Test: Powerslide Hardcore Evo
Aesthetically, the Hardcore Evo doesn't look anything special. The look of the boot is quite classic, combining black and white with touches of orange. The carbon and fiberglass structure is present but discreet. It contrasts with the white leather of the ankle. The whole is spiced up with orange seam.
Then your sight goes down towards the frame, and you notice the work that has been done on the sides: It seems that they have undergone a little machining! The black upper part combined with the silver of the material make quite an impression. Its special look makes it very recognizable: here is the Alfa...
The foot is remarkably supported thanks to the boot close to your foot, a bit like speed skates (that's something I'm going to repeat all through the test, so you're gonna have to cope with it).
Your ankle won't move at all if you take the time to tighten your skate well. This is particularly due to the cuff, wrapping efficiently the ankle – maybe too much, so that it's not easy to bend at first.
You'll have to soften up the structure of the boot: it'll take a couple of slalom sessions. But then you'll even forget you've got them on, and you'll quickly get to know the skates.
We were afraid to feel a bit squeezed after a while in the Hardcore Evo... it was close! The skates are small-fitting, be sure to take a size slightly bigger than your usual skate size, and take the time to try them in the shop to get the size which is going to give you the best response and precision.
Maybe it's the carbon-effect? There are no pressure points with use, and no annoying visible seam either.
The front bending is a bit stiff at first, but it gets better once you've softened up the skate. The back bending is made easier thanks to the V-cut structure on the Achilles tendon. It offers enough freedom on the back of the foot for all kinds of heel wheeling tricks (it's the addict speaking).
Tightening: double lacing
The German brand went all out in its effort:
- lacing from up to toe
- a micrometric strap on the top of the foot for it to be nicely settled in the boot
- a velcro strap on the front of the foot for more precision on toe control
- a second micrometric strap
- a second lacing at the same place independent from the first one
Let's note the double lacing above all. This concept, mostly used in speed-skating, has been tested long enough already. It enables different lacings on the upper part and on the down part of the foot. It proves to be rather precise even if it's longer to tighten. It's up to you if you'd rather use a simple lacing...
The straps perfectly carry out their roles and the foot doesn't move at all in the boot. The whole is a bit long to tighten but it is very efficient.
In the Skaliweb test, broken straps were mentioned, but we have nothing to report by now. No problems either as for the length of the strap (no need to cut it), maybe it's a matter of size?
The Alfa frames
It's the main originality of the skate. The Alfa frame combine extrusion and machining. In other words, it combines two complementary methods of manufacturing to obtain the maximum rigidity, not forgetting lightness. The forms obtained by extrusion are impossible to get in a classic way. The designers could indulge themselves then, and they have created a model with a very successful design.
According to your foot size, you will get a 219mm (4x72mm), 231 mm (4x76 mm) or 243 mm (4x80 mm) model. We have tested the 231mm version.
The Alfa frames are very rigid thanks to their support bridges. They are particularly precise for wheelings. You can have a go without worrying, it's good stuff! Stability is carried out by large base plates on which the boot is set.
Take the time to adjust them before use (front, back and sides). Powerslide equipped its skates with X-Slot, a concept which is already used in speed, enabling to adjust your frames in every direction. There are millimetric marks on the frames, but nothing on the boots! It would have been better to follow through... because without marks, the efficiency and the usefulness of it becomes quite relative.
Multipurpose wheels, but no rockering!
No real innovation as for the wheels: according to your size you'll get 84A FSK Powerslide in 72, 76 or 80mm. The Hyper style 5-branch core is a classic. The volume of gum is quite generous. A good rolling on the whole.
Be careful with stops and brutal changings of direction, the wheel tends to side-slip. Otherwise, this mass-produced model is quite multipurpose. It will do at first. It's true that with a pair of skates almost reaching 400€, we would have appreciated to have Matter Juice FSK wheels...
Let's also note the fact that it would have been more judicious for a skate dedicated to slalom to be directly presented with rockered wheels! It's not for want of specifying it regularly in the tests...
Bearings: ILQ 9 Pro
Nothing much to say as for the bearings. From the outset, Powerslide banked on the high standing with Twincam ILQ9 Pro Slalom... hard to find better for the discipline. The rolling is smooth and if you don't splash about in the puddles they should last long.
Screws: classic and efficient
Just as usual, Powerslide equipped its model with torque axles. This system limits the risks that an axle becomes eroded because of too many screwings and unscrewings: the star-shaped head enables a better hold than the six-sided one. The speed style axles are simple, efficient and precise.
Some small details like the double lacing or the small anti-abrasive support on the side are noticeable. A shame though that it is not detachable and replaceable.
The millimetric marking enabling to optimize the placing of the frame is a good idea, and should have been followed through with a complementary marking on the boot.
Let's keep it simple, we were won over by the Hardcore Evo. With only 1410 grams, it is so light that you easily forget you're wearing them. You get to know the skates very quickly. Its compact and rigid frame (231mm for size 41) offers a great ease to use, both in freestyle and in speed slalom. The skate takes wheelings very calmly. The carbon boot enables the whole skate to be very reactive, which is very agreeable for speed-slalom. Its wrapping structure gives an excellent control. It is probably one of the best slalom skates of the last couple of years. Respect to Powerslide! Put on some good Matter wheels and you'll have a better distinction...
Strong points and points to be improved
+ Very light
Points to be improved
– Non-replaceable anti-abrasive support
Name: Hardcore Evo
Boot: Carbon and fiberglass with Hollow Tube Technology
Ankle: Nanoleather, canvas
Cuff: X-tech (25% fiberglass)
Tightening: 2 micrometric straps on the top of the foot and on the shin, double lacing on the foot and on the shin, velcro strap on the toe.
Included: Pitch&Stride Control™
Available sizes: 36 to 46
Wheel and Frame sizes:
36-39 EU | 219 mm | 4x72 mm
40-41 EU | 231 mm | 4x76mm
42-46 EU | 243 mm | 4x80mm wheels
Frame: Powerslide FSK Alfa aluminium 7005 - double hole from 219 to 243 mm according to the boot size
Axles: Speed-style torque 8 mm T25
Wheels: Powerslide FSK Super High Rebound
Bearings: Twincam ILQ7 Slalom with metal shield
Weight: 1410 grams
Price: € 399
Powerslide Web Site
Hardcore Evo on Moana's Website
Specification Sheet of the Hardcore Evo on Powerslide's Website
Video test of the Hardcore Evo on Skali's WebSite (Part.1)
Video test of the Hardcore Evo on Skali's WebSite (Part.2)
Comparative test of the Alfa and Hardcore Frames by Skali
Translated by Close Yr E's