Archive for the ‘2010 Hold Test’ Category

Hold Review Last Day! Gladiator Finals Brief Setting Update 1, and a Vegas Video

January 19, 2011 1 comment

Review holds and The Spot! In Atomik's new (actually usable!) letter set.

Tomorrow is the last day to check out the hold review holds and give us your opinions!   There are forms at the front desk, so please tell us what you think.  Even if it’s just one hold that catches your eye or earns your ire, please let us know about it!

Gladiator Finals Brief Setting Update 1

Tonight we stripped the Beach and the Dojo.  Tomorrow we’re setting them, and tomorrow night starting at 9ish we’re stripping the rest of the gym.  Friday we are closed for setting, but Spot members can climb at the BRC.  Saturday is Gladiator Finals!

The Vegas Video (rated R for some brief adult themed flyers)

aka Jay Jay, Jon, and Jonny’s Big Adventure.

Hold Review Update

January 17, 2011 1 comment

Hold Review Update

There are only a few days left for the hold review!  Below is a short discussion of what has gone on thus far and also the logos from each company who sent holds for the review.  I didn’t link the logos to their websites but if you’re interested in checking any of them out please Google them, and please come check out their holds before we take ’em down!

I’ve had a chance to look over the first batch of hold review forms, and overall they offered excellent feedback, but unfortunately that feedback came from only 4 people.

I’d like to have an accurate idea of how most regular Spot climbers feel about the holds, which means that I need more than 4 opinions.

Several reasons occurred to me that we may not have gotten more feedback.

Firstly, when I showed up today, we were out of forms. That situation has been remedied, with additional feedback sections on the back of each sheet so you don’t have to use one small section of multiple forms and instead can use only a couple of pages to get many reviews done.

(On this note, I’d like to thank Nate Coffman for reading the original directions and free-handing extra feedback on the backs of the original sheets.  Props for paying attention, Nate.)

The forms are available at the front desk, and the deskies have instructions as to how to print up more should we run out.


Again, there will be a prize for the most good feedback and another randomly chosen from all testers who test 3 companies or more.

The second reason I think we may not have had a variety of feedback is the difficulty factor.  Due in part to the wall the problems were set on and the style of holds some companies sent, it was impossible to set anything harder than a 5 or 5+ with some of the holds.  Therefore, many of the tester problems are difficult.

However, you do not have to send the problem to check out the holds.  You can climb up a nearby problem and grope them if you like, or try the problem and give your impressions from that.

You can even just look at the holds and grab them from the ground, and give us feedback on that.  See a cool hold you want to grab, even though you don’t want to climb the problem?  We still want to hear about it.  Feel free to add any sort of hold-related commentary on the review sheets.

Speaking of the review sheets, I thought it might be useful to further clarify what we are looking for from them, so, apologies if this all seems obvious, but here it goes:

1. Initial Impression – How much do you want to climb on the holds just from looking at them?  Do they get you psyched?  Are you afraid of them?  Why?

2. Texture – How do the holds feel to your hands?  Could you climb on them for a long time, or would they wreck your skin?  Are they too slippery?  Would you gravitate towards them or shy away in a normal gym session?

3. Pleasantness – Do you like grabbing the holds, or do they hold your hand/fingers/wrist at a funny angle?  Basically, are they friendly, or not friendly?

4. Impression after climbing on them – So, now you’ve used the holds, so what do you think?  What was good/bad about them?  Were they different than you thought they’d be?

5. Any holds that stand out – Use this section to mention anything you particularly liked or hated about specific holds, i.e., that macro-feature was sweet, or the cross-hatch texture climbed better than it looked, or whatever else you have to say.

Basically, we want to know how you like the holds, so in the review we can assign things like “climber’s choice” and use your commentary and opinions along with our own to represent as large a sample of indoor climbers as we can.

So far, some of the reviewer’s favorite holds are a set that the setters weren’t too taken with.  This kind of information is crucial, because it will help other gyms and climbers get an idea of what they may or may not like to order for their own walls.

The wall comes down on Thursday night, so if you’re interested in helping us out and giving your opinion about these new grips, please please please get in there and review them before they’re down.

If you have questions, comments, or opinions you didn’t write down but still want to share, please email


Thanks everyone!

The Hold Review has begun + Gladiator Finals coming soon!!!

January 8, 2011 3 comments

The Urban Climber/Spot Hold Review of 2010/2011

The great Spot/UC hold review of 2010 has turned into the great Spot/UC hold review of 2011 (cause it took that long for all the holds to come in) but they did finally come in and so last week Carlo and the crew put company-specific problems of brand new grips up on the Left River wall for you to help us test out.  The goal is to put together the most comprehensive and useful climbing hold review ever done by a climbing magazine, and we need your help.

Here’s the deal: each company-specific (i.e. all the holds on the problem are from one company) problem in the review will be found on the Left River wall and clearly labeled with the hold company.  Because we set multiple problems with each company’s holds, the problems are also numbered so it will be easy for you to tell us exactly which problem had that sweet fat pinch or tricky Font sloper that you liked so much.  Climb some problems, give us your opinion, and if you review at least 5 company’s holds you might even win a prize!

Pick up your review forms at the Front Desk or on the left side of the Left River wall (by the garage door).  Questions can be posted to this blog, or emailed to Jackie at  Thanks!!!

A quick personal note:

It was my intention, and still is, to post about each company that is taking part in the hold review individually upon receipt of their holds.  Unfortunately, before we had received all the holds my grandfather’s lymphoma progressed I had to leave Boulder to get home to see him before he passed.  This is also why the blog updates have been more or less non-existent of late, so, sorry, but I should be back in action with regular updates again soon.

Gladiator Finals are coming up!

Spot in time for the Gladiator Finals, which will be held on Saturday, January 22nd, and will include a sweet jousting rig in addition to the normal Spot comp amenities of great new problems, exciting finals, a huge raffle, and free Wahoo’s tacos and Avery beer.

Hold Test Company 2 – Atomik

December 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Atomik climbing holds is a company out of Utah that sent us a large and amazing looking selection of holds for the review.  They also sent us “The Spot” in their new alphabet set.  Here’s a picture of us opening some of the boxes, and stay tuned for more companies and more info once the review is underway.

Yay Atomik Christmas!

Also, you may have noticed the lack of updates lately.  Due to a family health issue I had to head home a week or so earlier than I’d planned, and the drive resulted in a bit of abuse for my car:

It's kinda pretty. Too bad it means my windshield might soon fall out of my truck. Ahead you can see one of the semis in the 4 semi train that threw the rock that did this. Actually, they're not really semis, they're weird trailers being pulled at a funny angle by semi truck cabs. Looked sketchy to me...

And then, while we were eating dinner at a crappy Mexican restaurant in Ely, Nevada, some a**hole backed into me and drove off. Hit and run. Suck.

So, yeah.  Things may stay slow through the holidays, but I’ll be back on the blog a bunch in January for the hold test.  Hopefully everybody is either climbing somewhere great or hanging out with their families for the holidays.  Happy-Merry-Kwanzaa-Festivus-Channukkah-St. Lucia’s Day-Bodhi Day-Las Posadas-Christmas!!!

Vision Climbing Holds

December 3, 2010 1 comment

Ok, so over the next few weeks we will be testing and comparing holds from several different companies.  If you climb at the Spot we will set specific problems with each company’s holds and ask for your feedback on things like shape, texture, climb-ability, overall impressions, etc.  The request was for companies to send us new stuff, stuff they were excited about, and/or stuff that they feel embodies their company.  I will try to post all the holds in the test here as they come in so you can see what’s coming.  I am going to reserve my opinions until I’ve collected other’s so I don’t skew anybody’s results.  So here it goes, hold company #1 – Vision Climbing.

Vision Climbing is a climbing hold company based in Ohio and run by female climber, setter, and shaper Lynnette Miller.  She sent us some glow holds for this year’s Psychedelia, and a few holds from different sets for this test.  This is what we got for the test:

Vision Climbing Holds

The 6 blue holds at the top, obviously because of their size, are footsies.

The 3 large green holds on the left are comfortable mini-jugs.

The 2nd set of 3 green holds are small crimp/thumb catch things.

The 4 white holds in the middle are pinches.

The 3 purple holds 2nd from right are flake-like mini-jugs.

The 3 blue holds on the far right are various shapes from the new Font set.

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