Home > Holds, Random Musings > Amazing break…

Amazing break…

I can safely say that I’ve never seen this before, nor did any of us ever expect to see it:

A visiting climber from Chicago came up and handed me the cobble. I had to pull the rest off the wall with a wrench.

Turns out, the urethane where the cobble connected to the main hold was extremely thin.

Another interesting note--the piece didn't just fit back in. The hold had to be flexed apart to make the piece fit in properly.

I theorize that several things contributed to this amazing hold break.  Firstly, as you can see in the photos, the hollow back urethane was poured thinly–perhaps too thinly to support such a big feature on the outside of the hold.  Secondly, the way the hold was being used on the problem it was on did create quite a bit of torque.  Thirdly, because the Spot’s walls are not very even, the hold was probably not sitting perfectly flat.  The tension on the hold would explain why the hold, when off the wall, would not accept the broken piece back in its proper place.  Finally, it has been theorized that this batch of Climb-it holds was a bad pour, as we’ve been breaking them left and right in the last couple of months.  It seems like most of the batch lasted just fine for 9 months or so and then the urethane got too brittle, or something, and now we’re breaking them regularly.  This is disappointing, as Climb-it makes some great shapes and previously their urethane was more durable than this.  It should be noted that Climb-it has an excellent return policy, and that thus far they have kindly replaced the holds we’ve broken and sent back to them.

Has anyone else ever seen a break like this before?

Categories: Holds, Random Musings
  1. May 29, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Looks like how the would break if it were real rock! Good thing it wasn’t slung for pro! 😉

  2. James
    May 29, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I’ve seen big chunks break out like that with the old polyester resin holds, but never one of the new polyurethane. Reminds me of climbing at Foster Falls back East and pulling off big chunks of sandstone. Must have scared the crap out of the poor boulderer…

  3. Benny
    May 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    The hollow-back was definitely to thin around the rock feature. I will bet it cracked around it at some point when it was either placed on the wall, tossed down when striping or someone accidentally tossed a hold on it when it was on the ground. All of which are the most common ways that holds break.

    Everyone expects holds will never break. I can assure you they do and usually it is from the person with the wrench or someone before them. Either way, who ever pays the insurance in those gyms will appreciate a setter that can hear the cracking that happens when the hold originally breaks and the setter with the eye for the small cracks that signify a hold should be retired. (sent back) I know the Spot setters are solid so I just point it out for the aspiring setters.

    Looks like a hell of a hold! Props to the shaper!

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