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Old August 14th, 2015, 06:06 AM   #15
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 176


I'd like to sell kid's skates eventually, but I don't know anything about jr. skate models so I'm sticking with equipment that I understand until I'm more familiar with the importing and retail process.

I definitely get what you're saying about parents buying overly cheap skates for kids which gives them a poor impression of their sport. In their defense though, a lot of people just don't click with the sport and get bored of it after a few weeks, and kids especially have short attention spans. Many skates will end up collecting dust no matter how good they are. It also doesn't help that the scene is so small; it's so much easier to stay motivated when there are other people skating around you. I haven't had any real slalom practice in over a year because I live in a place where nobody does slalom skating.

It'd be nice if more big box stores carried good skates, but inline's just too small for them to justify stocking quality skates if most people just want a pair to toy around with, and the people who really want to commit to the sport are too few to really sustain anything more than specialty stores. It's symptomatic of our society in general that wal-mart is so successful even though most of the products they sell have awful quality. I don't think I'll be selling the cheapest skates you can find in America, but I'm confident that the skates I'll be selling are much better than the <$100 soft-shelled junk you find in most big box marts.

I think Seba FR-As are the closest you'll be able to find for all discipline skates. It'd be really hard making a boot that's suitable for speed skating which prioritizes weight while also being durable enough to handle aggressive skating. Having a freeskate and a powerblading set-up already gives you access to the majority of disciplines anyways. Freeskates can handle everything outside of grinds and aggressive skating, and powerblading set-ups are probably a bit clunky for slalom but are good for everything else. Neither is ideal for speed skating, but a light freeskate with a speed skating frame isn't terrible, and you can also remove the cuff for more flexibility.

If you're willing to pay a premium for custom colors/graphics, the brand I'm currently talking with is working on a carbon-fiber freeskate in the future. When those hit the market, you'll be able to order custom colored boots from them. Powerslide and Seba also sell custom skates in China. You can pick your own colors, have your name or whatever else written on the front straps, and I've also seen custom skates where the Trix/KSJ logo was replaced as well. This is an older video, there's a greater selection of materials to choose from now. There is a fairly hefty premium for them though, I ended up buying stock KSJs and spraypainting them myself rather than order customs. If you're interested however, I can try to get in touch with Powerslide/Seba reps in China for you, or you could try contacting one of their reps in the US to see if they can arrange something.
Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote