Excited about Seba Street?

During past weeks rollerblading community pretty much get on Seba hype train, starting with Seba-CJ Wellsmore partnership announcement. It seems many people see Seba as some kind of savior, that bring superior quality, revolution, money, professionalism and “proper” skater-owned bussines in to the game.

The problem is, emotions sparked by having another brand entering the market and giving popular blader pro-boot and opportunity to took part in designing  the skate, took over cold reasoning and rationalism. Seba is no doubt influential company, but giving them more credit they deserve is a bad thing. The same happened numerous times with other brands, and you people learned nothing. Few months ago, Shima Skating Manufacture hype machine was so successful, that many people called them “revolution” in aggressive market and expected that Shima will lift popularity of rollerblading from depths of abyss called “place where mass media won’t go”, save it, and who knows what else. And how this turned out? If you don’t know, ask Montre Livingston…

This article isn’t written to slander Seba company, but to present my point of view and some facts about their policy and products. I’m simply tired of reading lies that are repeated by everyone, everywhere, without second thought. If someone wants to discuss with this article, please leave a comment. Keep in mind I won’t respond to any aggressive attacks and will delete any insulting comments. Rational discussion, based on facts is always welcome.

Iwould also want to remind you all, I’m not associated with any inline skating brand, and at the moment I’m not even working with any other people on skating-related projects. And no, nobody pays me anything under the table and “free” skates or parts aren’t on their way to my home. Treat text below as a outsider point of view, as a remedy to pandemic of “love Seba” disease. Maybe I’m one of those men who just want to watch the world burning, maybe I’m simply allergic to sweetness in overdose.

YES, SOMETIMES I AM HELL OF A KILLJOY.

Myth number 1: Seba have superior quality.

For years this was one of most repeated lies among freeskating community. I’m not saying Seba skates are of poor quality – no, they are respectable piece of equipment and many users are happy with their skates. But these products aren’t perfect and superior as marketing presents them to be.

Seba quality is simply inconsistent. While they excel at making some parts, like liners,  they fail in other departments. “Sebas are indestructible” myth came from freestyle slalom community, where Seba is probably still most popular brand, and most skaters have very “light” skating style. Let’s face it, cone slalom isn’t a way to test skates durability. Especially freeride ones, which are commonly used in it, as they are more affordable than Seba High and more expensive, slalom dedicated models. Slides/shuffles and jumping over the tape isn’t a useful stress test too.
Many actual freeriders who take their skates to the streets found out that claims about superior quality of the brand are far from truth.

FR series is best example of this. As a freeride skate, it gets treatment most closely resembling what any aggressive skates are going through. I personally know many users of FR series blades. My friends know even more. And feedback is consistent: Seba skates do break, like other skates.

Number of issues include: cracked cuffs, cracked shells, holes in the shells, too fast plastic wear in color versions of FR shells, loose frame mounting blocks in shells, ripped liners, cracked frames (even their best frames, “Deluxe”), cracked rivets in FRX budget model, extremely fragile buckles.


Get over it, these things happen. I know a guy who bought FRX skate and managed to crack one shell, one cuff, frame, Seba buckles he put on the skate instead of Velcro, and cuff rivets. Sure it is a budget model, but still many people (especially those who have/work in skateshops that sell Sebas) present it as an excellent quality, underestimated skate that is superior, for example, to Powerslide Metropolis, because it have the same liner and shell as more expensive FR models.


Cracked cuffs do happen in FR2 and FR1 models too, and there are people in Poland who bought FRs this, or last year and are now on their second or third set of cuffs.

Seba skates do break, they aren’t of any superior quality to other major companies offerings, so do not expect Seba Street skate will be worlds apart in terms of quality from what we have on market right now.

Myth number 2: Seba will revolutionize rollerblading with their skates.

I don’t know where this one was born, but probably in heads of fanboys that do not know anything about rollerblading, and pay little attention to brands other than Seba.

Point is, up to this point Seba didn’t revolutionized anything. Not even in their primary field of interest, freestyle slalom.
For a company that lives from selling freeskates, they are suspiciously late to most things.

Seba did not invented one-piece, linerless, carbon slalom skates, Powerslide did with S3 and Hardcore Evo, and put them on market when best what Seba got was High Carbon model, a version of plastic High model, but with carbon shell. Slalom owe it to Powerslide, that gear was further evolved. Now all top freestyle slalom skaters ride boots of such construction. It proved to be a major leap in terms of control and weight saving.

Seba based their first model (Igor) of such skate on existing High Carbon shell, and after that developed slimmer skate, KSJ, which was quickly scrapped (triangle carbon cuff broke far too easily) and replaced by superior version KSJ II. Now they made cheaper version of KSJ II, called Trix.

Thing is, Seba carbon skates aren’t heat-moldable, which takes away one of great advantages of used material. Forget semi-custom fit and eliminating of pressure points. Carbon and resin used in them aren’t of right kind, and skins material isn’t resistant to high temperatures and can shrink in oven. And basically, whole skate can de-glue.  Meanwhile HC Evos are perfectly heat-moldable, allowing custom fit. So you can say, even though Seba copied their competitor idea, they failed to do it 100% right.

In terms of frames designed for “banana” rocker setups, company were late to the party too. Again, Powerslide released their own sooner, and both brands were beat in the race by smaller Asian manufacturers.

In terms of freeride, what revolution did Seba pull off? None.


Their FR skate is just a Chinese, open-mould copy of old Tecnica Twister shell (Rollerblade have rights to original and modified it to create modern RB Twister shell). Now with more open space at the top, but it’s a controversy if this change is for better or for worse (some people don’t like it, others do). They do not make true-to size shells, like RB does with Fusion line for example. Buy EU43, and you’ll get boat of a skate with too much space inside.

Was Seba first to expand their FR line with 84mm and 90mm wheel options? NO! For years they released only 80mm versions with 243mm frames. Then Rollerblade took the risk and introduced (now scrapped)Fusion X7 and (still in production) Fusion 84 models. Greg Mirzoyan proved that 255mm frame and bigger wheels is very good choice for freeride, and market eventually accepted that. Then, Seba did their own FR skates with such wheels and frames.

We’ve heard rumors that FR-A soulplate were in development for years. Really? Then why they were released after emergence of Kizer Powerblading frames and USD/Xsjado PB setups?

It looks like Seba waited for other company to took the risk of developing a products, marketing it, and for skaters to get more familiar with “freeskate+grinds” style. So they won’t have to took any risk… If pb movement was to fail, I think we wouldn’t see FR-A soulplate any time soon. But as it proved to be successful, they can jump out of nowhere and say “we too!!!”. Yes, you too… with your soulplates mounted on boot without UFS and grindplates that don’t even protect whole frames.

(By the way, 90’s called, they want their grindplates back)


So tell me, why anybody should expect revolution, when Seba failed to bring any to existing freeskating market? All I see them do is copying other companies ideas. Sure, they are doing this right and pick ones that have some potential, they care about quality as much as other major brands, but copycats do not push industry forward – inventors do!

Myth number 3: Seba will bring more professionalism to the industry.

Yes, because Anthony Finocchiaro is an epitome of professionalism with his habit of going to every skating-related fb fanpage/rollernews/other forums and arguing with people about what is freeskating and why it isn’t powerblading (I’ve decided to write separate article about it, it will be posted few days from now on).

I’ve discussed few times with people related to Seba. And no, this company isn’t more professional than others. In many countries they do not have proper distribution chain. They do not respond to emails, or respond late. Sometimes using hard to understand English mutation (Frenglish?). Long time ago, when I was still part of FSKnews, someone wrote an interview, I translated it, and then it was sent to Seba. For almost a year they didn’t care to respond, maybe we were too small fishes in the pond for them? Finally they said we can visit one of events and they’ll respond our questions.

Well, keep in mind Greg Mirzoyan didn’t had any problems with responding to our questions via mail. He did even put link to interview with him on his personal blog…

For a skate company they are extremely lazy in terms of media. Freeride Seba edits are few and far between. Slalom ones too. It is really bad when Polish PS FSK slalom team alone creates more media than whole company, and when Powerslide and Rollerblade put out (separately!!!) more freeskating edits than a company that creates their financial backbone around this type of skating.

Myth number 4: Seba will bring more money in to the game, and they are skater owned.

First of all: do you people never learn? Why do you have this sick fetish of skater-owned companies actually?
It doesn’t matter. Look at current skater-owned companies (specifically “well known aggressive skater owned companies”). Do their products are any better than what bloodthirsty “corporations” make? I haven’t noticed anything like that. Please, enlighten me!

Seba is skater-owned in kind of the same way Valo is.

They have central in Europe, they design their products here, whole forefront is in France, but skates are made in Asia, and brand is part of larger Asian company, Micro, from Singapore. Micro make and distribute number of sports equipment.

And now, special delivery for all those who are enraged by the fact Razors (specifically: Sunshine) “make scooters and put rollerblading money in to scooter industry”:

Micro make scooters too!!! Proof:
http://www.micro.com.sg/micro.aspx

More breaking news: Powerslide make scooters too. And Rollerblade (Nordica) make …skateboards. Roces make both, isn’t Jon Julio deal with them suddenly a bit fishy? Burn the heretics!


About more money: tell me why do you think they’ll make difference, while aggressive skating will be only an side-business? Do you really expect brand created by a slalom skater, focused on slalom skating, to make any difference because they paired with one well known aggressive blader and are developing one skate?!

Myth number 5: CJ choose them, and will have Seba pro-model, that means something.

Rollerblading industry teach me, among few other things, that who rides for who means little to nothing.

How many times pro-bladers switched sponsors? It happens so frequently that I’ve lost track of it.

Don Bambrick on Razors! Don Bambrick off Razors. Don Bambrick on USD! Don Bambrick off USD.

J Bah on Rollerblade! J Bah off Rollerblade. J Bah on Razors! J Bah off Razors. J Bah on Adapt! J Bah off …just wait for it.

Brian Shima eventually ran out of companies to switch to and had to create his own.

The history repeats itself over and over again. Few pros stays loyal to one brand for their whole “career”. In case of boot companies it is frequent to switch sponsors, and even more in case of wheel and frame companies.

Truth is, pros are pros, because their skill (in most cases) excels what other skaters achieved. They would shred hard no matter what is on their feet. Talented skater can easily adapt to any skate, as proved numerous times.

Take Franky Morales for example: RB TRS->Remz->Remz OS->Throne UFS->Throne Classic->Carbon III
It doesn’t matter what he got on his feet, his skating never fails to amaze.

Hell, I could not mention Adam Żurawiecki and Nick Lomax, bladers who used USD Realms, cheapest USD model, as their skate of choice, for some time. And while having them on their feet, they managed to pull off jaw-dropping tricks.

I personally would never buy a skate solely because my favorite pro ride it. Recently I’m very impressed by Jon Bolino skating, I like the fact he is a metalhead in this hipster-gangsta rap polarized industry.

But I think I must take part in some accident involving my head, concrete, and high velocity, and then never fully recover, to buy butchered, overpriced Cult shell in skin, sitting on top of a boat… sorry.


The same goes for Valo. If I would want to skate old shell with raised heel, I would choose Throne Classic, at least they cost roughly the same for a full setup as Valos/SSMs cost for a boot only, don’t have ridiculous looking boats for a souls, and aren’t wrapped in unnecessary skin. Oh, and they come with much better liners.

But I would probably still choose complete Solo Troopers or Razors Genesys as they are in the same price range, and I do not like skates with lifted heel. Well, even USD VII are better suited to my taste.

Same goes for Seba. If you won’t like the skates, don’t jump on the hype train just because CJ skates them. That’s stupid reasoning. You should always choose blades that give you most control, comfort, and confidence at the same time. That’s why there are so many boots out there. So bladers can have choice. Maybe you’ll love Seba Street. Maybe you’ll hate them and ride another boot. It boils down to this.

Conclusion:

I’m not saying Seba will release bad skate, that they should be boycotted, or that their products are of low quality. I’m saying they aren’t better than other brands, and there is no reason to expect their skates to be next step in skate design.

If you expected revolution, earthquake, “rebirth” of rollerblading, and flood of money, you will be disappointed. Seba is simply another company that make good skates, nothing more, and won’t change the whole game by releasing one new boot. But this boot may be best boot for some people, just because everyone have different tastes. Isn’t that enough? Isn’t the fact that CJ found sponsor that allows him to travel and participate in comps, the fact there will be one more boot to choose, the fact Seba will be now interested in sponsoring aggressive comps alongside other companies, the fact they probably will create a larger aggressive team and support more bladers, enough? Do you really need to glorify them, and give them credit for things they never did?

Cool down people. Seba coming to aggressive market is a good thing, but certainly not the best thing that ever happened to rollerblading.

EDIT: read part 2 https://zecoprzepraszam.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/excited-about-seba-street-supplement/

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32 comments

  1. Pingback: Excited about Seba Street? – blogged by “Że co, przepraszam?!” - Powerblading | Powerblading
    • kmhciura

      Actually, I started skating in 2008 haha. What can I say, rollerblading is my hobby. Some people are obsessed by cars, and know all their favorite brands models and their specs, other by footbal and know history of whole leagues, I’m obsessed with blading. I skate, I read, I watch, because it’s fun, my own form of escapism. Thank you for kind words!

  2. James

    Is Seba Ferrari quality? No. They are regular quality. The only reason they look so good is because the rest of the industry is so bad in comparison. Razors, Remz etc…take a look at them. They use some of the cheapest, nastiest materials I’ve ever seen. If anyone can bring this sport out of the ghetto, it won’t be one of the existing companies.

    • kmhciura

      My opinion is, no company have power to “bring this sport out of the ghetto”. Only skaters themselves have that potential. Take a look at Rollerblade Solos, or Adapts – high quality of materials, but does that change anything? Did Salomon succeed in popularizing blading? No, and they were using material technology superior than everything produced now – from high quality plastic polymers, to Teflon soul plates and liners that were on par with those used in ski boots.

      What can help skating grow, especially aggressive skating, is more professional approach to business and fresh ideas.

      Thank you for this comment, it actually gave me idea of topic for another article! :)

  3. Psykoesis, the one and only

    Kato owned the only true skater owned company out there. Sending an outline of your foot to him and patiently waiting the arrival of a custom made product was truly unique. It was sad, when he had to sell to the infamous, “ANDY” from Razors and that began the downfall of Freedom-of-Feet. Suddenly we had pressure points and a virtual bunion maker of a skate, instead of the foot art, which it started out as.
    Trends come and go, much like the fickle little bladers themselves. I have skated since 87′, which means nothing to a generation of “haters”. At 41 years old now, nobody can touch my “skill” on blades, for my age group. If you like a company, stick with it and roll on their products. Stop flip flopping like whores, thinking that then next company is going to change the game, for ship jumpers should not be respected, but executed for treason. Seba, Razors, Valo, SSM, Upside Downs, Rollerblade, Bauer, Roces, Salomon, Fury, etc…Skates, nothing more and nothing less. They are made to haul ass, grind and withstand massive amounts of impact and torque, for short periods of time. They cannot make you into a semi-god, who walks on water, jumps off of buildings or even get you laid for that matter. Do what you do and show that love every chance you get, for it’s the only true relationship you will ever be in…EVER.
    Good read and wise words/observations, thanks for this…It will hurt a lot of little butts, but nobody ever likes to hear the truth or look in the mirror these days. One more thing….Pro skaters should really go to school or read more books, on the side. One day, the “tour” ends and life begins, will YOU be ready, or will you just be another drugged out, liquored up tattoo billboard without a tribe, working a McDonalds? Skater4lyfe! :)

  4. Mik

    Good piece, my man. On the upside, I think every new company that comes in to the market will always have they hype to it. But, Seba skates coming into the market could be seen as a good sign. If another competitor wants to enter the market, they must think there is room for growth. OR, in the worst case, they take market share from another competitor, which might threaten another brand with extinction.

    On the concept of innovation, I think a boot company actually gets an INNOVATED product after a little while. Valo took years just to make the Light’s ( which I ride and actually like them haha), even though that wasn’t anything revolutionary, and USD’s next big innovation was to buy Deshi for the Carbon’s, which could be seen as a modern version of K2’s.

    Maybe boots don’t have the room for that next big breakthrough yet, but in the meantime, let’s all just appreciate that we have 7or 8 companies to choose from, and each are different. Let’s be glad we have that variety.

    • kmhciura

      Thank you for posting this comment!

      AFAIK, Deshi was founded in cooperation with Powerslide (owner of The Conference) and USD didn’t bought them. When people who run Deshi pretty much abandoned the project due to their other jobs and private live duties, Powerslide was left with a brand without any future. I think I’ve read a piece about it, but can not remember where. One of guys involved explained what went wrong.

      Instead of scrapping whole Deshi, people in Powerslide decided to take Carbons, which were promising design and took market with a breeze, and develop them further under another of their brands.

      That happened other times too, for example look at Xsjado Mook frames or Sifika liners. Mook frames were renamed as Type X, are slightly redesigned and under Kizer brand now. USD liners are straight continuation of Sifika liners.

      And I do agree, that we should be glad we have choice when it comes to choosing skating gear. Having a choice is always good thing.

  5. Jack

    great article indeed… i just dont see the point of bullshitting yourself.. look at the whole picture… we have a variation in skaters/bladers out there.. , from the blader who just got hooked onto the fun beneath his feet and just loves hanging with others.. and what ever cool stuff comes out he may or may not buy.. and then theres the more well infromed and emotionally invested skater who cares more about the teams and comings and goings of what blading is.. , then you have the hardcore 4LIFEbladers that know the industry from top to bottom and gets to the bottom of it all.. back to front… and fights for balance in what he loves..

    ive been around since 1993 as a 4-5year old and rollerblading runs in my blood really.. if im on or of blades i blade in my mind… but rest assured those boots with pb frames or create originals frames.. are prevelant and never leave..

    everyone wishes that they can be the next brand.. and i mean yeah it those present a shift in the balance.. of market share … but know this … like any industry out there.. competition forces us to strive to better eachother brand wise in terms of marketing and importantly the approach to higher quality wheels,bearings,frames,boots,liners & clothing… etc..

    so there is no saying “o no we dont need more brands blah blah it will thin out the ability to make money for our sport & industry” sure it will make it more…… chanllenging thats true but it ll get things to where they need to be…

    we want true professionalism that is consistent which included careing about the team and products and listening to demands as well as having a great general rapport/rapor with enthusiests and athletes…

    enjoy the wheels beneath your feet..

  6. Mik

    Ah, I did not know about Deshi being almost defunked. Thank you USD for saving that. I guess good innovations will keep continuing even after others pick it up.

    Skater-owned companies are a good thing, but I think we must realize that it is a business, and alot of times in business you could be forced to do things you never wanted to do, but have to so the business can keep going.

  7. Fazuly

    Awesome piece… I feel you man. The skater really makes the skates not the other way around.

  8. Gaston

    “Sometimes using hard to understand English mutation (Frenglish?).” Ahaha don’t worry, even when they write in french this doesn’t have any sense either. Tell them and they feel agressed. At the beginning i was thinking it was gonna be a really good brand but if they do their promote this way, their image in the media doesn’t gonna be as good as i hoped. It’s a pity, is an important point to being taken seriously, mainly by the people outside the industry.

  9. Leo Oppenheim

    Dude..i have to say that your attempts to defaecate Seba’s brand and reputation are pretty flawed. I have been skating seba’s for years now as a freeride skate.. (See Leo Oppenheim Athlete page) And have failed to break them at all yet. I love to smash big drops and gaps all the time and every part of my skates has always held up well. Bare in mind that i have broken many aggressive skates and was also skating Powerslide at one point (killed about 4 pairs of evos in half a year). I really don;t buy that you are completely un bias here. It’s clear to me that you have your own brand affiliations. I’m sure you will probably delete this comment as it doesn’t tie in with your reasoning.

    I was lucky enough to get chosen by Seba half a year ago to represent there brand in the UK, ride there skates, promote them and look for an aggressive team for the coming launch of the new skate next year. Now i’ll be straight up with my affiliations here..And the reason why i am so passionate about Seba as a brand and do believe that People should be Hyped by them entering our scene is that i have alot of experience of the company in other disciplines and how much they really put back into the sport. Granted..The company is owned by micro..But everyone who runs that company are really, truly passionate about skating and want to see a good future with it. You are probably not aware of the WSX series (Which Seba started last year) but this is great for all disciplines . and has been fully ran and funded by Seba. Slalom competitions…Every big event and lots of small events Seba backs. You will find the same will be true when Seba enter the aggressive scene. This brand are not just about there own brand, they want to see growth in skating. Granted this will obviously help them business wise, but it will also help every other company.
    It is all good anyway, i don’t really need to argue with you i will just let the facts speak for themselves when they skate comes out.
    Speaking of which i got a new pair of FR-A’s the other day and upon taking them to the skate park everyone was looking at them for a good 20 minutes and even the haters started to realize that Seba do make very high quality products. I loved how you tried to slate there quality by using a pair of FRX’s (there low budget skate) that your friend had obviously been hammering big gaps on. Tell him to get some FR-A’s and try and break them ok??

    • kmhciura

      Hi, thank you for comment.

      If you were doing freeride in Evos I’m not surprised you destroyed four pairs in a year, as these are pure freestyle slalom skates, not freeskates, ouch! If you would put KSJ II in their place, results would be the same.

      I think you must skate really well and mess up tricks rarely, or you simply got lucky that your skates haven’t break. I put FRX as an example, because I had pictures of them on my phone. The same issues apply to more expensive models. Buckles in FR-A of a friend broke during first skate session. Other guy managed to crack two pairs of Deluxe frames, and he skates purely slalom and do slides. Seen countless FR1 with holes in the shells, or with cracked shells. Broken cuffs aren’t anything uncommon too. As I stated, there are skaters I know that are on their third pair of cuffs right now. Other things do happen, like the fact that shell of High basically cuts liner in a half on cuff area with time.

      It’s not “defacing” anybody. It’s letting people know how it is. All skates do break, I’m not saying that Seba are worse than others. I’m saying they are not years ahead in terms of quality, as they are often presented, and company won’t bring revolution to aggressive. Because it won’t. Even if they would fund whole international league, that won’t change the state aggressive is. Actually in my opinion no single company is able to do any revolution in this field. Cooperation of major players, maybe, but that could not be enough too. But that’s topic for another article. You see me trying to deface a company. My intention was to tell people “get real”.

      You of course can have your own opinion, and it is good thing that you shared it with me and others. I’m not only harsh on Seba. Read my article about RB Solos. It’s much less favourable view on this company actions.

      Difference is: nobody from Rollerblade, or none of their riders or fans, came here or send me message with insults as a reaction to article.

      Sure, there were some great, polite responses from few people connected to Seba and people who skate their products. I appreciate it, and I think your comment is valuable too.

      But also I got A LOT of pure hate speech, without any arguments.

      When people react that way, and treat skating brand as sacrum, you know you did right thing by writing article that aim to de-mythologise the brand.

    • kmhciura

      Read the article then write down your own counter-arguments please, as “USD just tried to rebrand it” is not an argument. Who knows, maybe you’ll convince me about your point of view and I will write article with title “Powerblading is rebranded freeskating”?

  10. Sam

    Shima ran out of companies to switch between? didnt he have like 7 pro skates from Razors over a period of about 7 years? Hardly switching companies is it. he’s was only on USD before razors as well so that makes it a grand total of 2 brands before nimh.

    • kmhciura

      Dude, that is a ongoing joke. Don’t take everything so seriously.

      And companies do not equal brands. He was sponsored by companies like Sunshine (owns Razors, Remz, Jug, and Ground Control) and Powerslide (owns whole The Conference including USD).

  11. Leo Oppenheim

    Fair points (though i really doubt your friends who slalom and slide managed to break any deluxe frames…Dude i do massive drops with them..i have murdered countless Gyro wheels ect and have not once killed these frames.) All skates break for sure…and it is all good for you to have your opinion. Seba never stated that they would ‘revolutionize the aggressive market’ other people have said this. Though i will say this..The Seba aggressive skate is going to be really really good. From having the privilege to get a good look at them and seeing what CJ is doing on them + knowing what my experience is with Seba, they are going to be sweet! Not over hyping, just genuinely excited.I can’t speak for everyone…but right from using my first pair of FR’s to now (i slalom also and love my igor’s) i have found Sebas skates to be durable and high quality. Yes, this is just my opinion..but just like you, i am entitled to it.
    And though Seba may not revolutionize the aggressive scene, i am sure they will put money into competitions and supporting aggressive skating in general, and that cannot be a bad thing!Just out of interest, do you ever write negative articles about Powerslide? I take it you find there products the best right?
    Also, i would love you to try the FR-A’s, i think you would be surprised at how good they are for free skating ;)

    • kmhciura

      Yes, I wrote A LOT of negative articles about Powerslide in the past, but only on Polish forums. I wrote greatly unfavourable review of Powerslide Metro skate (09/10 version). I criticized them when they scrapped true Cell II (last on was 2009 version), which were nice entry-level softboot freeskates, and replaced with “Cell FSK” skate which is nothing more than slightly re-designed boot from old Phuzion fitness skates equipped with short frame. Even at the beginning of powerblading movement I wrote article with title “powerfail” where I criticized them for lack of direction with this idea – in very first months all we saw were edits of aggressive skaters, doing aggressive tricks on ledges, using pb setups, nothing more. In the past years I saw Powerslide as lazy in freeskating department, not offering true competitor to RB Twister, or Seba FR1. I’m still sceptical about concept of Vi skates, because it’s well known thing that fast lacing systems based on metal threads eventually do fail. Believe it or not, at some point one of people working with Polish PS distributor asked admin of fsknews forum to ban me, because he didn’t liked what I wrote and didn’t want it to see daylight. Of course I wasn’t banned haha :)

      But my view has changed a lot. Powerblading range of products was spot on idea. Now doop skates, which I do believe make sense as a product aimed at casual audience. You can’t deny that their Deshi/USD Carbon skates made huge impact on aggressive skating. Even PS Metros got improved through years, and now are great entry-level freeskates, only thing that needs tweaking is lower buckle in my opinion. But no doubt these are “best bang for your bucks” on this price level. PS Hawks freeskates planned for 2013 look great. I think company really pulled itself together, stopped releasing half-baked ideas, and focused on polishing them more. For the last two years, they are in state of constant progress.

      I do not think their products are the best. My favourite boot is Rollerblade Solo/Fusion and Powerslide do not make similar hardshell. I’m not very keen on one-piece carbon skates. Solos are strong, made of great quality plastic, have low balance thanks to frame mounted directly to the boot, huge shock absorber which I love, and are great base for mods. I also think Rollerblade 255mm Fusion frame is awesome piece of aluminium for freeskating, and Powerslide do not have anything like that at the moment. You can say, I’m kind of Rollerblade fan, even though I see mistakes they made and I’m disappointed by lack of progress in 2013 freeskates/aggressive line.

      As for FR-A, I’m sure they are nice – for people who like these kind of boots. I prefer lower heel position, better shock absorption, and UFS mount give these things. I also tried new FR1s on, and haven’t liked open shell, too “softboot feeling” for me, not to mention there were too much space in the skate. That’s the problem, shell of size EU 43 is the same as of 45. My Fusion skates have shell made for 43-44 sizes (280 and 285mm) and my feet have 28cm, so I get much better, closer fit. Downsizing shell in FRs is not an option, as I would sacrifice toebox space, which is already slim in FR and the likes. I don’t want to have my toenails turn blue after a fall haha :)

      Maybe I’ll someday try Seba Street, as they would be UFS, so they’ll have more flat heel position, lower balance, and I hope they will be more true to size.

      • Leo Oppenheim

        Yeah..I get you..I skated the fusions for a little while and also the Estelio as an aggressive skate..For me, i found them to be rather bulky and unresponsive..i also managed to smash the soul plates in twice and kill the buckes that act as a powerstrap on the side of the skate (this problem has obviously been solved with the use of velcro now.).But as you say, different skates suit different people. I am a size 11 and my FR-A’s are actually a size 10..I have no problem with this at all in terms of the toe box space (may be to do with the opened shell) and the balance liners are truly the best liners i have ever had..in both aggressive skates and freeskates. Have you tried a 43 boot before? I know Seba make these. I have used USD skates and found the carbons to be great…., until that is they went floppy on me (this probably has something to do with the carbon not actually being full carbon and a carbon/fibreglass composite.) After 3 months of skating my carbon 3’s i had i found this to be the case. Was very gutted indeed! I’m looking to put some Kaltik flat frames on my old Seba FR-A boots with a flat set up of Eulogys (found a good way of doing this) . Can’t wait to do back royals again..think i will spend a month skating just that trick!

      • kmhciura

        Old buckle on Fusion/Solos was a total disaster :) That’s good thing they eventually replaced it with ski-style one, but only on Solos, and for next year there will be only RG3 with strap… Personally I do not use buckle nor strap. This skate really fits my anatomy so well, that lacing is enough. I skate them laced and with velcro straps on cuffs and they are supportive enough (and no need to worry about broken buckles haha!)

        Good thing you pointed soulplate issue. They really were prone to cracking in older models. Supposedly new material solved that. But that doesn’t change the fact souls on solos are far from perfect and little tuning would be good.

        Seba makes boots in size 43 of course, and I tried this size, but I didn’t “feel” the skate. Shell of this size have more room inside than shell of Solos in the same size. I simply prefer my skates to tightly hold my feet.

  12. Estela

    I bought FR2/2012, had high expectations for Seba skates as all reviews were prettty good. It broke the plastic cuff around the screw at first usage (for fitness run by the way, so no jumps whatsoever). Poor quality. I had before Twister 242/2011 and had no problems, then I decide to sell and get Seba for a change. Deeply regret.

    • kujaw

      My SEBA FR2 cracked exactly in the same place as shown on the first picture, both left and right skates. After almost one year of skating about 1-2hrs per week.
      The girl in some skate shop told me that this is normal for SEBA that they break very easily and she personally doesn’t like this brand because of that.
      So… I think it’s time to say goodbye to this brand ;)

  13. aaa

    Hi there all, here every person is sharing these experience, therefore it’s good to read this web site, and I used to visit this
    blog everyday.

  14. Cuitlahuac Sanchez

    Dude im reading you from culiacan, sinaloa, Mexico. I enjoyed your article, it seems you really understand the rollerblanding world from business pov and heart.
    By the way i ended here because i was looking on internet some information for heat molding my new Seba’s CJ, but of course after reading your article i wont heat mold them LOL, thanks it was really helpful to no destroy my purchase.
    PD: Actually im skating with a pair of Carbon free Richie Eisler, and i love them. :)

  15. brictus

    The French site estrem dounill specializing in roller descent, did a comparative comfirme that your statements about the Seba.: http://www.estrem-dounill.org/articles/tests-de-materiel/les-coques-de-descente/quelles-coques-pour-le-roller-de-descente-partie-3/
    The Seba products are in the bottom of the rankings.
    According to them, the best skating are the old model rollerblade manufactured in Italy. as the “fusion mx”
    Here is a video comparing bending before the merger mx against Igor Seba:

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