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On 17 October 2016 at 09:10 | updated on 02 October 2018 at 15:13

Testing Powerslide's Kaze Freeride Skates

Testing Powerslide's Kaze Freeride Skates

Powerslide has sent us a pair of their latest freeride skate models, the Kazes, mounted on 4x80 mm Trinity frames. Test bench...

By  Luc BOURDIN

Testing

Analysis and first hypotheses

Powerslide Kaze 2016At first sight, there is no doubt about what the Kazes are designed for: ankle boots with tightening buckles and laces, mounted on short 4x80mm frames, and hard wheels (85A) with a rounded profile... We're dealing with a freeride model that should also suit a good bunch of slalomers.

After a closer look, a few details are surprising:

  • The choice of a semi-soft boot, a concept that rhymes with comfort — a feature that is in contradiction with reactivity, which is expected for a freeskating use.
  • The protective pad on the side of the boot is not replaceable (cf. slides)... because it is probably hard to insert screws on a soft boot. And there are no shock absorbers, neither enough room to stall on a coping or a wall for street-oriented skaters. It is thus more of a « soft » freeride model.
  • For slalomers, the flat-wheel set-up and the thickness of the liner make it, in theory, more of a model for occasional slalomers, not for specialists.

The Boot

It was made in the same mold as that of the Swell. But contrary to the latter, it has 3 fixing points, following the Trinity concept, it is equipped with micrometric buckles instead of velcro straps, and the colors are different. The semi-soft design of the shell reminds us of the first attempts at design evolution of inline skating, before the democratization of hard shells and removable liners. The contrast is huge: an enveloping basis versus a very soft upper boot... so that even with the spoiler, it doesn't get much rigid.

The boot of the Kaze is articulated and weighs 883 grams. The cuff can be removed with a torque tool. Just like many models of the brand this year, it has ventilation holes under the foot... Forget about slide sessions in the rain!

The 3-point fixing of the boot to the frame follows the Trinity Concept. Only models with the Trinity frame are compatible for customization, but you can bet on the development of the system, given how convincing it is !

Design

The sober looks and the thin lines of the boot have won unanimous support amongst the 4 testers of the Kaze.

Powerslide Kaze 2016

Tightening

Powerslide Kaze 2016Powerslide opted for a classic combination, with laces from toes to ankle, and micrometric buckles on the instep and around the ankle.

The laces slide well but need a couple of tries before optimal tightening. And just like for most skates with this combination, the lacing is impeached by the closeness of the buckles.

On the other hand, if you tighten your instep buckle to the max for a tighter fitting, to compensate for the thickness of the liner, it doesn't hold ! Not being able to reach a certain level of tightening leads to a little loss of precision.

The buckles don't look very sturdy and don't leave a very good impression when manipulated. Only the instep buckles are removable, the others are riveted to the boot, and — bad luck — on the tested pair, one of the buckles would jam and I had to force my foot out more than half the time !

Support

Paradoxically, the lower part of the foot is perfectly supported, and the skate is so fitting than you can even feel air getting out of the skate when you slip your foot in. On the other side, the ankle lacks support. It's good enough for a small-wheel set-up, especially with the millimeters saved on ground clearance thanks to the Trinity system. However, with 100 mm wheels, support becomes too poor, whatever the practice.

Comfort

The liner doesn't move, it is thick and with good finishing, but it's hard to slip your foot in. Once inside, you feel wedged and at ease. Yet, on the first sessions, I ended up with a few blisters due to friction at the heel. Fortunately, it didn't take much time for the liner to break in, and the foot also gets used to the liner. Nothing impossible to overcome.

Frames and Wheels

Powerslide Kaze 2016

The Trinity Frame

Short and robust (243 mm), its main particularity is the innovative Trinity System. Instead of the two centered fixing points that can be found on all inline frames, the front fixing point is doubled, with one point on each side of the frame. Which allows to gain space between the wheels and the boot, for lower ground clearance and better energy restitution.
Weighing 197 grams, the Trinity is a bit heavier than other similar models, but it is also more solid, because of its design, especially because of its reinforcement bridges.
Before testing, I browsed the product description on the brand's website, and I started with negative preconceptions thinking it was just business arguments.
After testing, this novelty is so revolutionary that I'm going to have a hard time doing without it! Despite the softness of the boot and quite average original wheels, my push was more powerful than with my usual boots, and I could reach an equivalent speed to the one I'm used to, with my 3x110 mm set-up with quality wheels. I can't wait to try this frame with a compatible rigid boot and high-end wheels.

Powerslide Kaze 2016

Wheels

Powerslide Kaze 2016Powerslide equipped the Kazes with Spinners, wheels that have a solid hub with small holes, a freeride/hockey-type model. The on-core has a rounded profile. This original series wheel is described as having a 85A hardness, but we measured it at 86A. It's a perfectly standard wheel. Weight: 100 grams per unit.

The Spinners have quite a slow and even wear, they have a good grip whatever the conditions. They are also good for sliding. A good series model.

Bearings

Powerslide has been working for some time with Wicked. Until now, the bearings have remained quiet and the rolling smooth, despite using them in various weathers.

Quality-Price Ratio

It's hard to compare the price of the Kazes to that of another model of equivalent range, since it's equipped with a concept that is still unique on the market (Trinity). At 339€, it's in the same budget range as the Seba FR 110, or 30€ more than a Seba FR1 Deluxe 80, and 40€ than a Seba FR-A.

Conclusion

This skate seems designed for speed skaters who feel like having a go at freeskate. The cut of the boot shoudn't be a problem, and the low cut of the liner will remind them of a support they are already used to. And more than any other skaters, they will notice the performances offered by the Trinity System, and may make peace with short frames! Pure free skaters will like Powerslide's Tau model better, also equipped with the Trinity System, but with a more rigid boot.

Strong Points & Points To Be Improved

 Points forts

Pluses

+ Trinity System
+ Ventilated Boot
+ Comfort

points à améliorer 

Minuses

- Ankle Support
- Quality of Micrometric Buckles
- Several Different Tools Needed (Torque/Allen)

Technical Facts

Brand: Powerslide
Year: 2016
Model: Kaze
Boot: Semi-soft Composite Vi Trinity Pain Free Boot With Integrated Liner
Tightening: Micrometric Bucles & Laces
Sizes: 40-46 EU / 7-12 US
Frames: 243 mm or 231 mm Aluminum Trinity Frames (according to size)
Interaxial Spacing: 165 mm
Wheels: 76 mm or 80 mm Powerslide Spinner Wheels (according to size)
Bearings: Standard (608) Twincam - ILQ 9
Bearing Spacers: Metal
Weights: 1612 grams for size 43 EU
Note: 231 mm Frames with 76 mm Wheels in Sizes 40 and 41 EU
Recommended Use: Freeskate

Photo gallery

Links

Photos : Powerslide et Alfathor
Released  on 17 October 2016 - Read 12996 times

By :
Aujourd'hui concepteur pour la société Evolving Skatepark, Luc s'est illustré dans de nombreux domaines du roller depuis 30 ans. C'est un des fondateurs de la commission de freestyle à la FFRS. Il a élaboré les contenus des premiers Brevets d'Etat de roller acrobatique. Il en a d'ailleurs assuré l'ensemble des formations pendant 10 ans. On l'a connu athlète en saut et en slalom avant de le voir performer en street puis en skatecross. Il a rédigé de nombreux articles dans la presse spécialisée et sur le net, développé une platine de quad avec HawaiiSurf (la Monolith), dessiné de nombreux skateparks en France, formé des juges internationaux avec l'IFSA en slalom et jugé de nombreux contests en slalom comme en street.

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Fondateur et webmaster de rollerenligne.com. Alexandre est un passionné de roller en général et sous tous ses aspects : histoire, économie, sociologie, évolution technologique... Ne le branchez pas sur ces sujets sans avoir une aspirine à portée de main !
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