Just a quick introduction to the hold reviewer – this is Josh’s first review, but he’s been with us from the beginning. He is as down-to-earth as is humanly possible, yet is the strongest climber in our crew - having thrown down some of the hardest lines in Illinois - Holy Boulders testpieces The New Zero (V13) and Michael Jordan (V12). He recently moved and expanded on his beastly 60 degree wall to include a lot more terrain and angles, making for an excellent review setup. We figured we’d expand our operations – giving you all new perspectives, more frequent content, and another unbiased & honest voice. His first review is of some stuff from PUR Holds. Enjoy.
PUR Holds and owner Randall Chapman are based in Colorado and feature shapes from Louie Anderson, Aaron Culver and Ferran Guerrero. One of the first things you notice when browsing their website is their focus on real rock themed holds. They are poured by the fine folks at Element Climbing, so you can be confident in the quality of the plastic and the pour. All the holds in the review were well sanded and most came with predrilled set screw holes. The Rifle XL series features a typical hollow back design to eliminate unnecessary weight and ultimately reduce the cost of manufacturing.
The Singularity series by shaper Aaron Culver is a really cool line of futuristic looking holds featuring pinches, incuts, sloping dishes and slopers. I would put more of an emphasis on pinches over slopers since in many cases it will be hard to eliminate using your thumb. The problems shown in the video are set on a 60o wall and to keep them reasonable were used with volumes to tone it down a bit. I would say it’s possible to set on a 60o without volumes but you can expect them to be in the double digit range. The ideal angle for intermediate to advanced climbers would be in the range of 20o-45o without the use of volumes. The angular transition between pinch surfaces is abrupt, but the obtuse angle doesn’t really create any serious comfort issues. The texture is gritty enough to be sticky, but not so gritty that you're going to be shedding tons of skin. The only real complaint I have is the weight - there is room for a hollowbacking on the XLs, and a few of the Larges would be candidates as well. Obviously this is a non-issue for homewallers, but commercial setters will definitely notice the heft.
Singularities Small II $41.95
Singularities Large I $97.95
Singularities XL II $131.95
The Rifle series by shaper Louie Anderson can be described as blocky slopes, crimps and pinches that are intended to emulate the limestone features typically found in Rifle Mountain Park. With the use of some volumes and a little creativity you might be able to mock up some knee bars and other technical moves found in RMP.
The Rifle XL IV are easily my favorite of all the holds sent! The 3 hold set consists of two large blocky pinches and one rail, all of which include rounded edges that give just enough bite to use on steeper terrain. The problems in the videos are on a 60o wall making for fairly stout problems (V7+), but you could get down to V4ish on 30o – 45o walls. Not sure if anyone could honestly say pinching on a single pad was comfortable but there are no notable comfort issues with the holds themselves.
The Medium II and Large I sets don't have quite the "wow factor" that the XLs do, but they are solid sets of incuts with a few pinches thrown in. Most (not all) of the incuts worked really well on the 60o wall especially when the hold is kept horizontal. They also worked well to force certain moves by orienting them to be used as gastons or sidepulls. For those that didn’t work well on the 60o, such as the pinches and a couple of the incuts, we were able to use them on volumes or on the head wall. All of these holds would be pretty positive if used on a 30o – 45o wall, probably checking in around V3-4.
As far as the feet go, nothing revolutionary here, but they keep in theme with the larger holds to make a visually pleasing route.
Rifle Feet $40.95
Rifle Medium II $44.95
Rifle Large I $77.95
Rifle XL IV $80.95
Prior to this review, I'd barely heard of PUR, let alone actually climbed on the holds. The plastic & finishing are solid, the shapes are pretty unique, and they are a lot of fun. The standouts for me were the Large and XL Singularities & the Rifle XL IV and I'd highly recommend those 2 sets, but I can't imagine anyone would be sorry they bought any of the sets. Give PUR a look!