Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review > Thrive Climbing > Snaggletooth Slopers and Moonpie Crimps

Based out of Phoenix, Arizona you have a team of three Ryan, Nicholas and Nic and a company that's been around for about a year producing climbing holds... no great surprise there as we're a company that reviews holds.

What can we say about Thrive Climbing LLC that's not been said? Well we could wax lyrical about their shapes which when you look at them pretty well talk for themselves, or we could talk about their mix (which of course we will) or the colors or the fact that it's a small home grown company that's doing a great job... but we won't, we'll let Thrive introduce themselves;

Ryan Wurm; Owner: We started making climbing holds for fun in my garage, and then we realized that we really enjoyed doing it. We thought we had something to contribute to the climbing industry, so we decided to make hold on a larger scale and to see where it will go. After one year of making holds we are expanding our company and product lines. 

We are a small climbing hold manufacturer Based In Phoenix, AZ running out of a tiny little shop. We have been making climbing holds for only one year now. Our product line is very simplistic, with the occasional artistic design. We have big plans for Thrive Climbing as we continue to grow, and we love what we do.

Take that!! Add the fact that they're getting shapes from Tony Reynaldo who shapes and has shaped for more company's that you can actually count on both hands... don't believe us, check this out, that's just a sample of his work:
And that's just a sample of his work and now he's added Thrive to his ever expanding resume and props to Thrive for getting him on-board, it only means that Thrive is going to be a very interesting company to watch in the future.

So we have two sets currently the Snaggletooth slopers which are a pair of slopers that are opposites, sloped on one side that's slightly incut and then the outside that is just sloped out. When we say opposites we mean there is a left hand and right hand version of these holds (why don't more people do this?)
 And the Moonpie Crimps, a set of eight holds that we're using the term 360 degree holds for because (and yes all holds are usable most of the time in 360 degrees) but these give you a little more...
So two sets of holds that lets face it couldn't be more different if they tried, some large slopers and a set of crimps that have a gripping surface all the way around. The only thing to do was to let Noodles loose with them and see what he could think up, he does set well and considering he'd sat on the couch playing with the holds for a few nights and had jotted down some notes its probably best to let him explain his thinking:

Noodles: Two sets and one route was my plan, I really didn't want to split the holds up and have to film the route more than once... I'd been setting the holds up on the floor and had been imaging what was going to be the likely outcome. My plan was simple, step jump and double hand the two large slopers, crappy foot and then tricky crimp moves to the top of the wall. What actually came out wasn't what I wanted; someone whilst I was setting another route had taken my optimal bolt hole so a perfectly symmetrical jump wasn't going to work, so I improvised. I set the obvious jump to one of the holds and had the other a little lower for shorter people. The then moved off right on the Moonpies to the top, making sure to set them so they would be crimped... again this didn't work as when I ran the route it's became clear that no one would crimp the pies they'd get a pinch or in some cases a full on hand full and could just make the moves easier. Even turning the holds made little difference, so with the start compromised the rest of the route came in a grade easier than I really wanted. That being said it did see a huge amount of traffic in the 5 weeks it was up

The route wasn't as expected but thankfully we had some downtime and a blank wall and we played with the holds some more :) We set straight up the middle of the 40 degree wall with the Moonpies and just played around for a few hours, just trying a route and then spinning the holds.. here was the game, Noodles and Chris set the route and then climbed it; the other person goes away and the other setter turns one or more holds and then the other guy has to climb it. You should try it as it's a hoot, as the holds are hard to tell apart and the climber knows the route you can really change the grade of the problem and the potential moves just by spinning one of the holds by as little as 20 degrees (of course it depends on the hold) As they're grip-able all the way around you can take a V3 and go easily to V6 with a wrench and a few spins... like we said super fun!


Steeper is better with these guys, but we say that about most holds :) The texture and the shapes are perfect for steep walls around 45 degrees, they get hard over that but that's where the fun is at! These holds are obviously great for setting double hand all off dynos and for setting opposite moves on a route, being mirror images gives a lot of options to these holds. They really are more pinches than slopers and on easy terrain they're just full on jugs.

  • Number of holds: 2
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $65/2 = $32.50 per hold
  • Color: Purple
  • Bolt placement: Middle
  • Sanding: Good
  • Hollow backed: Yes
  • Center Column: Yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Good
  • Set size: XL
  • Versatility: Great
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No
  • Shaper: Nicholas Hayes
  • Weight:4.5 lbs
Lets start out with the negative on these holds, the logo on these holds isn't fully formed and it makes sharp edges on an otherwise set of great holds, its one of those things and it's getting fixed as we speak. People often have problems putting their logo onto their holds, it's either in the wrong place (gripping surface) or too large, or they put out holds with no logo... which means unless you have someone that knows holds by sight and can name the company and model of hold (Like Noodles can) then it means they get no brand recognition; which is bad. Either way, the holds we have don't have great logos and it's being fixed.

Now with the good, great texture, pretty good color and just awesome shaping. These holds are really a stand out in what we've seen over the past few years; yes we'll point out that they're mirror images and more people should do this with their holds, it give setters more options for setting what they want to set and how they want to set, even if they were sold separately (which would make no sense really) then you'd see people buying both of them

Slopes, jugs, pinches, you have it all in these holds... it really just depends upon what angle you're setting on!!

Great hollow back from a small company with a center column that means it sits well on the wall, the sanding is great and the texture is just right, not sandpaper by any means but with enough bite that you can really haul ass on them.... overall, great holds from a small company. The one thing these holds lack is a pre-drilled set screw hole.


These holds are one of those sets that are hard to place, yes technically crimps but they're not really crimps at the same time. Great for short power problems where you just want to work on small holds and technique, they're juggier than you think so you can go steep and really work your roof power; it won't be easy but it's totally doable

  • Number of holds: 8
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): 35/8 = $4.40 per hold
  • Color: Pink
  • Bolt placement: Bang in the middle
  • Sanding: Good
  • Hollow backed: No
  • Center Column: No, they're too small
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Good
  • Set size: Small
  • Versatility: Great
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No
  • Shaper: Nicholas Hayes
  • Weight: 2 lbs
The Moonpies apart from having a logo that's hard to see are a well made set of holds that are well sanded and well formed. There are a few little issues where the incuts join the base where they're a little bubbly but it's nothing that compromises the shapes or the climbing surface in any way.

Texture wise these holds grab but don't burn and that's a good thing, despite being on the wall for ages they never seemed to get overly chalked up; if you're tracking the routes they give excellent grip and even when they're set small side up you never have to worry about your feet slipping

We had once concern with these holds as they're a little small and the material behind the washers was a little thin and we felt that over tightening the holds might result in the washer getting pushed through; so we stuck them on the bench and tightened them down to see if there was a problem. We're glad to say that there was no issues hitting them really hard repeatedly with the 20V DeWalt Impactor and we cranked them up real tight.

Again the color could be a little brighter than it was but that's just personal taste from our side and a small tweak from Thrive to make them brighter as needed.


So setting with these didn't go as planned but our little game of Turn The Hold was a great laugh and it was fun to put these holds through their paces; overall considering this is a small home grown operation that's been around for about a year you have to admit that they're doing a very good job... sure there are some issues but I spoke to Ryan (the owner) about them as we were looking at them and anything that arose is being fixed or has been fixed as we speak.

Now there are somethings that are missing from the holds (logo aside) and that's a set screw hole, but that seems to be something lots of people overlook for some reason, no idea why really as anything that is this large will probably spin at some point and will need a set screw added and as always we feel its better to have it placed and reinforced in the hold before they're shipped out to customers than someone do it on the wall when they're setting... even if they don't use it it's probably better to have it than not.

The Moonpies are good holds, I'd prefer them to be actual crimps rather than something you can get your hand completely around but that me just being a setter and having to think more about what I'm setting than anything else.

Ol' Mr Snaggletooth and his brother of the same name are currently on the Blank Slate and i'm using them for pull ups :) I do like these holds and their size, great for a home wall as they're not too large to take up too much space but not so small that you can't match them if needed.

As always would I suggest you buy these holds.. the Snaggletooths without a doubt are a must for most gyms; the Moonpies not so much but if I supplemented with the Moonpie Mini Jugs then I'd be able to go onto steeper terrain and would be able to set much more rounded routes adding in the smaller crimps as bumps or as a red herring here and there... it's a weird one, like I said they're not really all that crimpy, they're more jugs and as you can pinch them the name doesn't fit... but bigger and smaller versions would round out the line up pretty well. The smaller ones being proper crimps and the larger ones giving some matching options.... I must be getting pickier in my old age lol


Despite what Noodles says the route that I climbed for him was better than he says, I know he climbed it and is probably being overly critical of the moves and of what he set. He isn't climbing as well because of the ankle injury and it shows in his climbing when I see him on the wall.

So lets roll through the holds, I climbed on the Moonpies a number of ways, using the holds as intended (no thumbs) and as and anyone else would climb on them (thumb catching); they both climb really well using your thumbs is easier than not of course and i'm not sure about the name, they are technically crimps and it's a good name for them but the couple of juggy ones really don't sit within the set that well.
I like them and I'd have them on a wall as they're small and will really challenge someone to bear down on small holds

The Snaggletooths are awesome on the Blank Slate and were great when we jumped about on them. Mirrored holds aren't anything new and Thrive have another set I'd like to play with called the Megalodons which are also mirrored, this is a good vein to have and I hope that they continue doing these types of holds in different sizes.... I want to be able to buy some holds and set the same route side by side with the moves being opposites... like system training but on routes, lets face it it would be awesome.

I like both sets equally and when Noodles told me how long this company had been around making holds I have to say I was pretty surprised. Keep it up

  • Good pricing
  • Mirrored holds (Snaggletooth Slopers)
  • Colors could be more vibrant
  • Logos needed to be fixed on the molds

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