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Prinz – The (Long Awaited) Hold Review

Prinz Climbing Holds

You may recognize the Prinz logo from Bomber Holds. Prinz bought the shapes and the logo from them and began shaping and pouring a bunch of new shapes as well. Owner Ryan came around Boulder with some samples for all the gyms to check out. He gave us a sample pack, plus I talked him into giving us a couple of edges and slopers and two bigger holds, a large blocky pinch and a mega sloper, to test.

Prinz Sample Holds Prinz Sample Slopers

A little bit of everything! The standard sample pack is 5 different holds and you can order one off the Prinz website to check Prinz out for yourself.

This review is in a slightly different format than the others as we started writing it a while ago. We really wanted to see how the holds held up over time and that is part of the reason for the delay. Thanks to Ryan for his patience in waiting for this review to come out!

In case you missed it, here’s the first half of our Prinz review: Prinz Initial Impressions

Prinz Review Part 2

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The Material

Prinz holds are made of urethane, and it’s the more resin-like urethane (semi-rigid) instead of super flexy urethane. Some gyms prefer this, some prefer the other, most that I know use both. We are skeptical of this type of urethane at The Spot because of our walls, but Ryan brought some in for us to try and break, and we were pleasantly surprised. Read on:

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Break Testing

Ryan knows how we break everything at The Spot and he was anxious to find out if his mix would break. Upon first glance I said yes, it definitely would break, but he challenged me to break one so we took one of the samples and proceeded to abuse it in all the ways we normally abuse holds here at The Spot.

1. The Concrete Floor

Ryan and I hurled the hold over and over at the concrete floor. It did not explode. Eventually a bit of the edge dented in and broke as you see here:

Prinz Breakage

Shorn plastic. Not brittle-explody plastic. Pretty good break, didn’t interfere with the integrity of the hold, and it was easy to sand into a thumb catch. UPDATE: It’s now been broken like this for over a year and still works great.

2. The Uneven Wall

Sadly I can’t find a picture of this, but we took the hold and put it across the most concave section of wall we could find, then tightened it down. Surprisingly, the hold flexed into the concave without breaking. I loosened it and did it again. Same result. Impressive.

3. The Test of Time

Despite the strength of the holds I was concerned that over time they’d become more brittle and more prone to breaking. Not so. Our Prinz holds have held up great and I don’t think we’ve broken even one in the time we’ve had them. The edge of one has become a bit polished though:

The edge of this one has got a bit polished over time, but since we've got a vinyl-topped floor it seems all our holds are falling victim to this.

The edge of this one has got a bit polished over time, but since we’ve got a vinyl-topped floor it seems all our holds are falling victim to this.

The hold still climbs fine and, again, we’ve got holds from every company doing this right now because the vinyl topped floor means more dust and people don’t clean their shoes. Sigh.

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Shapes

We definitely feel that Prinz is strongest in its larger shapes. Of the holds we have, the big yellow pinch is a joy to use and the huge purple feature is one of my top 10 favorite holds.

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Big Pinch #88

Big Pinch! Ours is yellow.

Big Pinch! Ours is yellow.

See it on their website – Prinz Big Pinch #88

The Big Pinch #88 is basically a large (comparatively, the size is between XL-3XL depending on the company) square cut pinch with a twist–it’s a bit of a sloper on one side and quite a jug on the other and it isn’t perfectly straight so you can use it in a variety of ways and it’s easy to tweak to make it harder or easier. The Pinch is quite comfortable and makes a good hold for any grade of route depending on how it is used. We’ve underclinged it, mantled it, jumped to it, flipped it, etc… A popular hold that we could easily use more of, and is definitely worth the $$.

10/10

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The Grip

Prinz Holds "The Grip" Feature

Prinz Holds “The Grip” Feature

The Grip on Prinz’ site.

Our Grip is purple and we love it. The main feature is basically a big slopey edge that is pretty good once you get onto it but the large rounded bulge makes it hard to hit properly. Upside-down the volume makes a cool 3-angle sloper/pinch. It’s comfortable, fun to use, challenging, looks great, and has held up fantastically. A very solid hold. We keep finding new uses for this thing and we want about 3 more and think every other gym should get some too.

10/10

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We didn’t get any of Prinz’ other big features but he has several cool 5XL features and here are the three in particular that we are excited to check out next:

Prinz Mr. Slug

Prinz Mr. Slug

Mr. Slug on Prinz’ Site

Prinz Half Moon

Prinz Half Moon

Prinz’ Half Moon

Big Pinch #86

Big Pinch #86

Prinz Big Pinch #86

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One more cool thing about Prinz–Ryan has this tattoo on his leg with all the places he’s been in the world filled in. He’s got a way to go still, but I think it’s pretty sweet!

Prinz Ryan's Leg Tattoo 1

Prinz Ryan's Leg Tattoo 2

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Other Yay:

You can get all holds with bolts or bolts + t-nuts if needed.

Large variety of weird small crimps and feet which are perfect for home walls and for mixing it up in a gym where customers are too used to a certain style of shape.

Potential spinners have pre-recessed screw points.

The features are really cool.

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The Nay:

The Prinz website shows most of their holds in 90’s multicolor. It makes it a little hard to tell what’s going on and we recommended using solid colors in the future, which it seems Prinz has been moving towards. For ordering, it’s no issue to get whatever color you want.

Some holds are martini or mixed bolts/screws.

We think their newer shapes are better than their old shapes and we can’t wait to see what other features and new holds they come out with next!

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Pricing

Prinz has recently lowered prices making them one of the more affordable brands on the market. Prinz offers gyms a 25% discount and offers free shipping to all domestic (in the continental US) customers–meaning gyms and retail customers can easily figure their total cost using the website.

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Conclusions:

Prinz makes some great big features and for their smaller holds you’ll want to pick and choose depending on your needs. Perfect for wood walls and surprisingly able to stand up to the abuse meted out at an uneven concrete-walled gym like The Spot. Ryan is a nice guy who cares about climbing, and it’s worth supporting this small company with an order.

So that’s it for now with the Prinz Review. Go check out their features and make sure to get yourself The Grip!

www.prinzclimbingholds.com

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