Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review > Holdz > Chewed Slopers


Holdz sent us these chewed slopers back in the spring. And, the review is well over due. We blame Nick. When it comes to holds, his not into one night stands. He type of fella that gets into long intimate relationships with holds; you know, takes them for walks in the park and stuff. We've always said that reviews take time because they do; with a walkthrough you can pretty much tell how a hold will be but until you get it onto a wall a bunch of times and actually set with them you're just blowing hot air and that's no good for anyone... thankfully Nick has the eyes of Noodles all over him all of the time (there's probably some strange webcam action happening somewhere) so he's been taught by the best in the business.. Enough about Nick's weird hold fetish and waxing lyrical about how to review some holds..... lets look at some bad ass Chewed Slopers by Holdz.

Boom:
Smooth Slopers Chewed
And Boom:
Smooth Slopers Chewed
And... BOOM!:
Smooth Slopers Chewed

We received these Holdz's Chewed Slopers set just slightly before but almost around same time we received a big sample of each of new lines from each of Metolius' sweet new polyurethane holds (Check out those coming next) That's friggin' right, I just used those to words in one sentence; Metolius and urethane... so it was a bit of a toss up with what to go with. The plan was as Noodles got these holds sent to me for him to do the Metolius review and as we had similar shapes for me to weigh in on that and as Noodles had seen these Holdz holds somewhere before for him to weigh in on these holds... what happened?

Well Noodles got bogged down with some Atomik stuff, and some Etch stuff (which he's still working on) then he had a bunch of work (we do have day jobs) and then he had round two of surgery which put him down and out for a while and then he got those Artline reviews out.. well Nick; Nick just went climbing and as the boss says you review what you get in the order you get it... so it's Holdz first and then a bumper Metolius review afterwards

Straight out of the box, Nick was pretty impressed. He went around to Wallnut's (Local Gym) showing off the new plastic candy to all the setters that he could fine. He actually left them sitting on kitchen table at home to be admired for a time like a fine piece of art. (Until his better half finally convinced him they didn't belong there) It was Nick's belief that he had some deadly ol shapes on his hands.

If you look at these holds, slopey pinches and sloped edges that looked ideal for compression style problems on low angles. The other setters at the gym didn't seem convinced. The jury was out on this one......

When time came we ready to set with Holdz Chewed Slopers, Wallnut's was hosting a comp, so we figured hey why not give them to their setters to play around with for some comp problems. Nick was thinking maybe they'll see what he saw in these holds, sick compression problems and some sloped action... they decided that they should be set on vertical because they wanted everyone to be able to enjoy these holds, so they set friendly V0-V2 on vertical that's in the video.  And.... we'll tell you now if you set these holds on a wall much steeper then vertical, not many people are getting off the ground. These holds can be spit the best of them off pretty good.

The chewed slopers were a hit among most climbers. The head route setter, Ben Winstanley, told us this after that he had received several compliments on the holds. In particular, climbers were saying that they were nice shapes with excellent texture that were fun to climb on and they really liked the color as well! Sounds like the local climbers gave these ones a solid review.

We even ruled out the "new hold effect" i.e. people are stoked just to see new plastic, but this wasn't the case because there was several new sets up for the comp from other companies as well. The climbers just liked these ones.

After the comp, Nick striped them from the vertical to set a second problem on slightly steep terrain. He set them on 20 degrees and came up with the second problem in the video, which goes around V6, give or take a number grade.

SUGGESTED USES:






It's easy to come up with problems in high single digits on only a 20 degree wa;;. Any steeper, your probably looking at double digits without breaking a sweat. On 45, we were able to make some pretty cool and hard sloper problem pulling straight down and when we turned them sideways, it made for some hard slopey compression problems that felt like climbing on real slopey featured granite.

To use them on a 45, we had to have some pretty incut toes like Teknik horns (Probably not the real name but you know what time talking about). When we threw em on slab, they were funky but as you can always get a thumb somewhere which makes them not the best for this angle. You get lots of heels and toe hooks which make for cool problems if set correctly with other holds and limited feet. Actually, you can get some pretty cool heel n' toe action on most angles, another reason this set is soo cool.



When it comes down to it the only two criticisms we have on otherwise perfect holds are:

1. Texture may be a bit to fine for Noodles liking (we'll have to see below)
2. Name of the set should include pinch in there somewhere

When it comes to the texture, it may be a bit fine. We all know Noodles doesn't like the idea of constant brushing for gym setting. Nick on the other hand, doesn't have a problem with brushing between every attempt, as it something he does between every slopey attempt anyways. As for the pinch comment, we found that 90% of the time we were pinching these holds and maybe 10% holding you used it like a sloper. Naturally, we just feel like the hold name should reflect that these are mostly slopey pinches because most times your not using it as a sloper. This being said, relatively minor issues in the grand scheme of amazing holds.

OVERALL BUILD
  • Number of holds: 5
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt 
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): 
    • Holdtopia (North America) : $97 USD /5 =  $19.40 US /hold,    
    • Holdz (Europe): £39.99 = £7.99 GBP/hold
  • Color: Ours are Fluorescent Orange 
  • Bolt placement: Centred
  • Sanding: Perfect
  • Hollow backed: Hell Yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Smooth fine grain graniteque or grippy sandstone
  • Set size: Large
  • Versatility: 8 out of 10 (not very functional on angles >30, but this is the holds nature)
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes mam
  • Shaper: Steve Goodair
  • Weight:
    • Set: 1990 grams or 4.185 lbs
    • Per hold: 380 grams or .837 lbs each  
    • They feel very light
  • Where can you get them: 
Their colors are av avaliable:

The new dual bolt system coming on holds these days is a nice touch. I know some may think this minor but when you're hanging on a rope and you're running out of bolts (These take 120mm length btw) it makes a setters life easier.

The color was great. Solid color throughout the hold with no fading. Several climbers at the gym complimented the color of the set.

Sanding was perfectly flat.

I haven't had a chance to weigh them yet, but they feel like lightest holds that I have ever lifted. That being said, the hold still feels super strong. It seems well supported by three walls in the hollow back.

The column on the bolt and the screw supports the full length of bolt and screw.

WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM: 
Polyurethane

PACKING / SHIPPING: 
Perfect

RATING:
Noodles:
I've had a long history with Holdz and it's owner Steve. As I'm from the UK apart from all the Pusher and S7 stuff that I have I still have original holds from Holdz, yes I live in Canada now blah blah but I still have all of them and I'm keeping them

I think I was one of the first customers to order from him when he went into business :)

Now I had these holds sent to "Nick Up North" because I was bombed with other reviews and as I knew that I was heading out for surgery so I was going to be down and out for a period of time (That and as I edit all the reviews and videos it just seemed a good time to give Nick some work y'know)
Have I climbed on these hold?

Yup! Thankfully one of the local gyms has them and there was a Tour De Bloc problem set with them... now the question you should ask is this "as you're a broken old man who just had surgery should you have climbed on these holds so soon after surgery?" well that answer is twofold:
1) No I should have kept my camera in my hand and I should have just kept taking pictures
2) And NO I should have kept taking pictures and should have not climbed on them

What I missed was some great sends of some great problems (finals was happening) and therefore some great problems but there were enough cameras / phones for me to not worry about this... no-one was going to look at the far flung corner of a gym when there's some great climbing happening

The problem I climbed was on a vertical wall and it looked like a walk in the park; it probably weighed in around V4 which is nothing to really worry about but as I'd just had surgery and I didn't have climbing shoes AND I couldn't hit the mats at full speed sort of added into the mix of things. I didn't get up first time, I'll put that down to a pair of New Balance sneakers (Trainers for everyone else), no chalk and the fact that there are options on these holds... a lot of options, it looks like turning them 15 degrees here or there will make a whole new level of difficulty for sure

Well designed? It's Steve and Holdz so I expect nothing less than good holds

Well poured? I know where they're poured and well yeah, they're magicians

Good holds? I only have maybe 15 minutes on these holds during and after the comp but I know that if I was a setter I'd want to play with them.. for me that's good enough. They are holds that will need some thought per move for the grade because a V2 can easily become a V4 depending upon the angle but isn't that what we have professional setters for??

Nick:
I think these holds are very well designed and shaped. I really do believe if a hold has been designed and shaped well, they usually almost set themselves. It really makes all the difference when setting with them, or at least this is my personal experience. Maybe it's just the cool shapes are more motivating or inspiration or something.

However, I this happens because the shaper has thoroughly thought about the use of the hold on each angle and each rotation of the hold on each angle when they are shaping them. There are directional holds that are used to force moves in problems, and sometimes this means that a large part of the hold is just useless.

That is not the case here, holds like this set which forces moves because each time you turn the hold a little bit the good part of the hold has now become worst then the more difficult parts of the hold. In this way, this set really lets the setter force the moves while giving you much more options.

I battled with texture for a while and really gave it some thought. I think the texture is prefect. You will have to brush them, but thats slopey holds for you. I brush the holds between every attempt on a slopey problem at my limit. I think if they made the texture more aggressive, it would have taken away delicate movement from the holds. That would have made them worst. I don't mind brushing slopers constantly.

So as with the artline holds noodles reviewed last, lets do a comparison for a buyer (you) in the US ordering from Holdtopia vs Holdz directly.

Price:

Holdtopia: $97 +28.25 = 125.25 USD
Holdz: £39.99 + 41.25 GBP (shiping) + 0 Tariff (surprising) = $120.33 USD

I chose a random place in Florida, so depending on where in the US that you live, your shipping could be cheaper. Either way, its roughly the same price, and that does surprises me ! I would have expected Holdtopia to be cheaper like Noodles said when he did the Artline calcs on the font holds. Regardless of the matter, your not being ripped off by ordering from Holdtopia. Their pricing seems to be equivalent or better across the board. One thing that is nice about Holdtopia, you can order a bunch of different sets from different companies at once. However, Holdtopia selection is limited to certain sets from these companies and does not carry there full line, so it is a trade off.

Here is a website for calculating duty/tariff. Looks like it works for most countries.

One suggestion that I will make to Holdz, is to change the out of stock on their website. I initially thought this meant that I could order that set, but if you look under FAQS, Holdz will have them made for you it just takes longer. I feel like some sales could be lost here with people not realizing this. I think most people I know wouldn't bother reading the FAQ. Changing the "out of stock" to "out of stock-order now" would probably be better.

When it comes down to it, I would buy this set for sure. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a set that will always be up on my home wall because the shapes are just that good. They are expensive but I think you will get more out of the hold then you would a more affordable priced equivalent from another company. Since, they really thought out how to maximize the hold uses on each angle - rotation combination. This set is priced comparable to some of the best sets out there, and it should be. It very well could be best set from Holdz.

PROS:
  • Purchase from Holdtopia in North America
  • Very well designed, shaped for varying angle
  • Forces the moves
CONS:
  • Price
  • Name should include pinches somewhere

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