I’m aware that nobody gives a flying fishbrain about my new skate set-up. I’m also aware that I get asked really intricate questions about skates every single day leading me to believe that there is people out there just as neurotic as me when it comes down to their new whips. So as an ode to the serial soul-swapping, liner-changing junkies amongst you; and as somebody who is on their 4th pair of skates this week, I thought I’d give you an insight into my eventful week of changing my set-up…
I had a go on a friends SSM skates a couple of weeks back and to my surprise I loved them. Souls were huge, they slid fast and were solid and supportive. Just what I needed for my stupid ankles which rudely don’t like to cooperate in anything too strenuous. They were size uk8. Usually my size, however they felt MASSIVE so I waited for the Bolino model to drop and picked up a size uk6 (uk5-uk6 shell) and put a size uk8 Trust Special Ops liner in it. Perfect fit! Add a set of Create Original frames (which I’d also never skated before) and some Eulogys and the new Undercover Twincam ILQ9 bearings and I was good to go. I put on Large Create frames so they looked kinda silly on the size uk6 shell but I prefer a longer frame for balance on grinds these days.
I went skating on the Sunday and within a few minutes I could feel they weren’t quite right. The Trust liner was compromising the support in the boot and my bad ankles weren’t happy. Don’t get me wrong, there is no issue with the skates OR the Trust liners… just my stupid ankle ligaments which have been torn time and time over. One tubigrip later and I managed to have quite a good street skate for the rest of the day. The Create Original frames are the best frames I’ve skated for cess slides… the walls, for some reason, are perfect for it. First time I’ve been able to cess slide since the K2 days. For the same reason the Create frames are also LETHAL when they are new. Turn a corner too sharply and you WILL feel the wrath of the ‘slide-out’. Careful! Especially when combined with the very elliptical Eulogy wheels.
Nonetheless, once the day was done I had to go back to the drawing board. I couldn’t make any other liners work in the size uk6 SSM and I discovered that the old style Nimh Shaman skates in a size uk8 (7-8 shell) looked smaller than the SSM skates of the same size because of the way the skin tapered back at the toe. They also FELT smaller with the Vicious liner in. Luckily, I own a skate shop so not only did I pick some Nimh’s up real cheap but I managed to sell the size uk6 Bolinos super quick.
Nimh Shamans in the uk8 still felt a little cumbersome for me as I’m used to trying to keep my skates really small and light. Once I started skating them that was forgotten. The added advantage of having the bigger soul kits was incredible. I felt invincible on grind tricks (although I was only skating a small park local to the shop). They were very forgiving.
However, in the world where I live where the grass is always greener on the other side I started to look at the Nimhs and wonder if I could do anything about the bulkiness of the skate that I wasn’t used to. Enter pair of skates number 4 this week! ‘I wonder if I just took a Razor Cult boot and put the Vicious liner and the SSM souls on it then it would at least LOOK slimmer because it has no skin’… I think sometimes when a skate looks slimmer it can feel a whole lot lighter too. A placebo effect maybe, but an effect none the less.
So here I am now with a Razor Cult boot, SSM souls, Vicious liners and I also put a Razor SL cuff on them. I set out to build a makeshift pair of SSM’s but after sitting back and looking at my final product I’m pretty sure that’s a set of Razors skates in front of me!! I’m not sure if this automatically initiates me into BLADERGANG or whether they require a more hardcore induction process? (a rap battle? a stabbing at the Mall? a Cadillac Race down at the old storm drains?). Nonetheless, and turning a blind-eye to the slightly overlapping soul kit, they look awesome. I know I’ll still be pretending to be Jon Bolino when I’m skating them. I’m definitely finally happy… saying that, I wonder how they’ll work with Salomon liners?…