Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review > Rockstar Volumes > Various

So 2014 was the year of the volumes or so it seemed, the trend seems to be continuing into 2015. We wanted to review some volumes from these guys because of what we saw them doing on Facebook; they're not shy to show off their products but these guys do it in more of a CHR way than most people.

They don't just show their products in a nice little 360 degree video, these guys go out and then you know, part a forklift on a volume, drive a truck over them... their R&D is more like someone that owns a wood shop, is sure that their product is strong so then they go out and just try to destroy it!! You've got to love that kind of confidence, we do... so lets look at this reviews victims from Rockstar Volumes
Candy Bar
Gecko
Soccer Ball


Three volumes, two of which are pretty standard shapes (all of our volumes reviews can be found: here) and then there's the Candy Bar that is something a little bit different :) Noodles did a pretty fun walk-through on these guys, grab a cup of tea and have a watch:



Sooo wooden volumes eh? Yeah you could make them youself but lets face it, it does take time and these guys are actually furniture makers so they have the machines and the know how to make something that is of a very high quality. What we did, as per usual was we set with these guys for a local comp at Shakti Rock Gym in Montreal, we set pretty damn hard and basically all of the footage we got was rubbish as everyone was getting spat off of the wall... (sp we're not using it) but since the comp we've made sure that the volumes are holding up well to all the traffic that has hit them

They're doing very well, the texture isn't wearing (two of the volumes are being used as foot holds for other routes) and there have been no spinning holds due to the texture that these guys are sprayed with.

We've seen and have reviewed a bunch of volumes over the years and of course one of our favorites has always been Motavation Volumes, mainly because they were the first mass produced volumes on the market and because they are strong, these guys are probably doing as good of a job; if not better than those guys!! Yup, we said it, when it comes to wooden volumes then Rockstar Volumes is probably where it is at right now.

Of course, this wouldn't be a review unless we pointed out the problems with them (and there are a few) and we've done that below... we've added the suggested uses into the overall build section for each volume:

OVERALL BUILD GECKO





  • Number of holds: 1
  • Number of hold placements: 3
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Both as its a wooden volume
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $159
  • Color: Grey
  • Bolt placement: Center
  • Sanding: Awesome
  • Hollow backed: Yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Good
  • Size: 18"x15.75"x4 
  • Versatility: Great
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes
  • Weight: TBC
The Gecko is basically a triangle for your wall, reinforced to the max so it's pretty damn near bomb proof. Adding an upside down t nut to reinforce the set screw placement was a nice touch, having that set screw placement be perpendicular to the back of the volume would have taken it up just a little notch further. It's been hand sanded before being textured so all of its corners are nice and round but this doesn't leave little cheat corners for sneaky matching on a problem.

Our volume has a small run in the back where it meets the wall, no real big issue but it's something to be noted on this guy

The texture is nice and grippy, it's just enough that if none of the three bolt placements were used that on the correct terrain you could just about grab onto it. 

OVERALL BUILD SOCCERBALL





  • Number of holds: 1
  • Number of hold placements: 6
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Both as its a wooden volume
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $189
  • Color: Black
  • Bolt placement: Off center allows a hold to be placed
  • Sanding: Awesome
  • Hollow backed: Yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: A little rougher than the Gecko
  • Size: 16"x17"x4.25
  • Versatility: Great
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No
  • Weight: TBC
This guy has a nice inset washer that is off center to allow hold placements to still be used. Our guy is black and it has a slightly rougher texture than the other guys, it's quite rough to the touch. No set screw hole is a little oversight on Rockstars side

OVERALL BUILD CANDYBAR





  • Number of holds: 1
  • Number of hold placements: 41
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Both as its a wooden volume
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $209
  • Color: Red
  • Bolt placement: Double sliders
  • Sanding: Great
  • Hollow backed: Yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Good
  • Size: 23"x13.75"x6" 
  • Versatility: Great
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: No
  • Weight: TBC
Fun side; lol that's a pretty fun sizing description.. this is a pretty big volume and considering its size it is sturdily built. This guy has a double slider to bolt it to the wall, the issue with this is that even though they're reinforced with metal plates as they're not recessed it means that you loose hold placements even when you're using cap headed bolts. Due to this issue we actually screwed it to the wall.

Texture-wise it's the same as the Gecko. Otherwise you can't fault the construction at all

Despite these guys having a CNC machine the t nut placements are symmetrical on the sides

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS AND USES:
We have used so many volumes over the years that it's always interesting to see what's new and what innovations have hit the market. Rockstar has come out swinging with their line of holds and you'd expect that as they're furniture makers!!; yup, some of them are climbers and well as they have access to a shop it's not hard math of figure out what was going to happen

All of the volumes are rated for every angle because you can put them anywhere and use them how you wish; if you're just using the volumes themselves then the Soccer-ball and the Gecko will probably be good for compression problems or will be able to be used on their own up to around 15 degrees; but you'll have to be a little careful with them because it's not going to be easy climbing; the Candybar... well you can grab either end on that guy at around 50 degrees

All of the volumes are glued and stapled together with all of the t nut placements being screwed in so you'll never have a spinner!!

Due to the metal plates not being recessed on the Fun-size Candy Bar we had to screw this guy onto the wall for the comp, afterwards we did bolt this guy onto the wall... you need some pretty long bolts for this guy to get it onto the wall. Even though it's sturdy you will need to put some set screws in just in case

Oh yeah, what color do you want?
And where's the logo on these bad boys? 

WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM:
7+ ply Plywood, then sprayed with truck bed liner

WHERE CAN YOU GET THEM:
http://www.rockstarvolumes.com/

PACKING / SHIPPING:
Awesome

RATING:
Noodles:
Oh why? WHY!! Why does the texture change?? There's was lots of back and forth between us and Rockstar on this review when we received these volumes, we obviously had some design questions and critiques and Rockstar took them all like a champs!! Some stuff they didn't think about and some stuff they have already implemented but wasn't included on our review samples... overall good stuff.

Seeing volumes in different mediums is always nice, but wooden volumes are generally the best and the most effective for home walls and commercial gyms; now can you build volumes like these? Sure, go nuts but unless you've got a crap ton of tools kicking around and the expertise to use them then you're not going to make something that's as good as these guys. Look at Motavation we still have those guys and they're going strong, these guys from Rockstar will probably last as long if not longer... time will tell and we'll of course let you know what shakes loose

Now the nut of the question as always is would I buy these volumes? Well I do actually have a wood shop, so does Chris so we can make something like these without too much issue... do we have a CNC machine to get them totally right every time? (and even Rockstar made some mistakes) Well no we couldn't make something this nice... close, but not the same, and then we'd have to spray them, and that's messy so we'd probably not bother and we'd keep making what we make and leave it to the professionals

Chris:
I can make these... actually I can make these, would they be as cheap? Nope, because i'd have to hand cut everything and there'd be mistakes... mistakes that a CNC machine (if you know how to use one) should cut out... plus you can do something else whilst it's doing its business and well lets face it, you'll get the optimal out of a sheet of plywood for sure

Do I like these volumes? I'll talk about what I know, Motavation has their texture DOWN, its' the same all the time, these guys seem to be having problems with that right now, but i'm sure it's something that they'll work out in time. There are lots of nice features on these guys that have been implemented but not fully thought out.. the double sliders, genius, not having them recessed.. well c'mon! A volume adds life to a wall and then loosing hold placements due to bolts sticking out... that's why we screwed it to the wall

There are little things that could be improved... adding set screw holes so you can just screw the volume to the wall... maybe adding the bolts as an option (because they're some pretty long bolts) would be nice. The devil is in the details and the details are key

Overall; pretty damn solid volumes at an ok price point

PROS:
  • Strong, very solid volumes
  • CNC cut
  • Screw in t nuts
CONS:
  • The truck bed liner does feel the same in different colors (they're working on this)
  • Not all of the volumes have set screw holes
  • One of our volumes has a slight run in the back

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