I was recently given the opportunity to sample some holds from a newer hold manufacturer based in Canada. Redpoint Holds. I would like to start off with a small back-story and to brag on the incredible service I received. This whole thing came about through a brief interaction on the Facebook companion of the (newly re-launched) routesetter.org website. There are many new hold companies popping up all the time. And quite frankly, I don’t blame them. These companies are all started by regular folks that LOVE climbing and just want to make a living doing something they are passionate about. Redpoint owner Nikita Taylor is one such person. I reached out to Nikita from a bit of a different perspective. Many of the reviews of such climbing holds are done from a Commercial Gym mindset. And they should. It’s called Volume and that’s how business works. I came to him from a homewall owners perspective. The holds that are “best” for a homewall are often different from the needs and wants of a Commercial Gym. How much more business could a hold company tap into if they appeal to homewall owners as well? Well, I don’t have a number for you, but I would say that it would appeal to three main demographics: the ‘with young children’ crowd, the ‘super inconvenient work schedule’ group, and the ‘live just far enough away from a gym’ clan. So when I spoke with Nikita, I told him I could do a review of Redpoint Holds from that angle and told him a bit of the criteria I look for (below in bold).
So I got the package… and it was a great selection. I immediately grabbed and rubbed. Something extremely important for a homewall is the texture of the holds. In a commercial gym, you might grab one particular hold or set of holds every so often. On a homewall, that hold or set might be used over and over in a session and over the course of time. Texture is a delicate balance. Too slick and it won’t get used. Too rough and it will do a number on your skin. And unfortunately, skin is a limiting factor. I have holds on my wall at all texture levels. Even if the company has great shapes (which many do), if the texture is off I may still grab it, but I will dread it. So where do Redpoint Holds fall on the Texture spectrum. I’d say Redpoint Holds are very similar in texture to Revolution/Pusher and Three Ball. Slightly more grip than Nicros and less abrasive than SoIll. I really like the texture. Though a couple months really constitutes limited usage, it appears that the texture will hold up well.
Before I move onto the other criteria I look for in holds, I’d like you to check out the holds I received from Redpoint. (photos from their website, I received orange)
Cthulu Tufas (Set of 3)
Commudum Pinches (Set of 10)
Currency Feet (Set of 12)
Diffractions (Set of 3)
After I was pleased with the texture. I started checking out the shapes. When it comes to shapes for a home wall, Low Profile is key. And what I mean by Low Profile is a manageable foot print AND moderate depth. While gimmicky holds are fun and thought provoking (my favorite in real life), they tend to be large and take up valuable real estate on your wall. It does not mean that I wouldn’t use large holds, it just means that I’d tend to be more careful before investing in one. A gimmick hold would REALLY have to fit my third criteria (see below). And when it comes to depth. I really don’t like holds that stick out profusely because of the increased likelihood of banging my elbow on it. The Commudum Pinches I tested from Redpoint are very low profile and small footprint. The Diffractions set also is a good steward of real estate. And of course the Currency Feet as well. The Cthulu Tufas are a bit on the deep side and, depending on positioning, tend to cover several t-nuts. I am not disappointed by the hold. Not in the least. It was fun to set with and my spinner test using it blew my mind. But I doubt I would invest in the Cthulu Tufa set if I had others to pick from.
So then I got to bolting the holds on the wall. Due to a dumping of many inches of snow, and the subsequent melting in my garage, this took a little longer than I would have hoped. I got to setting a few routes with them. This leads me to my third criteria, Versatility. Having a hold that is usable in many orientations is just like getting a two-fer or a three-fer. The Cthulu Tufa was fun to set as a lieback, knee-bar, pinch, and heel-hook. The circular Diffraction was awesome in the versatility respect. Rounded edge on one side, awkward edge on another, and really tough sloper on a third. The Commudum Pinches had a few different uses as well. Although designed as pinches, on the 23 to 30 degree angles of my wall, they actually worked better as crimps. I see their use as pinches on more close to vertical angles. Also most of the Commudum’s are very good as feet. I especially like their use as feet when tracking. I was most looking forward to the Currency Feet. The way they are shaped gives each hold 4 different slopes and therefore you could increase or decrease the difficulty by just spinning the hold. I received 3 of these but only 1 was usable. As they were a new shape, Redpoint was trying a different mix that had different curing specs. I’ve been notified that this has been taken care of. The one on my wall is all its cracked up to be. I love how simple the design is yet the slopes are so smooth. If they moved it to the exact same mix as the rest of their holds, I would not question the investment in this set.
Things more important for gyms:
~ Color = solid and bright
~ Strength = zero concerns on strength
~ Spinners = I thought the Cthulu Tufa would spin for sure as it didn’t have a set screw hole (looks like many holds on their site now have set screw placements) but it would not move; not with texture or on pure plywood.
Finally, based on photos, I believe that these sets would also fit my above criteria for homewalls.
Overall, Redpoint holds are great quality holds. Service from the company is fantastic. Without deciding for you, I believe you would really be pleased with your purchase. So, go for it! Give them a try, eh!
~ Climb 4 Real ~