Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review > X-Cult > Comp Slopers


So X-Cult, here we go again... let's go out on a limb here and say we were blown away by their volumes! That's not really a limb that's actually a fact, the other holds that arrived at the same time well... that's probably another matter; a matter that we'll talk about in a few more reviews.

It seems that we're going from the largest sizes down with X-Cult reviews, this time we're looking at some competition slopers that range from 3XL to 2XXL. Five holds, all in neon pink that might be something you're looking for... lets take a look and see:

Now one thing to note is that the hollow backs are waaaaay better than what's shown in their website image and they should probably update it to show their progress!! Lets say that their hollow backs are just amazing, watch Noodles (pre-ankle injury) just go on about them for hours :)

X-Cult sent us a bunch of stuff in one shot and we're getting around to reviewing them at Shakti Rock Gym where we have the space to really go nuts (don't worry, a more personal CHR is coming back very soon where we'll get up close and waaay more personal with some holds) but lets get down to brass tacks; X-Cult have put out some great volumes that we're using a bunch on every reset; these Comp Slopers have been no different they have been on the wall for months, we take them off we clean them and we put them straight back onto the wall... they've quickly become a staple of the monthly freindly comps. There's a scrable on the resets for most of the X-Cult holds and these are pretty hard fought for.

If you're looking for something that's going to seperate the men from the boys them these holds on even a slabbed wall will do the trick.The texture is there and the shapes are there but you need to be able to read the shapes... and that's the trick and we guess that's the nut of the holds. The holds looks simple, very simple, but that's also the trick to these holds. What's that saying, "apperances can be deceptive"

Deceptive is a very interesting word, it's a descriptive word . What do we know about the holds? They're slopers, so on a steep wall they will be hard to use. We've obviously told you that they're trick holds... lets looks closely before you watch Noodles talk about them on video....
All of the holds are numbered and lets roll through them:
  • #178: Theres the obvious scoop on top, it's slim, but it's doable with a thumb catch
  • #179: Evil in neon pink form, even on a slab wall this is a tricky hold to get onto
  • #180: Looks like you can get a thumb catch if you catch it on the left... hahaha
  • #181: Is actually ok. It`s better than it looks
  • #182: You can grab this pretty well on a steep wall because it`s so comfy
So five holds that will test you, we`d say that they`re a must for any wall that is holding a comp. Keep them hidden away and pull them out and then anyone who can set and knows about body movement and how to keep someone on their toes can set a world class problem, not just a simple problem,... well the problem will look simple  but there`s no way it will be easy for sure.

One final note: The hollow backs are waaaaay nicer than the images on the website, now go watch the video... also a final note the hold images are of the polyester ones...


These holds are best suited for competition or hard routes, if you`re looking at these holds for a home wall then go nuts.... but keep the angle low and the feet big. Taking any of these holds, adding to them with some other X-Cult holds you can make some crazy routes.... you can do this, of course, with any holds and some imagination; these holds don`t need too much imagination all they need is some bolts and a wall. Setting V5+ is so easy it`s just because of these holds

  • Number of holds:5
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt ons
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds):
  • Color: Neon pink
  • Bolt placement: Center with set screw holes
  • Sanding: Great
  • Hollow backed: Yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Grippy, does need an occasional scrub with a brush
  • Versatility: Good on shallow overhangs
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes
  • Shaper: Iliyan Mihailov
  • Size: 3 XL; 2 XXL
  • Weight:  3.283kg
Now if we look forward into the future was can spot some problems with X-Cult holds, but not with these or the volumes, but with the smaller shapes. But thats another review :)

These holds aare superbly well formed, the texture is just enough on the shapes and the hollow back looks better than DRCC dual texture!! Theres a central brace and a column to supprt the bolt and each hold has a set screw hole so you can stop spinners... hell each hold has a specific bolt length. Yes, they`re that thorough :)

All of the holds have a great color, a very bright pink with no color run off towards the edges. The holds themselves are very very light. Probably some of the lightest holds on the market for their size and that`s a pretty bold statements

Whoever shaped these holds may have an alter ego as a super villian, because the shapes are simple, clean and just superb. Pretty on the eye but hard on the soul, that`s for sure. These holds are for sure up there with Teknik for just simples shapes and the fact that they`re light and strong adds a bunch of plusses for shipping and people hauling the holds up the wall.

The one minor gripe is cleaning, these holds get pulled off of the wall every six weeks and after a quick dunk in some water and vinegar they need to be sprayed pretty well with the pressure washer... you really want to be exact with the smooth curves when you clean them to make sure you get all of the chalk off of them. That being said, this simple routine does clean the holds up exceptionally wall
Amazing, from Bulgaria to Canada and everything was fine

Do I need to write comments? Really? I thought the video told the story pretty well, but that was before I climbed on them. I've used these holds a bunch of times during resets, setting with Gui or Chris each time to make sure that the setting was of a grade that was right and what we wanted to set. Using other smaller X-Cult holds meant that we could go from crimpy to slopey problems without too much issue. Using the Limestons slopers was an interesting set for sure

Imagine, Comp Slopers and Limestone slopers on the same wall... you want to talk about compression routes, well that's a compression route for sure :) Using the crimps meant that the routes meant that the footwork ended up being trickier than expected....

I've set for night on 20 years and these are the easiest holds to set comp problems with, you can set pretty looking problems that will just kick peoples asses. People will want to climb the route because it looks so nice but they'll be in for a surprise that's for sure. I set a comp route, for a friendly with these holds and I was mean. Using some Project Holds Kreases, which are evil to say the least (you should go read that review) and these holds means you're setting a real interesting route that is easy to read but has super hard holds to hold on to. I set this on a slabbed wall and I made sure that the feet were there, but  just there and that anyone from 5ft or larger could get up the problem. #179 was the kicker, trying to get onto this hold was hard, holding it and then getting to the top of the wall was the key.... hard but doable.

I watched the comp, enjoyed my setting and the climbers working the sequence. The holds were the key to the problems and they perfomred every bit as well as they look.

As the video shows; X-Cult did a superb job with these holds and we'll use them time and time again

Let me temper Mr Noodles comments for a second here. He gets a little bit excited about climbing holds, we all do overhere; but are these holds really that good? Well we've seen a lot of holds over the years and we should use due dilligence when looking at these no matter how good the volumes were.

It's hard to be the devil sometimes when Noodles is the angel and we all write the reviews....

Ha, just kidding, these holds are great. They are everything and more than you should expect from a climbing hold!! Simple, clean shapes, well built, sturdy holds that have been tested for over six months on a commercial climbing wall. Doesn't that say enough??

I've set with these holds a bunch of times, I've climbed on them a whole bunch and I love them. The holds are just great, there's nothing I can say to detract from them. These are probably some of the nicest holds that I've pulled on

So X-Cult slopers,
I've seen them in videso of comps, I dreamed about climbing on those, I dreamed about these as route setting tools (read nightmare for climbers) and finally I was able to do all of these!
The X-Cults slopers were for me one of 2013 revelation. Polyvalent, multi-angle usable, almost no thumb catch, what do you want more? Hard to say!
Let's go with the natural evolution of climbing. First of all, setting with them. I used them in every angle, every corner and every way possible with the climbing surface available. I've set V2 to V10 with them. The general consensus on them: they are great, feels great and looks amazing. They are lightweight, feather like, easy to maneuver with.
Climbing on them can almost feel like a natural sloper. It is intricate climbing, delicate yet powerful, all depending on where you put them. If you put them on a face climb with a super simple solution getting the problem will create a nice V2, nothing lower then that. You put them on a 35-45 degree wall and it will feel hard, because it is!! You could take the same layout of a route and change the angle, every 5 degrees will probably add a V grade.... a superb set of holds for sure!!

  • Super light and strong
  • Great colors
  • Awesome hollow backs
  • Super technical holds on an angled wall
  • Importing from EU

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