Home > 2012, Holds, New Holds!, Prinz > Prinz Holds – Initial Impressions

Prinz Holds – Initial Impressions

As you’ve seen on our Big Hold Company List, there are a ton of hold companies all over the world. New ones pop up, and we look at their websites, but it’s hard to tell things like quality, texture, durability, and comfort from online pictures. Shipping isn’t cheap, and, at a gym like The Spot where we break a lot of holds, we don’t usually like to risk an order unless we’ve seen and tried out the holds and know they’ll hold up to our walls.

The sample pack (on the left) and some midsized slopers, and a HUGE SLOPER!

Ryan from Prinz holds called us up and said he’d be driving through and he wanted to drop off some samples. On Saturday I met him at The Spot and checked out what he brought to show us.

Prinz has done something clever that I haven’t seen before (at least in this form). They put together a nice sample set of 5 different holds from different lines. Each is a different color and they’re all packaged in these nice, easy-to-hand-out, store-ready bags. Ryan’s whole trip was visiting gyms, introducing himself, and giving out sample sets to help them get a feel for what Prinz hold has to offer.

To the right of the sample pack are two sets of slopers (one of two medium slopers, one of several smaller slopers) and an awesome huge feature. Ryan brought these for us to review, and we will be posting a review on ’em once we’ve tried them out and have opinions. Ryan also showed us lots of other shapes, several big slopers and pinches and other stuff that isn’t up yet on their website, but you should be able to see ’em soon.

Saturday when Ryan dropped them off I picked out one of those green sloping edges and felt the texture. Prinz pours their own urethane blend, and, as we hear over and over from hold companies, Ryan said it wouldn’t break. The texture was fine but the hold felt brittle, like other, weaker urethane blends we’ve seen before, and I said that I thought there was no way it’d go on the wall at The Spot without cracking in half. Ryan wanted to see if we could break it, so we got some bolts and a wrench and went to work.

I picked a moderately concave surface with a bolt in the middle of it, set the hold across it, and began tightening. To my complete amazement the hold flexed into the wall without breaking. It also didn’t weld the bolt and t-nut together (at least not during my short test).

I unscrewed the hold and picked another, more uneven surface. It didn’t break.

Finally, I picked a t-nut that we never, never use because it is ridiculously placed in the middle of a carved hueco were no holds, not even footholds, will fit. Also, we’re pretty sure the t-nut isn’t straight, meaning it’ll pull the hold into the wall unevenly, thus loading it unevenly, thus breaking it. I began tightening, the hold began flexing, then…snap.

It didn’t break in half. Instead, a chip broke off the side. I pulled the hold off the wall and looked at it. The broken area was white, like stretched plastic. A little sandpaper, literally a brief swipe, and the broken area was smooth and comfortable and the hold was not ruined. Here’s a picture of it post-sanding:

The broken area, sanded into a nice thumb catch.

Then we threw it at the floor and walls for a while. The edges dented a bit, but no brittle chipping. I was extremely impressed, especially considering that I thought the hold would easily break. We’re going to set with them next week, and we’ll share those impressions, but so far the holds have far exceeded my expectations.

One more note, you may recognize the upside-down bomb on this hold. The bomb is the Prinz logo. It used to belong to Bomber Holds, out of Southern California, but Prinz, out of Northern California, purchased the logo and some of the shapes from Bomber. Bomber doesn’t exist anymore, and Prinz is an independent company run by completely different people, but if you are looking for old Bomber shapes ask Prinz and they might be able to pour them for you.

That’s all I’ve got for now, more updates after setting and climbing on the holds.

Check out the Prinz website: Prinz Climbing Holds — Home

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