Archive for the ‘2013’ Category

Prinz – The (Long Awaited) Hold Review

April 23, 2014 Leave a comment

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


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:


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.



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.


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 $$.



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.



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


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


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.


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!



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.



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!

Joel is Off to Europe!

March 6, 2014 Leave a comment
Joel Zerr (JZ)

Joel Zerr on a fantastic FA in Tahoe

Joel has jetted off to Europe for a three-month first trip there. He’ll be climbing in Switzerland and competing in the first several IFSC Bouldering World Cups of the season. Have fun Joel! We’ll miss you!

Categories: 2013, Setters

Etch and Atxarte Holds – Initial Impressions

January 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Etch and Atxarte sent us some holds to try out. They’ve been poured at the same facility, and the material is so far quite impressive. We’ve been Etch fans for a long time but have held off ordering new holds because their material was a bit brittle for our gym. NO MORE! These holds have the strong, flexible feel of our favorite grips from Kilter, E-Grips, Teknik, So Ill, etc… We will keep you updated on its longevity, but we are very optimistic. We’ll post more on the holds once we’ve climbed on them a bit, but here is what we got:


The feature.

The feature.

another angle

another angle

This is a cool feature. It’s comfortable and cobble-like, but with detailing that makes the grip unique.

The set.

The set.

another angle

another angle

Connor set an Advanced (red tape) problem on the front font arete with these. Check it out and let us know what you think!



The Feature.

The Feature.

bottom view

bottom view

The hollow back seems good and the hold is cool. Danny put it on an advanced problem on the left river and it worked very well as a hold you could grab the top of, undercling, then throw a heel on. A nice feature for beginner – advanced problems.

The set.

The set.

The boys were pretty skeptical about these, because they’re a bit of a gimmick. They basically have jibs molded onto them. The boys felt the holds without the jibs were cooler and then setters would have the option to add the jibs if they wanted them. Ian Powell and I think these are cool, a bit different perhaps, but they work. I do also think that the boys are right, the pinch on the right especially would be sweet without the jib on it making it into a jug. It’d be nice to have the option of using it either way, and with perma-jibs you’re stuck with the jug, as it were. Also, the logo on all of these is a big crest, and everyone felt it was a bit much. Despite those small things, the mix seems solid, the lines are clean, and so far (as of the comp) they worked well.

I’ll post more once we’ve set with them a bit.

Used Hold Sale!

December 18, 2013 Leave a comment

We are having a used hold sale right now at The Spot. Come in quick for the pick of the bunch–we’ve got some real gems out on the table for good prices. All holds are sold as-is and tax will be assessed at checkout. Enjoy!

Categories: 2013, Other Spot Stuff

SBS 9 Highlines & Highballs Results! + Thanks DBC!

December 15, 2013 Leave a comment
Danny testing out one of the Advanced problems while taking a phone call.

Danny testing out one of the Advanced problems while taking a phone call.

The Highlines & Highballs comp went off last night and by all accounts it was a roaring success. Beer was drunk, burritos were eaten, prizes were won, problems were climbed, and highlines were styled.

Tyler Youngwerth on the highline

Tyler Youngwerth on the highline

We would like to congratulate our pro final winners Michael O’Rourke and Delaney Miller for their decisive sends of the finals problems. For the men, Nick Milburn also finished the final but took second overall due to having one more fall than Mike in qualifiers. 15-year-old Shawn Raboutou took third with an amazing flash go in which he did an impressive rose move and fell going for the last hold. For the women, Nina Williams managed to match the last sloper but was unable to jump for the finish, so she took second. Lizzy Asher got the last sloper with one hand and ended up in third.

General comp results and full pro final results can be seen here: Highlines Highballs Results  If you have questions or corrections, please email

There were many photographers on hand as well as a video team, so expect to see more media soon.


Thanks DBC!

We’d like to send a huge thanks to our friends in Denver, The Denver Bouldering Club, for sending up their head setter TJ Kelly to help with our comp. DBC setter John Gass has helped at our last two, and as John was unable to be here for this event TJ stepped up. He set some awesome boulders–two recs, an intermediate, an advanced, and O10, and we were really happy to have him. Thanks TJ!

The DBC has their own comp coming up in January, and their proceeds will go to a good cause. If you’re looking for some mid-winter relief, check it out:


La Sportiva MIX – Awesome Setting Shoe!

November 21, 2013 4 comments
Our new favorite shoes.

Our new favorite shoes. The La Sportiva Mix.

Jake and I were lucky enough to get our feet into some new La Sportiva Mix urban approach shoes. The Mix are a mix of a low profile, good-tractioned walking shoe and smooth-toed climbing shoe. The results not only look cool, they’re fantastic for routesetting.

Another view of the climbing zone.

The toe of the Mix.

The sole of the Mix is fairly flat, like the soles of the skate shoes most setters I know prefer setting in.

The sole of the Mix. Ours are all black. Note the smooth toe section.

The full sole of the Mix. Fairly flat, a little tread for good traction. Ours are all black. Note the smooth toe section, aka the “climbing zone”.

The “climbing zone” is sticky and smooth and works well for all those little forerunning moments in the middle of a setting day. They are really good for smearing and, if sized snugly, do just fine on smaller footholds as well. They aren’t a performance rock climbing shoe, but they beat all the running and skate shoes I’ve ever tried to climb in by miles and miles. Just look at me standing on this foot hold:

Toeing in like a champ.

Toeing like a champ.

The shoe itself has a nice toebox–wide enough so our toes aren’t cramped but snug enough to make climbing feel reasonable. The heel is cut low but fits like a glove on both my foot and Jake’s. They are lightly cushioned–comfortable, but not floaty.

Nice socks, Jake.

Nice socks, Jake.

I broke these shoes in by wearing them on an unexpectedly long bouldering approach (2.5 miles each way) followed by three 12 hour days straight setting for Psychedelia. The shoes were amazing–they felt great on and off the wall and ladders, I was able to forerun easier boulders and try harder moves in them, and a bunch of people asked me what my cool shoes were. Jake just got his this week, and they’re already his favorite shoes. I call it a win all around.

The Mix come in several colors of leather or canvas. Jake and I both have leather, though Jake’s (the lighter ones) are a sample only color. Other colors including the darker blue/gray that I got will be available in stores this spring. If you’re a route setter, these are the shoes for you.

Click the link to check out athlete blogs, news, pictures, and other great shoes from: La Sportiva North America.

Categories: 2013, Setters Tags: ,

New Holds – Capital Climbing!

November 16, 2013 1 comment
In packaging.

In packaging. Poured/shipped by Element.

Hold shaper Chris Neal sent us some new holds to check out from his new company Capital Climbing. Here are some pictures of the holds, and where to find ’em on the walls to check ’em out. We’ll report back with a more thorough review (and the names of the sets) in the near future.

Pink Font Slopers. You can find one on the Beach and the other four on a cool outward-facing problem just left of the River arete.

Pink Font Slopers. You can find one on the Beach and the other four on a cool outward-facing problem in the scoop just left of the River arete.

Comfortable rounded edges.

The Clasts. Comfortable rounded edges. Another angle below:

You can find these on the River, on a yellow problem mid-right river, a pink 4 by the river arete, and on a dark green 5- that runs across the left river.

You can find these on the River, on a yellow problem mid-right river, a pink 4 by the river arete, and on a dark green 5- that runs across the left river.


Awesome feature!

Another shot of it with a wrench for size.

Another shot of it with a wrench for size.

The feature is on the River as well, just right of the arete about head-height on the pink problem that also has two of the green edges on it.

First impressions are very positive. The texture of the holds is great, the shapes are comfortable and professional, and they are poured by Element, which we’ve had good luck with so far. The edges are a bit softer than an Aragon hold, but nothing we’re concerned about. All in all an impressive offering from a brand-new company.

Check out the holds and let us know what you think!

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