Morpho |mor-phol-o-gy| the study of shape

So what can I say about Morpho’s?

Well, for those of you that are not familiar with them, it is a little hold making company out of Slovenia. We have been playing with their shapes down here in Melbourne for a few years now after James Kassay brought them back from one of his World Cup world trips.

The symbol of greatness

The majority of the bolt on holds that I have come across have been Polyester Resin. Apparently, they provide Polyurethane, but I haven’t seen any yet. That being said, as the popularity of climbing grows and we see the traffic in our climbing gyms continue to increase, my initial rejection of polyester holds has definitely dissipated. I think this is in part due to the fact that for many years I was forced to set on a rope, with heavy, full fill, polyester holds, on concrete walls. Many of my fellow setters will have shared this pain. So when Urethane, hollow back holds came out, it was a welcome relief. BUT, polyester seems to stand the test of time a whole lot better. It makes sense, being a harder material, the texture outlasts urethane equivalents unequivocally. New shapers have managed to make many of their holds hollow back now and the ‘chippy-ness’ of the shapes seem to have reduced. Be warned though, urethane suffers a slow death while polyester is much more dramatic!

The morpho fibreglass volumes are pretty bomb proof too. They are very rigid and the texture is, well, lethal?

Oceana on the giant morpho pinches in WA…. These things drew blood!

The addition of metal inserts in the screw holes has been a welcomed addition recently, with the plain fibreglass being susceptible to slowly widening and volumes being removed forcibly from the wall, like what happened to Mattias in Ballarat, at Nationals, which I don’t want to talk about…….

The use of ‘pan head’ screws is still recommended on the volumes with a flat flange that connects them to the wall, and maybe using a drill set to low torque instead of an impact driver will help the longevity of your volume.

Pan head Morphos….

In terms of shapes, I really can’t fault them. The scrimp sets are nice and I like the fact that you are holding the hold and not where the hold meets the wall. It provides a more consistent shape and requires more accuracy from the climbers. The slopers are the best. All of them. From the big pinches to the spheres, to the small pancakes. Morpho make some ridiculously good sloping holds. The pyramids are also awesome, although more standard triangular shapes, they are pretty fun to set with and nice to climb on.

Like all hold manufacturers, they still have a few things that are just, well, not great. Almost like they moulded it up and decided that they would go ahead and pour it anyway, even though they knew deep down it just wasn’t as good as the rest of the stuff in their catalogue.

And just on their catalogue, wow! I really really love it. Simple, well thought out and pretty. Just like their holds. You can tell they take pride in what they do and how they present themselves, which is always a good sign.

The word on the street is that they will be bringing out some new shapes soon which will be available for order in Australia in the not too distant future! Alan Pryce, from the Hub in Perth is the man when it comes to ordering yourself some and you can get in touch with him through the Boulder Hub website (click the text)….. Otherwise, drop us a line here and we can put you through.

New shapes – Octopuses
New Shapes – Cracks and Crack jugs

My picks from the catalogue are –

  • Any of the spheres or slopers, you will be so happy……
  • Any of the pyramids, again, just joyous
  • Crimps 1 and any of the jugs (big jugs, little jugs anything), along with the pinches and cubism 2 (new sets)
  • Slopers (again yes) blobs and bumps….. just so much fun to climb through.
  • Octopuses are super fun, but be warned they need LONG bolts.
  • And then so much of their new sets…… huecos, pinches, eggs…. OMG, I don’t know who has been shaping the new holds, but they are really great….

So there you have it. Morpho is definitely on its way to becoming a major player in the hold scene and for good reason with such a great catalogue. So do yourself a favour and put an order in. You will not be disappointed.

My score…….. High Distinction 92/100…… Anything that has sloper in its name will be your new favourite hold and then pretty much any of the new sets are as good, if not better…….

Oceana moving through the blobs