is a monster but it's smooth lines will keep you happy all day long, don't be taken in by it's size though this hold is tricky to grab when you're horizontal

So they're all big, crazy hand friendly and super light, what else do they have going for them?? The price is pretty darn good, that's for sure... they won't put anyone off of buying them because for similar sized holds from other companies you're looking at over double the price (and double the weight). They're easy to set with as you can see from our videos as we set a bunch of fun problems with them.

Lets talk about what we did with them:
The first route in the video is something Noodles set, he decided that as these holds were so big that the only place for them was the roof; and they are all big holds, except for maybe the Earlobe when you look at the positive grabbing area... it's just enough for you to get on when you're running a roof problem but you DO NOT want to stay there for long as you're going to get spat to the floor, now the Porta Ledge is huge, has a huge grabbing area but is going to end up being a slopey pinch so you're again looking at a short time before the floor meets your ass. The Phat Lip, hahaha you can hang on that thing all day. So what did Noodles do? Earlobe, to Portaledge to Phat Lip, kind of a core intensive route that made you work a toe hook. Get it wrong and you're on the floor, get it right and you can swing on the lip! Get it really wrong and you can swing headfirst into a wall and you can knock yourself out.... Noodles learnt that one the hard way

The second route was set at Shakti and at the time of writing it's still up. We let Gui set this out with some guidelines. It's a campus from a Teknik hold to the Phat Lip, to the Porta Ledge to the Earlobe and then out. It's best to watch Noodles and Chris on this route to see what's up. The slopey nature of the Porta Ledge comes into play for Noodles and some of the moves (campus aside) we're kind of long (FYI: Noodles has stuck the Lip to Lobe dyno a few times now); it's a route that lets anyone play, you don't need to worry about tweaking anything on those hard all points off dynos on these holds... super fun when it comes down to it


We say anywhere, but remember this is a tricky hold to hold onto for a long period of time. It's thin on the lip and gets thicker and thicker as it heads to the base... if you can stick it on a roof them it's all good on any other angle it's just a huge huge jug

Anyone including your grandmother can hang this hold, get a bunch and it's not even jug pulling anymore they're so big and so friendly it's like a sports team mascot... you just want to hug it! If you cannot hang this on a roof then theres something wrong with you


Well we did it on the roof... shallow angles to 30 degrees is where most people will get the most use out of this hold... maybe 45 if you're feeling spicy. But on the roof this hold is so good for toe hooks it's not even funny a) you can't miss the hook and b) there's so much space on there you CAN'T MISS THE TOE HOOK. For it's size it gives a bunch of super fun options... this hold is a feature sized hold at the weight of some people resin holds, riduculous

  • Number of holds: 3 (sold as singles)
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds):
    • Porta Ledge: $54 each
    • Phat Lip: $60 each
    • Earlobe: $99 each
  • Color:
    • Porta Ledge: Purple
    • Phat Lip: Orange
    • Earlobe: Red
  • Bolt placement: Middle
  • Sanding: Ok
  • Hollow backed: Oh hell yeah
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): Yes
  • Texture: Awesome
  • Set size:
    • Porta Ledge: 2XL
    • Phat Lip: 2XL
    • Earlobe: 4XL
  • Versatility: Great
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No
  • Shaper: Sander
  • Weight:
And here's where I hand over to Noodles :)
Soooooo EP, ah EP you did yourselves proud last time around you really did with those comp holds, the problems we had and you're turn around for fixing them. There was one, well two problems with these three holds... one of them is something that we never get tired telling people about... set screw holes; yup these guys don't have them and they really should (See my below comments / rant for that one) and the second one will have to come with a huge disclaimer... why a disclaimer? Well our Earlobe doesn't sit flush to the wall :( EP did offer to replace it the second I mentioned this but I turned them down thinking that over time it would suck into the wall... as of now it hasn't and it still doesn't sit right. We've never had a problem with it and since I've put a set screw into the bottom of it (which sucked it into the wall (See set screws aren't just to stop spinners :P)) it's pretty well perfect.

On the color front EP has a good purple going on... really deep and super nice, their orange is cool and the crimsony red that the Earlobe came in stands out nicely but it's not the colors that make these holds stand out it's the shapes, there isn't a single sharp edge on these holds, not one. Your hands will thank you for this in years to come, and the texture is pretty near perfect, you can pull laps all day long and not worry about it.

Of course with a rubber back you can never really judge the sanding that went into a hold because it's there to stop the spinners and it will allow a cover up of any crappy sanding that went on, in this case as we stated above sometimes it doesn't hide all of the mistakes :)

When it comes to everything else on these holds their light and strong, not as light as the GRP from HRT but these holds are bigger and are taking way more force from a climber being on them so we're glad that they're bomb proof. All of the holds are hollow backed as much will allow (without taking away strength) and the bolt holes are flush and nice and straight, our only recommendations is a bolt column to take a little strain off of the bolts when these holds are being jumped around on... oh and set screw holes



First out let me have a quick (HA) rant and I'd like to point out this isn't directed at EP in anyway shape or form, it's directed at every company that actually has rubber backed holds. Rubber backing a hold will hide a multitude of sins from your sanding gorilla, maybe he's having a bad day and his sanding is a little off. Rubber backing a hold will in say 80% of all cases stop a hold from spinning but not adding a set screw hole because you have rubber backed holds is NOT AN EXCUSE on super large holds (you know who you are you lazy monkeys)... fuck it, anything medium up in my opinion rubber backed or not should have a set screw placement because holds will spin, will people please listen up (and we thank you the ones that have listened) and take some time and stick in a bloody screw hole? Your customers will thank you in the end and the gym owners will not get sued by assholes that hurt themselves from a spinning hold, it's happened before and it will happen again.

Now onto EP, they offered to change the 'Lobe for us, they'd even pay shipping but you know what I didn't change it! Why? Because it shows that they just poured, did their thing and shipped out the holds without running them under a microscope to make sure that they were perfect before we saw them. I like that, I love that they came back to me super quickly and offered to fix the problem, that's customer service and every time I've called Sander to talk to him about holds (which always ends up being a long ass conversation about everything that's going on (Sorry Sander)) he's always been super open about the input that we've given him. I like that, we at CHR like that because not all people listen to what we have to say good or bad. EP is on the up and up and I like that because I felt that in the past they were stagnating; I'm stoked to see them doing what I've known them to do in the past... making walls, making holds and kicking ass!

Now about these holds.... I thought that Climb It and Project had some whacked out sizing when it comes to holds, well EP has the new title if that Lobe is 4XL in anyone elses book then i'll be surprised! It's more 6XL for sure it's frickkin huge as hell and wow is it light? Not throw around light but I can put it on the wall or the ceiling by myself without needing a crane and four other people to hold the shape. Good work!!!

All of these holds climb super well and the only limit is you're creativity. Want a balls out dyno hold grab the Phat Lips and go nuts, Chris and I both dyno'd to this hold at the same time and it's bombproof... although a set screw would be nice as you can see it flex from the wall when there's just one person on it.... in the video you can really see if because there's what 300lbs jumping at it at the same time, plus the force of us hitting it and hanging it.... did I mention that these holds are strong? They are and that's with the extreme hollow backing they got!

Am I happy with these holds is always the question and would I recommend them?

The answer to that is a resounding "fuck yeah!"; I've not been so happy launching myself for years because of finger injures, to be able to launch and hit to super friendly shapes and not worry about skin tearing off after attempts is something I've missed... now it's back and that makes me a happy monkey

Dave Bursey (Hear Routesetter Vertical Reality ON):
There’s some cool stuff happening at EP…I’ve always been a fan on their holds, but until recently have
not played around with anything new for 2013.

After a few refreshing beverages, and a lot of negotiations (had to get him smashed), Jeremy let me
borrow the Earlobe, The Portaledge and the Phat lip for some further testing.

All three are hollowback, and no kidding, they shaved a LOT of weight off these guys. The softback they put on these guys is probably the best I’ve seen, and even on untextured walls, all three stayed put, sans set-screw. Basically, really easy, really fun to use

The Earlobe: Ok, so when EP puts this as a 4XL, they aren’t messing around, this hold is big, and I’ve
used it on pretty much any angle. On a roof, the big, bowling ball sized lump (the lobe, I guess?) will sit anyone down pretty fast. On less severe angles, it sits as a nice pinch/sidepull, and you can pretty much rock up and stand on this guy on something perfectly vertical. The biggest bummer I had with this one is that it came with a huge dent on the base, almost as if it were heated and pried off the wall, a fault I hear has been fixed, but still, bummer.

The Phat Lip and Portaledge: Two 2XL holds, still beefy, both awesome…The Phatlip is pretty much the best roof jug ever, and probably one of the most comfortable to hold, is definitely something I’d keep for dead horizontal or the finishing hold to some life-altering dyno. The Portaledge is great as a pinch on something steep, but will shrug you off if you lose your feet, and is great as a generous sidepull on less- overhanging walls

So bottom line, great holds, customers loved them, and really, thanks for the lightness.

Guillaume Raymond (Setter Shakti Rock Gym QC):
Setting with these holds is nice because because they are so light, it is very easy to manipulate them with one hand while the other is screwing the bolt into the wall. Two out of the three holds sit well on the wall the Earlobe doesn't but Noodles explained to me why that is.

An other nice fact is that you can use 6 inches bolts compared to other big holds, so it's cheaper on bolts for a gym/wall!

Climbing on these holds, texture is good, not too rough and not too slick. You don't feel them bending when you do a big move because they are so solid.

  • Light as all hell given their size
  • Cheap
  • Strong
  • Should have set screw holes as standard

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