Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review > Enix Climbing > Pumps


Right first up let us have a little confession session; these holds are called the Pumps and not the Bumps like we called them in the walk / climb video.

Why did we make such an easy mistake on the name?

Because of our special guest... he said "these holds would be great to bump to" and it totally stuck. So we'll obviously give negative points to Brian who owns the company for naming these holds incorrectly :)

Lets look at what we're talking about first of all:

Five simple, clean holds that look like they're going to be a simple, easy time...

If you're looking for these on the Enix website then you want to look under edges and they're described as "set of 5 XL rounded edges ideal for vertical to slightly overhanging walls" and we 100% agree with this assessment of what they are, except well you know us we're going to disagree a little. Some websites have "suggested uses" and angles and these holds could surely do with that!

Slightly overhung is one of those descriptions that could go either way... what is slightly overhung?
We set out to figure out what this was; and it was pretty easy to find out get them onto the wall and see if the description was close to correct

In this case "slightly overhung" is around 10 degrees for normal people; if you're stemming then you can use these holds on steeper angles with good feet and some balance... but if you are strong and have great core, and we mean a GREAT core, you can hang these guys on a 30 degree overhung wall but it is some seriously tough going.

Taking these holds into a gym, in our case Shakti, people saw the logo and knew that they were in for a good time... and we'll say it again. Enix is basically the new Teknik (not that Teknik isn't putting out holds, they are) but if you love those shapes from up North then, so far, there hasn't been a single bad hold coming from the hands of Brian May, no one

As usual these holds went in for a cycle at the gym, which means that they'll be on the wall for six weeks and then cleaned. You can see from the walk through video that these holds despite the traffic came up looking brand new... we don't use harsh chemicals at the gym, just a simple vinegar solution and then hit them with a pressure washer. So what did we set?

Pretty simple really... nice pull into one of the slightly positive slopers into one that's set up the wrong way completely. You need to match this and then get into a gaston; foot up to the hold on the volume and off to the last hold.... this route threw many many people to the mats despite it being on a slightly slabbed wall, what really spat people off if that they thought that the undercling was larger than it looked because of the shadow that it cast; that and matching the upside down hold really challenged people.

What that route did was split the field quite well which is what I was planning to do :)

The route that is filmed (after the walk through video) is the same set of holds; pretty much on the same area of the wall but this time I set the holds in their easier orientation aka: the right way up hoping that the climbers who saw them would be a little bit psyched out ;) It went down pretty much 90% as expected with some of the taller climbers just skipping the third hold on the large blue volume and just going straight up. I guess you can't win them all. The route ended up being about a grade lower than I expected with that beta

Since then the route that is currently up has seen more than it's fair share of traffic but the holds are holding up very well


30 degrees is the maximum angle most people will want to use these holds on; anything more an then they become super hard despite their slightly incut nature. If you use them on a slab then they're really super friendly and are more sloped jugs than anything else and probably way too easy, unless you're setting a mantle or are using them as side pulls in some compression moves.


  • Number of holds: 5
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Bolt
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds): $110 / 5 = $22 per hold
  • Color: Ours are a deep red
  • Bolt placement: Bang in the middle
  • Sanding: Great except for one hold
  • Hollow backed: Yes; and reinforced
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: Grippy but will chalk up with lots of traffic, brushes up well
  • Set size: XL
  • Versatility: Limited
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes
  • Shaper: Brian May
  • Weight:
  • Where can you get them: HERE
It's always hard to fault Enix's holds; they're poured over at Element climbing so it's pretty bombproof. Enix has changed it's mixture from when we reviewed their small pockets (here) or all of the other reviews that we've done over the years, well since 2013 when the company started. The old mix had a habit of breaking on the set screw holes if you were a little bit overzealous with your drill, the new mix thankfully has solved that problem... we're not saying use an impacter to put in screws but it is much stronger than it used to be in these areas, that and the addition of either columns or not having a hollow back where the set screw hole is placed has sorted out the problem

These holds are hollow backed and they have ribs running vertically inside the hold for added strength, do these holds really need that level of reinforcement? Probably not but it seems that Enix is being safe with their designs. Looking at the hollow backs there are a large number of bubbles that have popped during pouring within the mold and that's something we don't expect to see, a few bubbles is fine but due to the large number of them it makes us question if there are any left in the mix on the "meat" of the hold. Like we said these holds have been through a 6 week cycle already, they've been reset a number of times and cleaned and when we set with them we weren't gentle with the impacter... we gave them a good hit to see if we could cause any damage. So far, so good!

On the color front these are a good deep red which we've seen from Enix before. It's good and solid with no fading towards the edges

All of the holds have set screw holes pre-drilled and center columns for the bolt... so they're solid where they will be taking all of the stresses

As usual the texture of all the holds have a slightly raised Enix logo on them that's easy to see and they're front and center but it's in the gripping area but gives no advantage to the climber
Finally all of the holds have a slightly raised Enix logo on them that's easy to see as it's pretty front and center on the holds but it's in the gripping area it gives no advantage to the climber



Lets talk about the elephant in the room, or in this case the fake can of salted nuts that Brian sent me. I did and i'm not bs'ing here actually sit down and record the walk through with the thought that "I'll try these nuts as I'm doing the video"; I even read the enclosed note out loud to the camera... and as I start to talk about the holds and Brian and all the superb work he's done since 2013 I open the nuts and get smacked in the face by the pop up snake that comes out of the tin!

I did scream and throw the can and then I said some quite unpleasant things out loud that no one should hear :)

Did I feel like a complete dumb-ass for falling for that one? Yes, yes I did... I wanted a base ball hat but all I got was some fake nuts... which btw doesn't work on anyone else that's come into my house other than me. I'm not falling for that one, well for a while :)

Righty; onto the holds. As per usual it's hard to fault the shaping of these holds, they're friendly, they're comfortable and they have just the right amount of grip on slightly steeper angles that makes you think you can hang on (and you can) and haul ass up the problem, and move quickly is something you'll need to do if you're setting hard problems.

We set two problems, one hard and one a little easier than we really wanted but that's fine in the overall scope of things. Both problems used the holds in their positive attitude, we made sure to use different holds for the positive aspects of the climbs and when we set them as side pulls or slopes we switched those around as well. When setting upside down, which is the worst way to use these holds, you have pretty much nothing to hang onto unless you have super high feet and you're making the climbing get up into the shallow undercuts....

Again; apart from the bubbly backs these holds are pretty damn perfect. Super fun to climb on and easy to set depending upon the angle. As per usual it would be nice if this set was expanded from just the five holds that currently exist... they don't really need to get any bigger than the current XL size, but smaller versions to allow longer problems and that take less wall area (for home walls) would be a great addition

Noodles in all of his wisdom decided that he wanted me to get back in front of the camera... he did this after I'd had a beer on a Friday night. I was waaay less nervous than I normally am and I'll be back again soon.

Also in his wisdom he set these holds on a 45 degree wall to see if we could use them at that angle; after numerous try's and some other climbers coming to play on the problem we gave up and moved to a 30 degree wall. It was easier but still pretty damn hard... totally do-able for a couple of moves, I'd for sure not set a full problem on these at this angle on a high wall unless it was for a competition, mainly because most climbers won't be able to get up it... that and you'd be repeating the same holds over and over as there are only five holds in the set

Pairing these holds with the pinches that Enix makes is going to make some super hard (but hand / tendon friendly) problems that is going to test most peoples sloper and pinch strength for sure

Like the boss; I do wish that there were more holds in this set... sometimes wishes do come true :)

I'd buy them for sure

  • Great construction
  • Good color
  • Slightly limited uses angle-wise

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