Dustin Werbeski was in town yesterday (Once Richie Eisler's protege and now Dustin is on his own unique path with style and tricks and is really fun to skate with/watch skate). He also won Popularity Contest... TWICE!
I got to try his 5 month old Carbons (which were the prototypes others had been skating). Just before I talk about how they felt I'll tell you the condition: They were pretty worn all around. Keep in mind they were protos and Dustin had been skating them pretty hard. One buckle was completely garbled(because it's the speed skating buckle). Both straps were being held on slightly by threads and doing the sideways turny thing. They looked a bit soggy when bent too.
I skate a size 8 OG remz, a 9/8 in UFS Remz, a 10 in Roces/Valo and an 8 footwrap with a small shell in Xsjados...
So I tried them on and did a very short awkward roll around saying "these are WEIRD!" and did very few tricks in them. So this is my short awkward roll around experience:
These were a 9 and they were tiny. Dustin even said they were way tighter when they were new. So anyone thinking of sizing up DO IT. If you're like me and you have any weird shaped parts of your foot. The carbon will torture you if you get a size too small.
The carbon and the cuff(no cuff?) felt like they were separating from each other and although the bottom of the skate felt stiff and responsive... Something felt like it was bending and not flexing. I'm not sure what this was but i'm sure it feels stiff when the skate is new... Maybe they fixed it for the store models? Either way it felt less like a cuff and more like two separate sections that were coming apart/bending.
They were setup with older small kizer frame with no anti rockers and Richie Undercoves on the oustide. So obviously they felt weird because I skate flat... But rolling around on them felt really good. I rolled over a little spine and in the air it felt like my feet could do whatever they wanted wether it be a little toe point or a kick thingy. Whereas in some other skates you can do this but the response time can be a bit clunky because of too much liner and material on skates.
The soul slid fast and felt a bit "stand uppy" but i'm sure it was because i'm used to the angled souls on my remz. I think after some getting used to it's a nice minimal design for a minimal boot. It seemed like harder plastic too. Didn't do any cesses but looked like it would protect the boot and the groove.
Do they feel like OG remz? My answer would be no. Maybe in the bottom half of the skate with the smaller toebox and the way it laces up... but the top half doesn't flex like a Remedy and actually felt pretty stiff(even though the middle of the skate felt like it was coming apart). You could literally see something bending out of the skate when I was rolling around. They nailed the V-cut though. The toe point is equal to the remedy... But a toe point with awkward side to side flex is not true freedom of feet. So anyone hoping to recapture sweet memories with their OG remz will be a bit disappointed in the flex factor...
I think i'm going to wait until I try a size 10, on a flat setup, in the production model before I drop the cash because my experience was very short lived(also the skates were thrashed and didn't fit). I mean this in a good way: they are the weirdest feeling skates i've ever put on my feet... . I think after a couple of days on them they would become really addictive and it would be hard to go back to other skates because of how minimal they are and how responsive they feel. If you get them in your proper size they will fit really great too... A lot of skates don't have that going for them.
When I put my remz back I really wanted to stitch my liner into the shell . I think my favorite parts of TEH KRBNZ was the liner being attached to the skate, the responsive bottom and the smaller toebox.
These skates are interesting for sure although the cuff might be a bit odd. I'm excited to test drive a production model. I don't think I have the Carbon infection... But I am intrigued.