We have reported about new, innovative frame mounting system introduced by folks at Powerslide a couple of times already. We were one of the first media platforms to take a closer look at Trinity and since our initial piece, many of more or less informed articles on the topic emerged over the web. It is safe to say that technical aspects of new system are covered well enough, but still, no one took an in-depth look at how new line of skates actually work for the end user and what kind of difference they make.
This article was written to share a point of view of three freeskaters, who were given a chance to test Kaze and Tau skates (along with multiple frame options) before official release. In one case the timeframe was almost a year! Below you can read insight given by Aleksey Martsenyuk, Piotr Combrzyński and Mateusz Stępnikowski.
We have chosen them because they are our colleagues, friends, people we can trust in and because we know they won’t praise something just because their sponsor made them to. They all skate on higher than average level and are experienced enough to test the skates properly, without going easy on them. Worth to mention is the fact of Piotrek being an unstoppable aggressive and bladecross competition winning machine in Poland – he is probably single most well-rounded skater in Poland right now.
We, on in-line.pl, believe that any product review should focus on actual experience of skating, instead of giving too much of a spotlight to technical details that, while important, are interesting only to limited number of “skate-heads” like us. These, of course, do matter, but specs alone won’t make any skate a good product.
Given the occasion, we would like to thanks Alex, Piotrek and Mateusz for sharing their thoughts with us.
Let us get started. Guys, would you be so kind to tell our readers, for how long you have been testing skates based on Trinity system?
Aleksey: I’ve had a first chance to skate on Trinity in October 2015. Those were the Kaze, equipped with a frame for 3x110mm wheels – and they were amazing. Back then I’ve skated on Imperials, also with 3x110mm frameset and comparing to them, Kaze have made a huge impression on me. It is safe to say I’ve jumped on the hype train back then.
Piotrek: I have received first pair of sample skates with Trinity system back in September 2015. Of course, those were the Kaze – along with two framesets, one for 4x80mm wheels and another for 3x110mm. As for Tau, I’ve came in to possession of a pair by the end of last winter and I’ve been using them ever since.
Mateusz: I have received Kaze about two months ago, but I’ve had a chance to try them almost a year ago, in Katowice, where Piotrek brought his prototypes and been so kind to give me a chance to skate them.
Unfortunately, Powerslide is making sample models only in one size – EU41, while my size is EU43, so I had „a few” problems fitting in them (removal of the insole helped a lot). But still, I’ve took them for a quick ride and right away I’ve realized that soon, world of inline skating will experience a small revolution.
Second question – you have all probably seen leaked pictures of Trinity, were informed about whole invention prior to the release to the public – what was your attitude towards new standard and could you tell us, how it changed after trying it for yourself?
Aleksey: At first, I was negative about Trinity. For me, it was unnecessary change and I couldn’t understand why Powerslide wants to complicate things by introducing new standard. But, after my first ride that changed completely. I was hooked and before receiving my own pair, I’ve borrowed Kazes from Piotr a few times.
Kaze samples were too small for me, though, and so I was unable to test the strengths of new technology properly. I’ve received my Tau boots in May, and ever since I skate only in them. As for now, I see no point in returning to “standard” skates, so my attitude took a U-turn, you could say.
Piotr: Before I had a chance to try Kaze, I was skating Ultrons with 4x80mm 243mm frame, and to be honest, I wasn’t much interested in new tech. I haven’t got any expectations.
For me, those were simply a new skates with a bit more complicated frame mounting and I wasn’t even aware, what is the purpose of such changes to the design. I do not remember my first time skating on Trinity – but I remember, that right after, I no longer wanted to skate anything else. Choice was clear for me – ONLY TRINITY!
Mateusz: At first, there were a lot of informational buzz around the subject and I’ve tried not to get too excited, as I knew that Trinity should bring some improvements, but was afraid that it will turn out to be a letdown.
But, after my first time trying new tech, I was sure that our “friendship” will develop to be something more. You could say as a joke that I couldn’t sleep for days and had nightmares about old SSM system, which I had to skate knowing that something much better is around the corner. Fortunately, me and my pair of Kaze are finally together and we do not plan to part our ways.
Please tell us what, in your opinion, is the most important functional change caused by introduction of Trinity?
Aleksey: What I have noticed immediately is height difference between Imperial and Kaze. Skating on the latter with 110mm wheels, I was under impression that I’m having my Hardcore Evo with rockered frame on my feet!
Using my own pair of Tau, I also see a difference in speed compared to skaters on “standard” blades, even if those are Imperial 125 and similar big wheel skates. I accelerate much more efficiently, it is easier for me to maintain speed, turning requires less effort and my ankles do not bend to the sides.
I have also noticed that, compared to “standard” skates equipped with 80mm and even older triskates models like Imperial 125, using Tau on 3×110 on downhill I do not get “shimmy” effect as Trinity is dampening vibrations much more efficiently. For example – on usual 4x80mm setup my legs start to shake at 55-60 km/h, in case of Imperial 125m it is for 65 km/h speed and higher. Using Tau with 3×110 (even though wheelbase is 243mm) I’m able to maintain speed of 70 km/h without such issues.
Piotr: In my opinion, most important features are fact that the foot is positioned much closer to the wheels along with three mounting points instead of two. Thanks to lower centre of balance, even 110mm and 125mm wheels do not feel too high. Three point mounting system makes the skate more stable, energy transfer is more efficient, with greater portion of it being redistributed to the wheels. This also provides better grip and responsiveness.
Taking all of that in to account, I’m pretty positive that new system should benefit all disciplines where grip and control are important – so not only for freeskating, but also speedskating or hockey(yes, I know about planned Reign skates).
Mateusz: I’ve quickly noticed improved “feeling” of the skate. In all other models I’ve had a sensation that I’m wearing something attached to my feet, with Kaze I feel like the skates are natural extension of my body. This brings some benefits along – much better energy transfer, greater responsiveness and superior acceleration with much less effort. It feels like I’m equipped with small engine that is doing part of the job for me while skating.
Have Trinity skates changed your style of skating? If so, please, tell us how.
Aleksey: In my case, Trinity affected the way I’m jumping – a lot. Because 3x110mm setup feels like 4x80mm in standard skates, my skills haven’t suffered because of larger wheel diameter. I can even say that they have improved. For example – I have set a new private record in high-jump, now it is 6m, while previously it was a bit more than 5m. It is easier to land on Trinity as energy is distributed through three mounting points more evenly. The fact there is a kind of a “platform” under toe area helps to maintain straight position of ankles on landing, so such skates are in fact safer for jumping.
They are also pretty decent tool for slides (wheel shuffles). I have more possibilities now, as it is easier to control slide and to change body position during it, without losing balance – this is especially important during combos.
Piotr: I am not quite sure what do you mean by style, but I must admit that prior to trying Kaze and Tau I wasn’t a fan of triskates, because I felt like on stilts when using them – too high, unstable and not nearly enough dynamic. Trinity changed that in a blink of an eye – right now I’m skating on Tau with 3×100 231mm frame and UC Kangaroo 86a wheels and I can’t imagine better setup for urban skating!
For sure, it is much easier for me to jump in those and I feel more confident on landings from heights, than on models equipped with SSM mounting. I’m coming from an aggressive inline (where, as you know, frames are low and wheels are really small) background and 4x80mm in “old” skates was tall for me already, not to mention triskates with 110mm or 125mm wheels. Using Trinity I have a feeling close to that known from aggressive skates, where balance is low and feet are closer to the wheels.
Mateusz: Thanks to superior control and responsiveness, I can push myself further, make more risky manoeuvres, experiment more and try new things. It’s like switching from family sedan to a sportscar – more power, lower suspension, greater control and speed. And as a bonus, everyone is snapping their necks when you are passing by and wish they were in your place.
Another thing to mention is increased stability on landings. I’m expecting that, over time, my jump height will increase thanks to that. Skating backwards is also easier and faster thanks to better control over the skates.
Okay, so it seems Trinity works for you and you all have benefitted from it. So tell us, would you ever return to skates with older mounting systems? Does “looking back” make any sense for you now?
Aleksey: Generally speaking, Tau are best skates I have ever used – so no, I do not plan to switch back to older tech. I’ve made my choice and from now on I will use only models that will come with new standard.
During my tests of the new tech I’ve noticed that any frame setup I had a chance to try, skated well – no matter of wheel diameter and setup. Comparing available framesets I have settled on two setups I am using on regular basis.
Tau boot + 3×110 243mm frame + UC 110mm wheels is my favourite gear for urban skating. Agility, responsiveness and speed are at optimum level for me. This setup handles downhills pretty well, works good for jumping and even slides like magic are a piece of cake on it. My average city skating speed is now about 20-25 km/h while on skates with ssm it was 18-20 km/h.
Tau with 240mm frame and 90mm wheels is my setup of choice for slides. That is only because 110mm wheels are harder to control and slide a bit worse, while 90mm are spot-on.
As for going back, I have no difficulty adjusting back to older skates, but certainly, it feels like I’m too slow on them.
Piotr: In my case, going back to older tech doesn’t make much sense. Since I’ve tried Trinity, skating in regular ssm boots is no fun. It sounds cruel, but when I’ve used regular skates last time (I’ve tested how MyFit Fatboy liner works in Seba FR1 and also checked some doop skates) I felt much slower in them. Skates were bending to the sides much more and that caused worse control and slower acceleration.
Bottom line – switching from SSM to Trinity was easy, but I just can’t adjust to older standard anymore. I’ve made a transition and there is no going back for me.
Mateusz: A return to SSM or UFS? After experiencing what Trinity brings to the table? Sorry, but no. Trinity incorporates best features from both and adds plenty of benefits on top of that. Thanks to the raised heel, you have more dynamic stance and in the effect, you skate faster. With lower centre of gravity you feel stable and landings are much easier than before.
For me, it is a permanent switch. I don’t even want to think about going back to older skates – and I am positive that anyone who will give Trinity a go will share the same view. I’m pretty sure that Powerslide is working hard at the moment to expand the range of models, so every skater will be able to find one suited for her/his needs.
Last question – who do you think should be interested in skates with Trinity system? If you were to make such recommendation, that is.
Aleksey: I recommend these skates to anyone who wants to go truly fast. You have to take in to account that currently available models are freeskates and that’s where they excel. They are good for slides, but their advantage in that application, while visible, is not as pronounced as in other areas. I think Trinity based boots would make a great piece of equipment for downhill, but for that, obviously, a new dedicated frame would be required.
This new line of skates has potential to improve record times of “pro competitors” in speedslalom, bladecross and speedskating. Individually, though, everyone, even amateurs, should notice better acceleration, higher speeds and longer jumps.
Piotr: I recommend Trinity to everyone, starting with the beginners, all the way up to most advanced skaters or simply to all people who are eager to try something new. This system provides much better control, stability and energy transfer, so it is easier to take the first steps on it. Experienced skaters, on the other hand, will discover new quality of skating thanks to these characteristics.
Mateusz: I don’t want to recommend anything… I just want to say, that anybody who will give Tritnity a try, won’t ever want to skate anything else. And I’m sure in a future not so far from now, everyone will use this and older systems will became a thing of the past 😉
For sure, a discipline that will benefit the most is speedskating. It is safe to say there is a lot of potential for new records to be set. Fitness skaters will benefit also, because of easier ride on big wheels. Freestyle slalom is next in the line, as responsiveness is much greater with Trinity and we all know how important factor it is between the cones.
To end this article we want to remind that Kaze is currently available in good inline skating shops, and Tau will soon hit the market. After that, speedskating boots and different variations of frames will come. Powerslide is still working on a wider range of skates with new system – fitness models, new inline hockey skates line – Reign, and fantastic looking Kaze SUV off-road skate on 150mm wheels. Trust us, this is not the end of what they have up in their sleeve, but we aren’t allowed to say more 😉
Single most important piece of information is none of the above, though. Truly great news is Powerslide are open for licensing their patent to other brands. We can expect new technology to spread fastest among speedskating sector, as every advantage makes an impact there, a fact proven not long ago by Bart Swings on 3x125mm wheel setup and his domination over skaters who used 4x110mm framesets. Right now there is no “serious” manufacturer in the game who wouldn’t make triskating frames for 125mm wheels.
Who knows, maybe one day we will say goodbye to LSM and SSM mountings for good?