Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review > HRT Volumes

HRT Climbing

HRT are probably one of the bigger company's on the planet right now, there are lots of big guys but maybe these guys are the biggest... they have their awesome compozit shapes that are so light it's not even funny and then they have their polyurethane which even though it's bomb proof is heavy as all hell. Where the compozit is a routesetters dream the urethane is a heavy nightmare!.... and then, well and then we were sent three of their screw on volumes:

One from their World of Slopers range and two from their Full House Range; from the get-go the packaging from HRT is amazing, foam wrapped and then under that black bagged, there is no way these holds were getting damaged. Remember these holds came from Europe all the way to Vancouver and then back across the country to us.... that's more distance than some people travel in a lifetime; needless to say they turned up so minty fresh it's not even funny.

Now if this is the way they ship stuff all the time they're pretty well up there in the game that's for sure!!

When it came to setting we used these shapes at our wall and then we set a V4 at the gym for people; our routes that used the Stone Drift range (also from HRT) was an interesting festival of hard as all hell, the gym route, well that's another beast in itself.

So setting was fun both times, two of the volumes are basically slopers and you have to be careful how you use them, one matchable, one not so matchable (it's the one that looks like an ass) and then there is a huge matchable jug, it's slopey but not so bad. So the gym route started on a Motavation Volume as a matched undercling... and then we went to the top left sloper, it's evil, to the jug and then the ass. With the correct feet you could move from the undercling to the second hold and then work your feet, get into the sloper pocket and then to the top.

As you can see from the sped up footage of us setting it wasn't hard to set but there was a problem. These holds need to have their holes pre-drilled; now as it's known that we always use number 8 screws, generally self tapping.... we used normal screws with an impact drill (like most setters would do) and we cracked one of the placements for the volume... so we switched to a drill and we were fine everywhere else. Our advice is pre-drill and use a normal drill because an impact drill will shock the volume so much it will probably crack... it's a hard learned lesson, and something you should take note of for sure! Now that being said, we parked a jeep on the volume and it was fine (yeah we park cars on stuff from time to time) but an impact drill was kind of a surprise for me.

Now when we look at the volumes you're looking that are made from INSERT NAME and it's light as all hell, look at Noodles in the video, he's throwing one and flipping it one armed, that's some pretty light stuff for sure. Hauling it up a ladder is super easy, getting them on the wall is not as easy as bolting them on and adding a set screw, but you sure as hell once you run screws around the outside in the holes you get a bomber placement.


Now given their slopey nature these holds aren't going to be good on anything more than 45 degrees, thankfully Chris Sharma is now working with HRT so maybe on a steeper angle he'll be able to stick... him and a fly :D On a flat angle the slopiest holds are tricky and then the last jug(ish) hold is ok on the 45. All three means tough going from the get go, you can match two of them but it takes some patience and some real core strength to be able to stick and hold onto these holds. There isn't a sharp edge to be seen on any of the holds so there isn't a problem for your fingers

If you have a larger home climbing wall then these holds are really quite fun.... adding some screw ons would make them way more versatile but would ruin the shape (unless it was permanent) so it's kind of a no go :(

  • Number of holds: 3
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Screw on
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds):
    • Full House: $94.50 for two holds
    • World of Slopers: $48 for one hold
  • Color: Browny orange
  • Bolt placement: None
  • Sanding: Good, they sit flush to the wall
  • Hollow backed: Oh god yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Grippy
  • Set size: Volume, when related to hold size around 3xl
  • Versatility: Ok
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No
  • Shaper: ??
  • Weight:
    •  Full House: 1.6kg each
    • World of Slopers: 1.3kg
Man these are probably the lightest holds of this size on the planet, Noodles was flipping them like they were nothing; they're pretty huge but so light it's not even funny; Glass Reinforced Polyester resin? Yeah that stuffs light and strong

On the color front they're a little meh, the browny orange is a little earth tone for our tastes but what they lack in wow factor color factor they make up in spades with the shapes. Smooth curves and nice radii that just make you want to grab them and then that finger pocket that is just enough to inspire confidence but will make you work so hard... the shaping is superb.

The texture is smooth but grippy, great for your feet (lets face if you're not lacking for area of your feet) and once you get a bunch of chalk on them it evens out but still has enough bite for a commercial wall to not worry about having to clean them too oftern

What they do lack is bolts, or a singular bolt placement and then some screw holes to stop them from spinning. These holds once up are a ladder and a drill job before you can move them, but as we see it if you're running a commercial wall and you reset once a month then these holds are meant to add to a climbing surface rather than be the be-all-and-end-all of climbing volumes. Remember HRT has a lot of volumes, some with hold placements and some without so you can buy what you really want/need. There's no reason why these holds don't have bolts other than the fact that it would make them heavier and easier to use :P On the flip side of that statement a bunch of screws does mean a very secure placement when you do put them on the wall

GRP - Glass Reinforced Polyester resin

Awesome, you can't ask for better

Interesting, we can park a truck on them but a drill is their downfall.... strange to say the least! We should have pre-drilled the hole like we did with the others but being at the gym and setting a quick route we over looked this factor slightly.

How do they climb? All three of the volumes we have climb fantastically, there isn't a sharp edge on any of them so it means you don't have to worry about any tweaky finger pain the only thing that I found was when I hauled on the small pocket at the top of the route there is a small burr that caught through my finger and punctured my skin. This could be because of repeated tries on the route but it's something to definitely note

Given the nature of the volumes (skin and hand friendly) and with such a nice texture to boot I decided to add a screw on just to see what kind of a mess it would make of them. Yeah, it does make a mess, wood doesn't have so much of a problem but I'd not be sure how I'd fill these holes and given their curves you can only add really small screw ons to them because anything larger than about an inch in length won't sit flush to the climbing surface

As always the question that needs to be asked is would I buy them? If I had a large flat wall and was a commercial gym yes, I'd probably buy both sets (and a few more) just to make fun volume problems and then just rotate and move the holds around at intervals. For a home wall they're a little bit big and unless there were flat spots and t-nuts added to these guys in the future I'd say that you're better off with some smaller options that are out there.

Oh, one last note, these holds are LIGHT as all hell!! Good work

Screw on volumes have their pluses and minus, they are a pain to move but they're secure on the wall. These guys are light and strong, I was surprised at how light they were for their size. They're probably about the weight of some handholds ranging in the large size (especially if they're resin holds)

I never played with them here I only played with them at the gym when we set for this review and as you can see we set something that was a little committing at the top, super fun clean line that's been getting a lot of people see sends.

I'd like there to be a bolt on version of these holds for ease, but like we say if you're resetting then you've probably got a drill in your hand at some point anyway

Overall, great for commercial walls, a little large for home walls

  • Super light
  • Super strong
  • Great shaping
  • You should pre-drill the holes
  • A little large for a home wall
  • Being a screw on you need to unscrew and rescrew the volume to move it, it takes a little time

1 comment:

DRCC said...

Those holds were really well packaged! I wonder, as a member of our planet, what is the environmental impact of all the material. Was any of that recyclable? Also, from the business perspective how much does all the packing material cost?

I understand when you send holds to Climbing Hold Review you want them to show up in mint condition, but that was a lot of plastic layers! I also know there are a lot of really great materials and ways of packing, that won't have as much of a negative impact on the environment.