I run the akimbo on Tachyon, Blue Moon, and Fly. I love it. I think a lot of the initial hate for it was just from people making snap decisions without putting enough time into the device to learn the settings and break the device in.Can't wait to see it.
When I'm doing a big bomb on the akimbo, I find that keeping my ring finger in-between the beak and the lower bollard gives me a ton of control on slowly adding friction back into it. I also keep mine set so that as soon as I start to put pressure on it I begin descendingI've had my Akimbo about a year... finally starting to spend some more time on it... just because. I think Doug Tochtrop said it best. The Runner is the Ferarri of the tree climbing world. I enjoy my akimbo. It's a wonderful device, especially on slightly stiffer ropes. So far, xstatic and Scandere have been where I have found my happy place with it. It seems like the Akimbo has a lot of.... pickyness... when it comes to rope selection and deviation. On my yale 11.7 mm double braid families i found that it might drift on one... or get bouncy on another. Obviously different age ropes, different wear characteristics etc. The Akimbo seems to notice these things and respond to them... both positively and negatively. The runner seems to run how it will run on whatever rope it's on. Some better than others obviously. Both mechanicals hate sap. One other thing that keeps me on my runner more is that once in a while the akimbo will let you go for a hell of a drop. Holding the akimbo where it feels I have more control of the "bird" like you can with the runner is not the same. I can completely close the bird on the runner, drop out of the sky and have the control to push the bird back in place to slow down or stop(obviously the spring would do the same if I let go). On the akimbo, I feel it is much harder to have that level of control, so some moves are more difficult.