Trigger is the new boot company which surprised the industry this week by releasing images of the all-new Trigger Rainbow Julien Cudot skate. A courageous move in the current climate, Trigger has gone full-commit by designing and manufacturing ALL NEW molded components to achieve the final product. They've made their own soul kit mold, cuff, buckle, boot, and even frame. A hugely expensive project which can only be commended.
This TRS / K2 / Legacy lovechild left me, at first, asking what it's USP was and where it fits into the market alongside such established brands who have a quantity advantage. After receiving and trying on the prototype product all became clear; because there's no accounting for something JUST FEELING RIGHT on your foot. It's chunky but looks short, light but solid and soft boot yet supportive. It's certainly NOTHING like the USD Legacy as viewers of the first images proposed online last week.
The main pull is the oversized integrated liner/lining. Like a K2 Fatty on crack. Have a look at the thick top of the liner in our images (shown in size uk7). The support and comfort are undeniable. The biggest surprise is weight. it's very very light. 1580g in a uk7 complete. That's the same as a USD Aeon 60 in the same size, not kidding. They've mainly achieved this with a very minimal, open shell under that upper. It's a bit like a USD Carbon / Adapt / Valo Light skeleton except it's made from plastic, not carbon fiber. Your foot sits in a well with a 1cm high plastic wall around the sides of your foot and toes and then the shell fills out around the ankle area for support.
The frames also contribute to the skates bafflingly lightweight. As you can see, they are like a freestyle frame but the mold is in the shape of anti-rocker wheels; so a less sketchy lock-on than normal freestyle frames but without the rattle of a plastic grind-wheel. Again, I like it. If I wasn't having the time of my life on a flat set up of big wheels then I'd give them a spin (or not-spin in this case).
The soulplate looks great. Very similar shape to a USD Carbon soul but with a slightly deeper groove. Negative and positive soul areas are ample. The soulplate is affixed to the boot simply with the two UFS frame bolts. Removing the soul reveals the general workmanship of the skate to be of overall good quality. No flappy bits or annoying hardware.
The Price is £265 / €350 / $400. Stop whining, it costs money to develop a new skate. LOTS. Besides, as far as hobbies go blading is very low on the spend-o-meter. Just be glad you're not a mountain biker... or a trainer collector... or in a band. The price tag sits in line nicely with the skate's similarly spec'd counterpart the USD Carbon Free.
If you're wondering, Trigger is the Brand, Rainbow is the model and Julien Cudot is the version. Rainbow, I'd speculated, was a statement of PRIDE in reference to the discrimination of rollerblading by other action sports. Turns out it's just inspired by the name of the Parisian creator of the skate; Xavier Raimbault. An elusive but dedicated hero of sorts who isn't interested in the kudos or credit associated with owning a boot company. The product has not been hyped by the company. It looks like they are going to let the skate do the talking.
Hats off to Xavier for this two-footed tackle on the Rollerblading industry. There are many models of skate on the market whose spec sheet is impressive but fall short when you actually put your foot in. This solid, comfortable, supportive, lightweight newbie should not be overlooked by aggressive skate purists. I'll let you be the judge, just make sure you try them on first - Jake.
[More to come once I had a proper skate on them] Company website: www.triggerskate.com | There's also some clips of Julien skating the skates on instagram