Grips Yes Grips
Following up on my post just a few days ago about ABS Nationals, I wanted to dedicate a post entirely to talk about all the new Teknik sets…
We must begin with the Hulk. I won’t go into too much detail on this, because Zoe already posted an awesome epic – just take a look at this monster and know that – if you buy it, you can’t possibly be disappointed..
The shape speaks for itself, but I think it is important to point out is that while many brands out there have priced some large features well into the $100+ range, even nearing $200+, the Hulk is an affordable giant, and that is because Teknik wants you to be able to enjoy it.
Next – Low and Half Fat Slopers. The idea for this set came after we did a short pour of some of the now already classic Fat Slopers, at the 2010 World Cup in Vail. I told Seth and Zoe how awesome the short versions of the shapes were, and we all thought – why not make production versions!
The LOW FAT SLOPERS are about 1/3 depth of the original Fat Slopers 1 set. They are amazing for low angle, slab, or arete climbing…
Much like the originals – they put a premium on contact strength – but since you can get your tips back towards the wall, these variations allow you to grip with some better surface tension against the wall, or with just a little bit of crimp.
The HALF FAT SLOPERS are about 1/2 depth of the Fat Slopers 2 set. The variations in the grabs make them really interesting to use, because though the shapes look similar from the ground, the subtleties of each shape make them a bit different, and some are definitely better than others.
Along with the LFS and HFS, there are a few other sets that took their inspiration from shapes already in the Teknik line. The rest of the Teknik shapes in the post are brand new creations – from Seth and Zoe.
One set that has always been a favorite of mine, perhaps my overall top pick, is the Meatiums. I had mentioned to Seth and Zoe how much I love those shapes, and that what is so great about them is the little bit of curl you have to do with your fingers, to really get the most bite on the hold – the type of thing you often have to do on rounded sloper crimps outdoors. I thought it would be awesome to have smaller single pad tiny crimps, that emulated this. Seth went right to work and came up with two amazing new sets – the Meatlets and Minimeats.
The MINIMEATS are the bigger of the two sets, and are nearly full pad crimps, with slightly incut tapers back to the wall. Notice the muscle-y texture, just like the original Meatiums.
MEATLETS, smaller than the above Minimeats, are just like the name suggests, cutlet little versions of the real meat. They are half-pad at best – amazing little edges for super technical stuff – vert climbing, lock-offs, etc – these little guys will be unforgiving and honest – they’ll tell you just how much finger strength you do or do not have. They are thin enough that they have a tapered recess for Flat Head bolts, though as with all Teknik shapes, they still have washers, so you can use either type really.
Another pair of sets that I was psyched to see get into production this winter were the LONG METHODS 1 and LONG METHODS 2. While I was up in Edmonton last fall, I got a look at these guys in foam, and was very impressed as always.
I had always talked about how much I love the Methods, but that it would be cool to have similar style pinch-edges, but that could be matched – like Method rails. The end result is a nice combination of shape styles – I look at them and think they are reminiscent of the Dragonflys as well. Both Long Methods sets are perfect for crimp tension climbing.
The next sets of shapes that took their inspiration from popular designs Seth had already created, are the BIG SNEAKERS 1 and BIG SNEAKERS 2. If you know the superb Sneakers foothold set, you know that those 20 holds are some of the most perfect little smooth smear edges out there. Longtime Teknik friend Mike Moeltron had taken to using these for really difficult crimp climbing on the vertical walls at his gym Movement, and told me that a dream set would be an expanded, handhold version of the Sneakers.
Yet again, Seth came up with a brilliant group of 20 shapes – the amazing thing is – these truly are like magnified versions of the 20 original Sneaker shapes. Seth labored for hours on end to create these.
As soon as I brought them to the gym the first time, a bunch of folks started searching for the Sneaker footholds so we could pair them up with their big brothers.
Now onto what I personally think are the most original of the new carves – the Hooded Fangs and the Hoods. Zoe never fails to come up with unique ideas, and these are certainly no exception. The Hooded Fangs are truly roof jugs – they are scooping “hook” shapes that couldn’t have a better name. You’ll have to ask Zoe how she really came up with it – but I’m guessing it’s shaped like a hoodie hood, but well, it’s a fang too – so… HOODED FANGS.
What you can’t tell from these pics is that these guys are super lightweight, because they have an incredible hollow-back. Perfect for super steep walls, and on less steep, I envision them being used really well as sidepull. or undercling grips.
The HOODS are smaller, and do not have any particular “fang” part of the grab, but are more widely tapered.
But like the Hooded Fangs, they will also lend themselves to sidepull grip positions, if you want to create great compression climbing.
They’ll also be excellent for walls in the 45 degree range or steeper, in more horizontal positions, because they will really demand pinch strength and core power.
Lastly, there are two new sets in the line, of the geometric bent. Those of you who remember the classic Mathematics set (soon to return in fact) will recognize the flat angle aesthetic of the Mathematics 2 and the Hard Math.
The MATHEMATICS 2 are definitely the more positive of the two new sets, and a bit bigger overall. They have super hollow-backs, so they are really lightweight. Easily match-able, but everything will be dependent on the wall terrain with these guys. You may want to calculate the degree of overhang you can successfully put these on and still be able to dead hang, before experimenting too much with them. I bet they’ll be great for pulling just over a headwall.
HARD MATH will not be so easy to employ when routesetting for moderate climbing. On each of these five grips, the angle tapers towards the center like a pyramid, so no matter what way you angle these suckers, they are sloper edges.
I would love to set an arete climb up a super tall wall just purely with these shapes, making for pure compression sloper tension, where you’d have to keep your heels squeezing at all times.
And… finally, a parting shot, pairing one each from the Mathematics 2 and Hard Math sets. John Muse, a top USAC Routesetter who this year was on the ABS Youth Nationals crew, was making art on one of his harder climbs. The end result didn’t keep both these holds, but, how often is it that you find t-nut placements so perfect that you can literally turn two holds into one??? The perfect mash-up…!
Shoot us an email if you want to get some new grips! firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Keep reading below to see details on how a lot of these grips were used in the ABS Nationals…
If you are headed out to Canadian Bouldering Nationals at Climber’s Rock in Burlington, Ontario, I look forward to seeing many of you there.
Competitors – good luck!