Testing the 2014 Seba High
Arrived on the slalom freestyle market in 2005, the Seba High quickly found takers within the leisure and competition communities. Today, the Seba Highs have been joined by higher end models of the brand, such as the iGoR, KSJ and Trix, and also have a lighter version, the Seba High Light, and a carbon version, the Seba High Light Carbon.
Desing: Soberly customizable
Seba offers a design in keeping with its predecessors (the 2012 and 2013 models), with just an update of the upper parts of the skate. The sides and the cuff screws are in matt black, whereas the previous versions had glossy black sides and metal screws.
Those changes give a sober looks to the 2014 Seba Highs and enable you to customize your pair with a kit custom high, available in red, blue, violet, white, orange, etc. available for 39€ in skate shops.
The boot is massive, when compared to other Seba models such as those of the Trix or the iGoRs, an impression accentuated by the side sliders. Based on that, you can hardly be wrong in saying that the Seba High seems resistant but heavy. To be confirmed with the following of the test!
Support: Very close
When you know the reputation of the Seba Highs, with almost 10 years of commercialization, you also know that support and tightening are the strong points of the model. And indeed, support can be felt!
The skate needs a few adaptation sessions to break the liner in to the shape of your foot and feel comfortable. You have the impression of being compressed at first, but as days go by you can feel the liner adapting to your foot and compression being replaced by very appreciable comfort. Your foot doesn't move an inch, which prevents the appearance of blisters.
I would advise you not to use the laces for the first 4 outings, in order to let the boot and the liner slightly untighten and leave some space to your toes.
Tightening: Efficient but tedious
It is an overall tightening. The laces cover the whole skate and go up to the cuff. The velcro strap at the toes won't be useful for the first two months but will enable you to adjust the tightening with more precision afterwards. The micrometric buckle at the instep and the cuff buckle add to the overall tightening.
As a consequence, in order to have an optimal tightening, it takes a while to get ready. With a design close to the foot, an overall lacing and imposing buckles, the tightening is tedious but extremely efficient.
The buckles (instep and cuff) are very resistant and despite a few failed attemps at sliding ending up on the buckle, or a few sitting tricks with a fall on the side of the skate, no breakage is to be declared. And if despite it all, you were to break one, you could still change the different buckles with a simple screwdriver.
Comfort: A hard start...
You have to differcientiate two usage phases of the skate:
1) On the first sessions, the skate is comfortable with possible pressure points according to the shape of your foot.
2) As for usual use, the skate provides a really enjoyable comfort! There is no pressure point and the skate ages very well with time. Let's also note that the inside liner is machine washable. Washing the liner also enables to "re-swell" it and expand its lifespan.
Compared to the first models of the Seba High liners (from 2005 to 2008), the quality has improved a lot. Before, the liner tended to flatten at the ankle which made the tightening of the cuff painful (after a year of use). With those new liners, the lifespan of the skates is extended.
The insole is standard, even rigid, with little absorption to gain in reactivity. If you want to do jumps, it is recommended to use an insole with gel to gain in comfort and safety for your knees and back.
The cuffs are fixed with a patented system that enables to adjust the position of the cuff (low, high, to the back or to the front). In low position (by default) the skate gains in flexibility and leaves the foot enough freedom for toe tricks.
On the whole, the Seba High is very rigid, compared to KSJ or Trix boots, which makes the skate more versatile as for jumps and slides.
Weight: Heavy weight category
the boot (without the frames and the wheels) in size 42 weights 1.085 grams, which makes 1.950 grams for the whole skate equipped with a Deluxe 4*80mm frame and the default wheels.
Compared to other higher end models (Powerslide S4, Seba Trix) the Seba Highs are heavy. For lighter built skaters (-60 kg) the difference will be strongly felt and can be a criterion of choice.
Frame: You don't want to change a winning team
The 2014 Seba Highs are available in two versions, Classic and Deluxe. The Deluxe frame is better in terms of reactivity and solidity, in addition to the fact that they offer a better overall looks to the skates.
According to your foot size, 2 frame sizes are available: From 34 to 39, skates are equipped with a 231 mm frame (4*76 mm wheels max) and from size 40 to 47 with a 243 mm frame (4*80 mm wheels max).
The frames (Deluxe and Classic) are the same as on the different models of the brand: FR1, Trix, iGoR, High Light, etc. Nothing to declare as for the quality of the frames, they have proved their worth for a while already. You can skate without fear of breakage.
The wheels: Quality by default
Since 2013, the Seba Highs are equipped by default with Seba Street Invaders wheels.They are of diameter 76 mm or 80 mm and of hardness 84A.
Their hub is very small, hockey type, and their profile is round. A 80 mm wheel weighs 97 grams, which is quite a reasonable weight for that diameter.
When the wheels are new, the plastic layer on the urethane gives a great grip to the wheels on all types of surfaces. Make sure you get used to that grip, which can be surprising if you swich from used wheels to brand-new Street Invaders.
With use, the wheels keep a perfect grip, even after several millimeters of wear. For breaking, the urethane may tend to peal a little, leaving chips on the ground. But this doesn't impede the use of the wheels, except for their looks.
The Street Invaders are wheels of very good quality and bring a positive point at a time when brands equip their skates with low end wheels by default.
The detailed test of the Seba Street Invaders wheels will be available by the end of 2014 on Onlin-Skating.com!
Bearings: Quality by default
Seba has equipped the Seba Highs with the well-known Twincam ILQ9 Slalom Pro bearings. They don't need any particular manutention as long as you don't skate in the rain. In case of rain, you should clean them quickly -just like any bearing- our you may have to change them. They are silent with use and offer a smooth rolling.
Fastenings and screws
The fastenings are solid and of quality, the axles and the screws have resisted to the different manipulations. The axles perfectly do their job, even too much! You sometimes have to force on the wheel axles to unfasten them.
The keys that are supplied (1 key for the frame screws, 1 key for the rest) are equipped with a plastic handle for more support.
The finish is very clean. We are far from the first Seba model that showed glue blotches in-between the soft part and the shell. The seams are even and well manufactured.
Available at 299.99€ for the standard version and 329.99€ for the Deluxe version. The Seba High doesn't really have direct competition on the market as for its technical characteristics.
Let's note that it can be hard to choose between the Deluxe version and the Light model (Seba High Light) that is available for 349€, hardly 20€ more.
Without much surprise, the Seba high is placed in the upper middle range in the category of precision skates for the practice of freestyle. The excellent support of the boot makes the skate very reactive, it easily bear comparison with its rival models.
WARNING: Take the time to adjust the position of the frame under the boot, in order to fully enjoy the great stability in wheeling of the skate. A bad positioning may cause pain in the feet or make some tricks hard to perform.
The lack of comfort that may be felt at first may be discouraging before purchase. You shouldn't be afraid to suffer for a few sessions in order to break the liner in, and then enjoy ideal comfort for long hours of training!
You will have understood, that in order to get rid of the drawbacks of the Seba High, you have to upgrade to a higher end model in terms of price, like the Seba High Light or the last Seba High Light Carbon. Tests coming soon!
Strong points and points to be improved
+ Comfort (once the liner broken in)
- The weight
Name: Seba High Black / Seba High Deluxe
Sole: Composite with two aluminum plates with 7 holes each
Liner: 3D Anatomical (heat moldable, breathable and machine washable)
Cuff: Dual density, adjustable in 4 positions
Protective parts: Removable abrasion-resistant side sliders, toe cap
Tightening: Laces, velcro straps, aluminum micrometric buckles
Bearings: Twincam ILQ9 Seba Slalom Pro
Wheels: Black Seba Street Invaders
Frames and Wheels sizes: 36-41 EU | 249 mm | 4x76mm or 42-49 EU | 243 mm | 4x80mm
Spacers: Aluminum, speed-type
Size: 34 to 47
Weight: 1950 grams in size 42
Price: Seba High Black 299.99€ / Seba High Deluxe 329.99€
Other options: Heelpiece supplied.
Recommended use: Intensive use of slalom and competition, slides.
Useful linksBy Antoine Colange
Translation: Chloe Seyres
Photos : rollerenligne.com, Seba