Test : Kim Sung Jin Slalom Skates
The name of the KSJ skates comes from the famous Korean freestyler: Kim Sung Jin. He’s been with Seba for several years now. His style, his smoothness and his polyvalence make lots of skaters green with envy: speed slalom, style, slides, nothing stands up to the Korean prodigy who regularly flirts with the first place at the WSSA World Ranking. In 2010, Seba paid tribute to him in bringing out a skate, as non-standard as puzzling when compared to the other models of the brand.
We find again the same Deluxe frame as on the iGoRs, but in silver and gold with the champion’s signature. The boot is made of carbon. The ankle is more “open” than on the other Seba models, and it is combined with the rest of the boot for more lightness. But the main difference is in the Y cuff (or “triangle” cuff). As for the looks, it’s a discrete gold combined with black: a stylish skate which makes a lot of skaters curious. In size 40, the KSJ weighs 1460g, which is nearly 150g less that the iGoR (1615g) for one skate – it is one of the lightest slalom skates in the world.
This point is hard to detail with the KSJ. Though you can manage sitting tricks without much difficulty, it’s a fact that the flexion of the upper-part of the ankle is not as easy as on the iGoR – with which you really have the feeling that the skate follows your foot. On the KSJ, you don’t really have to force to bend, but the cuff doesn’t actually follows the move. Sensations are thus really different.
The liner is comfortable: no pressure point. You can feel the carbon close to your foot and you can feel it will be reactive if tried, but it is not annoying at all. After a while, the upper-part of the ankle might become irritating for the calf, it is thus recommended to use long socks to really be comfortable. The problem could also come from an imprecise placing of the frame. Take your time to find good adjustments and you won’t have none of these problems.
The support is excellent, both laterally and longitudinally. If you’re used to Seba skates, make sure you choose your skates very close to your foot, just like for speed skating, because the KSJ sizes bigger than the other models of the brand – carbon demands it!
Good news for Seba lovers: the KSJs are easier to tighten than the rest of the brand’s models... particularly because the ankle is more open so that the laces eyelets are easier to reach. First of all, there are laces from the toes up to the shin. There is also a Velcro fastener on the front of the boot, the top of the foot is well supported by a micrometric strap, and a second Velcro fastener resumes the tightening on the shin. Contrarily to the other models of the brand where laces are almost just a bonus, on the KSJs laces are essential due to the open structure of the boot. They bring the maximum precision. The micrometric strap is hard to tighten to the max, and it is not always easy to find the optimum placing of your foot in the boot. To be optimized. The tightening by the Velcro strap of the upper part is finally more than enough, because it gives freedom for the shin, and you gain comfort and movement amplitude. On the whole, the KSJ tightening system is efficient, but less precise that the iGoR’s: The foot moves a bit more in the boot. Make sure to lace up well to get the maximum support.
The Seba Deluxe frame can fit four 80mm wheels for the 243mm version, and 76mm for the 231 version. The frame is rigid thanks to thick sides and multiple reinforcement bridges. It’s got a great reactivity as well as an excellent stability for wheelings. It happens to be extremely resistant with time, and it will take your shocks without turning a hair. This famous model can’t be faulted, and it has proved itself for several years already.
The KSJ is equipped with Twincam ILQ 9 Pro Slalom bearings, the top-model of the brand. The cage is protected by an elastomer flange on the external face, and it is open on the internal face for more smoothness and less friction. We haven’t noticed any deterioration of the rolling of the bearings during the test. They are terrifically silent, and you’ll feel like a real sniper amongst the pedestrians!
Seba equipped the KSJ with 80mm wheels, hardness 85A (i.e. quite hard). Their profile is elliptic, just like speed-skating wheels. Their 5-branch core is “classic” and has been found on tons of models for a dozen years – it’s the same as that of the Hyperformance wheels, in case it rings a bell. The rebound test is convincing: the wheels bounce up to the good height quite quickly. As for the use, the wheels have a versatile behavior. The skating is really pleasant, and they show great reactivity and good response to speed but they sometimes suffer from brutal grip loosing. Be careful with surface and direction changes. They don’t grip much on wet grounds.
The frame has simple 8mm speed-skating type axles, pierced in their center. They are very strong and easy to unscrew. The 5mm screws fixing the frame to the boot are also strong and have proved themselves. This configuration can be found on every single Seba model.
Let’s note the presence of a piece protecting from abrasion the front external side of the boot, enabling to extend the skate’s life. The carbon finishing is perfect, no bubbles or glue traces: Nothing to report.
The KSJ is not meant for all skaters. It is easy to use, and very reactive. It shows to be perfect for freestyle and speed slalom practice, to which it is destined. It is extremely light, which increases its reactivity when tried. Its flexibility is somewhat puzzling at first try, but you quickly forget the problem in loosening the strap a bit. Sitting tricks are manageable... but less than with the iGoRs. Whereas the inner boot is very comfortable, the frictions of the upper part of the ankle can become annoying after a while if you have a sensitive skin: you’d better opt for longer socks. A good skate then, but you’ll need time to tame it...
Strong points and points to be improved
| - Irritating frictions on the upper-part of the ankle without long socks|
- tightening lacking a bit precision
- versatile wheels
Video by Hawaii Surf
|Axles ans screws||10/10|
|Value for money||08/10|
Boot: soft/hard with carbon base and cuff. Inserted 7-hole places on the front and the back of the boot. Replaceable abrasive pad.
Tightening: “Spider” micrometric buckle / Double strap / Asymmetric toe strap.
Size: 34 to 47.
Frame: 231/243mm Deluxe Frame, Extruded 7000 aluminum. Can be used for street-skating with a 255 or 273 frame.
Brakes: spare parts available (extra purchase).
Maximum diameter: 80mm.
Wheels: 76mm / 80mm White CW Seba “KSJ”.
Bearings: Twincam ILQ9 Slalom Pro.
Weight: 1460g size 40.
Axles: “speed-skating” 8mm
Gender: Man, Woman
Use: Slalom-skating, Freeskating.
LinksWritten by: Alfathor
Translated by Close Yr E’s
Photos : Seba et Alfathor