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Rockcity Basics climbing holds

Rockcity Basics Jugs XL

After 21 years of using climbing holds we have decided it was time to get stuck in and release its first range of climbing holds.

With all those years of route setting, stripping and washing holds, we are no stranger to this side of these climbing wall products.

We werent completely happy with the holds that were out there and the choice we had so we decided to make our own.  As climbing walls have got busier the demands on climbing holds has got a lot tougher and we are still using the same old methods for making climbing holds.

For the last 20+ years we have really only ever had the choice of polyester resin cast holds or in the last couple of years polyurethane holds.  Both of these materials struggle to keep up with the wear and tear of a busy climbing gym, as traffic increases the holds suddenly get very tired.

Rockcity Basics Edges Small

A new hybrid material was introduced this year we decided that the time was right to help climbing holds catch up with the intensity that walls and centres have spread.  This new material Dannomite combines the flexibility and weight reduction of polyurethane with the hard wearing material that outlasts polyester resin holds by 10-15 times.  Add to this the UV stable colours and stainless steel inserts and you get the highest spec climbing holds ever produced!

With these new hybrid materials we can create extra small holds that don’t break and extra large holds that are not too heavy to lift up to bolt onto the wall.

Rockcity Basics Screw Ons

Get back to Basics with the Rockcity ‘Basics’ Climbing Hold range,  designed with one thing in mind, basic, single use making it ideal for everything from the harder circuits with competition style problems or any level of setting where movement is king, function over form. Built by a climbing wall, by route setters these holds are especially for modern climbing walls and their setters.

Each hold has a Stainless Steel Duel Fixing Insert that will not rust or corrode, unlike most other climbing holds. Made from Dannomite, a new stronger hybrid material that is 10-15 times more durable than all existing Polyester Resin and Polyurethane holds.

This hold will not break under the heavy work load which is now standard in a busy commercial climbing centre / climbing gym. Exceeds European Standard EN 12572-3 and using a new texture using a more complex and open grain that still grips when clogged up with chalk. Softer to the touch, better grip allows longer climbing sessions and is still better for your skin.

Rockcity Basics Slopers XL

Larger holds are hollow so that weight is reduced further.

  • Stainless Steel Duel Bolt inserts for increased life and appearance.
  • Softer and Ribbed backing for better grip against spinning, especially on textured walls, reducing the need to pin every hold.
  • All holds (except smallest footholds) have a screw hole for anti spinning Holds virtually unbreakable and resistant to chipping.
  • Holds are colourfast and resistant to U.V.
  • Holds resist black rubber staining better than existing materials do.
  • Suitable for impact drivers, even the smaller holds.
  • Great on uneven ‘real rock’ featured climbing walls.
  • Manufactured in the European Union, reducing the carbon footprint.

Rockcity Climbing Holds are available exclusively from Rockcity.  All enquiries please email – climbingholds@rockcity.co.uk

Rockcity Basics Jugs X Small


CooVar SureGrip

cantina coovar
One staple of DIY build climbing walls is CooVar Paints product, SureGrip.  Originally developed for Hull’s marine industry it was soon ‘borrowed’ by DIY self build projects.  The first to do so was probably Undercover Rock in Bristol in 1992.  Reading a small press feature in the Hull Daily Mail, the local paper of both Coo-Var paints and Rockcity (us) we got in touch and used it at Rockcity Climbing Centre in Hull in 1994.  We used this textured floor paint for the next 15+ years.  We last used it in our bouldering room, La Cantina in 2010.

Over the last 20 years it has been used extensively all over the UK and has probably been the No. 1 textured paint used on indoor climbing walls across the country.

suregrip_1l_blue_smThe benefits of SureGrip are that its fairly easy to apply.  Its an oil based, single pack paint that air drys.  Applied with a paint brush and roller and its thick enough to cut in different colours whilst smooth enough to get a reasonably neat edge.

There are a good range of basic colours (custom colours can be added at extra cost).

There are some drawbacks using Sure Grip compared to more modern systems and techniques for texturing climbing wall surfaces, (see Rockcity Pro Wall textured system).

Apply it thickly and it takes a long time to go completely hard.  We applied multiple layers with extra sand into La Cantina and it took 2-3 months to fully cure.  Normally two thin coats is fine but we like to play around with products at Rockcity HQ.

Also it lasts a long time but does wear a bit, especially on corners, as its only a paint and not a resin.  In addition it ‘ghosts’ a bit where shoes rub around the holds, nothing too bad and a lot better than just smooth painted walls but it does mark a bit as the paint isn’t repellent to climbing shoe  rubber.


All things considered its probably just us wall geeks that are obsessed by the differences int he paints and resins we use.  CooVar SureGrip is a great product that wont break the bank and can be used by anyone who can drive a paintbrush and roller.

Along with our more technical resin products, Rockcity Pro Wall and Rockcity Art Wall Shield we also sell CooVar SureGrip too.  We can direct ship straight to your climbing wall project.

Drop us an email – wallcoatings@rockcity.co.uk


King Kong Holds

Our review of all things climbing holds continues with a look at King Kong Holds.   We have used King Kong Holds for a number of years and have been pretty pleased with them.  For a small manufacturer they were quite ahead in terms of shapes of holds, definitely ahead of the bigger climbing wall manufacturers.

We like the Turtle Shells and are much happier that they weren’t just generically called ‘Font’ holds but they not only remind us of Fontainebleau but they actually do it better than a lot who have dared to call theirs as ‘Font’ like.


Overall a great set of quite sloping, pinch holds that are certainly a refreshing change from crimp, jug, repeat.  You even get a Turtle shaped holds for good measure.  Having the Turtle pattern gives those subtle little dimples that really help slopers to work better.

The next lot is the Sons of Kongs Holds.  These are a lot more ‘indoor climbing grips’ than some of the others.  OK for kids and beginners but they don’t really stand up to modern technical route or bouldering setting, the world has changed and so have climbing holds!



Pockets are a pretty good set.  We are not really big fans of pocket shaped climbing holds, they usually don’t work very well and then are difficult to fix to the wall as the bolt hole is very off centre and if used up side down they are very likely to spin.

All that said they are good holds, simple shapes and although the detail is quite basic it doesnt over complicate the hold and add any sharp bits.pockets







We have been pretty happy with the King Kong Holds.  They have lasted pretty well, there are a few things to note.  Unlike a lot of Polyester Resin Climbing Holds they do have a wire device to keep the hold together when it breaks.  They dont have a washer in which can cause the bolt to wear into the hold and this does weaken them.  Over time all of the small holds have died but that said all the medium and large holds are still going strong, carrying a few chips here and there and as PE does, they have washed out quite a lot.