The little problem called Hardboiled in Boulder Canyon has been getting quite a lot of attention recently. First ascended by Daniel Woods about 7 years ago, it quickly became part of a circuit of V10/11 problems in the canyon. Most recently a number of ascents included a strapped-on kneepad and it was clear that what had been a reasonably soft 8a was something else. Ryan Silven was the first to state the obvious by climbing it both ways. For the 8a version he wrote, " sans kneebars. the sequence is different enough that it's almost a different boulder. can we still call this 8a if new, easier beta has been used? idk. it sucks my 100th double-digit boulder is mired in controversy. and kneebars." and for the 7c version, " with kneebars and a kneepad. not 8a. a kneebar takes weight through all the crux moves. 1.5 grades easier than w/o kneebars."
The talented female boulderer Alexandra Kordick continued the trend, grading her ascent 7c and commenting, " This problem is more funny than fun. An all around good humping sesh with Andrea Finklestein. I know this is a proud tick for lots of people and I don't want to take that away from anyone, but I'm kinda a kneebar specialist and v9 for it seems REALLY generous." And so on. Most recently Jens at 8a seemed to be implying that here was a woman who, in the words of Brian Kimball, "rode into town, cow~girled up with her guns a blazin' and just LAID DOWN THE LAW with an official down rate too V9 and 'that was being generous'."
Well not exactly. Comparisons with Rifle immediately spring to mind, since that is the place, with the exception of perhaps Jailhouse Rock, where kneebarring rules supreme. In Rifle everyone expects to use the maximum amount of kneepads, kneebarring, and general jessery. This may be in part why internationally known climbers visiting the US tend to go elsewhere to climb and why the canyon's hardest grades are pegged at a lowly 14c-ish. But be that as it may, kneebarring is a real climbing technique.
However bouldering has been fairly slow to accept this technique and indeed problems that feature kneebarring and kneepads tend to rate lower, maybe even much lower, on the desirability scale. Boulderers by definition are not automatically interested in the easiest method and will create and even seek out eliminates of all kinds. Hardboiled with kneepads and kneebars is one way of doing the problem which may be interesting to some. Without the pads, but with the kneebars, it could feel quite different again. Instead of a downgrade of Hardboiled to soft 7c there is no reason not to list separate variations of with kneebars or without them. If you want to tick the problem regardless of method, that's your choice and you get 7c if you use kneebars. But choosing to skip the kneepads and the new beta is a legitimate option as well.