the whole point of this blog is to help others with all the questions they have about setting up a similar home climbing gym, and ramble about a variety of climbing related subjects.
There is a variety of subjects... most involving rock climbing, written about on this blog. MAKING VOLUMES OR CLIMBING HOLDS, is probably one of the more popular subjects. just check the labels links or search bar to find your fancy.
of course if you want to go back and start from the beggining, please do! to that end, if there are any question let me know ... i encourage you to add comments for others to read or if you want to get me directly you can email me at treadwallproject@hotmail.com
IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME, READ THE MUST READ LIST.... oh!, ...and you have to fight!

Monday, August 9, 2010

the companies you keep.

...so, i know you would have expected more info on putting the treadwall together... but i have had a cold and i also need a little help. see i mistakenly only made my shed big enough to put the treadwall in, not assemble. therefore ill need to put it together some and then move it inside....ill tell you more about that when i get to it.
given that ive been a little bored sitting on my couch and i notice some people have commented on my readers poll. you say you want some more gear reviews... so i thought i might ramble a little about the hold companies ive come to like over the years. might be interesting....probably not. i figure ill yack a little about their holds and recommend a good set...that i like anyway.


so this is one of the older makers of fine holds, and i remember them from as long as i have been setting. i started climbing sometime after 19994 they got started in 1993, so i guess they win. they use a semi elastic polyurethane mix with a softer base material for the last 1/8th inch... thats always been the fastest easiest way to spot their holds. they say, and i tend to agree, this allows for less slipping and less likely to chip at the edges. but it also has a down side, the smaller holds tend to warp and deform when theyre over tightened... sucks! their texture is nice and comfy starting out but over time with use they loose texture like any other, which seems to shorten the lifespan. which if your getting them for home use probably isnt an issue. the set i chose is the "Black Mountain; set 4" and retails for $69.00


i first saw teknik when they mail my gym some free holds... or maybe the owner just got a real small order? but i got only two holds. a little crimper that was badass and a slopper, unfortunately some kids dont take care of their holds as well as i do because theyre not around anymore. anyway teknik started in 1999 by by two folks seth and Zoe, these two run their company pretty much start to finish up in that beautiful land known as canada. different people want different things out of their hold shapes. generally this companies holds arent the most realistic not super fancy. their basic shapes are a backbone in any collect and excellent for hours of pulling! the set i pick for these guys are the "Deblocs" costing $95.00 USD. these big head sized block are bouldering excellence.

i first heard of these guys in....oh i think it was around five or six years ago... most holds were still being made with resin and not urethane. so they just looked cool out of the gate. but i think over the years they just got weirder and weirder. which is no surprise consider were talking about shapes coming from the minds of the Chandler brothers and Jason Kehl ....the tim burton of rock climbing. unfortunately, i think their ideas have gotten just too far out there.... personally i dont enjoy rock climbing on a wall that looks like it was designed by english author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. some of there stuff is pretty cool none the less. for example i love the matchable edges in this set, the "GAS" for $62.00.


If you dont know this company....well do your research! seriously! go on line and find out what you have been missing. these guys went AWOL a while back with all kinds of drama known all to well with small companies but now their back! every hold youve ever touched owes something to this company so check'em out. great classic shapes and if i were rich i would have at least one of everything in their catalog. some of my all time favorites are these "Font" sloper
they are maybe a touch pricey at $89.00 but come on kids....theyre getting back on their feet and theyre using urethane now! ...i think... dont quote me **smile**

AH! the new kings of the macro hold!! awesome huge grabby goodness! these guys have a better than average catalog of shapes, but where they really shine is their monster sized holds. so if your looking for a hold to really mega size your home wall...heres your guys. they use about the same material if not exactly the same as soill. so, you know it should be healthy with a long life. my pick is the "Olympus", it retails for $249.00....the crazy part is this isnt even the biggest one. but i had a chance to climb on some of these in the last couple of years at gyms with a healthy hold budget and i have been jealous ever since.

nicros is another one of those companies that has a huge catalog where its hard to go wrong...they have a few shitty shapes but generally i like what theyre puttin out. they go for the realistic which is what i like. plus they are the most eco friendly with their corn/soy-based resin. im a big fan of the granite like "Dunes" for $56.95. nicros are pretty affordable when you get right down to it. they also have those "extreme hold technology" models, essentially it is a hollow back fiberglass shell with texture applied to the surface.... how i have no idea! its nice cause theyre lighter, but sometimes the texture chips off. really i wouldnt worry about weight unless your setting at full gym height.


the thing that struck me the most when i was first introduced to this company was the material. these guy are the most "plastic" feeling of all the holds i have ever climbed on. they do seem to wear out faster than other companies, but they do start out with great texture. and their shape are all pretty good. plus generally they are cheap! back in the day when i had very little budget and want to get the most for it...i pulled out the etch catalog! plus they make some pretty sick macro holds... nowhere near the scope of project holds, but awesome just the same... and like i said before excellent price. buy their macro if nothing else...i wouldnt lie. i also like the sandstone and hybrid sandstone sets this one goes for $44.oo.


love these guys catalog as well...there are very few of their holds that i would throw in the dumpster...and yes i am a hold snob! these guys started back in 1996 and have a good history of making quality shapes. they had a rock start but once they got with their parent company Trango its been the best product that company distributes....in my opinion. i really love these holds the "dakota pinches" for $ 58.00. decently priced, great material, awesome texture that lasts, and shapes so quality that metolius is trying to rip them off. **check out their tufas pinch and the new metolius ribbed pinches if you dont believe me**

unfortunately, i never got a chance to order these holds for my gym. for the longest time they didnt carry product liability insurance and my owner was a stickler for that...but...who cares! their product is awesome! this is what i hoped soill would be! by their own admission these guys are trying to recreate the most realistic shapes on the market. YES!! whats with shapers who dont try to make real rock shapes....oh well i guys the folk that climb that play land shit will never like the outdoors and stay out of my playground. this "Patina XL" set retails for $81.00, but they are worth it for the overall quality your getting.


these guys were making pusher shapes for a while...but pusher is back!! but i guess they do still have some pretty good shapes. i have had a little bit of issue with their holds cracking, but overall its not too bad that i would not buy them. a lot of their shapes also scream pusher which is good and bad. this set of crimps are my absolute favorites... their great for making that hard crux edge move! the "joe's medium set 1" for $36.00 is worth my money. by the way,read their whole company ethic thing and someone please explain to me how the proletariat boulderer was kept down by the bourgeoisie wall climbers?
this is my honorable mention!!! stone age was and is an awesome collection of shapes. they were one of the original makers of awesome roof holds and macros! i wish these guys were still making holds and i constantly wait for the comeback....pusher pulled it off! anyway thanks guys!
...umm i guess thats all i got. probably not that helpful other than i gave you links to all the sites so...if you bookmark me you dont need to google as much right?!


  1. Pretty sure Stone Age still exists. Just not like you think. Stone Age was purchased by Touchstone Climbing in 2004 (Touchstone is a HUGE gym chain in the Bay Area, CA) I think they had some many setting needs they just decided to have their own, in house hold division. Not sure if they still make them or sell them though...

  2. i was aware to a degree, this is what it says on the touchstone site:...."2004 saw the acquisition of Stone Age Climbing, a well established and reputable climbing hold and accessory manufacturer, now located at the Sacramento Pipeworks site." .....also on the Entreprise site ..."Sander Culliton, Climbing Hold/ Service Manager. Previous owner of Stone Age, a climbing hand holds company for 12+ years. He now brings his experience and expertise to EP USA"... all i was really trying to say was, i want those holds commercially available. to my knowledge they are not! and that my friends is boo!