Kouba is a Czech climbing brand founded in 1991, precision manufacturing cams, nuts and abalaks in their workshop. Kouba may have been around for a while, but until recently they haven't been readily available within the UK. That's all changed with Sgùrr Shop making the whole Kouba range available on their website.
I can see those tricams taking off for scottish winter, I use them a lot for icy cracks but hate the floppiness, with the cable that's problem solved
I had been looking to add some of the Abalak tricams a few months ago but they were out of stock, got some on the way now. Will be giving them a try this winter.
Works well in that respect but the downside is they lift out much more easily (I appreciate you probably know this) so need to be extended much more than the sling model.
I'm psyched for the Sgúrr guys but it's worth pointing out that these products have been easily available for years under the Rock Empire brand. They're solidly built but heavier and less refined than the likes of BD/DMM/WC which is basically the trade off you make for paying less per unit.
I tested a rack of the dual axle cams for a couple of seasons alongside Dragons. They're fine enough and durable but I would prefer to avoid lugging a double rack up to an alpine route. First world problems.
If I were a student again I'd definitely buy them. People with proper wages will probably be happier with totems and dragons. Or maybe not. Working in the outdoor industry tends to turn you into a bit of a gear snob so possibly I'm out of touch.
> I'm psyched for the Sgúrr guys but it's worth pointing out that these products have been easily available for years under the Rock Empire brand.
I did wonder - the cams looked very familiar. I put this photo up on UKC in 2006 (eek!?!) https://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/dbpage.php?id=47986 having just bought the two biggest Rock Empire Pulsar (IIRC) cams. They look very similar but not identical to https://www.sgurr.shop/products/kouba-manta-cams-set-of-2-large Does Rock Empire still exist? Have they just changed their name to Kouba?
I remember paying just a bit over 20 quid per cam so the prices have gone up a fair amount (although they was hugely cheaper than the WC, DMM and BD alternatives 16 years).
> Does Rock Empire still exist? Have they just changed their name to Kouba?
IIRC they are both separate companies. Rock Empire makes their own (other) gear – Kouba had justalways produced cams and stoppers for them, but sold them under their own name as well, at least in some markets. No idea how that arrangement came to be, but it seems to suit both of them, since it had lasted for so long. Kouba as the producer is even mentioned in the product manuals of Rock Empire cams, but who ever reads these more than once