Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review > Artline > Stone Line > Jugs


You know after the last Artline review (here) which of course was on those Freshline slopers aka: these feel exactly like Font we wanted something, well, bigger. Something that would allow us to monkey around a bunch; something that most walls need more of and basically something that more people would actually buy

Now there's nothing wrong with the Font holds... nowt, they're awesome... but they're hard as hell and this will exclude most people from buying them unless you have a really large slabbed wall or you're training for a trip to France

Jugs are more for everyone; everyone loves a jug... beginners love them, people leading after a crux section like them... everybody loves a jug and every wall needs jugs

So let's get to see what Artline has in store for us this time:

20 jugs that despite the images shown here we're so bright that you almost needed sunglasses to look at them!! Seriously we were worried about the white balance on the camera and how they'd show up when we went to edit the video

What you're going to get is 20 jugs, but there are jugs and there are JUGS, you know those massive double handed guys that you can loose you arm in... we'll these are in-between a medium and a large sized hold, but there's something special about them that makes them more juggy than other jugs. Let us demonstrate...
The image on the left clearly shows a hold that you can wrap your hand around.. look at the thumb wrap! In-fact most of the holds are easily match-able; but in the image on the right you can see that even with Noodles monkey paws on the hold that there is lots of clearance to where the wall would be. This is why we're saying that they're juggier than other holds, the gripping area on these holds is just huge. Even if you encounter one of these holds when it's set as an undercut you're really not going to face much of a problem because they're so dimpled all over the place that you could just use them like a normal hold and then you could match to the undercut!!

And therein lies one of the problems with the holds... as usual we set a bunch of routes with them and yes this is a minor gripe but something we did hear from a number of people. Because the radius and the shape of the holds if you're just launching to them then they can feel a little bit tweaky on the fingers :( There is ample gripping area but if you're jumping to them and your hand doesn't land in the optimal (read that as comfortable) position then they feel a little strange. Texture aside; which is slightly more aggressive than we would have liked, these holds are way more fun when they're dirty than when they're clean, the shape aren't something that people are really used to

Isn't there always a rub; remember these holds are shaped to be like rock; some of them feel like sandstone and some like limestone but of course this is an approximation of rock like texture and feeling and sometimes like the Font holds it feels so so right and other times like in this case it feels a little wrong... but it's only wrong when you're launching to them, if you're setting a nice simple static route with nothing close to a dyno when you can reach and place your hand in a comfortable position then there's really no problem


What can't you use them for? Well as we've stated above dynos can feel a little tweaky. But these holds are matchable and comfortable for the most part... kids should grow extra arms with more hands because they're going to get swallowed up by the incut nature of these holds, even the biggest adult hands are going to have space to latch on and to haul ass on most of these guys

These holds will shine (and they do shine) on steep steep walls where you need something positive to grab onto... and there's one thing that these holds have is positive gripping area, they've got that for days and then some

  • Number of holds: 20
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): 
    • Polyester: From Artline 125 Euros so $136 USD
    • Polyester: Buying them from Holdtopia they're $248
    • Urethane: 175 euros so $198 USD
  • Color: Flouro Yellow
  • Bolt placement: Middle
  • Sanding:Great
  • Hollow backed: No
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Good the shape really gives a stone feel
  • Set size: Medium
  • Versatility: Great
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes
  • Shaper: Brice Anziutti (French shaper FB: here)
  • Weight: 
    • Polyester: 9101g
    • Urethane: 6490g
  • Where can you get them: Holdtopia in North America or Artline in Europe
There's nothing you can fault the manufacturing of these holds; they take all bolt types, all of the holds have set screw holes, each hold has been QA checked... stamped and dated. They're all sanded bullet smooth   

The texture is a little more aggressive than is comfortable when these holds are straight out of the box; trust us give them a few weeks with some chalky hands and the texture still comes through so there is enough grip when you're hanging on a roof but not enough that if you're running laps your skin will be fine

On the color front these holds is something; we've had lots of "florescent" holds but these are on a different level all together, these holds are so bright it's crazy!

We've set on all types of terrain and these holds after their initial chalking are great on steep terrain, you can match all the shapes pretty easily. Again you don't want to be chucking any long hard moves you really want to be quite static on these holds... why? Because the holds are shaped like rock so finding a comfortable hand position can at sometimes be a challenge

Whilst we're at it we don't like that these holds don't have a size so it's hard for the consumer to know what they're really getting

These holds take any bolts so you don't need to worry about what head type you're looking for just put them up with whats in your belt; they also have nice tapered set screw holes so no pre-drilling is needed and the screws sit nice and snug. They also feature things like the Safety System so if I hold does break there's a metal retainer to stop large pieces falling

Polyester but you can get all of their holds in urethane


These holds shine on steep walls with static moves, they're just great for hauling on steep steep walls. So that's what we did with them, we set steep and we set lots; there probably wasn't a time in the last few months that we've not set with these holds even though the routes were fine something did come up time and again...

People sometimes found them a little tweaky; this is because the gripping area isn't a nice smooth edge, these holds are made to look at feel like rock and that means that you have to look before you leap on them. So we set a little more carefully so that there weren't any dynamic moves and people were way more static and not cutting loose and then the complaints stopped.

We keep using them and using them and they clean up nicely, really nicely. The texture comes back time and time again and you start running the cycle of getting some chalk on them so that the texture which is a little more aggressive than the holds that we looked at last time.

If I had the choice on these holds (and I kind of did, I just grabbed something from each line) I'd have gone more with the Fresh Line jugs as they look much cleaner lines. But that's what we do here we look at everything... they're fun holds and kids with their small hands are going to have lots of fun with them; big kids like us have had a hoot with them and so should you

Noodles is on the fence with these holds but I'm not (see why we make such a great team lol) I've set with these holds numerous times and my counter point to Noodles is that if you get the "more" comfortable holds for the large long, possibly dyno for smaller climbers, moves then they're fine. They sure as hell stand out on the wall that's for sure, these holds are bright as all heck and even when chalked up you don't need to use tape for them because they just shine... they sure are flouro yellow

These holds have many stand out features, as long as your bolts are the correct length you can use anything which I like an awful lot and the tapered set screw holes is a very nice feature.

I cannot complain; I like them, sure if they were a little more comfortable then I'd be happier for sure but I like feeling something that's more similar to real rock under my hands

Unfortunately, I didn't get to play with this set. Due to the fact that I live on a large remote island covered in rock (the good) with only one gym (the bad) and we wont talk about the ugly. But, I do have some general comments on Artline tho! and wanted to chime it. I've been sizing up their holds for last 6 months. I must say they do stand out to me... the word that comes to mind is sexy. They are just sexy holds. Every time I look at their hold selection on their website, I wonder if these holds belong on my climbing wall or in some upscale fine french sculpture exhibit, and then I realize the answer is probably both !

I look at fresh, pro, fat lines and I don't think there is a single set I wouldn't consider buying because they jump out at me. This rarely happens most companies have a some sets that are appealing to me but not that many. Looking forward to climbing on these in the future.

I mean those font holds....look unreal. They have to be damn good to take top font shapes. Most companies have a font line, so that in itself is a big statement.

  • Lots of features; safety system; tapered set screw holes; takes any bolt
  • Pretty light
  • Great color... having a black light comp?? Get Artlines flouro colors they'll shine
  • Hard to tell what size they really are
  • Price; it's a toss up whether to order from Artline or Holdtopia (check the exchange rate!!)
  • A little tweaky as they're more real rock than smooth jugs people are used to

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