Review: Acid Rain Pinches from Vision Climbing

I love pinches.  Generally speaking, I’m abnormally strong on them.  Not Steven Jeffries kind of strong, but stronger than the average climber.  I often honestly refer to good pinches as jugs, only to have a climber who just fell off the same hold look at me like I’m speaking in a foreign language.  Because of this, it’s hard to find pinches that are difficult to use and don’t fall into the tiny edge, weird knob, or giant sloper category, but instead into the “you actually have to use your whole hand and have to squeeze, can’t really crimp it" kind of pinch department.  Make sense?

Enter the "Acid Rain Pinches" from Vision Climbing.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from these little guys, as I hadn’t climbed on them, but had fondled them enough to know they were going to provide challenges.  James and Lynette from Vision were nice enough to send over a set (along with their “Bumper Pads”, which will be reviewed in another post) for our reviewing pleasure.

Shaped by Chris Neal, the set comes with 5 small pinches, all pockmarked with “erosion” dimples.  Nearly the entire hold is usable, so they don’t take up much real estate on your wall, which was a key feature for me, as it is for most home wall owners.  The texture that Vision uses is friendly, but much like every other manufactured grip (with the exception of wood), I find it necessary for skin-friendly training to lightly sand the surface.  The erosion dimples were particularly sharp edged, but a minute or so per hold was all it took to have them rounded and ready to bolt on. 

Photo by Taylor Frohmiller

Our wall angle is adjustable, but we keep it at 35 degrees for the most part, and so for this review.  Much steeper, and you’re gonna have to be a monster to use these pinches.  For walls between 15-30 degrees, you’ll have no problem coming up with pinch problems that fall into the V3-V6 range. A little steeper than that, and they quickly become much harder to use, settling nicely into the V5-V9 range.  Anywhere past 45 degrees, and you’re certainly pushing your pinchers into double digits. 

Photo by Taylor Frohmiller

When I first got the Acid Rain Pinches up on the wall, I was skeptical that I could come up with anything hard enough to make them worthwhile for me in a training capacity.  However, by positioning them in ways that I was forced to pinch, (never pulling straight down; is there a bigger waste of a good pinch than turning it into a down pulling jug?), added to the fact that our wall has very few good feet, I was quickly shut down on many of the moves I came up with.  The erosion dimples add another layer of difficulty, reminiscent of outdoor climbing.  Precision is a necessity, because your fingers will inevitably stack into the dimples, so if you’re off a little, your grip suffers quite a bit.  A big plus, in my opinion.  I mean, I love big smooth pinches that you can launch and slap to with no concern for precision, but in reality, real rock holds are usually more fiddly than that.  These pinches force it.  Good job, Vision. 

Photo by Taylor Frohmiller

On our 35 degree wall I’ve come up with an endless number of moves connecting Acid Rain Pinches that I have yet to complete.  Many of my limit boulder problems now involve these guys.  They are small enough that you can’t simply layback off of them and turn them into a jug, while they are large enough to allow plenty of skin contact and friction.  If you set in such a way that you’re forced to pull straight out on these holds, you’ll get way more than your money’s worth of forearm soreness from the amount of squeeze required.  

You can find these pinches and all of Vision Climbing's other offerings HERE.

They offer free shipping on orders over $100, so if you pick up a couple of sets while you're there, you'll save a few bucks.  If you're a crimp monster, check out the "Bumper Pads", which I'll be telling you more about soon!

Kris author bio.png