So it's been a while eh folks? Between Noodles being just flat out injured (he had ankle surgery on Oct 7th) and everyone just being busy as all hell. This series of reviews have been a long time coming!
What do they say? Without the head the body doesn't function; Noodles is the head and they body stopped for a while... but now he's back, climbing and getting stronger and so we're back
DID YOU HEAR THAT PEOPLE? WE'RE BACK!!!
What do we have planned? Atomik... bit ol slopers
Lets look at what we're kicking off with:
What you have are ten slopers that can all be simply matched and are just something that one steep terrain is going to give you a real test.
First of all the reason why the nice folks at Atomik got these holds to us is because we wanted some holds to run a grip wash test with; as usual they poured the holds for us super fast and we had them up on the wall the day after they arrived. Noodles did the setting and we'll let him talk about them:
"We'd already run the reset for the month at Shakti Rock Gym (Montreal) so the wall was cluttered and setting became a challenge. There was little space so what I thought would be a very simple process took me a long time to get right. I wanted to aim around V4 so most of the gyms climbers could run laps on the route without too much issue, but as we had the Pure Smear Footholds which are a smaller part of this review but a huge part of the grip wash test, I wanted to make something that just made people use their feet and to get lots of rubber on to the holds.
What I thought would be simple route ended up being super long with some burly moves thrown in for good measure. Even though I'm not technically allowed to boulder (and why you won't see me in climbing videos for a while) I strapped on my brace and went at the route whilst no one was around.
Woo wee did I set something of a tricky master piece, the Simple Sloper and the Pure Smear Feet are a deadly combination of "ah yeah" and "stick damn it"; it was what I wanted to set and I realized something whilst I was climbing (read my comments) but to set on a 30 degree wall they are just a joy"
So once Noodles had set, we came in and climbed and boy did we have some fun, there is one way to cheat the top move if you're long, otherwise you're having to match and campus a few moves with feet that are just about there but really test you to the max.
We wanted to dirty these holds up with lots of traffic and that's what we got, these holds when they came off of the wall after a month are just caked in chalk (it didn't help we had a no brushing sign on the route); Chris had the last run up the route when they were dirty:
Noodles in his infinite wisdom had a no brush sign on these holds so when they've seen thousands of chalky hands you'd think that all that chalk would clog up the texture, and it did and does do that; what is great about them though is it seems because they're so large you can hit the slightly non optimal portion of the hold and still get the route done. Despite looking like white holds when we got them back they climbed pretty well with all the chalk on them"
So one setter and one climber, one on the clean holds and one on the dirty holds... lets look closely at the shapes. As the name says they're simple, and simple in most cases means better. If you look at them against other holds we've looked at and you take them in the context that they can be used as awesome pinches then they're easier that the Teknik Svelt Pinches; because of the little grooves that they have they're easier than the Teknik Fat Pinches and a little easier than the Half Fat Slopers. Why are we looking at these holds so closely against Teknik you wonder?
Teknik does simple very well. In fact in North America they do simple so well you'd be hard pressed to find a setter that doesn't love Tekniks shapes, we do. Putting the Simple Slopers of both sizes against Teknik would seem unfair, but Atomik is putting out some shapes that are just awesome and these are one of those sets. They're as good as Teknik (and that's high praise indeed) and in some cases they're better because they have more ability to be applied to routes... why? Because the simple scoops that have been added to these shapes will allow a climber to get a little more purchase on the hold, this is important when you're setting low to mid grade routes where people are progressing. If we set the same route (keep the Pure Smear Feet) and then run a Teknik route at around V4 and then the same route with the Atomik shapes you'll find you loose a grade easily. Now comparing oranges and apples is a hard and often stupid task. There's texture to be taken into account, there's the fact that the shapes aren't exactly the same etc etc, we could go on... so lets sum it up pretty quickly; if you love Teknik holds, you'll love these shapes... done and done.
This really depends upon how strong you're feeling, we love these holds on the 45 because you can get on them and stay on them long enough to crank out what you're trying to do. They're a fun mix of sloper and pinches. If you're a pure sloper route then these holds shine on a 30 degree wall.
If you want to really test your mettle then try them for short sequences on something that's around 60, if you have the feet then you can move fast and get your moves out, but they're hard as hell
- Number of holds:
- Simple Slopers Large: 5
- XL Simple Slopers: 5
- Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt Ons
- Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds):
- Simple Slopers Large:$39.99/5 = $7.20 per hold
- XL Simple Slopers: $75.99/5 = $15.20 per hold
- Color: You can take whatever color you like; we specified bright colors
- Bolt placement: Center
- Sanding: Awesome
- Hollow backed: Yes, very well hollow backed
- Soft back (Rubber backed): No
- Texture: Standard Atomik; Grippy but not abrasive
- Set size: Large and XL
- Versatility: Great
- Pre-drilled screw holes: No
- Shaper: TBC
- Simple Slopers Large:TBC
- XL Simple Slopers: TBC
PACKING / SHIPPING:
Great, no scrapes and no dents. The holds are pre bagged and the bags are wrapped in paper.
Sit back, put your feet up and relax. We're back and although we won't be running full bore for a while mainly because I'm not officially bouldering for a while yet.
Why are we looking at these holds and comparing them against some Teknik stuff? Because it's of that caliber, sure the texture is more akin rougher (ala old Teknik before they switched their mix) but these holds are top quality and deserve the praise that we're giving them. Atomik have upped their game
I've been setting at Shakti pretty much the entire time i've been injured and i've been planning to get back on the wall so I can climb the entire time; right now its top ropes and the occasional boulder session if i'm feeling brave. These holds were awesome to set with, and even though i shouldnt have I ended up running my route a bunch of times and I took some pretty big falls that weren't smart; but had to be taken, the holds were just so clean and grippy that I had to get on the wall.
Setting around other holds I had to comprimise with what I wanted to do, but in the end it turned out pretty well. Not my best, but for sure not my worst effort.
If you're looking to get stronger and want some holds that are versatile and happen to be slopers then these are worth a look. They're actually worth more than just a look, they're worth a long hard stare. The prices are bang on where they should be and are at a pretty cheap price point. If you pair these up with the Pure Smear feet then you're working power on a pretty huge scale and you'll get strong really fast... that is something that I really need right now and these holds turned up at the right time.... now I have to clean them lol
Simple slopers is the best description of these holds. Many hold companies are simulating real rock but there is something to be said about simple shapes and getting strong. These shapes are ambidextrious and I would love to get them up on a system wall. I take back my last statements. Simple slopers is not the best description for these holds for they could also be called simple pinches. Up one way, they serve as a nasty slope while on the other side you will find a nice little crease that turns the slope into a wicked pinch. With the way these holds are designed, you get a two for one for your system wall or any wall for that matter.
As for the route that Jeremy set, the holds were placed as pinches with the crease on the upper part of the hold. I was able to crimp some holds depending on the sequence but they were best used as pinches or pure slopers. The larger holds are matchable and leaves the problem open to multiple betas.
I think that these are good holds to mix up with other sets or for system training. They're also versatile enough that if you are a home wall owner you can set what you need to work on, the large are matchable, the XL are just huge and about as big as you'd want to go on a good sized home wall. Routesetters will have a blast setting with these holds, can't wait to get my comments out on the Pure Smear Feet that Jeremy used on this route... those things are just evil!!
- Vesratile shapes
- Cheap price point
- Great bright colors
- Light for their size, but strong