Saturday, August 27, 2016

Review > Motavation Volumes > Teton S & Eldo S

We have history with Motavation Volumes.. we go waaaay back from when they started making wooden volumes! It doesn't mean we're not going to be our usual selves BUT if you want to see where they started and where they are now we suggest that you look at our older reviews:

Small and medium GEN 1 volumes: here
Waylon and Billy's: here
James and Pele: here

So that's starting back in 2009; that's a bunch of reviews on a company that started out small (two car garage) and has now grown to a 8,300 sqft facility that now boasts a C'N'C machine and probably air conditioning. They've sponsored World Cups and now they've added some more stuff to their already great line up which we'll get into later

Lets talk about what we're reviewing:

Two volumes that are a little bit different, Motavation have upped the game again by adding aluminum bracing to the insides; that's what makes these completely different from anything else on the market. Yes bracing will add some weight but it will also add a huge amount of strength to a shape

Now we've never had a problem with Motavations shapes; we have the original gen 1 shapes that apart from a few t nuts that have had to be replaced because they had become cross threaded over time have performed well. That's the same for anything that we've received over the years, before the bracing was added; they're all still on the wall and they're all still going strong. Even the one we parked (did wheel spins on) a jeep on top of way back when

So what was the point in adding aluminum bracing when their design was already super strong?

Well the market advances and lets face it even if their design was completely bombproof there could be an issue over time (we've not found one yet) so if you add bracing to an already solid design you're going to have a volume that's going to last something close to ten years and then that means apart from the initial cost of buying them you're probably going to save money.... you don't need to replace your volumes!! Lets put this into context; we have screwed screw ons onto these volumes time and again, and we're talking the older ones not just the newer ones here, and they're still solid. Our 2009 volumes (apart from holes as they were bare wood) are still going strong; that's 7 years so far, they only need 3 more to make 10... that's quality

Wood is good!

So what did we do with these guys? Apart from pressure washing them clean?

Roof's; check
Using the textured and un-textured versions as holds: check
Threw them from a great height to a concrete floor (didn't mean to do this): check
Mashed holds into the t-nuts like we didn't know how to use an impact driver: check
Put them on and off the wall just we wanted to see how the screw placements were: check
Park a truck on top of them: Nope; we don't have a truck anymore :(

We did everything reasonable and pretty unreasonable to these volumes; of course we set with them on multiple routes and we did horrible things to them and they came out like new. Even the pressure washer where we thought we'd get some water into the wood and could create an issue failed.... FYI: these holds are painted BEFORE t nuts are added to the wood is sealed and they're not just painted on the outside, they're painted on the inside as well.

Everything we tried failed; like Noodles says hats off to Jared and his team

Next time we want pink volumes :)


These are screw on volumes so put them where you want them; sure we'd like to see more set screw placements on them because they are pretty big and a little heavy. They will add variety to any wall, choose a color, choose a texture and away you go

We've used them, abused them and we ABUSED them and they're of the highest build quality, hell we ever pressure washed them and they came out looking brand new after six weeks on the wall

  • Number of holds:
    • Teton S: 1
    • Eldo S: 1
  • Type (Bolt / Screw Ons): Screw on basically wooden features
  • Price per hold (set price divided by number of holds):
    • Teton S: $190 USD
    • Eldo S: $195 USD
  • Color: You can choose; 
  • Bolt placement: None
  • Sanding: Great
  • Hollow backed: Yes
  • Soft back (Rubber backed): No
  • Texture: We have one that's slick and one that's textured
  • Set size: They're S lol, but they do things bigger in Texas
    • Teton S: 45in x 12in x 5.57in 
    • Eldo S: 43.5in x 11.5in x 5in
  • Versatility: Great
  • Pre-drilled screw holes: Yes
  • Shaper: Jared Stains
  • Weight:
    • Teton S: 8lbs
    • Eldo S: 7lbs
  • Where can you get them: here
Jared, the owner, told us from the start of this review that there were two flaws with the volumes... so we searched and we searched and found nothing except for the lack of set screw holes; we'd like more of them for sure because of the weight of the volume... and then you add holds, you see what we mean

There are 12 color options that are available and of course if you wanted you could have them "naked" or you could have them with textured or un-textured paint (that option isn't available on the website but as we have both we assume that you can order it

The difference between the two volumes price-wise is $5 USD and the difference is the cheaper one is larger (really?) but lacks on t-nuts (11 to the Eldo's 12) but has a slightly longer piece of bracing. It's really confusing why there is a price difference at all :(

T-Nut placement is good with the Eldo having a couple of placements that will only take smaller holds on the front of the volume due to where they are. All of the t-nuts are screwed in with three screws and are solid

Sanding as per usual is great, and it's something you'd notice on a volume where it's just screwed onto the wall because you'd have to really hammer the screws in to get it to sit flush (the joys of wood being flexible), thankfully all the screw holes are reinforced so you can really hit the volumes hard to get the screws to sit in properly

We'd of course like to see a placement for a bolt hole as an option for some of the volumes from their lineup because the larger (and the make massive volumes) really need it more as a back up than anything else

On the texture front the slick version is slick, depending upon the angle you "can" get a hand on it and make a move BUT it really depends upon the angle. It's not DRCC slick but its really close. The textured version has enough bite for you to grab onto and haul, but it does get a little chalked up and does need brushing. Both textures come up squeeky clean after you wash them!

Both volumes are braced with aluminum which is screwed into the plywood from the rear, this adds some weight but the strength is there for sure. All of the pieces are cut to length with no sharp edges (same for the volumes the edges are so nice) and they're all put together super well; these are probably the best built wooden volumes on the market right now

TEXAS STYLE: The logo is burnt into the wood on the volume

10 ply plywood with aluminum bracing



Right let me get this one out of the way quickly... every volume that Motavation sells they work with an organisation to plant a tree! Now that's pretty impressive and a great way to give back to the Earth for sure... I'm guessing that they give away their wood shavings to people that add it to their compost (Jared: you can thank me for that one later)

We sort of tried everything that we'd done before with these volumes and then did a bit more to see what else abuse they could take and they took everything we threw at them well, even hitting the floor from 20ft up just left a couple of scuff marks that were barely noticeable

Let me get all teary eyed for a second

It's great to see a company that we have seen grow up first hand, there are many that we've been a small part of over the years and this is one of them... from sending me shirts that were the size of flags to volumes these guys have always been super great to talk to and to work with, Even with this review (which took the amount of time for a baby (yes a proper human baby)) to be born to complete because of injury, vacations and mainly for me as the head of CHR... work and deadlines they took it in their stride and were always funny and gracious to us... they are true gentlemen of the industry

Also... elsewhere on the interwebz; someone poked fun at us a while back about "writing nothing but good things"; we tried to rip Motavation a new one, we really did but apart from wanting more set screws and maybe a bolt hole (which we've been honest about), some bolt holes being close to the edge and a few other minor gripes there's nothing wrong with these volumes.

We tried we really did; we've been critical and we count these guys as one of our friends, we talk on the phone, we chew the fat about the industry and we have a great relationship; so much so that if we did find fault and pointed it out that they'd except it, learn from it and would grow

Maybe we're getting to a point (ha) where there just isn't anything to point out anymore... hahahha roll on the next review. These volumes are the bomb and will last ten years or Chris will eat one of my hats

Noodles actually suggested buying a truck or just throwing these into the street to get them hit by a car as part of our testing... we also didn't have access to a shotgun which was a genuine shame.

I'll shadow Noodles thoughts; we don't hold our thoughts back, never have done and never will. We pride ourselves on just saying what needs to be said; whats the worse that could happen? Get sued? Happened! Won't have people send us holds? Happened! We have to buy holds... we did that at the start and we'll do it again :)

Now lets talk 10 ply, I say it's 12 ply Russian but we had an argument about that that lasted a few days... volumes

I want more set screws if that is the only means of attaching them to the wall! Even though the holds had been on the wall when the walk through had been done I really wanted more points of contact for sure; safety first! Every volume we'd ever reviewed from Motavation before now always had a bolt (apart from maybe one very small volume) and they were bomb proof, but loading these holds up with holds and then bouncing on them right in the middle you could tell that three screws wasn't enough... and it's not!

My main problem is set screws and the lack of them, but the bracing is a thing of beauty.. well made and it fits into the volume nicely. There are more screws holding in the bracing than t-nuts lol
If you do need to add extra set screw holes (and we added some more) then you might need to drill through the bracing which takes a proper drill-bit (not a wood bit people) and a little time but I feel it's worth it. I like that the set screw holes are reinforced so you never really have to worry about their placement once the volume is on the wall

These volumes are probably a little pricey (remember we're in Canada) and the exchange rate is against us as per usual... but considering we have their early volumes and they're just glued together and are still fine I wonder how long these will actually last.... time will tell

  • Aluminium bracing makes them super strong
  • Screw in t-nuts are super strong
  • These will last a long time... for sure
  • Could be expensive with exchange rate
  • Needs more set screw holes
  • Why the price difference between two volumes that are about the same size
  • You'll have to contact them for textured vs non textured options

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