Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

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Shaw
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Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby Shaw » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:52 pm

A friend and I decided to go buy new skates a week ago. I've been wearing the same pair of size 41 seba highs for nearly five years now, and the inside of the liner on the right foot finally broke such that I'd have blisters from wearing them. I patched it up with a bit of duct tape, but haven't skated in them much since, especially now that I have a new pair of KSJs. My friend has been wearing a pair of freewaves for a while now, and wanted new skates as well.

Sizing:
At the store I tried on a pair of size 39 2012 KSJs (they didn't have the 2013 model in stock), and a pair of size 40 2013 EVOs. I don't have overly wide feet, but the EVOs still felt extremely narrow, and the length wasn't too long so I didn't want to go a size up either. The KSJs were surprisingly comfortable despite being two sizes smaller than my seba highs which definitely were not comfortable at first, so I bought those instead.

My friend tried on size 37 and 38 EVOs, both of which felt fine, and after deliberating for a bit over sizes/colors, ended up buying size 37 EVOs. The tongue of the EVOs bites down on your feet pretty hard at first, but this is mostly fixed simply by putting shoelaces in.

Heat moulding the EVOs:
After skating for a bit on the EVOs, and talking with another skater who owns them, my friend decided to heat mould her new skates as well. Skate ovens are fairly rare in China, but some skaters have found another way to heat up their skates: boiling them.

This is done by first removing all the parts you can (buckles, slide guard, frame, cuff, etc.) wrapping up the skates in saran wrap and taping it so that they're waterproof, and then tossing it into a pot to boil for about 10-20 minutes. Water boils at roughly 100 degrees C so you don't risk burning the skates, but make sure that they're wrapped well so that no water leaks in. After that, put on two pairs of thick socks, and just wear the skates until they cool down. A more detailed post about the process can be found here.
Fun fact: It takes no fewer than 4 tools to remove all the parts from a pair of EVOs: T25 torx for wheels/frame, 4mm allen tool, 5mm allen tool, and philips screwdriver for everything else. Why they didn't use torx screwheads instead of the allen screws is beyond me.

Weight:
KSJs are lighter than EVOs, but well, so are S4s. Weight isn't everything for a pair of skates, and the difference between the two isn't all that significant. It did feel pretty effortless carrying the skates across half of Beijing however, compared with seba highs which weigh roughly twice as much.

Frame mounting holes
KSJs have five mounting holes for the frames, EVOs have sliding mounting holes instead. Both designs have their pros and cons. The default frame alignment of the EVOs seems to be a little too far forwards, but this is easily adjustable to your needs. I swapped the frames at the store for a pair of Chinese-made ikrans, mostly because I wanted to try a rockered frame and I was tired of looking at deluxe frames.

Issues:
I heard many reports of KSJs going soft in the cuff area after extensive skating due to the triangle cuff it uses, so many advanced skaters go through one or two pairs of KSJs every year. I don't skate nearly as much as those people however, so I reason that if my skates actually do end up going soft, then I'll probably have already gotten my money's worth out of them. When they do break, I'll probably buy a pair of EVOs and boil them, which reportedly gets rid of the narrowness problem.

Skating impressions:
Once I had the shoelaces in and the frame properly adjusted, the skates performed admirably. They don't seem to be as supportive as EVOs or igors, but they're responsive enough that they'll do what I want them to. They don't feel quite as steady as my highs, but that can be attributed to just habit and me not having fully adjusted to the reduced weight.

Color:
Golden skates are ugly, plasma anodized frames are ugly, so my skates are ugly. I'm probably going to paint the skates at some point, but I'm still debating how/when to go about it. I don't have a convenient place to spray paint them, so for now I'm considering using either acrylic paints or nail polish. I'll have an update when/if I decide to paint them.
Image

edit: 5mm allen tool, not 6mm. It's the same as the red frame tool seba uses
Last edited by Shaw on Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

kev0
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Re: Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby kev0 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:32 pm

do you mean tearing at the point where the triangle cuff is inserted into the skates? or do you mean 'soft' as the the joints for the triangle cuff loosening?

i'd say you are quite lucky you managed to snag a non-shiny gold pair of KSJs, or that might just be the camera. the shiny shiny gold ksj's are 2012, yours might be 2011?

there is a red/blue option for chinese ikran frames haha. mine don't sit straight, but i'm sure i can hammer them straight when i want to try them out.

Shaw
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Re: Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby Shaw » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:55 am

Supposedly the joint area get soft and unsupportive after an extensive amount of skating. I've heard of it happening to a number of skaters, and a friend of mine used to buy a new pair of KSJs every year because of it. Shouldn't be a problem for most people though, didn't stop me from buying a pair at least. So long as they last me 2-3 years, I'll consider them to have been worth it.

It's just the camera, they're the gaudy shiny 2012 version. The 2013 version looks nicer in my opinion, and they come with hyper +g wheels instead of gyro, but otherwise it should be the same boot as 2012. I'm not sure why they're still called KSJs instead of WFSCs, but copyright laws in China are always iffy.

They only had the plasma ikran frames at the store, which seem straight enough to me. They say free-wave on them instead of Baist, so presumably they're made by different people than the red/yellow ones. I think someone in China might've copyrighted the free-wave name, allowing them to legally make these "official" frames even if they have no affiliation with Captain Yang, but that's just a guess. It's also possible that these are endorsed by freewave korea for the Chinese market, I'll have to ask about it sometime.

azumi
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Re: Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby azumi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:51 pm

Shaw, just put the Evo in a stove. xD

jipe
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Re: Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby jipe » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:02 pm

Your KSJ are definitely the shiny ones !

I never saw the WFSC's for sale in any shop in Europe and I don't know if they were really produced, they were announced in the Seba 2013 range in black, not gold.

About the softening of the cuff area, what happens is that its shape adapts to your leg and it eventually "mold" and follow the movement of your your leg. As consequence, it becomes more flexible and less supportive than when the boots are new.

But this behavior seems to me the goal of the triangular cuff of the KSJ and Trix, i.e. to provide more freedom especially front/rear flex (the triangular cuff provides only lateral support) than a classic cuff like on the Seba High and iGor.

If these skaters don't like that kind of freedom and like more support, they made the wrong choice with the KSJ and should choose the iGor instead.

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Re: Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby samgoody » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:14 pm

jipe wrote:
I never saw the WFSC's for sale in any shop in Europe and I don't know if they were really produced, they were announced in the Seba 2013 range in black, not gold.



Here you go:

http://www.onlineskateshop.nl/4722/skat ... free-skate

I can't really see the point of them, unless Seba decides to put a rockered frame on them as standard. Then the 60+ Euro premium over the Trix would be easier to justify.

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Re: Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby atlsk8r » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:50 pm

samgoody wrote:
jipe wrote:
I never saw the WFSC's for sale in any shop in Europe and I don't know if they were really produced, they were announced in the Seba 2013 range in black, not gold.



Here you go:

http://www.onlineskateshop.nl/4722/skat ... free-skate

I can't really see the point of them, unless Seba decides to put a rockered frame on them as standard. Then the 60+ Euro premium over the Trix would be easier to justify.

Well, if the photo in your link is any indication, the frames are pre-rockered.

I've been confused myself about whether or not the WFSC skate included a pre-rockered frame. None of the promotional materials mention a rocker, but all the promo photos (like 3) I've seen do include a pre-rockered frame. Since the frame is printed "WFSC", I assume this is the standard frame, and that it will be pre-rockered. WTF were they thinking naming the skate WFSC though?

Instead of waiting for it, I just picked up the 2013 Trix instead. Looove the new flat black color. And the shop switched to a pre-rockered frame for me at no extra charge.

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Re: Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby Nehalem » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:15 pm

What exactly is this feature of KSJ/TriX that it "softens" after a while?

Shaw
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Re: Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby Shaw » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:34 am

jipe wrote:Your KSJ are definitely the shiny ones !

I never saw the WFSC's for sale in any shop in Europe and I don't know if they were really produced, they were announced in the Seba 2013 range in black, not gold.

About the softening of the cuff area, what happens is that its shape adapts to your leg and it eventually "mold" and follow the movement of your your leg. As consequence, it becomes more flexible and less supportive than when the boots are new.

But this behavior seems to me the goal of the triangular cuff of the KSJ and Trix, i.e. to provide more freedom especially front/rear flex (the triangular cuff provides only lateral support) than a classic cuff like on the Seba High and iGor.

If these skaters don't like that kind of freedom and like more support, they made the wrong choice with the KSJ and should choose the iGor instead.


I'm not sure if that's a design goal, from what I hear the skates become more or less unusable for slalom after it happens, especially with regards to toe wheeling tricks. From the sound of it it's just the material near the cuff fatiguing to the point of failure due to repeated stress from wheeling tricks.

I'm not sure why skaters aren't buying igors instead. I'll have to ask about that sometime, but it could just be a bias against igors/EVOs in China where it's thought that they're designed for "western" feet which are supposedly more narrow than Asian feet. Many of the skaters who have to deal with this problem don't have to pay for new skates anyhow, so that might be part of it as well.

This is all secondhand information though; my skates are new, so of course I have no personal experience with the cuff area going soft. For reference however, this guy would go through a pair of KSJs/Trix every year when he was skating in his prime, and I've heard that this guy recently had his skates go soft right before a competition which greatly affected his performance. On the other hand, this guy has worn KSJs for at least the past year or two, and they seemed to be holding up fine last time I saw him. The third guy isn't skating at the same level as the other two however, the first two can compete at a regional level, whereas the third guy can only be said to be pretty good for a college student.

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Re: Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby samgoody » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:42 am

Shaw wrote:
I'm not sure why skaters aren't buying igors instead. I'll have to ask about that sometime, but it could just be a bias against igors/EVOs in China where it's thought that they're designed for "western" feet which are supposedly more narrow than Asian feet. Many of the skaters who have to deal with this problem don't have to pay for new skates anyhow, so that might be part of it as well.



Or why not the Trix with a carbon cuff instead of the Igor? (e.g. like the third and fourth pictures at http://www.sebanews.com/freestyle-slalo ... y-granjon/). It's not a popular setup, but it seems like it might solve the whole issue of the cuff becoming soft and still give those skaters the fit they are used to, or is my conclusion wrong?

Shaw
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Re: Brief review of KSJs vs EVOs

Postby Shaw » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:47 pm

samgoody wrote:
Shaw wrote:
I'm not sure why skaters aren't buying igors instead. I'll have to ask about that sometime, but it could just be a bias against igors/EVOs in China where it's thought that they're designed for "western" feet which are supposedly more narrow than Asian feet. Many of the skaters who have to deal with this problem don't have to pay for new skates anyhow, so that might be part of it as well.



Or why not the Trix with a carbon cuff instead of the Igor? (e.g. like the third and fourth pictures at http://www.sebanews.com/freestyle-slalo ... y-granjon/). It's not a popular setup, but it seems like it might solve the whole issue of the cuff becoming soft and still give those skaters the fit they are used to, or is my conclusion wrong?


You're correct, and I know a guy who owns a pair of Trix with carbon cuff for exactly that reason. As for why others who own Trix aren't using the carbon cuffs, I couldn't say. I'd have to ask around more I guess.


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