2014 ISPO: On the Quad Side
The return of quad skates: for better and/or worse
You can find anything on the quad market… especially a lot of copies and white label products. Indeed, lots of manufacturers get their supplies in the same factories, making do with a few design modifications. Thus we could admire almost the same range entry model of roller derby skates on three different stands. Would brands feel the wind of some opportunity? It's a shame that some are more motivated by mercantile feelings rather than by developing and bringing new and true innovations on the market. We will leave it to you to make your own judgement by browsing the photos…
Now that the waves are made, let's have a look around.
Ouch, my eyes!
The idea of daring designs seems to have spread along a good number of brands: panther-style, snakeskin, flashy colors, flashy snake mix… There is something to suit all tastes! That type of products is probably destined to the Great Britain market where roller disco fans love those design experiments.
Old school style
Roces pays tribute to Toto Ghali in bringing out a Majestic Twelve quad skate with large trucks designed by Toto. A reference to the French inventor who is currently back on the market with new aggressive plates for quad skates.
Risport: the tradition of excellence
Risport stays true to itself in offering upmarket artistic skating boots with perfect finishing. There's no doubt about it, Italians are the kings of shoes, for skates and more…
Riedell: Made in USA
Impossible to go to the ISPO and not check the Riedell stand. The American brand shows a wide range of skates for roller derby as well as a speed skating model. Our attention is particularly caught by the new Arius plate with an innovating design. It has a very light frame made of aluminum, which is anodized in red with 45° trucks. The U-shaped cushions would deserve a proper testing.
Sure Grip / Powerslide: unity makes strength
As for Sure Grip, the brand imported in Europe by Powerslide, they opted for a feminine design with various colors of suede leather. At the same time, the German brand unveils the adjustable Chaya plates… but we are not allowed to share pictures for the moment. However, here are a few pictures of PS carbon boots. Bont, competition is coming!
Roller Derby arrives in a flourish
Last but not least, the Roller Derby brand, one of the oldest of the market! Founded in the mid-30's, the brand hasn't done a lot of derby equipment until now, but they did create wheels with legendary grip (hence the name). Today, the brand unveils elaborated and successful plate models, the promotion of which is made by an ace speed skater transformed into a derby player: Tony Muse, a former opponent to Briand, Gicquel and friends. The Men's World Cup of Roller Derby will tell if that equipment is worth it.
What should be remembered from that Quad ISPO?
You should sort the wheat from the chaff. There's nothing like a show to make the difference between noise traders and brands that have true innovating motivations. Unfortunately that's the law of the market, let's hope that the ones making the effort of finding novelties will reap the rewards of their investments.
Useful linksText and photos by Alfathor
Translation: Chloe Seyres