Getting wind that Malcolm Smith was starting to make climbing holds was exciting to say the least. I had climbed a little with Malc over the last few years but not being the most chatty, this fanboy hadn’t exactly got much in the way of training secrets from the man. Stonesmith was born.
But surely this man of few words had something to say. I would often ask him questions about training and other things that most people would want to ask someone they used to have posters of on their walls. But let’s just say Malc isn’t exactly an open book. Which is why his holds were so exciting – finally I would have a chance to see what his ideal traning holds would be. How small are they? Do they use thumbs? How in-cut should a training hold really be? And what’s the best colour of hold for someone of my weight class to train on? I had a lot of questions… so when I had the opportunity to check out a set of full power small edges and pinches I was exited to say the least.
So I will set the scene here – the boards that I have used these holds on are between 45 and 55 degrees, overhanging at an angle that for me is a good training angle. The foot holds used are always small, no deeper than 10mm, and this seems to be where the holds excel.
First things first – out of the box the holds smelt really good, which is of little significance to most buyers but worth mentioning I thought.
It’s easy to see what Malc was looking for in this range. The holds are low profile with nothing bigger than a small campus rung, ranging from sloping to very in-cut. I used most of the more in-cut holds as undercuts and the rest as crimps or side pulls. The holds are very simple -no thumb catches or sharp edges, just very ergonomic, which is great for traning on for a long time as it helps with injury prevention and skin maintenance. The edges also vary a lot, alowing for lots if versatility – big moves between better holds or short ‘tensiony’ stabs between sloping edges.
These holds would be a great addition to any home board – they are some of the most versatile holds out there with optional attachment points of bolts or screws. My board was pretty full so it was nice not needing a t-nut to slot them on the wall. The only negative is the initial texture is a little rough to go full boar on for hours, but after a bit of use and some chalk they softened up and became a great addition to the wall.
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