Thursday, 7 June 2012

Uncarved Block!!!!

So on the last post I shared that I recently got support from a hold company in Australia called Uncarved Block. This company has been causing problems since 1996 (man I love that slogan, good job guys!) Now if you'll remember, they gave me a bunch of holds for the Tour De Bloc at True North, which we used on Men's final number one. The holds they gave me had never, ever, been seen before. In fact, they weren't on the website, no one else had received, I don't actually know if anyone had climbed on them before the Male finalists of that comp. 

The Twenty One Set, which is the picture above, is a set of twenty one rounded crimps. This set is comprised of the Lucky Seven Series of crimps. 7 of these are screw ons while the rest are bolt on. These are an evil set of holds my friends, diabolical in their nature and only blocs of the most powerful or technical nature will be caused by them. At the TDB, we had to use them on the least over hung wall and on volumes, they were just so hard to hod onto. The texture is perfect on them though, not too abrasive as to hurt, but after working on your project of these holds, people let me tell you, your tips will burn with failed attempts and glisten with the sweat of super thin skin. All you Route Setters out there, you should get your hands on these. These are my new go to holds for thin crimpy blocs. Whether it be technical and sequency or thugged out powerful crimpfest, these holds are perfect for it. I'll even break one of my rules and tell you that last year, after seeing Tonde's bag of screw ons. I got a glimpse of this "bag of tricks" at the National Team Training Camp last year. He later told me, at his clinic I attended, is that he collected these screw ons, an assortment of holds from an assortment of companies, only the most diabolical and heinous shapes. He took these holds to all the world cups that he set, using them to modify holds, or when he was looking for that perfect foot hold, or thumb catch for a volume. I thought was such a good idea, how many times had I torn an entire gym apart, looking for that anything I may be able to dirty-screw on as a thumb catch around an arete, or on a specific hold. So I started my own little bag of screw ons and in case you're wondering where this is going, the minute I got these holds, they went straight into that bag (well, only the screw on ones.)
My friend Florent Balsez navigating through the technical moves forced by the Twenty One  crimps.
So although these holds made their debut at the Tour De Bloc, I brought them out here, to Vancouver and put them up at the Hive. I used the set of Twenty One in conjunction with the hour glass pinches:
and The Brain:
These blocs, the three that I got up with the holds I had were well received and I was impressed with the way the texture stood up to commercial gym traffic. More importantly, I'm really impressed with shapes and how simple and functional they are, there the holds that are, well, the holds you want. "Yo I need a crimp for this move." "Yup and you should grab that Uncarved Block one over there."
So last week, I walked into the gym and like every Route Setters dream, there was a box, from a hold company and it was full of these:

These are brand new holds, just released, fresh the molds, holds. Allow me to introduce to you all, Seeing Stars (the three pointed triangular pinches,) The Knobules (the knob-like small pinches) and some other set of sloping/incut, half moon, edges that I can't find their name on the sight, and I lost the piece of paper in the box that the series name was on. 
Let's start with the Seeing Stars set. Amazing. Simply and awesome set. Some of these are positive to be on a roof (yes they are on there now at the Hive, eat your hearts out) and some aren't but this, route setters and climbers alike, know that these holds are versatile enough to be on your project, no mater the grade, V1 to V14 these holds can do it. They can have intricate sequences of hand flips and using holds multiple ways or they can lend them selves to sick thugged out pulling. I'm super psyched on these holds and I love climbing on them.
The Knobules. These guys are gnarly little pinches, ones where you have to mash and stack your fingers in to get it good you know. Or they can be the perfect heel around the corner, just good enough to get purchase but not a giant jug. They could even be used as big feet for supremely easy routes. This is a really cool set, I'm trying to think of another set to compare them to, but it's not really coming. They're pretty unique and again with the Uncarved Bloc texture they're skin friend but still have bomber friction
Finally those scoop slopey/incut things. I really enjoy this set. Two of them are positive enough to be on a very steep angle, think 70, and one of them is bad enough to be not so great on slab. Right now I'm using them as part of a compressiony section of a bloc up a prow but I'm interested to see what else I can do with them once that bloc comes down. These holds are amazing. All three of these sets I fully recommend. I can't wait to see what I can do with these sets coupled together with the Twenty One crimps....the possibilities are endless.
Thank you Uncarved Block, for all your continued support. If you're interested in their holds, check out the website here. Seriously guys, these guys are pouring some awesome shapes, take the time to go and check them out.   

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