I think almost everyone is familiar with upcoming Level 2 powerblading frames. Unless you were in coma for past three months, you should have seen the leaks. Frames will soon hit the stores, and believe me, that’s actually a big deal, not only because they are simply big frames with a groove. There is more to them, a lot more, actually.
I never liked, and probably never will, 243mm long frames. They are absurdly short in my opinion, and I know I’m not alone in this. Number of aggressive skaters who skated medium sized frames before (they are usually 250-265mm long), find existing Kizer PBs a bit too short and unstable on gaps. I use 255mm long frames and love them, there is no thing that could bring me back to skating 243mm. Level 2s will be longer than Arrows and Advances. So, finally a powerblading frames that will appeal to my likings.
You can clearly see that walls were reshaped in comparison to Arrows. Their edges are now cut to prevent sliding on the ground during turns. Always a plus!
For all those who feel 4x80mm frames are a bit too high, there’s good news – Level 2 have smaller wheels (76mm) and lower height. So overall setup balance will be lower too. That means easier gaps obviously. It’s a trade-off thought, because you’ll be more likely to scratch the ground with soulplate when doing sharp turns.
But there is one ace in the sleeve that can make these frames instant classic. You remember idea of using powerblades to cruise around and keep aggressive frameset in backpack in case you want to do h-block tricks? Well, Level 2s may render having aggressive frames in a backpack completely obsolete! I’m not talking only about advantages of groove. This groove is small and less experienced skaters will probably still have hard time to grind anything other than smooth ledge with it.
I’m talking about possibility to use these frames in antirocker setup. So simple! Carry grindwheels in your pocket, and switch middle wheels to them if you need. It’s better than carrying around whole frameset, and it’s also more healthy for UFS hardware in your boots. A that means a lot especially in the likes of USD Carbon where UFS nuts aren’t easily accessible.
Of course small grindwheels in this frame won’t give you the same secure lock as in traditional aggressive one. But all is needed are simply – bigger grindwheels
…or juice blocks!
Even if these won’t happen, and PS won’t make dedicated parts, nothing stands in the way to use old fsk/pb wheels cores as a bigger grindwheels…
Some may say these ideas aren’t progress, and we are running in circles, but for me having more options is always good thing, and now it will be possible to re-introduce setup options that were abandoned long ago. As I said before, I’d rather carry four grindwheels or juice blocks around and be able to swap to them if I want to, than not having that choice, or swapping whole framesets. For some skaters Level 2s could become only frames they’ll need.
It’s also worth to note that these new frames are indeed deserve to be called next level – concept of powerblading is clearly more polished here and goes away from rough “fsk+soul grinds” definition. Jet Set Radio slowly becomes reality, haha!