Testing the 2013 Powerslide Gamma
Powerslide proposes a sober model, with discreet black enhanced by touches of red and white. The looks of the skate will suit most skaters.
The boot of the Powerslide Gamma is based on a composite soft/hard structure, light and efficient, probably made of polymer and glassfiber. The upper provides good side support while remaining flexible.
The liner envelops well the back of the foot, and the ankle is supported by a thick foam padding. On the other hand let's note that the boot is cut about one size larger than normal. The front of the foot is very wide, and you lose a bit in skating precision. As long as you are aware about the sizing at purchase, you can opt for a smaller skate.
Nothing wrong about comfort, the Gamma has a comfy boot. The ankle is well padded, the tongue on the instep is very generous. Note: Powerslide even provided a series of holes under the boot to improve the airing of the foot and the heat removal.
The tightening system of the gammas combines laces at the toes, a velcro strap at the instep and a micrometric buckle at the shin. The system proves to be efficient with use. The laces are thin and slide well... so well that you should hold them strongly while tightening. A quick locking system as a bonus would have been the cherry on top. The velcro strap holds tightly the ankle in the skate and the micrometric buckle enables the foot to be solidly attached. Nothing to declare.
The frame: the lightness of magnesium
Powerslide bets on an embossed aluminum Vision frame with 4 wheels of 80 mm. The frame is made of two aluminum blades riveted onto plastic bridges. That system is not the most optimal as for performance but it is sufficient for a low range skate.
We have taken off the wheels to test the rigidity of the blades, which is quite convincing on the whole. They bend slightly in length but not much. They will totally suit leisure skaters.
The wheels are of 80 mm, a handy diameter. The five spoke core is a common shape on those models. It is robust and well-tried. Those wheels are rather destined to urban outings, short distance or mid distance. For long distance such a diameter is not enough to keep your speed and will force you to skate in frequence.
With a hardness of 83A, the wheel is quite soft and comfortable without wearing out too fast. Most of the time, skates of that range have hardnesses in between 78A (soft but rapid wear) and 85A (hard with slow wear).
The rebound test is good: the wheel goes back up fast and at a good height. The rolling is satisfying.
The on-core is made of transparent polyurethane... which won't stay transparent long! After the first outing, it become opaque. The wear is quite even but a bit too rapid to our taste.
Powerslide equipped the Gamma with metal ABEC 5 set bearings (608 ZZ). They cannot be dismantled. For the maintainance you will have to make do with paper towel and lubricant. Set bearings have an advantage: they don't need to be much looked after.
They are quiet with use. Looking more closely you notice that they are filled with a very thick lubricant. You lose in rolling but you increase the lifespan in limiting dirt entering.
The brake of the Powerslide Gamma is compact. It doesn't take much room and proves to be efficient as soon as the first brakings. The pad doesn't leave any traces on the ground when you brake which is a good point if you skate indoors! Moreover you can adjust the height. You can lower it gradually as it wears thin in order to keep an optimal braking.
The assembly of the Powerslide Gammas is clean. No traces of glue, no seams, no matter excess. Powerslide has the subject under control. At a time when many brands try do cheese paring savings, let's appreciate the fact that PS has added a bag with spare screws and spacers. Keep them preciously when you go for a skate!
Apart for the large sizing of its boot, we have but little negative comments on the Gammas. With 119€, a price hardly higher than that of a kid's adjustable model, Powerslide delivers a model that will perfectly suit beginners who want to start skating with a sure bet at their feet.
Strong points and points to be improved
- large sizing of the boot
Upper boot: Soft/hard – Alpha – Heel Retention System – Micromesh upper
Liner: Mesh – Neoprene and micromesh
Tightening: Micrometric buckles, laces and velcro straps
Sizes: 40-47 EU | 7-13 US
Frame: Embossed and riveted aluminum – Vi Alu 4*80 – Axles with 8mm screws
Axle spacing / mounting: 165 mm
Wheels: Powerslide Freeway 80 mm 82A (shores)
Max diameter: 80 mm
Bearings: Powerslide ABEC 5
Brake: HABS pad
Recommended use: Discovery of speed and long distance skating
Useful linksBy Alfathor
Translation: Chloe Seyres
Photos: Powerslide and Alfathor