Sunday, April 5, 2015

Review > Enix Climbing > Small Pocket S2


Hey Hey Hey.... So I'm the new guy here at climbing hold review. This time we got the Small Pocket Set 2. Man.... small really is a general term..... This things are the size of my outstretched hand which is like 7'' by 7". Lets check them out...


This review will be a little different than the rest of our normal reviews because I grabbed these holds as a customer from Enix back in October 2014 long before I joined CHR. When I originally bought these, Enix was having a big sale (to what I could only presume was to get their holds into the market and make them more known since they were really cheap for what you were getting), luckily I had just built my home wall (an 18 ft tall by 12 ft wide edifice to the climbing gods on hinges in my backyard), so Noodles suggested why don't you grab some Enix holds because they are new, having a wicked sale and the holds are looking pretty damn good.

What can I say Noodles was right!!

I ended up ordering from two different companies at the same time (Enix and Atomik) mainly because Enix at the time didn't have any footholds withing their line up, and because I didn't know what I know now, now I kind of wish that I had ordered all my hand holds from Enix

Anyways at the time, I had just built my wall and wanted some of the 5 climbing hold food groups (crimps, slopes, pockets etc) I selected these pockets because they seemed like your typical pocket (how interesting can pockets get?) and they looked to be of great quality (These holds are poured by Element Climbing so you know the material is great). INSTEAD, what I got was far more interesting, these holds are what I can only describe as the pocket version of a slopey hueco dish. (May be inaccurately describing this as I haven't been to Hueco yet, but none the less I'll run with it, judging from the pictures that I have seen).

As usually is the case the website pictures don't give you the best indication of what they are; these holds look in-cut but in reality what you get is something else. What would be optimal (for most hold sites) is multiple shots at multiple angles... Also having more information is never a bad thing:
  • Feels like what grade-ish on what angle?
  • What angle recommended for the set?
  • In our opinion, This set Goes well with set xyz
  • Weights: x lbs
It's the little things that will really make the difference when buying a product like this, for most people and gyms buying holds without seeing them before hand is a problem,

But hey, they are a new company and I'm sure they already have plans for this.

Note** Rant incoming (This section is completely based on one order and my specific customer experience I had before CHR. This is no way a clear indicator of how your experience will go because it could be a one off or outlier in normal customer experience (Editors note: this is not how it goes down with Enix))



The majority of my criticism is more for operations of the business than actual product themselves because the product is pretty close to flawless. So, where was I ? Criticism right? In my none climbing life, I'm a business major, so my reviews will definitely come with criticism of the business side of things in addition to holds and how they perform. I placed my hold order on October 1, 2014, but never received a tracking or info that my holds were being shipped all I received was just an invoice. Ultimately, my holds hit my mail box on November 9th. 1 month 8 days later. On Oct 3, I placed an order with Atomik and they sent shipped my order the same day and sent


me a tracking number. (It's my second order from them and they are batting 2 for 2 on orders and customer service) *Hats off to Atomik* Also, I received Atomiks order first despite ordering from Enix first.

Back to Enix, so I'd like to know whats happening to my orders and be kept up to date with info; if there is a problem or potential delay. Initially, Brian was very good at replying to my e-mails and responded same day. I had to follow up a few times to get responses from Brian, and at one time I had to follow up on my follow up.


I don't mind reminding someone on a rare occasion, but customers shouldn't have to do this. Product is one part of a business, one that Enix excels at and deserves an A or A+ for (From what I've seen so far), but their getting a C- or D+ in communications and customer service from my experience. (But hey I know what its like to be new and to get a D, the first time around I did my comment section for this review, the boys gave me a D-  -Nick) Products alone wont keep your business alive in the long run because someone else will come along or up their game with excellent products, good

communication and customer service.

If I had been setting for a comp, I probably wouldn't have the confidence that they would come in time to order a second time. That being said, I do recall someone recently giving them a thank you online for getting holds to them in time for their setting comp.

This next part is not just Enix. Communication with customers is something businesses usually fail horrendously at. Keep your customers informed! If you don't have the answer your customer

wants to hear, own up to it, apologize and do what needs to be done to avoid that issue in the future because I would rather hear this than not get a reply to my e-mails, phone call or other form of communication at all. If you e-mail me and I don't have an answer, I'll reply and say hey I don't have an answer right now but I'm working on it, so people know at least that I'm working on their issue. If you e-mail me, I'll respond same day unless some crisis has happened. And, I think everyone should. I know Brian's a busy dude and has another full time job in addition to his Enix Climbing company, and I'll cut him a little slack there cause we all know what its like trying to "Live the dream". However, some customers aren't really going to care what you have going on.

And, we feel bad for him to be in this situation where your doing your first big sale to get your name out there, and it has to align with your supplier's (Elements) supplier (of urethane) screwing up. It really is bad luck or timing because I highly doubt Element has these issues. To sum it up, Enix is a new company and there products are high quality. They have got some work to do on their website, communications, delivery time, but they are new and we are confident that someone who makes such beautiful high quality products will also apply that high standard to the administration and customer service side of the business.

Back to the holds, so we ended up setting a short V2-V3. My original intention was to set something longer for you all to watch, but Sheila's Brush aka it snowed AGAIN, rolled in and dusted me with 5 hours of driveway shoveling.

So, instead we set this problem relatively quickly, there were a couple of different beta's even with the fast set (we've since set a bunch more problems) Naturally these holds lend themselves to being side pulls or under clings, you can set some really nice compression problems by using them to oppose the moves for the climbing. I was surprised to find them comfortable to bump and hit dynamically when opposed without my fingers feeling tweaky.

You can set any grade with these holds even V0. Obviously as it gets steeper it gets more difficult. Around 45-60 degrees your problem looking at V5+ to V10 range. That's where these really shine, and where I would have liked to set them. If you set the route straight up and down obviously as the angle increases they turn into 2-3 finger pocket slopers, the steeper it gets the more force and delicacy you're going to need to use!

I must say these are my new favorite pockets. Coming from the evil era of gym pockets I'm like Noodles and would rather avoid them. A bunch of climbers (new and experienced) climbed on them without injury.

SUGGESTED USES



So, we threw these holds on every angle possible and in every orientation possible to determine the best suggested uses. These are a very versatile set. You could throw them up on a vertical wall set with good feet and get a V0 pocket problem, and you can place them on 60 degrees or in a roof and will easily get something around V8-V10+.

We put them on a vertical and found them to be really easy if your pulling straight down. They can slightly harder if you create compression and pair them with other holds or if you set around an arete

The problem in the video is mostly on 20 degrees overhung, and we figure V2 if your in Montreal watching it on video, or V3 if your in St. John's at Wallnut's Climbing it. Either way, grades are general guidelines as you know.

You can still pull straight down on these between 30-50 degrees if you're strong. However, past 30 degrees they tend to need an opposing hand hold to create some nice compression moves. Nick found they were friendly enough to bump (dynamically) to the next pocket when set as side pulls or as a gaston.

At, 60 degrees and in a roof, we found they were marginal at best. An opposing hold became a must, and in most cases needed to be assisted by another more positive hold.

We didn't suggest to put these in a roof because even Sharma will have problems with these guys. Nick placed these in a roof to see if it was possible, he was able to hold on in the roof with a incut Teknik spike set foothold, but its very hard to move off of it. You can use them in a roof, but its not very practical for most people, just keep this in mind. These moves would be at the upper end of the grade scale. That being said it is possible and challenging for the right group if this is your goal.

On all angles, you can rotate the holds as you please. These feel most positive as under clings even when the wall is overhung.

OVERALL BUILD

  • Number of holds: 5
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt On
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $90/5 hold = $18 each
  • Color: Dark Green
  • Bolt placement: Middle
  • Sanding: Awesome
  • Hollow backed: 4 out of 5 and Well done
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Near perfect
  • Set size: Small, but are not small
  • Versatility: Versatile
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Definitely
  • Shaper: Louie  Anderson
  • Weight: Somewhere around 1lb each
  • Where can you get them: http://www.enixclimbing.com/


These are pretty close to perfect from what I can see. They are all hollow backed except one.

They all have set screws pre-drilled with columns to support the set screw, which is a super nice touch. Even though we never had a spinner because we didn't put screws in, the holds suck to the wall a little. Of course we'd suggest always using the provided set screw hole (we've complained about it not being there for long enough :( )

For color options these holds come in: Black, Blue, Green, Lime Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow

The hollow back is well supported with a column for the bolt, the bolt hole is straight and the washers are well placed. As per usual the sanding was perfectly flat

Texture wasn't too rough, it felt perfect. It will be interesting to see how it wears over time, we received a lot of comments from climbers who played on these holds that they thought that the texture was amazing

WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM: 
Urethane

PACKING / SHIPPING:
Really good from what I can remember. From Georgia all the way up Eastern seaboard to beautiful island of Newfoundland.

RATING:
NICK :
Love em. These are my new favorite pockets. The good things are worth waiting for right? Can't wait to play around with them more on steep stuff with some hard bumping and compression moves. I also was to set an over hanging lead route with these guys some Frictions domes and the comfy pockets from Climb It; this will make the perfect storm!

I must say these sloping pockets are genius and a nice deviance from the more usual in-cut pockets. In particular I'm have a bit of a romantic relationship with pocket #1 in this set. I'd love to have a full set of which are all similar to hold #1, it just feels so good to bump to.

In the end, I had one bad experience with Enix, but I do love their holds. The shipping time was over a month, but Brian did promise me a he'd send me a free set to make this up to me. I expect to receive theses soon, in my books, that turns a mistake into good customer service. I wouldn't really have anything to criticize if they sort the admin side of the business out.

I originally thought they were a lot more expensive when comparing them to similar pockets of similar sizes from other companies, Enix's sizes are 1 or 2 sizes bigger than they state, so if the prices were the same you'd end up with much bigger holds. Basically when I compared the pictures, I found that an Enix Small pocket = Large pockets from other companies.

In reality, they are a little expensive coming in at $18 per hold compared to similar holds being a little over $15, but I also like these better than alternatives that I have climber on. So, the meat and potatoes of the question is the usual... would I buy these hold again? (Since I have already bought them) Definitely, I might actually buy two sets!!!

If you don't have a set of slopey pockets you should buy theses. You really don't know what your missing out on. Enix has done an amazing job with their shapes with Brian's guiding hand at the helm. I currently have 3 sets from Enix so far and their mantra seems to be put out nothing but the best shapes.

Story time:
So your probably wondering how ended up reviewing for CHR (or your thinking, shit I don't care who this guy is gimme my review), either way I'll take any chance I can to take a few shots at Noodles. Let me tell ya.

As you may know Noodles is a man of many hats and one of those hats is a rep selling climbing holds for many companies. So, after I built a wall and I needed holds... a mutual friend (Who Noodles cooked for while he was in hospital in Montreal to save him from dreaded hospital food we all know and love) said you should consider buying your holds from Jeremy. Fast-forwarding to the last couple months, Chris and Noodles said they were going to let the site go dead.  I contacted Noodles said I was interested in keeping the dream alive. If anything, now is the time to expand with the continued growth in the climbing market. So, he said yeah well let me talk to Chris, and we've been working on putting me through first year of my CHR degree ever since. Over the years, I've become attached to CHR because they started reviewing around the time I started climbing, so its been a part of my climbing journey. So, its a bit nostalgic for me, and really happy to be a part of the team. Plus they're kinda rough around the edges and that's what we like about them, Right? Right?

So then there was the night I formally met Chris, We were having a big ol' chat via webcam. Noodles is doing the introduction in splendid Noodle fashion, and the conversation went something like this (Sorry, if your not Canadian, you may not find this next section funny):

Noodles: So Chris, Newfie Nick is out in Halifax
Nick: No dude, definitely still living in St. John's
Noodles: That's in Nova Scotia, right?
Chris: No man, that's the island province.
Noodles: Ohh PEI!
Chris: No no the other island!
Noodles: oh that one

Damn Londoner eh? You know it's pretty bad when you have so many colonies that you start confusing them. Which piece of my land are talking about again??? :S He's been in Canada for like a decade now. Hopefully another decade and he'll have the provinces figured out.

I hope you all enjoy the review! A lot of blood, sweat and beer went into it!

NOODLES:
Did you think that we'd really give the new guy a review and not comment upon it?? Chris and I legged it down to our local gym (so many to choose from) snuck into their hold room and made sure that we played with these holds to make sure that Nick was shooting in the right direction... and he is!! Apart from being totally uncomfortable in front of the camera he's doing a great job... lets look at what I looked like when we started doing this:

OK apparently I'm alright in front of the camera it seems.. anyway, good work Nick, welcome to this dysfunctional family you'll be fine and you're doing a great job

So lets get onto holds and what's written above!

None of us live in Utopia, except maybe a where Russian leader lives that will remain nameless :) Brian, who I have a very close working relationship with definitely lives in the real World and it's not a made up BS MTV version of it as well.. he has a full time job, he's a single parent AND he started a hold company; for anyone that's a lot of plates to keep spinning at the same time. Will be forgive him for (at times) crappy customer service? Yes we will because it's one of those things and he is fully aware of what will make or break his company in the long run... customer service is one of those things and he's all on top of it. I've heard nothing but great things from Enix's customers and maybe we hired Nick because he just fits in with us complaining about everything all the time :)

The holds; well you can't fault them. We've tried pretty hard to give Enix some grief and so far they're coming up squeeeeeeeeeky clean in all regards. Would I or Chris buy them or recommend them? Oh hell yes, the one thing that we will complain about is the size because these aren't small, they shouldn't be called small... they should be named more in line with the industry rather than "these are pretty small compared to that elephant over there!"

Also why in hells name did we hook up with someone that has a worse accent than me? Don't worry; Chris ad I are still here we're still doing reviews but we're letting Nick get his legs under him; what does this mean for you?? It means more reviews on MORE holds and MORE hard to understand accents :)

PROS:

  • Comfy Pockets. Finger Friendly.
  • Quality made-Checked all the boxes.
  • Slopey (not your Traditional Pockets)


CONS:

  • A little Expensive Maybe for Home wall owners
  • Poor Customer Service experience-Long Shipping time (1 month, 9 days)


Foot Notes:
Sheila's Brush:
Newfoundland is steeped in folklore, myths, legends, superstition . One of those legends is sheila's brush, Sheila's brush is the last big storm of winter suppose to happen after St. Paddy's Day. It's a legend that goes back centuries. Sheila is St. Patrick's wife. Nfld. sealers would swear by it and would not set sail until after St. Patricks day. (Myself i think they just wanted to stick around for St. Paddys day) The tale goes debauchery of st Paddy's day happens and afterward, sheila walks around in her white gown covering up all the bad acts of st Paddy's day with a light blanket of snow from her gown. Look it up.


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