Buyers Guide - Freeskate / Powerblade
Freeskates and Powerblades have enough support for the odd trick and tight turns while still using a large wheels for speed. You can still use them for leisure or fitness but they are a little heavier and a little more expensive than regular recreational inline skates.
Although Freeskates and Powerblades are very similar, let's split these two up:
Also known as Freestyle Skates. These type of skates use the shortest wheelbase possible for tight turns and almost always 8x 80mm wheels. They are built with more rigid support and durability than regular Fitness/fun/recreational skates. Freeskates or 'freestyle skates' are commonly associated with skating in built up city areas and also with Slalom skating (cutting cones!). They are also often used by the more advanced recreational skater.
Freestyle brands which have gained much reputability include French skate brand Seba which is very popular with slalom skaters, Rollerblade's freestyle range, K2 and Powerslide who have cornered the high end of the market with their Carbon Fiber options. Apart from the odd exception; almost all these skates are unisex so the fitment is designed for both men's and women's feet. This is mainly because Freestyle skates tend to use an outer 'shell' for support and durability and it's too difficult to change the shape of the mould to anatomically meet the requirements of a gender-specific shaped foot.
Top Freestyle skates to look out for:
-Watch out for the Seba FR range (Seba FR1, Seba FRX) especially if you are into the idea of slalom. The FR range tend to be the most popular for their reasonable price and hard, supportive shell
-Rollerblade's main offering is the Rollerblade Twister which was the original Freestyle skate. It's been running for years (with added updates) and is the most iconic freestyle skate, loved worldwide.
-Powerslides S4 and Hardcore Evo skate are critically acclaimed for their light weight and close fit. The Hardcore Evo is the most popular high-end skate as it's made of Carbon Fiber for the ultimate rigidity and weight reduction.
-K2's best offering is the Il Capo skate. Skaters love this skate for unmatched comfort, light weight and good looks. This skate seems to suit the advanced recreational skater or city-commuter the best.
Powerblades are similar in construction to Freestyle skates but are more associated with doing the odd stunt (limited grind-tricks and gaps). The term Powerblading is actually specific to the brand Kizer who created a frame that could house 80mm wheels but also be attached on any Aggressive Skating boot thus opening up a huge market of Aggressive boots for the Freeskater or Powerblader to choose from. Many argue that Powerblading is just Freeskating rebranded however since the Powerblade revolution hit in 2011 there's been many online videos showing skaters using Powerblades in ways that had not been previously seen on Freestyle skates.
Powerblades are usually customised by the skater, although we do have some in-house set-ups which we've created which you can buy from stock. You'd usually choose an aggressive skating boot in it's 'boot-only' form (so without frames or wheels) and then choose some Powerblading frames and wheels to fit on it. This essentially gives you the choice of ANY aggressive skate on the market as we do all our skates as a boot-only version. The Kizer Powerblading frames are 'UFS compatible' which means they will fit on any good aggressive skate brand that has been manufactured since around 2004 (all the aggressive skates we do!)
Top Powerblading skates to look out for:
- This is very subjective. You can pretty much buy ANY boot-only aggressive skate from our range as your boot. Have a look at some of the Powerblade frames which already have wheels attached to save you some money and the hassle of trying to pick the different parts. Our most popular frame set up is the Kizer Advance Loco Edition which comes with ABEC 5 bearings and Hyper Concrete wheels which are widely considered as some of the best wheels for Powerblading due to their hardness, durability and speed (and the fact you can get them in LOADS of colours!)