Testing the Xsjado Dustin Werbeski aggressive skates
I have never really been attracted to Powerblading. I like free skating, skating around, but an aggressive boot with a fitness frame, it's a case of déjà vu. The Conference presents the Xsjado Werbeski with a H-block… and a Kizer Level 3 frame. It is also equipped with a new soulplate and with the former cuff… If this doesn't look familiar… Enough with the grumbling, I put the skates on. Let's see what they're really worth rather than stick to preconceptions.
Dustin Werbeski presents quite a sober skate, with a sweet color mix of black and brown, which resembles the Stockwell 4 pretty much. However there is a nice design novelty: the wood effect soulplate. It doesn't change anything to the sliding, it just looks nice and a little original. For the rest, there's nothing new under the sun, the boot is low and light, available in black. The cuff doesn't show any modification or particular cut. The frame is as massive as the former Kizers, Level 1 and 2.
The comfort of the Xsjados is relative. Pro-models have the advantage of being generous as for foam padding. The ankle and the malleoli are really well supported. You feel good in them right away. Even if the shoe is thin, you are wedged in the shell without pain or discomfort. You confidently start skating when… BAM the tongue goes off and the ankle is not supported anymore… Terrible! Then you tighten the velcro straps, readjust everything and despite it all, at each landing that proves a little violent, the tongue moves and it's a real pain in the neck. You finally find the good adjustments but it's pretty annoying that the tongue is so narrow.
Luckily the tightening offers good support in the skate. With the buckle and the two velcro straps you can find an optimal tightening. As always, the tightening system is well thought, even if it's more complicated with this model to find the right adjustments.
I particularly like the sliding of those new soul plates. They remind me a lot of those of the USD Carbon. The Xsjado has good notches and a groove, both for the backslide plate and the inside of the foot. They enable to align the frame to the spot. You quickly get the hang of it. The soulplate is wide enough. The sliding between the frame and the soulplate is consistent. The sliding is good on all surfaces.
The Kizer Level 3 is a Powerblading model, which means that it is quite high when you're used to aggro frames. Getting the hang of it is not easy. But you can quickly find the H-block. On the other hand, curve grinding is pretty hard. As for skateparks, except for skating from one spot to another, I really like classic frames better. In short, either you like it or you don't. However for small souls or makios, the sliding is close to that of the Fluids and it's really nice.
The Conference offers Undercover wheels, Werbeski branded, in 72 mm and 88A. Wheels of pretty good quality. They don't explode at the slightest shock or bump on the ground. They are soft enough to make your skating pleasant and without too much disturbance on damaged grounds. And for a little more speed, you can enjoy ABEC 7 chrome bearings if you please, and I can assure you, it's good stuff!
Resistant frames, resistant wheels, solid soulplates, nothing to deplore here. The drawbacks in terms of solidity reside in the boot, with the buckle that can open during falls and the scratches that can wear out for the same reasons. But the skate remains solid.
I was not really convinced by those skates… far from it in fact. I see them as a good aggro boot, or more generally as a good freeskate pair that enables the possibility to throw a couple of slides, but it's not the most creative project. For an average price of 250€, they are in the price range for pro-models, even if you will probably regret not to have the cuff of the Xsjado 2.0.
Strong points and points to be improved
- Former spoiler
Model: Dustin Werbeski
Liner: Dense foam integrated to the skate and shoe
Tightening: Micrometric buckle and velcro strap
Sizes: 38 to 48
Frame: Kizer Level 3
Wheels: Undercover Werbeski 72 mm 88A
Maximum diameter: 72 mm
Bearings: Undercover ABEC 7 Chrome
Use: aggro, park, ramp and freeskate
LinksText and pictures: Thomas Bordier aka Bobor
Translation: Chloe Seyres